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Rick’s Picks, April 7

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Did April sneak up on you like it did for me? April or not, it is time to get serious about fishing. First up, I’m thinking about walleye.

Right now we are dealing with a typical Nebraska spring weather cycle. Rains, cloudy, cooler, a few warm days — it will get better. This happens every spring and anglers get frustrated. It will get better.

Let’s talk about cloudy days — walleyes are one species where cloudy and dreary days can actually be a plus for the angler. Walleyes are very light sensitive and cloudy days do not force them to go as deep as a bright sunshiny day will.

Don’t overlook your favorite walleye haunts and just fish shallower on cloudy days. I bet you will catch some fish. This seems to be the case at Lake Maloney right now. I’ve seen a lot of boats on the lake this week. Anglers are also picking up some white bass and wipers at the outlet in the evenings.

I have reports from the Sutherland Reservoir inlet that walleye action is picking up. Keep a close watch on this area because the bite is very sporadic at the moment, but one day soon the action will explode. If you have a boat, anglers have been catching bigger walleye more consistently near the bubble.

Further west at Lake Ogallala and in the Nebraska Public Power District canal below the diversion, anglers have been catching some nice trout. Salmon eggs and Power Bait have been the best offering in both the lake and canal. Trout fishing in the North Platte River below Lake Ogallala has slowed up the last few days.

In the Tri-County Canal System, walleye and a few sauger are being caught below the checks by patient anglers. Lindy rigging live bait may be the most successful technique at this time. Drifting a brightly colored jig along the rip-rap is a great way to pick up a few smallmouth bass. Walleye are biting in the Tri-county Canal system as far east as Johnson Lake inlet.

Nebraska’s spring archery turkey season is ongoing and there is no shortage of turkeys in the region. Lincoln County has one of the highest turkey population densities in the United States.

In what little traveling I’ve done this week I’ve seen more and more toms beginning to strut. Shotgunners will be able to get into the field soon. The Youth Shotgun Season begins Saturday. The regular shotgun season starts April 17. Is your shotgun and gear ready?

Have a great and safe weekend outdoors.

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