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Rick’s Picks, Jan. 13

Rick’s Picks, Jan. 13

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Winter is taking another reprieve and that slows the migration of waterfowl and the production of any new ice. With temperatures in the 50s, maybe it is time to consider fishing — open water fishing.

Speaking of fishing, trout anglers have been doing well at the lower end of Lake Ogallala. Around the gates to the Nebraska Public Power District Canal and in the canal itself has been producing trout this week. Power Bait seems to be the best thing to offer.

Big Mac fishing activity is minimal — not many anglers out on the water, but I bet there will be some this weekend. I’d work the northern shorelines if I were on the water.

Sutherland Reservoir fishing activity has been on the slow side as well. A few walleye have been taken in the inlet. Live bait is doing the best. Most of the action on the lake is toward waterfowl hunting.

Fishing at Lake Maloney has been limited to the inlet and has been slow. A few walleye and occasional catfish have been caught on live baits. That may change by the weekend if warmer temperatures melts the ice and opens up the lake.

I’ve been asked about ice fishing up at Merritt Reservoir, so I called John Bauer at Merritt Trading Post. He told me the lake was covered with ice but he’s worried about what the temperatures and wind for the remainder of this week may do. The Boardman arm has some ice and is probably the most protected area of the lake. If I were heading to Merritt this weekend, this is where I’d go, but be very careful.

You have until tomorrow evening to wrap up your anterless deer hunting. The season ends Saturday. I have been asked a few times why we even have a late antlerless deer season. Well, the primary purpose of this season is deer herd management, more specifically, to reduce the numbers of does within the deer population. The best way to control deer numbers is to reduce the number of breeding does within the herd.

I hunt this season because I want to do my part to help manage overall deer numbers, but I also want the meat. Venison is an excellent meat source. It is everything the food experts say you’re supposed to eat. It is lean, low fat and organically grown. What more could you ask for?

If you have a turkey permit from the fall 2020 season, you have until Jan. 31 to get your turkey.

You also have until the end of January to do some squirrel hunting. Squirrel hunting is not as popular in our part of the state as it is in the eastern portions of Nebraska. Most of the squirrels we have are inside town limits, so there is not an opportunity to hunt them. You don’t need any specialized gear — a good .22 rifle or .410 shotgun will make a good hunt. If you haven’t tried squirrel hunting, consider it.

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