Great Fishing In Nebraska
Guide to fishing in the Cornhusker State
There's plenty of water throughout the state of Nebraska offering a variety of fishing opportunities including lakes, ponds, streams and rivers. While you can find small lakes and ponds virtually everywhere in Nebraska, we will concentrate here on the larger fishing lakes and impoundments. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about the best fishing lakes in the state, plus the species found in each lake.
Nebraska offers a diverse and thriving fishing scene, with a variety of fish species found in its warm water fisheries, cold water fisheries, ponds, lakes, and rivers. Anglers can enjoy a wide range of fishing experiences throughout the state.
Nebraska's warm water fisheries are home to numerous fish species that thrive in warmer water temperatures. Lakes such as Branched Oak Lake, Harlan County Lake, and Lake McConaughy provide excellent opportunities to catch popular warm water species like largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill, crappie, and walleye. Anglers can explore these lakes, casting their lines from boats, shorelines, or fishing piers to target these sought-after warm water fish.
The state's cold water fisheries, on the other hand, cater to species that prefer cooler water temperatures. Lakes like Lake Ogallala, Merritt Reservoir, and Sherman Reservoir are known for their populations of cold water species, including rainbow trout, brown trout, and lake trout. Anglers can enjoy a unique fishing experience in the clear and cold waters of these lakes, testing their skills and patience in pursuit of these elusive and prized fish.
Nebraska is also home to numerous ponds, offering tranquil fishing spots for anglers. These small bodies of water often harbor a variety of fish species, including bass, catfish, panfish, and even trout in some cases. Ponds can be found throughout the state, providing a convenient and peaceful fishing experience for anglers seeking a more intimate fishing setting.
Lakes and rivers are abundant in Nebraska, offering anglers a wide range of fishing opportunities. Lakes like Lake Wanahoo, Lake Zorinsky, and Lake Maloney provide ample opportunities to catch various fish species, including bass, crappie, catfish, and more. Rivers such as the Missouri River, Platte River, and Niobrara River offer diverse fishing experiences, with opportunities to catch species like catfish, walleye, sauger, and even paddlefish in certain areas.
From warm water fisheries to cold water fisheries, tranquil ponds to expansive lakes and flowing rivers, Nebraska provides anglers with a variety of fishing options. Whether seeking the thrill of catching bass or the tranquility of fly fishing for trout, the state's diverse fishing opportunities cater to anglers of all preferences and skill levels. With its scenic landscapes and abundant waterways, Nebraska truly is a haven for fishing enthusiasts.
Nebraska also offers excellent fishing in rivers and streams like the Missouri River, North Platte River, Elkhorn River and more. Some lakes and ponds in the state also offer very productive ice fishing in winter.
In Nebraska you can fish for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, blue catfish, black crappie, white crappie, walleye, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, brook trout, brown trout, bluegill, green sunfish, hybrid sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, redear sunfish, rock bass, spotted sunfish, white bass, white perch, yellow bass, yellow perch, chinook salmon, stripers, bowfin, longnose gar, muskie, northern pike, paddlefish, sauger, saugeye, tiger muskie and others in local lakes, rivers, ponds and streams. Many of these lakes offer fishing boats for rent.
Major Nebraska Lakes & Species
Lake & Fish Chart
This chart shows the major angling destinations, cross referencing these waters with the major species to be found in each of the lakes or impoundments.
For a detailed list of primary fish species in NE, plus state fish records, see the list below.
Fishing lake sizes and locations in the state.
Bluestem Lake is a 325-acre lake in the southeast corner of the state, 5 miles outside Lincoln.
Box Butte Reservoir is a 1,600-acre lake in the northwest part of the state, 9 miles north of Hemingford.
Branched Oak Lake is an 1,800-acre lake in the southeast part of the state, at Raymond.
Calamus Reservoir is a 5,200-acre lake in the central part of the state, 5 miles northwest of Burwell.
Conestoga Lake is a 230-acre lake in the southeast part of the state a few miles southwest of Emerald.
Davis Creek Reservoir is an 1,100-acre lake in Central Nebraska, 2 miles southwest of Scotia.
Elwood Reservoir is a 1,300-acre lake in the southwest part of the state, at Elwood.
Enders Reservoir is a 1,700-acre lake in the southwest part of the state, at Enders.
Glenn Cunningham Lake a 390 acre lake located in the eastern part of the state, at Omaha.
Harlan County Reservoir is a 13,000-acre lake in the south-central part of the state, at Alma.
Harry Strunk Lake (Medicine Creek Reservoir) is an 1,800-acre lake in the southwest part of the state, 7 miles north of Cambridge.
Hugh Butler Lake (Red Willow Reservoir) is a 1,600-acre lake in the southwest part of the state, 10 miles north of McCook.
