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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • BLOG: Notes from Parks Commissioner Mark Pinkerton

  • I recently spent the day fishing and learning about one of the states newest fishing spots. Lake Wanahoo is a flood control project located on the north edge of Wahoo. It was constructed by The Lower Platte North NRD. The fishing structure and design was created by The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
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  • What a great day!
    I recently spent the day fishing and learning about one of the states newest fishing spots. Lake Wanahoo is a flood control project located on the north edge of Wahoo. It was constructed by The Lower Platte North NRD. The fishing structure and design was created by The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
    An agreement was reached between the two agencies to have the fisheries division of Commission manage the area.
    As a newly appointed Commissioner back around 2002 I toured the construction site before any dirt had been moved. All I can say is WOW what a change. I am impressed. The lake is amazing.
    From breakwater structures to trees that provide great fish habitat the lake is very well thought out and designed. If you are a birding enthusiast you can view amazing numbers of waterfowl as well as the majestic Bald Eagle.
    It took a while to get our calendars to match up but I finally pinned down a date with Steve Satra who was in charge of designing the fishery to take us out on the lake. I also invited Mick Jensen, a Commissioner from Blair to join us. What better way to check out the lake than with Steve. He is the guy who knows all the spots where the "big ones" hang out!
    Lake Wanahoo offers a variety of fishing opportunities. It holds Bluegill, Crappie, Bass, Walleye, Blue Catfish, and Northern Pike. It was decide to make the Northern Pike fishery a catch and release proposition. This decision was made to try and provide a long term opportunity to catch this challenging predator.
    On this outing I wanted to see if I could hook into a Northern Pike.
    I hadn't caught one of these fish since I was fifteen years old. My first experience was in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota with the Boy Scouts. That trip was so many years ago I hate to tell what year it occurred.
    We formulated a plan to catch a Northern Pike. Steve took us around the lake to fish the most likely structures and hideouts for our quarry. At the same time Steve shared with us the history of the lake's construction and its significant features and their importance to the fishery design. We all tried different baits that were known favorites of Mr. Pike. From Red Eyes to Daredevil spoons to Shad Raps we fished them all without success.
    It was obvious plan A wasn't working so we huddled up and came up with a new plan. The trolling rods came out and we rigged them with Shad Raps. If we couldn't catch those elusive Pike then we would let them catch us.
    Page 2 of 2 - As we started the boat out around the lake it didn't take long for our luck to change. Mick scored first with a true trophy fish! It was a "hammer handle" Pike. Although it wasn't much of a fish we were on the board. Not long after Mick's fish I caught a miniature Pike of my own. This was much more like it! Over the next hour we caught three more fish in the 23 - 25 Inch range. That was what we came for. They are still as much fun to catch as I remembered from long ago.
    All in all it was an enjoyable outing. Thank you to Steve for the guide service and Mick for demonstrating some outstanding fishing skills. As another angler on the lake stated "It beats working"!
    Until next time
    SEE YOU OUT THERE

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