My turn: Stay sharp over break

Fishermen often take a little time off during the winter, but jump back into the swing of things in the spring. To keep you sharp while waiting, here are tips for catching walleye.

Shawn Denny, area fishing manager for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, said walleye are a member of the perch family and can be found in lakes in New Mexico.

“You can find them in Ute, Conchas, Santa Rosa and Fort Sumner lakes,” Denny said. “The best fishing is in the early spring and fall and they can be caught on an assortment of baits from live bait, soft plastics, spinflex with worms or minnows.”

Walleye start spawning in the spring near the shallows, so using bright colored lures, such as, red, chartreuse, yellow or white are more likely to get a strike since walleye are hungry, Denny said.

The record for a walleye in New Mexico is 16 pounds, 9 ounces caught in Clayton Lake in 1989, according to Denny.

Walleye, which are native to the Mississippi River drainage, were introduced to New Mexico in the early part of the 20th century Denny said.