Can you believe the 2020-21 hunting seasons are about to begin? Squirrel season opens Saturday. Rabbit, snipe, rail and dove seasons open Sept. 1. From the early reports I have, dove populations looks good. Opening day should be a good one. We are getting into the best time of the year for a hunter/angler.

Temperatures look to be more moderate this weekend and that can help with fishing. Let’s take a look around the region:

Lake McConaughy water levels are down a bit due to all the releases for the “choke point” test they ran recently. The lake is holding around 71% full. Inflows are a little less than usual, but near the normal range. Catfishing in the upper reaches of the lake is good. Cut baits are best. Most walleye anglers are concentrating their efforts around Van’s Fish Camp, Eagle Canyon and Otter Creek. Look in waters that are 15 to 20 feet deep and work shallower toward evening. Nightcrawlers and leeches still are the best live bait offerings, small crankbaits, spinnerbaits and twister tails are catching walleye, too. You can also try some doll flies and minnow tipped jigs in flooded timber. A few big walleye are being pulled out of the trees.

Lake Ogallala trout angling action remains slow from the bank, but it is a bit better in the main body of the lake. The Nebraska Public Power District canal below Lake Ogallala has been providing more consistent trout action. Powerbait and Kastmaster lures are doing well.

Sutherland Reservoir water levels are steady and about normal. Inlet area activity has been flat the last few days. Walleye have typically been active at dusk, overnight and dawn. Look for the walleye in 3 to 5 feet of water along southern shores during low light periods. Catfishing has been good along the southern shorelines of the lake and in the cooling pond at night.

Lake Maloney wiper and white bass fishing at the inlet is flat during the day and picks up at dawn and dusk. Walleye anglers are still catching fish in the main lake by trolling/drifting minnows and nightcrawlers in 10 to 15 feet of water. Drifting accounts for the majority of the catches. There has also been some decent wiper fishing near the outlet at dusk. Water levels are good.

Birdwood Lake, Fremont Slough and East Hershey lakes have been active and are good places to catch a variety of fish. Take a kid fishing this weekend.

Water levels are dropping and stabilizing in the Tri-County Canal system east of town. A few walleye and sauger are being caught below the checks on live baits. Smallmouth bass can be picked up out of the riprap that lines the banks of the canal. Catfish are active in slower, deep waters on cut baits and commercial baits. Jeffery Lake has had some crappie action this week.

Get out and have a great and safe weekend in Nebraska’s outdoors.

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