Rick Windham

Outdoors Rick Windham writes about the outdoors from North Platte. He can be reached at RWmedia@atcjet.net

Fishing action is still on the slow side around the region, with high temperatures and sun being the likely reasons.

Bright sunshine tends to send most fish species deeper in the water, particularly predator species like walleye and bass. Fish are looking for cool dark places to get out of the heat just like us.

As I have said before, the best way to fish when you have the summer heat to contend with is deep and slow. Change your tactics to get your bait or lure down near the bottom. Even drifting with the wind can be too fast. I really like to use live baits for this kind of scenario.

Over at Lake McConaughy, anglers are finding a few walleyes by trolling deep, running crankbaits consistently in 40 to 50 feet of water.

Some white bass fishing have been occurring at dawn along the northern shoreline. Catfishing is still consistent in the upper reaches of the lake, out from Omaha Beach area in 20 to 25 feet of water. Cut shad and carp are good baits.

Trout fishing has tapered off at Lake Ogallala.

Morning and evenings have been the best times to fish. Lack of or reduced sunlight at these times is probably why the fish are biting better. Power Bait is the best bait to use in the little lake right now. In the North Platte River below the lake, anglers are catching a few trout with salmon eggs and small spinnerbaits. Anglers who are flyfishing are having success with olive dun flies in the river.

Sutherland Reservoir fishing has slowed down this week, with catfishing providing the most action.

The best catfishing seems to be along the southern and eastern shorelines of the reservoir. The catfish in these areas may be slow to bite right now, but they are there and hungry. Some channel catfish in the 7 to 10 pound range have been caught recently. A few bigger catfish have been caught in the cooling pond, too. Cut baits appear to be doing the best. Almost all the walleye action in the main lake is around the bubbles.

Lake Maloney fishing action has really slowed down this week. Most of the walleye are being caught in the main body of the lake by slow drifting minnows, night crawlers and leeches. Lindy rigs are a good presentation right now. A few white bass are biting in the inlet and dawn and dusk. Minnows are catching most of the fish in this area. Catfish are taking cut baits and chicken liver in deeper water during the day and in western bays in the evenings.

Just a heads up that if you you go camping in the mountains, be aware that there are open fire bans in both Colorado and Wyoming right now.

In many places that means no campfires, even in designated fire rings and pits in campgrounds. To me it’s just wrong to be camping without a campfire.

Enjoy your time in the Great Outdoors this weekend and stay cool!

— Rick Windham

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