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Reel ’em in Roadtrip – Harlan Delivers the Hits

Dalton proudly displays the Harlan bounty.
Dalton proudly displays the Harlan bounty.

Submitted by Commissioner Lynn Berggren – Fall fishing has started to slow this past month. Reports from area lakes indicates anglers on the southwest reservoirs seem to be a struggling. White bass on Johnson Lake are still hitting when you can find the shad on top. On Elwood the wipers have really become tight-lipped. With no incoming water this year, fishing the bubble will be out.

It's the big one!
It’s the big one!

Harlan reports last week’s activity was slow but, with persistence, walleye could be found.  My fishing partner, Jeff Carlson, is a farmer and had started picking corn last week so he was tied up.  But his son Dalton opted for fishing instead of riding in the combine so we headed to Harlan. The weather called for 15-20 mph winds, good walleye chop but a struggle with occasional snags and tangled lines without help from a seasoned fisherman.  Five minutes out and we were into fish.  Six-inch white bass were easy to catch on top of the shallow flats. With a little practice on the small fish, Dalton soon had the technique down.  Handling the rod, grabbing the seven-foot leader and hoisting the bass in by himself allowed me to concentrate on keeping the boat outside the drop offs.

Fishing was steady throughout the day, all sizes of bass, the occasional drum but no walleye. Then came “The Hit”.  Being a little hard of hearing,  I had coached Dalton to scream “SNAG!” whenever the line wouldn’t give. But this was no snag, this was the real deal. Like a seasoned fisherman he moved to the front of the boat slowly reeling, keeping the line tight, he was ready for the first run. One quick scoop of the net and the fish of a lifetime was ours.

Thanks Dalton, we both will remember the trip. Hope everyone is enjoying the fall.

Nebraska Game and Parks District 6 Commissioner Lynn Berggren is in the midst of a “Reel ‘em in Roadtrip,” in which he and his friends are trying out the fishing at different Central Nebraska lakes. Over the coming weeks, he’ll be writing about his experiences. Check back to see where he’s been. 

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