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Rick's picks for Sept. 16

Rick's picks for Sept. 16

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Now the most significant thing for this weekend is the Platte River Sportsman’s Club Gun & Knife Show at the D&N Event Center. Doors will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 per day. Children 12 and younger are free when accompanied by an adult. One youngster could win a Nebraska Resident Youth Lifetime Hunting/Fishing permit. I hope to see you there.

Nebraska’s dove hunting season is underway but the reports I’m getting says success is spotty. A lot of the birds may have already moved south. There is about six weeks left in the season, so I’ll keep looking.

The fall turkey seasons (archery and shotgun) opened yesterday. There are more turkeys out there than there are hunters. Fall is a great time to hunt turkeys and a great time to introduce youngsters and people wanting to get into the sport of hunting. The season runs until Jan. 31, 2022.

Water levels are running steady in the Tri-County Canal system. Walleye and sauger are being caught below the checks. Catfishing is good in the canal using cut baits from the diversion east of North Platte to Jeffrey Lake. Smallmouth bass are active in the riprap along the banks of the canal. Further east, in Midway Lake and Gallagher Canyon, I have reports of crappie activity picking up.

Interstate 80 lakes are providing some of the most consistent angling opportunities in the region. Don’t overlook them. You probably won’t find many state records or trophy wallhangers, but lots of fish are being caught.

Inlet activity at Lake Maloney has been slow. Some walleye, white bass and wipers are being caught with live baits. Drifting in open water of the main lake is accounting for most of the walleye catch. Minnows and night crawlers are the best baits.

White bass and walleye are providing some activity at the Sutherland Reservoir inlet. Live bait and small crankbaits have been catching most of the fish. Early morning and late evening have been the most productive times. Walleye fishing in the main body of the lake is slow, although there has been some better fishing at dusk with some 18-inch to 24-inch fish being caught this week. Catfish are providing most of the angling activity in the southern portion of the reservoir.

Bank anglers at Lake Ogallala are having limited success. The best trout fishing is still in the Nebraska Public Power District canal below Lake Ogallala. Powerbait is best in the lake, Powerbait, salmon eggs, small spinnerbaits and spoons are good to use in the canal. There will be a federally required maintenance outage on the canal in a few weeks and that means sections of the canal will be drained. If you want some big trout, go fishing soon.

Big Mac’s water level is still dropping slowing. It is now about 57% full. Most of the fishing activity has been in the upper portions of the lake, above the Eagle Canyon and Otter Creek areas.

The forecast for the weekend looks to be warmer and lots of sun, which may drive fish deeper. Be ready to go after them. Get out and do a little fishing…or hunting…this is my time of the year.

— Rick Windham

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