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Type of Water

Farm ponds,   lakes,      Common throughout the state, Rivers

Farm ponds, DNR lakes,  Common throughout the state,

Large reservoirs, rivers
Farm ponds, DNR lakes,

Clear water lakes and streams with gravel or rock bottoms;   Reservoir, Rivers

  Reservoir; Cool water lakes in northern Nebraska, Rivers


Shallow, weedy area; Near sub-merged trees

Rocky areas, shallow coves with brushpiles, flooded trees, weedbeds

Open water

Weedy areas, fallen trees

Shallow and deep water flats


Peak feeding - 69

Active 64-80

Spawning - 67-80

Peak feeding - 71

Active - 65-74

Spawning 60-65

Peak feeding - 65

Active 55-80

Spawning 58-70

Peak feeding - 69

Active 64-72

Spawning 60-70

Peak feeding - 68

Active 58-73

Spawning 44-54



Insects, worms

Fish, insects, worms, crustaceans

Insects and fish, especially shad

Insects, fish, crustaceans

Fish, insects, worms

Time of Day

Daylight hours, dawn or dusk

Evening through morning hours best, little activity during mid-day

Daylight hours best during spring, nighttime during summer

Daylight hours most productive, morning and evenings best

Daylight hours only

Bait, Live, Tackle

Nymphs, wet and dry flies, small poppers, beetle spins, worms; Fly equipment, light spinning gear

Minnows, spinners, beetlespins; Light action spinning equipment

Minnows, crankbaits, spinners, jigs, spoons; Medium to light action equipment

Worms, wet and dry flies, jigs, spinners; Light action equipment

Worms, minnows, jigs; Medium to light action equipment


Species  Bass Hybrid (Wiper) Largemouth Bass Smallmouth Bass Walleye & Sauger Catfish Trout Pike, Tiger & Muskellunge
Types of Water  River reservoirs, Branched  and various other larger lakes Farm ponds, DNR lakes, lakes, most public lakes  lakes,  River, Lake  Canal Great Lakes Most medium-sized and large reservoirs,  rivers;  primarily in rivers Most warmwater rivers, reservoirs and ponds
and Streams
 streams,  Lake  inland lakes and various put and take lakes Muskellunge found  in  Lake,  Reservoir,  inland lakes; Tigers and pike in newer reservoirs; Pike common in all great lakes
Habitat Open water Clear water preferred, flooded stumps and brushpiles, weedbeds, ledges and dropoffs in deeper water Rocky areas preferred, also flooded trees and brushpiles In lakes, walleye prefer clean, hard bottoms at various depths; In rivers, dropoffs below sandbars, 5 to 15 feet deep; Sauger seek same kind of areas having active current Channel cats like reservoir inlets early in spring, scattered rest of year; In rivers, brushpiles and holes below sandbars; Flathead cats seek obstructions in current, bunch up below dams At obstructions in streams, outside bank of bends, undercut banks; cold water, rocky areas or open water Usually feed in shallow water near weedbeds and rushes, may rest in deeper water, but usually passive there
Temperatures Active 64-72 Active 60-76

Peak feeding - 73

Spawning 61-65


Active 60-73

Peak feeding - 68

Spawning 61-65


Active 55-74

Peak feeding - 64

Spawning 42-50


Active 60-75

Peak feeding 60-75

Spawning 75-78


Active 50-60 Pike Active 55-74

Peak feeding 66

Spawning 40-48

Muskie active 55-72

Peak feeding 63

Spawning 49-60


Food Preferences Fish, especially shad Fish, crayfish, insects Crayfish, fish, insects Fish, insects Channel and blue cat eat live or dead fish, meant; Flathead eat live fish Insects, small fish and crayfish Fish, occasional small mammal or bird
Time of Day Anytime spring, after sunset summer & daytime fall Dawn, dusk often best, but can be active anytime Dawn, dusk often best, but can be active anytime Dawn, dusk, nighttime Night best Dawn, dusk, can be active anytime Daytime, rarely at night
Bait, Lure, Tackle Jigs or crankbait in spring and summer, jig, slabs, crankbait in fall; Heavy rod, line, etc., except for early jig fishing Spinnerbaits, jig and pork, crankbaits, plastic worm, plugs; Medium action spinning or bait-casting gear; Poppers and streams on hefty flyrods Spinners, plastic worms, crankbaits, other artificials; Crayfish, worms and minnows best baits; Medium spinning gear; Poppers and streamers on medium weight flyrods Trolled baits rigged with crawlers, leeches or minnows; Also jig-minnow combo, plain jig, trolled or cast crankbaits and other plugs Stillfished shad entrails, blood or commercial bait, frog or crayfish for channel cat; Live sunfish or big minnow for flathead; Medium action baitcast or spinning gear Small spinners, spoons or rapalas on light spinning gear; flies, nymphs on flyrod; Worms, grasshoppers, minnows on either in stream; Trolled artificials at Lake McConaughy Spoons, plugs, spinnerbaits; Chub, shiner, frozen smelt for stillfishing or ice fish; Medium to heavy spin or baitcasting gear for open water tipup for ice fishing; always use steel leader

*Water clarity is an important factor in developing and maintaining
a quality game fish population


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