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Adventure Report, Ten Yards, and . . . .

It is my job to tell folks about the great fishing opportunities we have in Nebraska.  Yes, Nebraska is my home state, has been for several generations on both sides of my family, and I am very proud of what our state has to offer.  There are those who believe I get a little carried away with that, especially when it comes to fishing opportunities, because Nebraska is not one of those places renowned as a fishing destination.  Yet, I keep insisting that maybe it should be.

On that subject, let me present my latest exhibit; I have a story to tell and some pictures to show. . . .

My son and I finally were able to get away for some hard-core fishing this early spring.  Now, I am not talking about any take-it-easy, sit-back, relax, and wait-for-the-fish-to-bite fishing trip.  No, I am talking about four days of pound the water, eat, sleep, fish and nothing else (with only minimal eating and sleeping).  Four days of mostly cold and miserable weather targeting big, nasty predators.

Just the kind of fishing I love!

Ice in the rod guides.

When I show you the pictures I should not have to tell you where we were.  It has not been a secret and it sure ain’t going to be one now.  Right up front, if you need any hints, we stayed here, Merritt Trading Post.  We used heavy gear, almost exclusively casting tackle, and tossed big baits for the entire extended weekend.  No ultralight poles, no fooling around waiting for a nibble.  I had an over-sized landing net right by my side at all times.  We were after big fish, “Go Big or Go Home” was the motto.  We expected to “Go Big”, and we did!

I am not going to show you pictures of all the fish we caught, just some pictures of the biggest.  Here’s one, here is what we were after:


Daniel caught some too (actually, he out-fished me, again) (well, sort of out-fished me).


Yes, those are the king of freshwater sport fish–MUSKIE!

But those were not all.  There were more.

How about this fat slob?


In all we caught and released 10 muskies over four days of fishing, 10 muskies over 30 inches long.  We had four fish over 40 inches, 4 Nebraska catch & release Master Angler muskies, two for each of us.  All totaled we caught and released 363 inches of muskies; if laid tail to nose, that would have been over 10 yards of muskies!

It was a trip my son and I had been planning for awhile; one of those trips with great hopes and high expectations.  When we got to the reservoir, we were told “you shoulda been here yesterday”.  Daniel and I just looked at each other and grinned.  We knew.  It was on, and we were going to do it.  The trip turned out to be everything we had hoped for and more.  And we never left our home state, Nebraska.

That is all I am going to say for now.  But, it is not the end of the story I have to tell.  No, not by a long ways.  There is one more fish to tell you about, a fish so exceptional that I decided it deserves a blog post of its own.  If you are a Nebraska angler, you are going to want to see the pictures of this fish and hear the story.  I promise you will not be disappointed.  Make sure you come back for my next blog post, I will leave you with just a tease. . . .


About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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