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Fishing Harlan County Lake

AKA: Harlan County Reservoir, Harlan Lake

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By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Harlan County Reservoir, NE

Popular Fish Species Harlan County Reservoir, NE

Harlan County Reservoir Popular Fish - Walleye

Walleye Fishing

Thanks to good fisheries management, a healthy population of walleye are now thriving in the waters of Harlan County Lake this year. May and June tend to be the best time for weekend anglers to catch them. During this time they tend to move shallower and closer to shore. Other times of the year they are more likely to roam around in deeper water. As always, staying close by schools of baitfish. They are eager to feed throughout the lake, but tend to concentrate around structure on points, flats and ledges off the river channels. A proven method for catching walleye here is trolling with spinners tipped with live bait, or trolling with long-billed, deep diving crankbaits. However casting live bait, jigs, worms and spoons also works well at times. When the lake freezes over in winter, ice fishing for walleye can be very productive. Use GPS to locate spots you normally fish during other times of the year.

Harlan County Reservoir Popular Fish - White Bass

White Bass Fishing

After several very successful spawn years, white bass are flourishing in Harlan County Lake and anglers should expect some great fishing this year. White bass are aggressive, hard-fighting and just plain fun to catch. When fishing for white bass, the average fish is typically in the one- to two-pound range. These schooling fish tend to roam around the lake looking for ideal water conditions and baitfish. Look for them to generally be in 15 to 35 feet of water, whether they are hovering around the bottom or swimming in open water. Fish finders are the best way to locate big schools of white bass. In spring, once the water temperature rises into the mid sixties, they move shallow into the backs of coves and creek channels to spawn. At this time anglers can fish from shore and often do quite well. Use lures that imitate baitfish, including crankbaits, jerkbaits, jigs and spoons.

Harlan County Reservoir Popular Fish - Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish Fishing

The third most popular species in the lake is channel catfish. They can be found all around the lake. In Spring channel cats migrate toward incoming water, so stay up river away from the main lake. Night fishing for channel catfish often delivers better results than fishing during the day. In early summer look for rocky banks, the bigger the rocks the better. In summer and winter deeper structure is where to look. Fishing for channel catfish is often productive around any kind of structure in the area. Road beds, creek channels and rocky points are all good places to begin. Use a slip sinker or Carolina rig with popular catfish baits. Other catfish in the lake include flathead and blue catfish.

Harlan County Reservoir Fishing Video

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie, walleye, white bass, wiper and northern pike at Harlan County Lake in Nebraska.

Located in the south-central part of the state, Harlan County Reservoir is a 13,000-acre lake offering excellent fishing. Walleye, wipers and catfish are the prime targets, but the lake also has nice populations of bass, crappie, white bass and northerns.

Harlan County Lake, located near Republican City, Nebraska, is a premier destination for fishing enthusiasts. Spanning over 13,000 acres, this expansive reservoir offers outstanding fishing opportunities. Harlan County Lake is known for its diverse fish population, making it a favorite spot for anglers of all levels. The reservoir is home to a variety of fish species, including walleye, largemouth bass, white bass, crappie, catfish, and bluegill. Anglers can explore the reservoir's shoreline, submerged structures, and underwater points to target these prized fish.

Many fishing tournaments are held each year for walleye, bass, catfish as well as mixed-bag tournaments. As one of the larger lakes in Nebraska, it offers all types of water sports, boating and sight seeing. However, fishing is the main draw. There are marinas on the lake, boat rentals, fishing tackle, local fishing guides, and plenty of water to fish. If you like fishing from the bank, there is access around the lake. Canoes, kayaks and all types of fishing boats make it easy to get access to fish holding farther off shore. The lake has plenty of cover for the fish, especially when the water level is high. This is a lake where beginner and experienced anglers alike can fulfill their dream of catching the big ones.

Fishing Boats For Rent In NE

Primary fish species residing in Harlan County Lake

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Channel catfish Black crappie Walleye White Bass Northern pike

Harlan County Reservoir Amenities

Marina: YES
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: YES
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Restaurant: YES

Today's Weather & Forecast

In addition to fishing, Harlan County Lake provides ample opportunities for boating enthusiasts. Boaters can enjoy cruising along the reservoir's vast waters, taking in the breathtaking views and tranquil atmosphere. The lake allows for various water activities, such as motor boating, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding. Whether it's a leisurely boat ride or an exciting water sports adventure, Harlan County Lake offers an enjoyable boating experience.

Fishing Boat Rentals

North Shore Marina & Campground
Rentals: Pontoon boats
308 799-2315

Patterson Harbor Marina
Rentals: Pontoon boats
308 799-4600

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Hunter Cove Campground Boat Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, off Corp Road B, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Methodist Cove Campground Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northwest section of the lake, off Corp Road B, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

North East Boat Ramp
Located in the northeast corner of the lake, off 1815 Road, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with docks and gravel parking.

Patterson Harbor Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southeast section of the lake, off Boat Ramp Road, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with docks and gravel parking.


North Shore Marina & Campground
70738 Lake View
Republican City, Nebraska 68971
308 799-2315

Patterson Harbor Marina
12121 Rd 3
Republican City, NE 68971
308 799-4600

Fishing Guides On Harlan County Lake

Hook's Guide Service - walleye, white bass

If you offer fishing guide services on this lake, please contact us for a free listing, to be posted here.

Fishing License

Click here for a Nebraska Fishing License.

Camping options are available near Harlan County Lake, allowing visitors to extend their stay and fully embrace the natural beauty of the area. The reservoir offers several campgrounds with amenities such as tent sites, RV hookups, and access to hiking trails and picnic areas. Camping near Harlan County Lake provides the opportunity to wake up to serene lake views, enjoy outdoor activities, and experience the tranquility of the surroundings.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Hunter Cove Campground - 308 799-2105

Gremlin Cove Campground - 877 444-6777

Hunter Cove Campground - 308 799-2105

Methodist Cove Campground - 308 799-2105

City Of Alma RV Park - 308 928-3102

Harlan County Lake NE Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Harlan County Lake
North Shore Marina
70738 Lakeview
Republican City, NE 68971
308 799-2315


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Harlan County Reservoir in Nebraska.

Fishing at Harlan County Reservoir, in Nebraska.

Walleye, wipers and catfish fishing in south-central NE.