Like watching and listening to a Blue-ray of Joe Bonamassa’s performance at the Royal Albert Hall, Nebraska’s Sandhill lakes are as good as it gets! We’ve enjoyed a wonderful summer of perch fishing on several Sandhill Lakes, including the newly-opened Crescent Lake and Blue Lake, as well as Island Lake on the Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge and at both Lake Minatare and last winter on Box Butte Reservoir. Last week, friend Bob and I hauled his boat up to Cottonwood-Steverson and caught a few smaller yellow perch as well as our limits of walleye. Another angler was catching walleye throwing crankbaits, we used slow trolling with light bottom bouncers and spinners and crawlers for most of the walleye. While not a testament to our fishing abilities, it was more an appreciation of a beautiful fall Sandhill day, enjoying sunrise on the very quiet lake and the long drive home with great fall colors along the highways.
The Sandhill lakes are poppin’, and well worth traveling the distance to fish, although the roads can be long and narrow in places! I won’t even begin to talk about ice fishing for perch since I know that will attract anglers without my two-cents-worth.
I do think that Nebraska Game and Parks Commission fisheries biologists are working hard to increase and maintain fishing, in spite of a heavy carp population in Cottonwood-Steverson and upstream of the two lakes. Contracts with landowners have opened Crescent Lake and Blue Lake access and the fisheries biologists and district 1 wildlife crews have provided some very nice boat ramps and other user-friendly facilities.
Frye Lake north of Hyannis has been excellent as well, although its shallow-sided water makes using its boat ramp somewhat problematic.
Anglers can show their appreciation for the NGPC crew’s work by hauling trash off of the lake shores and keeping an eye on the few that don’t care if they ruin a good thing for everyone else! Enjoy the “good old days” and look for future developments in the planning stages!