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How To

Catfish ID

BOakBlueSpring2018

Judging from the messages, e-mails, phone calls, and just general “chatter” I have heard this morning, I can tell you the channel cats are getting close to spawning.  Why do I say that?  Because every year about this time there are a bunch of mistaken identifications of “funny-looking” catfish.  Simply put, male channel cats get fat heads and darker colors during the spawn, and some folks not used to seeing that mistakenly believe those fish are “blue cats”.  So, if …

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Plastic prevalence: Kayaks continue to gain popularity

Kayaks at Carter P. Johnson Lake

Just over a decade ago, I purchased a kayak from an outfitter in Texas — the nearest place I could find what I wanted. For quite a while after that, it seemed I was the only one on the water up this way using this type of vessel for fishing. That’s changed. It has been fun watching the popularity of these boats grow. While I certainly have enjoyed my big green hunk of plastic for its convenience, functionality and price, …

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KVD for CFO

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I have not made a Friday post on KVD lately, well, he’s up to something again. . . . Seriously, I am not sponsored by anyone, I am not endorsing or “pushing product”, I just think the videos are hilarious.  If you want, check it out, Mystery Tacklebox. It’s the weekend, remember it is supposed to be fun, and GO FISH!

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“Yes, We Have No Muskellunge”

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The internet is a funny place, but you know you can believe everything you see and hear there. . . . Recently, I was admiring some photos and the stories that went along with them about some really nice muskies that had been caught and released.  Yes, I was jealous especially knowing they had been caught from a Nebraska waterbody.  Somewhere in the discussion that followed someone asked, “Which state?”, as in “surely those had to be caught from someplace …

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Ten Tips For Tubers

Leisurely floating on one of Nebraska’s many scenic rivers or streams in an inflated inner tube is a cool, refreshing, relaxing, way to enjoy a hot summer day with family and friends, isn’t it? Tubers take a break from floating the waters of the Niobrara River east of Valentine, NE. Photo courtesy of Daryl Bauer/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Oh, yes! Summer river tubing is awesome! There is nothing like free-floating a river on an inflated inner tube just about the water level …

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What Lurks Beneath, June 2018

BOakFlattySpring2018

It has been awhile since I have teased you with photos of some of the big fish that our field biologists have had their hands on.  Time to change that. . . . We do a lot of our fish population sampling in the fall, but there is also some that is done in the spring and summer.  Again let me say that when pointy-headed fisheries biologists are sampling fish they are NOT just trying to catch the biggest ones, …

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Guillermo Goes Fishing!

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I gotta admit I am not a big fan of late night talk shows anymore.  I don’t know, maybe it is just because I am getting old, but they just don’t seem as funny, as entertaining anymore.  I long for the days of “monkey-cam” and velcro suits brought to you from the home office in Wahoo, Nebraska! However, fishing did make it on one of the late night shows this week.  Here is what it looked like: I don’t know …

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State Record Update, June 2018

StateRecordSilverCarpRodReelMay2018

Wow, it is June already!  I have been sitting on a few state record applications, time to tell you about them!  I will start with the first to cross my desk this year. . . . Tiger Trout If you have followed Nebraska’s record fish you know that we have had quite a bit of activity for tiger trout in recent years.  Realizing that there may be someone new reading this, let me bore the rest of you with some …

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10 Tips for Insect Photography

Insects like this katydid nymph can be very satisfying to photograph – as long as they don’t fly, jump, or crawl away first.

Photos and story by Chris Helzer Have you ever wanted to take better photos of insects? Of course you have; insect photography tops every self-respecting outdoor enthusiast’s list of aspirations. It’s hard to hold your head high among your peers when they’re showing off spectacular photos of leafhoppers and damselflies and all you have is a blurry shot of something that might have been a bee. Worry no more, my friend. Here are 10 tips that will make you a better …

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In-field Zipper Repairs

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Some tricks to know if your tent zipper fails. Tent zippers are key components to tents. They keep wind, rain and bugs out, but when they fail, be prepared with some knowledge and tools to do on-site repairs to your tent. Zippers consist of nylon, plastic or metal teeth or coils and a slider or grab tab pull that brings the teeth or coil tracks together. Many tents come with closed-end zippers, which means the zipper is stitched together at …

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