Rick's picks

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

We’ve had an interesting week: Blizzard, winds, sunshine, rain and maybe a bit more snow. Winter is having a hard time letting go.

The spring turkey season is ongoing. I’m seeing lots of toms strutting now. As we have seen, weather makes a difference when hunting turkeys. The season runs until May 31 so you have plenty of time to bag a gobbler.

Let’s talk about fishing. Walleye are biting in the Tri-County Canal system. Below checks on the canal and at the inlet at Johnson Lake seem to be the spots with the most action. A lindy rig with a small minnow drifted along the bottom in the slower water is a good tactic. A few crappies are biting at Jeffrey Lake.

Lake Maloney has some walleye action at its inlet. Walleye and white bass are providing enough action to keep anglers interested, but it is slow. Some wiper, drum and catfish are also being caught. Smaller live baits and casting spoons are catching most of the fish. A few walleye are biting in the main lake.

The Sutherland Reservoir inlet has been slow this week. Morning and evenings are the best times for those fish that are biting. Not much has been happening on the main lake this week. A few boaters are taking walleye around the bubbles.

Trout and walleye are being caught on the canal from Keystone to Paxton and at the siphon, south of Paxton. Up at Lake Ogallala and in the Nebraska Public Power District canal below the diversion, anglers are catching trout. Most of the trout are being caught on salmon eggs and Power Bait. Kastmasters and small spinnerbaits have been the best producing lures in the North Platte River below Lake Ogallala.

Up in the Big Lake (Lake McConaughy), the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Fisheries personnel should be in full swing of conducting their annual spring walleye spawning collection through the weekend.

Gill netting operations along the dam will be conducted at night and will target female walleye. Fisheries crews will also be doing electro-shocking from boats. Male walleye will be targeted for this operation. Anglers need to steer clear of these areas when the operations are ongoing.

The 2018 goal is to collect some 80 million eggs. The NGPC aims to stock approximately 30 million walleye into public water bodies across the state.

With all this talk about fishing, do you need a fish recipe? Try this one…

Hot and spicy fried fish

If you like spicy or Cajun-style foods, you’ll enjoy this recipe.

Ingredients:

8-10 fish fillets

4 boxes of Cheez-It Hot & Spicy crackers (13.7 oz bags)

2 cups of lard

1 dozen eggs

Directions:

Put all the Cheez-It crackers in a big zip-lock baggie and crush them (this is a great kid job in camp). Wisk up all the eggs in a large bowl. Heat the lard until it liquefies and it’s hot enough to make a drop of water “pop” when you drop it into the oil. Pour out the cracker crumbs in a shallow plate or pan. Dip fillets in the egg wash and roll in the cracker crumbs. Carefully lay fillet into the hot oil and fry on one side for 2-3 minutes. Flip the fillet and fry for another 2 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy the outdoors this weekend.

— Rick Windham

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