By Billy Huntsman
Two students at New Mexico State University have uncovered the secret for catching 22-inch catfish out of Alumni Pond: hotdog bits and stink bait.
Chad Lozano, an information technology major, and a friend were recently fishing at Alumni Pond. Using stink bait, which Lozano’s friend had brought from New Orleans, wasn’t working, so Lozano suggested they use hot dog bits, as he’s seen other fishermen at the pond use.
“So (my friend) had the great idea of dipping (the hot dog bits) in stink bait,” Lozano says. “Oh, man, they just love it!”
After they started using this combination, Lozano says he and his friend caught an 18-inch fish, in addition to losing another on the line.
Then, around sunset, not too far off shore, something even bigger latched onto Lozano’s line.
“It fought pretty good,” Lozano says. “I was scared of losing it.”
Lozano says he and his friend did not realize how large the catfish was until he had reeled it on land.
“We were all, ‘Holy crap! That’s a pretty big cat!’” Lozano says.
It was, in fact, the biggest fish he’s ever caught, Lozano says.
Alumni Pond is stocked by the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish.
“We last stocked Alumni Pond in September with about a hundred 16-inch channel cats,” says Karl Moffatt, spokesman for the department. “We also stocked the pond a couple of times in July and once in August with about a hundred 18-inch cats each time. We raise catfish at our Rock Lake and also purchase them from hatcheries in surrounding states.”
Moffat says soon the pond, as well as other fishing areas south of Interstate 40, will be stocked with rainbow trout for the winter, a fact Lozano is relishing.
Currently, Lozano says the 22-incher is in his freezer. He plans on saving it for a fish fry once he’s caught more, which shouldn’t be hard, as he and his friend have reported continued luck with the hot dog-stink bait combination.
Lozano and his friend describe themselves as avid fishermen, one time spending 14 straight hours at the pond.