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Rick's Picks, Sept. 17

Rick's Picks, Sept. 17

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If you still are in fishing mode, here are some suggestions to think about:

Water levels in the Tri-County Canal system are running steady. Smallmouth bass are biting on jigs and live bait in the riprap along the banks of the canal. Keep the sun in your face so the fish can’t see you as easily. Catfishing is picking up using cut baits in slower, deep waters. Walleye and sauger fishing is slow, but can still be found below the checks.

Local Interstate lakes may be the most consist fisheries in the region right now. These are some of the best “kid fishing” spots in the region. You don’t have to go any further than Iron Horse Lake by the Veterans Memorial to find lots of hungry bluegill.

Lake Maloney inlet activity has been a little better this week. Live bait has been best for walleye, white bass and wipers. Drifting in the middle of the main lake, over Two Tree Island and through the saddle between Scout and Goose islands, accounts for most of the walleye being taken. Minnows and night crawlers are the best baits.

Sutherland Reservoir inlet activity picked up a bit this week. White bass and walleye have been hitting on live bait. Walleye fishing in the main body of the lake has been slow to fair but some bigger fish have been caught at the bubble ripping big spinner baits. Catfish have been active along the southern shoreline using cut baits.

Fishing at Lake Ogallala is about the same — bank anglers in the little lake are having limited success. About 1600cfs is being released from Lake Ogallala into the Nebraska Public Power District Canal. The best trout fishing is still in the NPPD canal below Lake Ogallala. Powerbait is best in the lake, salmon eggs, small spinnerbaits and spoons are good to use in the canal.

Big Mac’s water level is still dropping slowing. It is now at 62% full. Out flows are about 1,300 cubic feet per second and passing through Lake Ogallala — about 300 cfs into the river and 1,000 cfs into the canal. Fishing in Lake McConaughy has been sporadic this week.

Irrigation season is winding down and water levels at Merritt Reservoir are good at about 70 percent. Some good catches of walleye and catfish in the cabbage beds up the Snake River arm have been reported. Upper reaches of the Snake River are cloudy. The anglers I’ve talked with tell be that when you get to the cloudy water, turn around and go back downstream for better fishing.

On the hunting scene, Nebraska’s dove hunting season is underway and there are still doves in the area. Hunters are reporting mixed success across the region. If you are hunting doves, good luck and be safe. Know where all your hunting buddies are before pulling the trigger!

Turkey hunters and deer hunters report seeing plenty of game. Lots of crops are still in the fields and that hampers some hunting activities.

The forecast for the weekend looks good, but warm. Whether you are fishing or hunting around the region, be safe and have fun!

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