Barbs and Backlashes

Topwater Time by whitetips
August 18, 2010, 10:21 am
Filed under: Fishing | Tags: , , , , , ,

Even though I have a tackle box that holds nothing but top-water baits, I have to admit that a top-water bait is usually not the first thing I tie on my line.  But I have to tell you I have been reconsidering that philosophy.  Every angler knows that catching fish on top-water baits is some of the most fun you can have on the water.  I usually figure that a top-water bait is going to be the right tool for the job only a small percentage of the time and I try not to become addicted to the adrenaline-rush of just one top-water strike when another presentation would be catching a lot more fish.  But, as I sit here and reflect, I can recall catching white bass, wipers, trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, pike, and even walleyes on top-water baits.  I have heard stories of catfish being caught on top-waters, and although I have not caught a muskie on a top-water yet, it is just a matter of time.  I have caught fish on top-water baits from spring, May, well into fall, October.  A case could be made that the middle of the summer is one of the times when top-waters are the best tool for the job.

Think about it, how many times during the summer, especially early and late in the day, do you see the waters calm and notice a lot of “life” on the surface?  It happens all the time.  Look and you will see all kinds of aquatic insects on the surface during the summer and most times there are a variety of baitfish or panfish near the surface as well.  Frogs are another example of an important prey item that can often be found on the surface.  Predator fish are always looking for an advantage, anything that will make it easier for them to capture prey, and anytime there are prey items near the surface those predators know that prey cannot escape by going up!  They will run out of water!  So anytime you see baitfish or panfish activity near the surface could be an excellent time to tie on a top-water.  Even if you do not see that surface activity there are situations, for example aquatic vegetation growing just under or even all the way to the surface, when a top-water bait could be the BEST presentation and not just the “funnest”.

Here are some of my favorite top-water baits . . . .

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Go Fish, NOW! (May 2010) by whitetips
May 21, 2010, 11:35 am
Filed under: Fishing | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I fish 12 months out of the year, but I will tell you that spring is not my favorite time of the year to fish.  I know that is a shocking statement because everyone is chomping at the bit to get out and fish once spring rolls around.  I am too, but over the years I have found I have better success during other parts of the year.  Part of the reason for that is the behavior of many fish is influenced by spawning during the spring and that can actually make the fish harder to catch as they are less interested in feeding and more interested in other things during the spawn.  Another huge reason I prefer to fish at other times of the year is the schizophrenic weather we experience in the spring.  If you get a few days of stable, warming weather during the spring the fishing can take off, but just about the time you get onto some great fishing another spring cold front blows through and shuts ’em down.  Just last week there was snow in western Nebraska again this spring, and this has been a typical Nebraska spring of “up and down” weather.  Fishing reports throughout the state have reflected that.

If you have been a regular reader of my blog, you know that I do not have much use for the typical “outdoor report”, .  My biggest reason for that is that is yesterday’s information; just because someone caught fish at a certain spot on a certain bait yesterday does not necessarily mean they are going to be caught there again tomorrow or next week.  My goal is to try to anticipate and predict prime times; that way an angler can take advantage of the best bites at the best times instead of showing up to hear “you shoulda been here yesterday!”

So, if you are still reading, listen up . . .

I am telling you, that the time is NOW!

Once we get into late May, the weather is usually a little more stable and the fishing begins to become more dependable.  Right now is one of the best times of the year to fish a variety of waters across Nebraska for a variety of species.  I am looking ahead a few days at the weather forecasts and it looks like we are going to have a period of days of relatively stable, warming weather, and I am predicting that will mean some great fishing in the days ahead.  If you do not know where to go, you have probably heard me refer to this so many times you are sick of it, but look here for some of the best waters in the state for a variety of species of fish, .  Look for one of the best waters for your favorite species and chances are good there will be some good fishing there in the next week and maybe longer.  If you need some more ideas you can go back and see I had a similar blog post last year about this time, .

Let’s Talk Wipers! by whitetips
April 19, 2010, 1:19 pm
Filed under: Fishing | Tags: ,

If you are looking for something to do this coming Thursday evening, you might want to check this out!

Wiper Workshop at Ak-Sar-Ben Aquarium on April 22

LINCOLN, Neb. – A wiper fishing workshop is scheduled for April 22 at the Ak-Sar-Ben Aquarium, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

The workshop at 6:30 p.m. will be led by Daryl Bauer, fisheries outreach program manager for the Commission. He will discuss habitat, management and fishing techniques for this popular fish.

The aquarium is located in Schramm Park State Recreation Area, 5 miles south of Interstate 80 exit 432. For more information, call (402) 332-3901.

See you there!

Feeding Frenzy! by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
August 26, 2009, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Fishing | Tags: ,

We will be turning the corner into fall soon.  In fact with some of the weather we have had recently, it has already felt like fall some evenings.  But, for now, we are living in the last days of August and fishing can still be tough.  A month or so ago I talked in general about summer and why it can be a tough time to catch fish, .  Now let me be a little more specific about some fishing that really heats up in summer and here in the last days of summer many anglers will still be able to take advantage of it.

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Odds and Ends by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
June 24, 2009, 4:56 pm
Filed under: Fishing | Tags: , , , , ,

Let me mention a few things that are going on right now.


First of all, we are gearing up for our Carp-O-Rama to be held at Pawnee Reservoir northwest of Lincoln this Saturday, June 27.  Common carp are an exotic species that were introduced to North America well over a hundred years ago.  I wish the species was never introduced to this continent and I will tell you that in many situations fisheries managers will continue to try to eliminate common carp from some environments when it is feasible.  On the other hand, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!  Common carp are actually one of the smartest fish that swim in our waters and a worthy target species for any angler.  We have hosted the Carp-O-Rama for the past 3 years to promote fishing for carp.  We will start at Pawnee at 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning, the marina area where we will be located will have been pre-baited and there will be carp caught.  We will also have some fishing seminars, fish-cleaning seminars, and there will be carp chowder and fried carp for folks to eat!  There will be door-prizes for the kids.  It has been just an all-around fun time for folks to get together and do some fishing; come on out and make sure to say “Hi”.

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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.  Continue reading