NBS Outdoor Fall Issue 2020

can also produce good action from white bass, wipers, perhaps pike, and smallmouth bass. “Starting in about September, we catch a lot of walleye by vertical jigging one-ounce spoons and bouncing them off the bottom,” Rowland confirmed. “That’s one of the best ways to catch walleye until November. Anglers can also use a Venom blade bait. We catch some really big walleye in the fall. Alewives go deep in the fall and winter so that’s where the walleye go. In the fall of 2019, people caught some 12-pounders and at least one 13.88-pounder.” While most people head to Lake McConaughy to catch big

The ‘Plains’ Truth Road trip to Nebraska’s wide-open spaces may be just what the doctor ordered

“ Starting in about September, we catch a lot of walleye by vertical jigging one-ounce spoons and bouncing them off the bottom. ”

As more-and-more Americans look to activities in the great outdoors for extreme social distancing, the vast sea of grass that comprises much of western Nebraska can be a surprising fish haven producing excellent catches of varied species. “People normally don’t think of Nebraska when they talk about great fishing destinations, but the state has a lot of great fishing places where people can catch a variety of different species,” said Daryl Bauer with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. “Some places would surprise a lot of people if they came and experienced it.” One of the better places to fish, Swanson Reservoir covers 5,000 acres on the Republican River near McCook. The impoundment can produce good catches of hybrid striped bass, white bass, and walleye. Just north of McCook, Red Willow Lake covers about 1,930 acres and

offers good action for channel catfish, white bass, and crappie. A beautiful wooded jewel near Alliance, Box Butte Reservoir holds abundant largemouth bass. Fish the weedy areas with spinnerbaits or topwaters. While in the Alliance area, check out Carhenge, a replica of the famous prehistoric English stone monument made completely from old cars. Also spot dinosaurs, giant fish, and other creations crafted from car parts in the Car Art Preserve. Another outstanding walleye destination, Lake Minatare covers 2,158 acres near Scottsbluff. Most anglers drop leeches next to flooded trees lining the shorelines. Anglers can also catch smallmouth bass and northern pike on various lures in the lake. Visitors marvel at the stone lighthouse rising 55 feet over the plains overlooking the landlocked lake, a product of a Depression-era government works program.

walleye, the massive reservoir also offers excellent fishing for other species besides walleye and northern pike. The lake contributed the state record coho at 5 pounds, 12 ounces and the top kokanee weighing four pounds, two ounces. In addition, bow fishermen and spearfishermen set several records for different species, including a 13-pound, nine-ounce tiger muskellunge. “No doubt about it, walleye is king at McConaughy, but we also stock hybrid striped bass about every year, plus channel catfish and white bass,” Bauer said. “We quit stocking stripers in


Fall 2020

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