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Nebraska Waters Make Top 100!

A month ago I told you that the walleye fishing in Lake McConaughy had made a “top 10” list, McConaughy Makes Top 10.

This past week I was paging through the current issue of BassMaster magazine and found another list that included a couple of Nebraska waters, 100 Best Bass Lakes of 2015.

Harlan County Reservoir cracked that list at #99.  Harlan is typical of our large reservoirs in the state in that water levels can fluctuate dramatically from year to year.  Those fluctuations can be hard on species such as largemouth bass because falling water levels leave shallow water cover, ideal bass habitat, high and dry.  On the other hand, from time to time those fluctuations result in acres and acres of flooded weeds, willows and cottonwoods and when that happens bass populations boom.  In recent years we have experienced one of those booms at Harlan and there has been some excellent bass fishing there.  The state high school bass championship was held there in 2013, and it took a 5-fish, 15 pound weight to win that tournament.


The other water body to make the BassMaster top 100 list was Lewis & Clark Reservoir on the Missouri River.  Lewis & Clark made that list at #78.

By the way, the 2015 State High School Bass Championship is being held at Lewis & Clark this Saturday!


The weigh-in stage is almost ready!


We saw a couple of smallmouth bass weighed at last year’s high school bass championship at Merritt Reservoir, I am looking forward to seeing a bunch more this year!


I will always tell you that the best bass waters in Nebraska tend to be smaller bodies of water–pits, ponds, small- to medium-size flood control reservoirs.  Those waters simply are our best bass habitats as they tend to have more stable water levels, good water quality, and an abundance of shallow water cover, especially aquatic vegetation.  The BassMaster’s list is good, but it is biased to large reservoirs.  Wanna know what the “real” top 100 bass waters in Nebraska would be?  That’s easy, start here:


Right now, fish early and late in the day, do not forget that Miss Piggy Loves Kermit, and do not forget the topwaters!

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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