is published by theNebraska Game and Parks CommissionCopyright 2009
2200 N. 33rd St. P.O. Box 30370Lincoln, NE 68503-0370(402) 471-0641OutdoorNebraska.org
299 Husker Rd., Box 725Alliance, NE 69301-0725(308) 763-2940
524 Panzer St., Box 508Bassett, NE 68714-0508(402) 684-2921
301 E. State Farm Rd.North Platte, NE 69101-0430(308) 535-8025
2201 N. 13th St.Norolk, NE 68701-2267(402) 370-3374
1617 First Ave.Kearney, NE 68847-6057(308) 865-5310
21502 W. Neb. Hwy. 31Gretna, NE 68028(402) 332-3901
1212 Bob Gibson Blvd.Omaha, NE 68108-2020(402) 595-2144
Chairman: James Ziebarth, WilcoxVice Chairman: Jerrod Burke, Curtis2nd Vice Chairman:Mick Jensen, BlairDr. Mark Pinkerton, WilberRon Stave, WaterlooDr. Kent Forney, LincolnLynn Berggren, Broken BowMark Spurgin, PaxtonRex Fisher, Omaha
Roger KuhnKirk NelsonSam Sidner
Administrator, Informationand Education:
Editing and Design:
Vol. 18, No. 2
Under ederal and/or state law,discrimination is prohibited on the basiso race, color, religion, age, gender,marital status, national origin, disability or political ailiation. I you think youhave been discriminated against in any program, activity or acility or want moreinormation, contact the AirmativeAction Oicer, Nebraska Game andParks Commission, Lincoln, NE, 402-471-0641; the Equal Opportunity Commission, Lincoln, NE, (402)471-2024, TTY / TDD (402) 471-4693.USFWS, Division o Bird Habitat andConservation, Civil Rights Coordinator,4401 North Fairax Drive, MBSP 4020,Arlington, Virginia 22203.
Printed on recycled paper with soy ink by Jacob North Companies, Lincoln, NE.
By Daryl Bauer
Fall is a wonderful time of the yearto fish. There is a lot less activity onthe water, the weather and scenery arebeautiful and the fish are biting. Hereare some waters where you could plan tocatch fish this fall.
Nebraska has a variety of reservoirsfrom one end of the state to the other.Fall fishing on these reservoirs can be achallenge as those waters typically havean abundance of baitfish such as gizzardshad or alewives in the fall and winter.Even with plenty of natural prey tomake fishing more challenging, fish arefeeding. Look for masses of baitfish inshallow water and bays in early fall andthen on sharp drop-offs adjacent to deepwater in late fall — walleyes, white bass,wipers, and other predators will not befar behind. Crankbaits, jigs, swimbaits,bladebaits, and a variety of spoons allcatch fish from reservoirs in the fall.
There is nothing better than exploringcold-water trout streams in autumn,when there are fewer bugs and brush tofight through. Water levels may be a bitlower, but usually the water quality isexcellent and at times you can spot thetrout. The fall colors will be no morespectacular than the trout that inhabitthose streams. With spawning activitiesoccurring or soon to occur, the trout willbe beautiful.Drifting nymphs or terrestrial patternswith a fly rod will catch fall trout, aswell as small spinners and crankbaits orlivebaits fished with spinning tackle.For more information, read the TroutFishing in Nebraska’s Streams brochure,which is available at Commission offices.
Pits and Ponds
Some of the best panfishing and bassfishing in Nebraska is found on pitsand ponds. Many of them are privately-owned and require permission to fish,but many of these fisheries are open forpublic access. State recreation areas suchas Louisville, Fremont, Fort Kearny, andBridgeport have a number of pits that areopen for public access. Do not overlook the Interstate 80 lakes.Summer fishing patterns on pits andponds gradually will transition into fallpatterns. Generally, as submerged aquatic vegetation begins to die back in the fall,fish in pits and ponds will move towarddeeper water and weed edges.A favorite of fall tactics for big bassin these waters is to fish a suspending jerk bait (such as Husky Jerk, Smithwick Rogue). Crank those baits down to theirrunning depth and then slow down andoccasionally pause and jerk the bait. Thelater in the fall and colder the water, theslower the bait needs to be fished.Those are not the only waters that willbe productive fishing spots in Nebraskathis fall, but they will be some good onesto check. If you need more informationon fishing locations, be sure to check out
(Daryl Bauer is the outreach programmanager for the Fisheries Division.)
Anglers spend a all day at Long PineCreek State Recreation Area in north-central Nebraska.
Cool, colorul all bringshot shing to Nebraska
By Daryl Bauer
Catch-and-release hasbecome a common sport-fishing practice that hasenhanced and maintainedthe quality of fishing in many waters. However, the benefitsof catch-and-release anglingcan be realized only if fishsurvive following release.A successful release beginsas soon as a fish is hooked.Fish should be landed asquickly as possible, handledas little as possible andreturned to the water as soonas possible. At times, ultra-light lines and equipmentwill be necessary to get fishto bite, but anglers should try to use the heaviest equipmentpossible to land fish quickly.Nets can aid in landingfish. There are many availablethat are made specifically forcatch-and-release angling.These nets do little damageto a fish’s fins and slime coat.The fish can be left in thenet, in the water, while hooksare removed. If fish have tobe removed from the water,never lay them directly on thebottom of a boat or on thebank; use a wetted rubber mator a wetted towel to reducedamage to the slime coat.Every angler should havepliers, hook-out tools andforceps for removing hooks.Jaw-spreaders are another toolthat can be useful for openingthe jaws of large predatorfish for hook removal. Side-cutting pliers should be usedto cut hooks, if necessary.Hook-removal tools shouldbe within reach at all timesso that no time is wastedremoving hooks.Cameras should be at theready for pictures of a trophy catch. Leave fish in the waterwhile readying a cameraand planning the shot; wheneverything is ready, quickly lift the fish and pose forpictures.Hold fish firmly so they can be controlled, but neverinsert fingers into eyes or gillarches. Gripping the lower jaw is a convenient way tohold species such as bass andcrappie that do not have sharpteeth. For other species, a firmgrip behind the head is anoption; just make sure not tosqueeze the fish too hard.Some large fish may besafely handled by carefully inserting fingers justinside a gill cover. Avoidgill filaments and arches.When out of the water, fishshould be supported in ahorizontal orientation asmuch as possible becausetheir anatomy is not made tosupport their entire weightwithout water’s buoyancy.Never place fish that areto be released on stringers orin fish baskets. Livewells onboats can keep fish alive, butif they are to be released, thatshould be done quickly.Once fish are returnedto the water, watch to see if they can swim. If they cannotmaintain equilibrium, gently hold them upright and allowthem to respire on their own.Do not swish the fish back and forth through the water.Fish gills extract oxygen fromthe water when it passes intothe mouth, over the gills andout through the gill covers;swishing fish through thewater will not help themextract oxygen and may harmgill tissues. Hold fish uprightuntil they can swim away.
(Daryl Bauer is theoutreach program manager for the Fisheries Division.)
When practicing catch-and-release, land the sh as quickly as possible, handle it as little as possible and release it assoon as possible. Here are other tips:
Keep sh in water, i possible, while removing hook.
Keep hook-removal tools within reach at all times.
Have camera ready to take quick photo.
Hold sh rmly and horizontally; do not squeeze.
Ater removing hook, hold sh upright in water until itcan swim away.
Proper handling key to survival o released fsh
M I C H A E L F O R S B E R G