Fishing in Nebraska

Last updated on July 17th, 2021 at 08:27 pm. Originally published on July 13th, 2021

If you are looking for where to fish in Nebraska, you have more than 400 streams and lakes to choose from. Anglers travel from across the world to explore and fish Nebraska waters, which teem with significant bluegill, crappie, northern pike, largemouth bass, perch, channel catfish, and walleye populations. Besides fishing, Nebraska has plenty of outdoor exploration opportunities, including camping sites, biking and hiking trails, and rolling golf courses. Anglers above the age of 16 must have a fishing license to enjoy a day out on Nebraska’s waters.

A calm lake reflects a forested bank and tall mountains under a pale blue sky.

Fishing Spots in Nebraska

Lake McConaughy

Located north of Ogallala, Lake McConaughy offers top-notch fishing and boating with calm, crystal-clear, deep waters. With about 70 miles of shoreline and 55 square miles of water, Lake McConaughy is the biggest lake in Nebraska and a renowned year-round outdoor recreation and fishing destination. You can catch catfish, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, and walleye in this 30,000-acre lake. If you need to stock your supplies before you head out, visit Vogl’s Lodge & Lure in Lemoyne. Here, you will find bait, gas, permits, tackle, fishing licenses, and much more.

Branched Oak Lake

Situated 2.5 miles north of Malcolm, Branched Oak Lake is one of Nebraska’s good fishing spots. Branched Oak Lake is the most extensive reservoir among the Salt Valley lakes, covering 5,495 acres with about 1,800 acres of water. Available fish species include bluegill, blue catfish, channel catfish, common carp, flathead catfish, crappie, striped bass, largemouth bass, and walleye. The campsites around the lake have showers, restrooms, four dump stations, and drinking water. There is also adequate space for primitive camping.

Merritt Reservoir

Fishing in Nebraska becomes more fun when you cast your line in Merritt Reservoir. Located in a narrow, scenic Snake River valley, Merritt Reservoir stretches 26 miles southwest of Valentine within the northern part of the Sandhills region. This spot offers angling enthusiasts an excellent opportunity to make a big catch from a boat or the shore. Walleye, white bass, and crappie are among the common species you can hook although some anglers have recently discovered lunker catfish in the Snake River arm. There are over 140 camping sites near the lake, more than eight picnic shelters, and 200 picnic tables.

Lake Minatare

Located just 12 miles northeast of Scottsbluff, Lake Minatare is a perfect destination for launching a boat and wetting a line. Crappie, catfish, smallmouth bass, perch, walleye, northern pike, largemouth bass and striped bass are among the species you will catch here. To get the most out of your visit, camp in the spectacular campgrounds at any of the 26 electric-hookup RV campsites. Nearby fish cleaning stations will offer you a place to clean your great catch before going heading home after fishing camping in Nebraska.

Prairie View Lake

Go fishing for largemouth bass in Prairie View Lake near Bennington. This 42-acre lake features a boat ramp with multiple nooks by the water to help you find fish on foot. Near the lake, there is also a quaint footpath with stunning bridges and a handful of breathtaking views. Channel catfish, crappie, bluegill, and largemouth bass are in abundance.

Shadow Lake

Shadow Lake is a fantastic 30-acre water body surrounded by tall grass and a gorgeous walking trail, making it a perfect place for fishing in Nebraska. Although there is no boat ramp, you can use a float tube or johnboat in this fishing spot. Conveniently located near Shadow Lake Towne Center in Papillion, this spot offers plenty of shopping and dining opportunities. When fishing in Nebraska here, you can expect to catch various fish species, including channel catfish, bluegill, crappie, and largemouth bass.

Standing Bear Lake

Standing Bear Lake in Northwest Omaha is named after Chief Standing Bear, the Ponca leader. This reservoir provides more than 135 acres of water ideal for ice skating during winter and fishing and camping in Nebraska during the warmer months. In addition, visitors enjoy kayaking, boating, biking, and hiking. The lake is the perfect spawning ground for crappie, bluegill, common carp, channel catfish, walleye, largemouth bass, freshwater drum, and rainbow trout.

Where to Fish in Nebraska

You can find some of Nebraska’s good fishing spots in the Sandhills region of the state. A significant part of this prairie is interspersed with reservoirs and lakes that offer excellent fishing for almost all species, including big hub cap crappies, behemoth bass, and bluegills. The Sandhills region is not the only option when it comes to where to fish in Nebraska. Omaha is home to countless lakes and rivers, which teem with various fish species.

Camping and Fishing in Nebraska

Before you head out on your fishing Nebraska expedition, ensure you have a valid fishing license. Also, make sure you understand the size and bag limits for the locations you intend to fish in and other applicable fishing regulations. In addition, make sure you check over your rig and confirm you have everything you need, including your fishing gear, protective clothing, first aid kit, waterproof backpack, and a camera.

Be sure to include sunscreen, insect repellent, and a set of clothes that can dry quickly on your list of supplies. Also, even if there are numerous campgrounds in Nebraska, make sure you check them online to determine the number and types of campsites available. Before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for all you need to know about fishing. It contains tips that will help you enjoy a smooth angling experience.

With an RV rental, your fishing trip will be a little more comfortable! After you’ve spent a long day fishing, grill up your catch right at your campsite. Then retire inside to enjoy all the comforts of home on board your RV. Plan your perfect fishing getaway with an RV rental from RVshare.

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