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Rick's Picks, Oct. 15

Rick's Picks, Oct. 15

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It is fall! You can feel the chill in the air. The weekend forecast looks cool but comfortable enough to be out fishing. Here is what the fishing scene looks like around the region:

Big Mac’s water level is basically holding steady. The current lake level is about 64% of full pool. Inflows are about 1000 cubic feet per second and very little is passing on to Lake Ogallala.

Walleye fishing in Big Mac is still mainly in the upper half of the lake in 30 to 40 feet of water. The Big Mac Triangle, as I call it, is an area defined by mentally drawing a line from Lake View to Otter Creek to Eagle Canyon.

Deep diving crankbaits and Lindy rigs with live bait are probably your best tactic right now. If you can get a crankbait down to the 30- to 40-foot depth, they are catching walleye. Big lures, 4 to 6 inches in length in a firetiger and predominately red patterns seems to be the hot baits to have.

Lake Ogallala anglers are catching a few trout from shore of the lake. These are mainly the 10- to 12-inch stockers that were put into the lake recently. The bite seems to be picking up at the lower end of the lake near the canal gates and Power Bait is the best bait to use right now. There is still no water being released into the Nebraska Public Power District canal at this moment. I don’t think there will be any significant changes over the weekend.

Sutherland Reservoir inflows are minimal. An occasional white bass or walleye can be caught at the inlet. Action has been slow in the main lake, too. Lake levels are dropping. Walleye fishing in the main body of the lake is getting tough! Catfish are biting in the cooling pond. Cutbaits and night crawlers are working well for channel catfish.

Lake Maloney’s water level is still going down slowly. Very little water is coming into the lake at the inlet and this will be the norm for a couple of weeks. Fishing activity at the inlet is sporadic at best and most of the action is in the evenings. A few walleye and white bass are being taken with live baits and slip bobber rigs at the inlet. Fishing in the main body of the lake has been best for the trollers and the drifters. Check the outlet right about dusk for some wiper activity. Minnows and night crawlers seem to be the best baits for the wiper at this time.

Jeffery Lake has a lot shad working the surface. Anglers who can get out on the lake are catching some white bass with spinnerbaits.

The Tri-County Canal System is running steady. There are still smallmouth bass that are active in the riprap along the banks of the canal. The occasional walleye and sauger can be caught below the checks in the eddy currents. Live baits are catching the most fish.

Don’t overlook our Interstate lakes. These may be the most consistent fishing resource in the valley right now. If you haven’t been to one of these lakes recently, check out the handicap accessible areas. These make access quite easy. Birdwood Lake is schedule to get 4,000 trout stocked there early next week.


I’m starting to hear a few stories and see some photos of successful hunts for both deer and turkey. As more crops are harvested, hunters are able to see more and do their own kind of harvesting. Good luck.

Final note: The Grand Island Gun Show has been canceled. Another COVID-19 casualty.

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