Are you ready to start fishing?

New Mexico is home to many great fishing opportunities, from trophy fishing on the San Juan River in the northwest, to bass fishing across southern and central New Mexico, city ponds like Trees Lake in Deming and Tingley Beach in Albuquerque and the many state parks that offer phenomenal fishing experiences. No matter where you are in New Mexico, this dry and arid state offers a fishing opportunity for you.

If you have been fishing for your entire life, you probably have a section of your house dedicated to the top line fly-fishing rods, new spinning reels, a tackle box that stretches the plastic seams to the maximum and all the gadgets to make your fishing adventure successful.

Banner: Tristanna started the New Mexico Trout Challenge catching this brown trout where Azul Creek merges with the Pecos River. Below: Let’s go shopping! Here is Tristanna’s Amazon cart just before checkout.

As someone who loves to be outside, listening to the water of a lake as the small waves settle onto the shores or a river as it meanders from the high mountains and works its way down, feeding into larger rivers, I am not an avid angler. I just love to be outside, and if I catch a fish or two, it’s a bonus. I don’t have a bursting tackle box. In fact, my only tackle box is filled with first-aid supplies for my horses. In 2020, the Department launched the Trout Challenge. As a small part of the planning team, I started thinking about reallocating some of my free time and trying to catch a few trout, and maybe, just maybe, I could complete the Challenge.

Every year when I apply for the big game draw, I purchase the combo hunting and fishing licenses, habitat stamp and HMA stamp. While I don’t always go fishing, having the license in my pocket allows me the opportunity to say yes if someone suggests a quick fishing trip. However, looking at the prospect of catching several fish, I knew I needed to start building up my tackle box. Enter Amazon Prime!

Have you ever searched ‘fishing rod’ on Amazon? You guessed it, more than 400 pages of suggestions pop up. I sorted by the lowest prices first and a cute lime-green $3 kid’s rod took over the screen. Curiosity got the best of me; I sorted by the highest-priced options. My jaw dropped open as a $4,553.58 ultra-light fishing rod topped the list.

Since I am not an avid angler, I started looking for affordable equipment that will work a few times a year when I go fishing. I wasn’t sure what all I needed, so I started Googling “what do I need for a beginner trout fishing kit.” The results were numerous, but I was familiar with a few items. 

I searched Amazon and added an Open Face Rod and Reel Combo (rose gold-colored), some PowerBait (I chose the garlic-scented because I see it mentioned in the New Mexico Fishing Report frequently), some hooks and a few bobbers to my cart. At home, I found a stringer and a small storage box.

Now I am just waiting for my supplies to arrive, and I plan to pick up some worms on my way out of town and head to do some fishing.


About Tristanna Bickford

Tristanna Bickford is the Assistant Chief of Education for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.