I have some “odds and ends” to tell you about, some news items, announcements and a big fish picture to show you. Pick and choose what you want to read. . . .
Arnold and Victoria Springs
Major Aquatic Habitat rehabilitation projects on planned for the ponds at Arnold and Victoria Springs this year. Recently the Arnold Sentinel ran an excellent story on the work that is planned. Click a couple of times on these links and you can see the story, or better yet go to their website to see the front page and subscribe, http://www.arnoldne.org/pages/sentinel-front-page .
An umbrella rig called the “Alabama” rig has been the latest fad to hit the bass fishing scene. My buddy Greg Wagner blogged about the legality of umbrella rigs in Nebraska waters weeks ago and I provided some additional comments there, http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/blogs/2011/12/no-go-alabama-rig/ . I am still fielding at least one or two questions about this each day and I know several others here at the Game & Parks are as well. If you have questions, please read through Greg’s blog as that pretty much answers them.
To add to the story, it appears that B.A.S.S. (Bass Anglers Sportsmans Society, sponsors of the Bassmaster Classic) have decided to prohibit umbrella rigs from some, but not all, of their sanctioned tournaments, http://www.bassresource.com/bass_fishing_123/alabama-rig-banned.html . The other big player in professional bass fishing, FLW Outdoors, has made no ruling on the use of umbrella rigs in any of their tournaments; their use will depend on the state regulations which apply to the waters being fished, http://www.flwoutdoors.com/fishing-articles/press-release/153064/flw-outdoors-clarifies-use-of-alabama-rigs/ .
Trout Unlimited Banquet
Nebraska’s Chapter of Trout Unlimited is hosting its annual banquet on Jan. 28. If you are interested in attending, and I would strongly encourage it, you can find all the information you need here, http://www.tu710.org/ .
I have a story of a big walleye, no it was not caught in Nebraska, but I know most anglers are like me and they love seeing and hearing about big fish.
That is a 14 pound 12 ounce walleye that was caught from the Pecatonica River in Illinois, http://www.chicagonow.com/illinois-outdoors/2012/01/new-state-record-walleye-caught-by-rockford-teen/ . The Tassoni boys, Nick and his father David, were trolling on Jan. 7 when Nick hooked that fish. The fish was caught on a Rapala Minnow Rap, and 10-pound test monofilament line. The fish was 31 inches long and you can see by the gut, in excellent condition, no doubt carrying next spring’s eggs and weighing near its maximum.
Nick’s fish broke a record that had stood for over 50 years in Illinois. Our Nebraska hook & line state record walleye, a 16 pound 2 ounce fish caught from Lake McConaughy, has been on the books for 41 years. We had a 16-pound walleye caught from Lake McConaughy in early spring of 2010, but fish over 14 pounds are rare. I have handled hundreds of walleyes over 8 pounds, maybe dozens over 10, but can count on one or two hands the walleyes over 13 pounds I have seen ( http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/blogs/2010/03/the-biggest-walleye-i-ever-handled/ ).
Just for the fun of it, going back through some old Master Angler records, since 1985 there have been 16 walleyes over 14 pounds caught from Nebraska waters. In that period of time there were 4 walleyes caught from Nebraska waters equal or larger than that 14 pound 12 ounce fish that was just caught in Illinois, AND there have been 3 walleyes over 15 pounds and one over 16 pounds caught from Nebraska waters in the last 28 years. And for those of you who believe the fishing back in the old days was always better than it is today, over half of those 14-pound and larger walleyes caught from Nebraska waters have been caught in the past eleven years! As you might expect, McConaughy has produced most of those walruses but Merritt has kicked out one or two as well.
When I catch a walleye over 13 pounds, you can count on seeing pictures posted here on my blog, frequently, over and over!