Nebraska: Largemouth Forecast for 2018 Looks Bright

Waters that offer stable water levels, clean water and an abundance of shallow-water cover, especially aquatic vegetation, are those in which largemouth bass thrive. In Nebraska, small reservoirs, Sandhills lakes, pits, and ponds tend to provide the best of that habitat. Some of those waters can have high densities of bass, which tend to produce excellent panfish fishing as largemouth bass keep panfish numbers in check. However, when looking at the sampling data for the best bass waters, those with the highest numbers of bass may not offer the best opportunities to catch fish larger than 15 inches. On the other hand, lower densities of largemouth bass can offer anglers the best opportunities to catch bass larger than 15 inches.

Pioneer Trails near Aurora and Walnut Creek #2A near Crete will offer anglers tremendous numbers of 15-inch-and-larger bass in 2018. Other small- to medium-size reservoirs such as Memphis, Wanahoo, Walnut Creek, Skyview, Burchard, Olive Creek, and Wehrspann will also be excellent for largemouth bass this year.

Interstate lakes and public pits such as Louisville #3, East Hershey, Fremont Slough, Birdwood, Heartland Shooting Park, and Grand Island Rest Area will also offer some excellent bass fishing in 2018. Sandhills lakes can also be good largemouth bass habitats and produce some pretty, chunky bass; Walgren Lake and Hackberry on the Valentine NWR will be good bets in the Sandhills this year.

Private pits and ponds always produce some of the best bass fishing in the state, and many Nebraska anglers have permission to fish at least one of those privately owned waters. In addition, some private pits and ponds have been enrolled in the Open Fields and Waters Program and are open to the public. Refer to the Public Access Atlas for those waters.