Barbs and Backlashes

Go Fish, NOW! by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
May 14, 2009, 11:34 am
Filed under: Fishing | Tags: , , , , , ,

We are into mid-May already and entering one of those periods where a variety of fish are biting in a variety of waters across the state.  Given some stable weather conditions you can just about pick any body of water and catch fish right now.  Check HERE for some of the best waters in the state to fish this year, and if you are looking for fishing reports for specific waters, you might want to look HERE .

I have been hearing great white bass and walleye reports from the Tri-County canal system and associated reservoirs like Maloney and Johnson.  The white bass are in the middle of their spawning “run” right now while walleyes across the state have finished spawning and are starting to feed.  Traditional baits and tactics will catch fish—toss some jigs for white bass, drift or troll live bait rigs or crankbaits for walleyes.

Speaking of white bass; in an earlier blog post I mentioned that Harlan County Reservoir was full of water and white bass should once again be able to run up the Republican River where anglers have traditionally caught fish.  Most of the reports I have been hearing from that water have been less than expected—some white bass being caught up the river, but not near as many as one would expect.  Some have speculated that with the water being so low for so long with no water in the river that those white bass are not “programmed” to run upstream to spawn.  I suppose that might be true, but there have been at least a few white bass up the Republican, so I do not believe they all “forgot how”.  I wonder if the dramatic change in water levels over a couple of years has affected normal behavior patterns.  Or there is another possibility—I was noticing today that in spite of Harlan County Reservoir being full of water right now, the river flow immediately above Harlan is still relatively low and therefore there may not be a lot of fish migrating upstream?

In waters where wipers are present some of those hard-fighting fish may be picked up right along with the white bass.  I have been hearing more and more reports of wipers being caught from a number of Nebraska reservoirs recently.  Those open-water predators always cover a lot of water, so anglers should expect to cover a lot of water this time of year looking for them.  Anywhere baitfish are concentrated will be high-percentage spots; always look towards wind-swept shorelines or anywhere there is some current.

Crappies are in the middle of their spawn period in many Nebraska waters right now; far northern and western waters might be yet to come, but soon.  Largemouth bass males are also staking out spawning territories and making beds and females should soon be enticed into spawning.  Crappies remain very catchable during their spawn period, but you might have to slow down as those fish may not move far from their spawn beds to take baits.  Bass will be more interested in spawning than feeding, but if you choose to fish for them during the spawn you can tease the males into picking up slowly fished baits, plastic baits like plastic salamanders especially.  Bass that pick up a bait are likely defending their beds by removing foreign objects or egg predators when they pick up a bait.  The larger female bass will be on the spawn beds for only a short period of time and are much harder to catch during the spawn period.

Spring fronts and colder water can still make the fishing harder in northern and western parts of Nebraska at this time of year, but I am also hearing some good fishing reports from those areas as well.  Pike and largemouth bass fishing on sandhill lakes is starting to heat up, especially given some days of stable, warming weather.  A variety of spoons, spinners and spinnerbaits can be used to catch those fish, especially on the days when they are biting.  On one of those days when those sandhill’s pike and bass seem tougher to catch try slowing down with a neutrally-buoyant crankbait (e.g. Husky Jerk or X-Rap) or toss a jig or swim bait or a plastic fluke bait.

This is one of the best times of the year to be fishing.  Regardless of where you are at in the state, your favorite waters or favorite species, do not wait to hear hot fishing reports.  You are likely to catch fish just about anywhere right now if you just . . .


4 Comments so far
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Would like to see info on specific lakes in my area, but I know there are too many to cover.
Thanks for the hints!!

Comment by George E Ryck


Which lakes are you interested in?

Daryl B.

Comment by Daryl Bauer

nice post 🙂

Comment by mark roselle

[…] need some more ideas you can go back and see I had a similar blog post last year about this time, […]

Pingback by Go Fish, NOW! (May 2010) « Barbs and Backlashes

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