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Summer activity picks up for NGPC activities

Summer activity picks up for NGPC activities

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Fishing Outlook

CATFISH: Daryl Bauer, a fisheries biologist with Nebraska Game and Parks, said anglers have had good luck fishing for catfish at Memphis Lake, shown here in a photo from 2019. (Staff Photo by Suzi Nelson) 

LINCOLN – Fishing across the state of Nebraska gained immense momentum in the spring and summer of 2020 when people wanted something to do as the COVID-19 pandemic gripped all of humanity.

The momentum has carried over into the summer of 2021 according to Nebraska Game and Parks Fisheries Biologist Daryl Bauer.

Although there are still some COVID-19 restrictions on holding events, Bauer said that interest in the Community Fishing Night events hosted by the NGPC is as good as it ever has been.

“All of the family nights have been packed. We weren’t able to have them last year and this year people have really gotten back into it,” Bauer said.

The first event was held in Scottsbluff on May 16 and Bauer said that all of Community Fishing Nights have been big hits all across the state.

The program is designed to introduce or reintroduce families and individuals to the sport of fishing.

Game and Parks staff and Certified Fishing instructors teach anglers the basics of getting a line in the water and catching fish.

Attendance has been outstanding despite above average temperatures for the entire month of June.

“June’s been hot. I’ve had to check the calendar to make sure that we aren’t into July already. It feels like it,” Bauer stated.

Catching fish when temperatures climb into the 90s is not easy as fish become less active in an attempt to conserve energy when water temperatures increase.

Bauer said that fishing reports across eastern Nebraska have been good.

Fishing pressure at Lake Wanahoo in Wahoo has been steady and bass are plentiful, said Bauer. Panfish are also being pulled out of Wanahoo in this first stretch of summer.

Bauer said that fishing at Czechland Lake near Prague and Memphis Lake near Ashland has also been strong.

It should get even better at Memphis once the catfish bite gains momentum.

“Guys have good luck fishing for catfish up in Memphis and I think it will be really good this summer,” said Bauer.

Bauer said that Branched Oak, near Malcolm, has an abundance of channel and flathead catfish and thinks that some big ones will be caught on the lake very soon.

One event that will not happen at Branched Oak SRA this summer will be the annual Carp-O-Rama event held each year in late June.

Last year’s event had to be canceled because of the pandemic and unfortunately this year’s event suffered the same fate.

“We will have to wait until next year for that event,” said Bauer.

Jason Unger is a reporter for the Wahoo Newspaper. Reach him via email at

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