Nebraska walleye fishing can be a rewarding activity. The following tips apply to places like Lake McConaughy, Sherman, and Merritt which are popular destinations, but you also have a gaggle of other waters to explore. Most of these lakes will produce dynamite fishing if you’re willing to change your ways and stray from tradition. One secret that will really help your walleye fishing in the Corn Husker state is to fish the right lakes. In the early spring time you’ll find it rewarding if you fish smaller, shallower, dingy lakes. These waters warm up very quickly and it’s child’s play to catch these walleyes. Pitching jigs to rip rap or rocky shorelines is an all around favorite at this latitude.
Otherwise you have some excellent tail water areas to investigate. These are good areas to visit if you only have an hour or two to fish, since you’ll be shore casting. Another great tactic for spring walleyes is shore casting stickbaits at night along the rip-rap dam faces that you find in many Nebraska reservoirs. Keep your retrieve slow and steady and work from 10 feet to 1 foot from the rip rap.
As the waters warm up, we find larger lakes start producing fish as they become post spawn. A big misconception with walleyes says the fishing is tough during post spawn. This simply isn’t the case. Post spawn walleyes will bite and fishing will be very good provided you look in the right areas and do the right things. Most anglers fish either to deep or they fail to execute a good open water trolling program for suspended walleyes. Suspended walleyes are very common on the reservoirs with shad or crappies for the main forage base in Nebraska. White bass often tip you off to good locations – you just need to make a couple small adjustments to get the walleyes. Use large baits like number 9 Shadraps and keep setting your depths lower and lower until you run out of whites. Now you’re in walleye territory.
With dog days you see the largest reservoirs in the state will produce good walleye fishing. Lake McConaughy is the place to be with it’s nearly 35,000 acres. Again, many anglers struggle because they fish good spots, rather than fishing fish. During the summer period walleyes will be spread out horizontally and vertically in the water column. Trolling crankbaits on structure and especially open water is an effective method for taking mid summer walleyes on Big Mac. Fall fishing again becomes productive for the majority of the walleye angling public in Nebraska, simply because more fish are doing the same thing, groups form, and you get competition within a group of walleyes for bait. Traditionally slab spoons in depths of 20 to 35 feet become the popular method. However, learning to dial in leadcore line with extreme precision will really put fall walleyes in the boat when they get deep. Another great option for fall walleyes on Big Mac is to cast cranks at rocky points in 4 to 8 feet of water. It’s a multi-species method that produces fast action for whatever predators are up feeding.