Expert anglers used to fishing places like the Great Lakes or the deep blue sea might not believe it, but Nebraska is a fishing paradise with more than 450 lakes and streams open to public fishing, plus a seemingly endless variety of species to catch. Maybe this is why they call Nebraska “The Good Life!”
Dave Tunik of Nebraska’s Fisheries Outreach Program likes to boast about the state’s fishing. “Anyone can come at any time and experience fantastic fishing. We’re open year-round,” he said. However, good fishing comes with responsibility—laws that have to be followed. Traveling anglers tend to know that laws vary, not only by state but by body of water, so it’s usually not a problem.
The key, of course, is to always make sure you have the proper permit. What some anglers don’t know is that different species and certain tactics might require specific licenses. Nebraska has a snagging season, for example, when anglers can fish with alternative devices, such as a bow and arrow.
Nebraska Fishing Laws, Sources and Fines
To ensure a pursued fish isn’t temporarily closed/offseason, Tunik reminds visiting fisherpeople to ask at fishing shops or park offices, before heading to the body of water. You can also find regulations at OutdoorNebraska.org.
Sometimes bait is regulated, too. Some bodies of water forbid the use of live baitfish completely to guard against invasive species. Worms and nightcrawlers would be permitted, but not minnows.
And what are the repercussions to breaking these laws? Dave said fines are the customary punishment, at a varying cost. Don’t forget rule-breaker costs include both the penalty and court costs.
You might believe Nebraska is nothing but cornfields and sandhills, but you would be wrong. It’s a surprising year-round paradise for anglers. Warm-water fish are Nebraska’s gems. Anyone looking for exceptional fishing in a quiet, uncomplicated setting should give Nebraska a try. You can find a great Nebraska place to fish at OutdoorNebraska.gov/wheretofish.
Before you pack your tackle box and head out to fish The Good Life, be sure you know all the laws, rules and regulations. Then, let the memories (and big-fish stories) begin!