• by Ace Sanchez •

The cool breeze trickled across the reeds, rippling the water as it blew.  I sat back and enjoyed the peacefulness of the surroundings and the abundance of wildlife that inhabited this small pond.

It happened fast.  As I tossed some grain to the nearby ducks, my three-foot Barbie pole plunged into the water.  I set the hook as if my life depended on it, and the fight was on.  The small drag squealed and screeched—my unknown catch pulling with all its might.  The four-pound test line was indeed tested to its limit as it pulled me toward the water’s edge.  After five excruciating minutes, my catch emerged from the water.

I gazed in disbelief . . . at a goldfish.  

I have been asked numerous times what I do for fun out in the desert, or what anyone can do for fun out in the desert.  My answer is that I go light-tackle fishing.  Where exactly do you find water out here?  Well, a hidden gem known as Fort Peña Colorado Park awaits just five miles southwest from the small town of Marathon.  The Park is only about five acres in size, but its pond holds a diversity of fish species.  I have caught largemouth bass, speckled channel catfish, common carp, sunfish, and of course one very surprising goldfish.  

Like most recreational fishers, I enjoy going to big lakes and even out into the ocean to wet a line.  Yet I am content with the fishing opportunities available right out here.  It has definitely made me a strong believer in the saying, “It’s the little things in life that make the world turn round.”  Fort Peña’s small pond is a sanctuary for anyone with a valid fishing license seeking a good time in a peaceful area; it’s a place where the stresses of college life are nowhere to be found.  Open to the public year round, it’s also a place where young children can be introduced to the joys of fishing.