Jeffrey Lake is a 595-acre impoundment, in the south-central part of the state, just south of Brady.
Johnson Lake is a 2,068-acre lake in the south-central part of the state, 12 miles southwest of Lexington.
Lake Maloney is a 1,600-acre lake in the south-central part of the state, 5 miles south of North Platte.
Lake McConaughy is a 35,700-acre lake in the southwest part of the state, 5 miles north of Ogallala.
Lake Minatare is a 2,300-acre lake in the western part of the state, 6 miles northeast of Scottsbluff.
Lake Ogallala is a 650-acre impoundment in the southwest part of the state, below Lake McConaghy.
Lake Wanahoo is a 637-acre lake in eastern NE, located one mile north of Wahoo.
Lewis And Clark Lake is a 31,000-acre lake in the northeastern border of the state, 10 miles northeast of Niobrara.
Merritt Reservoir is a 1,600-acre lake in the north-central part of the state, 20 miles south of Valentine.
Oliver Reservoir (Kimball Reservoir) is a 270-acre lake in the southwest corner of the pan handle, at Bushnell.
Pawnee Lake is a 740 acre lake in southeast Nebraska, 5 miles west of Lincoln.
Sherman Reservoir is a 2,800-acre lake in the central part of the state, 3 miles northeast of Loup City.
Sutherland Reservoir is a 3,000-acre lake in the southwest part of the state, at Sutherland.
Swanson Reservoir is a 5,000-acre lake in the southwest part of the state, at Trenton.
Wagon Train Lake is a 315-acre lake located in the southeast corner of the state, two miles east of Hickman.
Wehrspann Lake is a 245-acre lake in the southwest outskirts of Omaha near the eastern border of the state.
Whitney Lake is a 900-acre lake in the Nebraska panhandle, 10 miles east of Crawford.
Willow Creek Lake is a 700-acre lake in the northeast part of the state at Pierce.
Many of these lakes have marinas offering a wide variety of supplies, services and boat rentals.
Fish Species & State Records in Nebraska
World record: 22 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 10 lbs 11 oz
World record: 11 lbs 15 oz
State Record: 7 lbs 4 oz
World record: 9 lbs 8 oz
State Record: 3 lbs 12 oz
World record: 58 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 41 lbs 8 oz
World record: 123 lbs 9 oz
State Record: 80 lbs 0 oz
World record: 143 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 100 lbs 8 oz
World record: 6 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 4 lbs 8 oz
World record: 5 lbs 3 oz
State Record: 4 lbs 1 oz
World record: 25 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 16 lbs 2 oz
World record: 17 lbs 7 oz
State Record: 8 lbs 5 oz
World record: 15 lbs 6 oz
State Record: 8 lbs 14 oz
World record: 42 lbs 2 oz
State Record: 14 lbs 2 oz
World record: 41 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 5 lbs 7 oz
World record: 14 lbs 8 oz
State Record: 5 lbs 1 oz
World record: 40 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 20 lbs 1 oz
World record: 4 lbs 12 oz
State Record: 2 lbs 13 oz
World record: 2.2 lbs
State Record: 1 lbs 8 oz
World record: N/A
State Record: 1 lbs 15 oz
World record: 2 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 0 lbs 11.25 oz
World record: 5.4 lbs
State Record: 1 lbs 14 oz
World record: 3.0 lbs
State Record: 2 lbs 4 oz
World record: N/A
State Record: 0 lbs 3 oz
World record: 6.8 lbs
State Record: 5 lbs 0 oz
World record: 4.6 lbs
State Record: 2 lbs 6 oz
World record: 2 lbs 15 oz
State Record: 1 lbs 7 oz
World record: 4 lbs 3 oz
State Record: 2 lbs 10.75 oz
World record: 97 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 7 lbs 5 oz
World record: 33 lbs 7 oz
State Record: 5 lbs 12 oz
World record: 9 lbs 10 oz
State Record: 4 lbs 2 oz
Inland world record: 64 lbs 8 oz
State Record: 64 lbs 15 oz
World record: 27 lbs 5 oz
State Record: 20 lbs 1 oz
World record: 21 lbs 8 oz
State Record: 8 lbs 0 oz
World record: 50 lbs 5 oz
State Record: 23 lbs 11 oz
World record: 69 lbs 9 oz
State Record: 41 lbs 8 oz
World record: 55 lbs 1 oz
State Record: 30 lbs 1 oz
World record: 144 lbs
State Record: 113 lbs 4 oz
World record: 51 lbs 2 oz
State Record: 33 lbs 5 oz
Click the images and links above for species details.
State of NE Fishing Information
Visit AA-Boats-Boating.com to find information about fishing boats in Nebraska.
Fish for big bass
Excellent spotted, smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing opportunities are available to anglers.
Fishing in all states