We have had a couple of good rains move through the region this week. Rain can sometimes be a curse or a blessing for anglers. It can be a blessing because runoff gathers food sources and washes them into bodies of water. Hungry fish are often waiting in spots where flows enter a pond or lake to see what’s on the menu. How many of you reading this report have fished the inlet at Lake Maloney just for this reason? Rain can be a curse when too much food is carried into a pond or lake and fish feed heavily on naturally available food sources and then are not looking at lures.
The National Weather Service is warning about the forecast temperatures for this weekend. The heat may reach the danger category. Bright sunshine and hot weather this weekend will slow fishing action across the region, but there are still fish to be caught! Success can come with a change of tactics.
Experiment a little with baits and presentations. Hot weather and walleye don’t mix. Here are a few tips to try. Productive places to look for walleyes in summer are weedy and rocky areas, especially if there is any kind of shade covering these spots. Weeds and rocks offer cover for baitfish and walleye follow their food sources. Any type of shade from natural vegetation or structures cuts down on light and the walleye like that and will come up from the depths to feed.
If you are out on the water, use your sonar to find the deepest spots. Then look for suspended baitfish somewhere below you. You can often find walleye below the baitfish. Rig your lures to run at or just below the depth of the baitfish. There always seems to be actively feeding predator fish below clouds of baitfish.
Here’s a local tip I learned from Mark Sexton, of Berkley Pure Fishing, when he was here fishing with me. At Lake Maloney, the time to get serious about walleye is when the yard lights begin coming on around the lake. I’ve used this tactic many times to catch a few more walleye.
Looking at fishing action around the region, Lake Maloney has about 1,200 cubic feet per second of inflow. Fishing action has been fair in the inlet, mostly white bass. There have been some walleyes caught on the flats in the main body of the lake earlier this week. The best fishing has been in 10 to 15 feet of water. Live bait, minnows and nightcrawlers has produced the best results.
Sutherland Reservoir has about 1,500 cfs coming into the inlet. Walleye and white bass have been biting, but the action is sporadic. The best action at Sutherland Reservoir has catfishing. The cooling pond and along Hershey Beach may be the best places for catfish using live baits. You can also find a few walleyes near the bubble during low light conditions.
Over at Lake Ogallala, bank angling action has been quite slow. The last couple of days have been just too hot and too bright for trout in the shallows. Action in the main body of the lake from a boat is a little better, but a lot of water is flowing out of Big Mac and that tends to disrupt the fishing. The best place to try for trout is the NPPD canal below Lake Ogallala using Powerbait. I have heard of a few tiger trout are being caught!
Lake McConaughy is about 72% full right now. Walleye anglers have been focusing on the area around the Eagle Canyon. The south shore seems to be producing most of the walleye. Nightcrawlers and leeches seem to be the best live baits. Smallmouth bass are providing some action along the southern rocky points in the lower parts of the lake. Jigs tipped with live bait and small spinners are catching these fish.
Enjoy your next fishing adventure and what Nebraska has to offer this weekend.