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A good-size walleye is considered the ultimate prize by most Nebraska
anglers. They are among the most elusive of Nebraska fish any time of the
year, and outwitting one in the winter is a real accomplishment. The walleye is
almost universally acclaimed as the most palatable fish in these parts,
particularly when caught through the ice.
Walleye fishing techniques vary but are similar to northern pike fishing. A
walleye might be found a bit deeper, perhaps down to 25 feet, and it prefers
bait on or near the bottom. In many ways, the habits and habitats of walleye
and northern pike are similar, and many walleyes are taken by pleasantly
surprised pike fishermen.
Since they also feed at night, walleyes also cause some excitement
among crappie anglers. However, crappie fishermen often lose some of the
walleyes they hook because they normally choose light line and hooks, and
few crappie fishermen carry the gaff needed to land a big walleye.
Walleyes usually insist on the liveliest of baits, with chubs and large
minnows being their favorites. Occasionally, walleyes will also hit a jigged spoon with
a minnow or belly strip attached. Among Nebraska waters yielding walleye through
the ice are the Salt Valley lakes, Whitney Lake and Merritt Reservoir.