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Hugo

Fishing around Omaha area

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Hey Guys,

My son has been recruited to play football for UNO next fall and we were wondering what fishing opportunities exist around the Omaha area. Any tips?

Thanks,

Hugo

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There are a handful of decent lakes right in town. I have never fished them, but I sure they receive their fair share of pressure, but then again, what lake doesn't? Zorinsky, Standing Bear, and Cunningham come to mind in the city. Branched Oak is closer to Lincoln, which is a short drive away. Lots of small lakes, ponds, and Missouri River Oxbows, notwithstanding the river itself. Cant miss in all directions. All species, from walleyes to bass to crappies and cats. Bass Pro Shops, Cabelas, and Scheels all in the same city. Check the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission page. They give weekly updates on area lakes. Good luck to your kid at UNO. That is a good school. Lots to do in Omaha.

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Thanks prov1900. Much appreciated. I actually fish primarily Muskie and saw that there are some opportunities but nothing seemed close to Omaha. The big river looks interesting. You fish it much?

Hugo (prov1775)

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I don't fish it enough. During the summer, in the Omaha area, there are two problems, current and rec boaters. In the past, the Missouri, south of at least Ponca, Nebraska, has been coined the "brown ditch". There are rumors that the levels will be dropped over time, returning the river back to the Lewis and Clark days. I kind of like that idea. I live in the Sioux City area, so just north of Omaha. We are right on the edge of the "fishing boundary and rec boundary". Good walleye, sauger, and smallie fishing just to the north of us. If you spend some time with your kid, check out Calamus Resevoir near Burwell, NE. Estimating about a 3 hour drive from Omaha, maybe slightly less. They have been stocking skis for several years there. Lots of carp for those fish to turn into pigs, so I am thinking about spending some time there this year. Great walleye fishing as well. Burwell is a cowboy town and is a great place to take the family. Everybody is great there. The scenery is real similar to Pierre, SD. There was a tiger muskie population in Zorinsky Lake, so you may not have to travel too far. I don't know if there is a big population there, but from what I hear, there are big fish in there.

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I do plan on spending some time in the fall. Probably not much next year as he will most likely be shirted. Checked out both Calumus and Merritt on the web. Merritt is a good jaunt from the Omaha but Calumus does look doable. Thanks again for the info. Looking forward to spending some time in the area.

Hugo

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If you are looking for muskies, the closest lake to Omaha would be Fremont State Recreation Area Lakes 7 and 8 which are just west of Omaha. The lakes there are small and do not have any boat ramps if I remember correctly. Fish in there are pushing the 40 inch mark from what I have heard from Game and Parks. Your best bet would be Wagon Train by Lincoln though, probably around a hour drive. Calamus has been stocked regulary with muskie but I have not heard any reports from fellow Muskies Inc members or the game and parks about any recent catches but it should be coming in the next couple of years. Hope that helped a little bit.

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Forgot about Zorinsky, it was stocked with Tigers back when it first opened but there is not a fishable population. If there are any left there they should be huge.

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Hugo. Lived in Omaha for 5 years (I'm from MN) and fished just about all the area lakes. The larger resevior on the west end of the metro area (can't remember the name) has hot catfish action in the spring. Nice panfish, released a 10.5" bluegill, in Zorinsky (if you can find them). Standing Bear we caught trout and crappies drifting a small spinner in the middle of the lake. Cunningham has a population of 9#+ Walleyes that are taken in the cold Fall months next to the dam (even though this res of know largely for it cats). But, the King of Nebraska lakes is Merritt Reservior...this lake has about all the NE records. It's about a 7.5 hour drive from Omaha, but the Sand Hill area is really nice. THe fishing superb. I went with Musky fishing in mind, but ended up catching my largest Channel cat and largest crappie...39" and 16.5" respectively...both on the same camping trip. Maybe you can Google an old Musky Hunter magazine article (~7 years ago) that talks about the trophy potential and remoteness (hardly fished by Musky fishers) of this lake. Good luck.

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