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The Best Bass Fishing Lakes In Nebraska

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Guide to fishing for spotted, smallmouth and largemouth bass in NE.

Nebraska offers excellent opportunities for bass fishing, with three primary species of bass that attract anglers: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass. Largemouth bass are the most popular and widely distributed bass species in the state. They can be found in numerous lakes, ponds, and reservoirs, including popular fishing spots like Branched Oak Lake, Harlan County Lake, and Lewis and Clark Lake. Largemouth bass are known for their aggressive strikes and can reach impressive sizes, providing anglers with thrilling fishing experiences.

Smallmouth bass are another prized bass species in Nebraska. They are typically found in rivers, streams, and certain reservoirs. Some of the best locations for smallmouth bass fishing include the Missouri River, Calamus Reservoir, and Merritt Reservoir. Smallmouth bass are known for their fighting spirit and are highly regarded by anglers for their challenging nature.

Spotted bass, although less common than largemouth and smallmouth bass, can also be found in Nebraska. They are typically found in reservoirs and rivers in the southern part of the state, particularly along the Missouri River. Spotted bass are known for their aggressive feeding habits and can provide exciting fishing opportunities for anglers seeking a different bass species to target.

The best time to fish for bass in Nebraska is typically during the spring and fall seasons when water temperatures are ideal for their feeding and spawning activities. During these seasons, bass are more active and can be found near shallow areas, such as weed beds, submerged structures, and rocky shorelines. However, bass fishing can still be productive throughout the year, and anglers can adjust their techniques and locations based on the changing seasons and weather conditions.

Whether targeting largemouth, smallmouth, or spotted bass, Nebraska offers a variety of fishing locations and opportunities for bass anglers. With its scenic lakes, rivers, and reservoirs, the state provides a diverse range of habitats for bass to thrive, making it an appealing destination for bass fishing enthusiasts of all skill levels.

Bass Lakes In Nebraska

James Kittle with a nice bass.

You can find bass from many places in NE. Private ponds, rivers and creeks are home to bass here. Visit the Bass Knowledge Center for valuable information about bass and bass fishing. The most consistent stringers tend to come from major lakes including Bluestem Lake, Box Butte Reservoir, Branched Oak Lake, Calamus Reservoir, Conestoga Lake, Davis Creek Reservoir, Elwood Reservoir, Enders Reservoir, Glenn Cunningham Lake, Harlan County Reservoir, Harry Strunk Lake, Hugh Butler Lake, Jeffrey Lake, Johnson Lake, Kimball Reservoir, Lake Maloney, Lake McConaughy, Lake Minatare, Lake Ogallala, Lake Wanahoo, Lewis And Clark Lake, Medicine Creek Reservoir, Merritt Reservoir, Oliver Reservoir, Pawnee Lake, Red Willow Reservoir, Sherman Reservoir, Sutherland Reservoir, Swanson Reservoir, Wagon Train Lake, Wehrspann Lake, Whitney Lake and Willow Creek Lake. Ice fishing in Nebraska is popular at numerous lakes in winter.

Fishing Boats For Rent In NE

Bass In Nebraska

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass

World record: 22 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 10 lbs 11 oz

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass

World record: 11 lbs 15 oz

State Record: 7 lbs 4 oz

Spotted Bass

Spotted bass

World record: 9 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 3 lbs 12 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Top 5 Bass Fishing Lures For Nebraska

When bass are shallow, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and stickbaits are the most productive. As they move deeper, worms and jigs are among the top producers.

The Nebraska state record largemouth was caught from a sand pit.

The NE state record smallmouth bass was pulled from the Missouri River.

The I-80 sandpit was home to the state record spotted bass.

Bass fishing in Nebraska

Bass are one of the most sought after of all the game fish. Its appeal spans cultures, age groups and genders to tap on the heart strings of anglers everywhere. Join us in our endeavor to offer information about bass fishing on your favorite bass lake in Nebraska.

Bass fishing basics video.

Understanding the primary seasonal movements of smallmouth bass and largemouth bass is key to locating them on local lakes in the Cornhusker State.

Bass fishing book

Catch big bass!


Bass fishing information by state.

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The lifecycle of bass

The more you know about the seasonal migration of bass, the more likely you are to be looking in the right area next time you visit Nebraska bass fishing lakes. Visit the bass fishing page for more in-depth information about bass activities.