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Rick's Picks: Get out and fish NPPD canal before it its drained for maintenance

Rick's Picks: Get out and fish NPPD canal before it its drained for maintenance

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Rick’s Picks

Let’s take a quick look at fishing news around the region. Maybe the biggest news would be for anglers that like to trout fish in the Nebraska Public Power District Canal from Lake Ogallala to Paxton. They will begin lowering the water levels in the canal at the end of this month and ultimately drain the canal for maintenance. This is a federally mandated maintenance requirement that occurs about every five years. If you like to fish this part of the canal, get out there. You have a little over a week left of normal water levels.

Big Mac water levels are trending down. The lake is a little over 50% full right now. Fishing in the Big Lake has been sporadic this week with the most success being had in the upper reaches of the lake.

Lake Ogallala bank anglers are having limited success. Powerbait is working in the lake. Grasshoppers are a top bait in the canal and the North Platte River right now.

Earlier in the week the white bass and walleyes were providing some activity at the inlet of Sutherland Reservoir and along the western shoreline of the reservoir. I think cooler temperatures forecast for most of this week will help fishing to pick up again. Catfish are biting in the southern portion of the reservoir.

Inlet activity at Lake Maloney has been sporadic. Some walleyes, white bass and wipers are being caught with live baits. Rigging baits under a bobber or on Lindy rigs bounced along the bottom have also been effective techniques. Slow drifting in the open water of the main lake is accounting for most of the walleye catch. Minnows and night crawlers seem to be the best baits in the main lake.

Tri-County Canal System water levels are running steady. A few walleyes and saugers are being caught below the checks. Catfishing is good in the canal using cut baits from the diversion east of North Platte to Jeffery Lake. Smallmouth bass have been active in the riprap along the banks of the canal.

Interstate lakes are providing some consistent angling opportunities at the moment. Don’t overlook them. You may not catch a lot of big fish, but lots of fish are being caught. These lakes are great “kid fishing” spots. Take a kid fishing this weekend.

Dove hunting in our region is limping along. The prevailing theory among hunters is that many local birds have headed south and it is the birds from the northern prairies and Canada that are trickling into the region. There is still time to get out and do some hunting, but don’t wait. Cooler weather we’ve had this week will get birds moving south. The dove season ends Oct. 30.

The fall turkey seasons (archery and shotgun) opened Sept. 15. 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.

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OK ... let’s talk about fishing. Lower water levels in area reservoirs and low flows at their inlets has been causing anglers to change their …

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