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Walleye, Sauger & Saugeye Fishing In Nebraska

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Guide To Fishing For Walleye, Sauger & Saugeye

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Nebraska is a fantastic destination for walleye fishing, offering opportunities to catch both walleye and related species like sauger and saugeye. Walleye are highly prized for their delicious flavor and challenging nature, making them a most-popular target among Nebraska anglers. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about walleye, saugeye and sauger fishing and identify popular walleye waters in the state.

Watch this video for walleye tips and tactics.

Walleye can be found in several lakes and rivers across Nebraska. Lakes such as Lake McConaughy, Harlan County Lake, and Merritt Reservoir are known for their walleye populations. These lakes provide anglers with ample opportunities to catch walleye while enjoying the scenic surroundings. Walleye can also be found in rivers like the Missouri River and Platte River, offering anglers a chance to fish for these prized species in flowing waters.

Sauger, a close relative of walleye, is another species that attracts anglers in Nebraska. They are commonly found in rivers, especially in areas with rocky bottoms and strong currents. The Missouri River is a popular destination for sauger fishing, with anglers targeting these fish using jigs, live bait, or crankbaits. Sauger provide a thrilling fishing experience and are often found in schools, making for productive fishing outings.

Saugeye, a hybrid between walleye and sauger, are also present in Nebraska's waters. They are typically stocked in lakes and reservoirs to provide additional fishing opportunities. Popular lakes for saugeye fishing include Branched Oak Lake, Wagon Train Lake, and Pawnee Lake. Saugeye offer a combination of the traits from their parent species, including a voracious appetite and strong fighting abilities.

Nebraska's state records for walleye, sauger, and saugeye demonstrate the potential for trophy-sized catches. The current state records for these species exceed impressive weights, showcasing the quality of fishing opportunities available to anglers in the state.

When targeting walleye, sauger, or saugeye in Nebraska, anglers often employ techniques such as trolling, jigging, or casting with artificial lures or live bait. Locating structures such as submerged rocks, drop-offs, or weed edges can increase the chances of a successful catch.

It is essential for anglers to be familiar with the specific fishing regulations, including size limits, bag limits, and any special regulations for the waters they plan to fish. Staying informed about fishing seasons and obtaining the necessary fishing licenses are also crucial to ensure compliance with Nebraska Game and Parks Commission guidelines.

Nebraska's lakes, reservoirs, and rivers offer exciting opportunities for walleye, sauger, and saugeye fishing. Whether casting lines from boats, shorelines, or wading in rivers, anglers can enjoy the thrill of hooking into these highly sought-after species. With their excellent table fare and sporting qualities, walleye, sauger, and saugeye make Nebraska a premier destination for anglers seeking rewarding fishing experiences.

Sauger, Saugeye & Walleye Fishing Lakes in Nebraska

If you like to fish for walleye, Nebraska is a good place to live. There are healthy populations of walleye in many of the 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. During winter, ice fishing for walleye is available at several lakes in the state.

Fishing Boats For Rent In NE

Fishing for walleye in Nebraska



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

Click the images and links above for species details.

Top lures for walleye in Nebraska

Jigs with a variety of trailers and bait work well in virtually any depth water. When walleyes are shallow, spinnerbaits, small crankbaits and rip baits are the often very productive. As they move deeper, spoons are ideal for active walleye. Understanding the seasonal movements of walleyes improves your odds of selecting the right lures for conditions on local waters.

The state record walleye was caught out of Lake McConaughy.

The state record sauger came from the Missouri River.

Calamus Reservoir was home to the state record saugeye.

Fishing For Walleye

This toothy fish will eat virtually anything it can catch and get in its mouth. They prefer small fish and will eat crustaceans, worms and insects. They tend to be somewhat wary and prefer the safety of deeper darker water. Trolling for walleye with deep diving crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinners and live bait provides a way to cover vast areas and locate concentrations of fish. Use of planer boards allows anglers to cover water out both sides of the boat while trolling. Try fishing for walleye from sundown to midnight, particularly during the heat of summer.

Walleye spawn in spring and when they have the option will choose to migrate from the lake up into feeder streams to spawn. If this option is not available they seek out shallow bars or shoals with clean bottom surfaces near deep water.

Fishing For Sauger

Closely related to the walleye and similar in appearance, sauger are generally smaller than walleye, reaching 4 to 5 pounds (or more) and up to about 20 inches. Often found in muddier rivers, it thrives in larger, silty lakes. They spawn in the shallows at night, without creating or guarding specific nests.

Fishing For Saugeye

This hybrid is created by mating sauger with walleye. The walleye influence allows the hybrids to grow larger than sauger, often to sizes equaling walleye. Saugeye tend to survive best in turbid/silty water and are caught in the same general areas and habitat populated by walleye and sauger.

Walleye fishing in Nebraska

Walleye prefer moderately deep lakes with gravel, rock or sandy bottoms. It is found primarily in cold water lakes but has proven to survive in warmer impoundments. It is prized for its great tasting filets. Click here to learn all about walleye fishing.

Nebraska walleye spawn in spring and when they have the option will choose to migrate from the lake up into feeder streams to spawn. If this option is not available they seek out shallow bars or shoals with clean bottom surfaces near deep water.

Walleye Resources

In-Fisherman - Walleye
U.S. Fish & Wildlife - Walleye
The National Wildlife Federation - Walleye


Also find information about walleye, sauger or saugeye fishing in these states.

AL Walleye Fishing AR Walleye Fishing AZ Walleye Fishing CO Walleye Fishing CT Walleye Fishing DE Walleye Fishing GA Walleye Fishing IA Walleye Fishing ID Walleye Fishing IL Walleye Fishing IN Walleye Fishing
KS Walleye Fishing KY Walleye Fishing MA Walleye Fishing MD Walleye Fishing MI Walleye Fishing MN Walleye Fishing MO Walleye Fishing MS Walleye Fishing MT Walleye Fishing NC Walleye Fishing ND Walleye Fishing
NE Walleye Fishing NH Walleye Fishing NJ Walleye Fishing NM Walleye Fishing NV Walleye Fishing NY Walleye Fishing OH Walleye Fishing OK Walleye Fishing OR Walleye Fishing PA Walleye Fishing SC Walleye Fishing
SD Walleye Fishing TN Walleye Fishing TX Walleye Fishing UT Walleye Fishing VA Walleye Fishing VT Walleye Fishing WA Walleye Fishing WI Walleye Fishing WV Walleye Fishing WY Walleye Fishing

Learn the migration patterns of walleye

Walleye become active in spring and begin the spawning process in medium-depth water. As summer arrives they move to deeper, cooler water. In fall walleye migrate into shallower water again and feed aggressively preparing for their move to deeper water where they will spend winter.