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Tag Archives: Fishing

Trout Stream Gem in Northeast Nebraska

A classic case of misrepresentation keeps occurring. Folks continue to express their disbelief  to me that a crystal clear, cold, spring-fed trout fishing stream exists in northeast Nebraska. “No way,” they’ll say. “Impossible in farm country,” they’ll say. “You’re drinking, can’t be,” they’ll say.  “I’ve driven through there and never seen it,” they’ll say. These are just some of the phrases people have uttered to me about the East Branch of the Verdigre (actual name is Verdigris) Creek flowing through …

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Freshwater Drum: Not a Trash Fish

I watched closely as the guy excitedly reeled in the fish he had hooked from a local sandpit lake in eastern Nebraska. Upon landing it, I heard him dismally say: “Oh man, it’s a damn drum, that’s a trash fish, I gotta throw this back.” At this point, I walked over to the man and casually said: “Hey, that’s a nice freshwater drum you’ve caught. Did you know those are good eating if you prepare them right?” “Are you kidding …

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Bluegill Provide the Fireworks of Fishing in Summer

It’s hot. It’s humid. Whew! Yeah, it’s summer alright. Hey, has your fishing success slowed with the conditions? Well, one fish leads the way with lots of action for anglers in the good, old summertime — bluegill. A male bluegill stands guard on its nest in a southern Nebraska pond. Underwater photo courtesy of NEBRASKAland Magazine/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Maybe it’s the kid in me, I don’t know. But, at 58 years of age (approaching 59), I still enjoy …

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Why Wear Rubber Gloves When Handling Fish?

I continue to be called bad names for wearing them. Most recently, I was called a “super wimp” for having them on my hands. I have been labeled an “inadequate angler” since I have donned on them. I have been told that my “bravado” and “edge” have been lost when it comes to fishing because I am handling fish while wearing rubber gloves. Ah yes, THOSE GLOVES. People have also had their curiosity piqued by those of us who wear rubber …

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Tips for Catching Northern Pike

Two men hold a norther pike at Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area.

A Toothy, Primeval Fighter For anglers who love a good fight, the northern pike, a needle-toothed, aggressive — almost primeval — fish, is highly sought after. According to the 2021 Nebraska Fishing Forecast, Hackberry and Dewey lakes on the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, Box Butte Reservoir and Lake Wanahoo are this year’s top picks. Other reservoirs like Elwood, Enders, McConaughy, Merritt and Red Willow hold a few big pike. Several other lakes around the state have been stocked with pike …

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Out-of-the-(Tackle) Box Tips for Catching Channel Catfish

“Dang, I thought I had a big bass! Hey, it’s a big channel cat.” The channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), Nebraska’s official state fish, sometimes gets misunderstood, particularly it seems, by those who exclusively fish for bass and walleye. Catfish, especially the channel cats, have a reputation as bottom feeders that just lazily swim around sucking up stinky, dead stuff from the bottom. And that is not entirely true! I asked Chris Pokorny of Elkhorn, NE, who’s among Nebraska’s most avid …

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New online resource helps anglers ID fish

Fish Key cover

LINCOLN, Neb. — A new online guide will help Nebraska anglers correctly identify the fish on the other end of their line. Fish Key: A Guide to the Most Commonly Caught Fish in Nebraska is available at OutdoorNebraska.org/fishidentification. It’s viewable on mobile devices or can be downloaded and printed to carry along. The guide is an important tool in ensuring anglers know what they’ve caught; it is intended to be used in tandem with the Fishing Guide, which lists regulations, such …

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How To Not Let The Big One Get Away

All of us who love to fish have a story or two about the one that got away, don’t we? Invariably, the tale involves hooking the fish of a lifetime and losing it to unforeseen circumstances or mistakes. Trust me, I have made my share of mistakes when it comes to large, prized game fish. Without question, these stories, however embellished, can be devastating to those who have a passion for wetting lines. For as many wild and crazy occurrences …

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Gracie Creek Pond rehabilitation project initial phase to begin

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LINCOLN, Neb. – Anglers will notice construction work at Gracie Creek Pond on the upstream end of Calamus Reservoir in Loup County. The work is the initial phase of the pond’s rehabilitation project. Nebraska Department of Transportation crews will remove nearly 20,000 cubic yards of soil from the north and west side of the parking lot. The soil will be removed to make way for sediment to be excavated during the pond’s rehabilitation, which should begin late this summer or …

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Open Fields and Waters Program seeking new enrollments

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LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is looking to provide additional hunting and fishing opportunities on private lands through its Open Fields and Waters Program. Landowners willing to allow public, walk-in access for hunting or fishing can receive annual, per-acre payments through the program. Participating landowners are afforded liability protection through the Nebraska Recreational Liability Act. Additional financial incentives often are available for habitat improvements, such as Conservation Reserve Program enrollment or management upgrades. Game and Parks …

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