Who: Brian Barry
Where: Middle Decatur Bend, Decatur NE
When: June 2nd 5pm-8:30pm
Weather: Perfect, 70 Degrees, slightly cloudy, small breeze
Boat Type: 14ft flat bottom Jon Boat, trolling motor
This is a neat little, relatively unknown, fishing hotspot. I was recommended to try this place by a friend of my named Mark, who stated he had fished it during high waters while fishing tournaments on the Missouri River. The location is about 1 hour north of Omaha on I-29, it is on the Iowa side of the river but because of how the state lines are divided both Iowans and Nebraskans can fish it. I contacted the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission just to verify the lake since it was not listed on their interactive map at www.outdoornebraska.com. They stated that it was in fact considered to be “part of the Missouri river waters” and therefore legal for Nebraskans to fish.
The lake itself is a large oxbow lake right off of the Missouri and I have been told that during high water times that you can actually go between the lake and the river. There is a nice little gravel boat ramp to put my boat in, as pictured below. The water was fairly clear and shallow for the most part. I saw A LOT of Asian Carp, those pesky fish where everywhere and would often get spooked by me and jump a few feet out of the water. It is quite a scene, and if you haven’t had the opportunity to experience it you can view a number of good youtube videos that have been captured.
Other fish I happened across where Paddle Fish, Gar, Northern Pike and saw a guy from shore who stated he had caught a few nice Catfish. Since I am not used to fishing the river I had completely forgot about the Gar and had not bought any line leaders to protect my lures from their teeth. Throughout the day I hooked into 2-3 of these monsters and they quickly snapped my line as they swam away.
To start my fishing I followed the shoreline south from the boat ramp and everything looked to be fantastic for bass fishing. There were sunken logs, fallen trees, rocky edges and what looked to be like an old bridge that had left behind a lot of big support beams in the water. The lures I started with where a pumpkin seed pig and jig, and a brown/blue baby brush hog. I started by the fallen brush piles and trees on the deeper parts on the lake, about 6-8ft. I fished for about an hour and had only hooked a few Gar, therefore I was wondering if there were in fact any bass in there. But after snagging a few times and seeing that the Gar were handing tight to the fallen trees I recognized I was fishing the wrong spots as the Bass wouldn’t school with Gar. So I switched up my approach.
From there I switched my lines to a yellow crankbait and a white spinnerbait with a double willow blade. I stopped trying to fish in the fallen brush piles and switched to fishing the shoreline and the old support beams from the bridge. This structure was in about 2-4ft of water. And as I moved in to the shallower spots I could see little schools of baitfish near the shoreline. So, I followed those small schools and threw my spinnerbait right through the middle of them, jerking it periodically to create more action. Within just a few minutes I had hooked into a very nice, healthy 17” Bass. Continuing on this pattern I followed it immediately up with a 19” Bass. This continued for the remainder of the day and I finished with 6-7 nice Largemouth’s. The smallest one of the day was 15”. To add to the excitement of the day I also brought in one 21” Northern Pike.
So it took a while for me find the fish but as soon as they were located it was time to focus because they were strong healthy fish. If you are looking for a great place to get away, catch a variety of fish, and fish a place that doesn’t get much traffic from other people, this is a great location. Just an hour outside of Omaha and a very scenic spot. Below are some pictures of the trip!
Overall Ranking: 4 Star
Awesome little lake that is not very well known. It is a good looking lake with lots of species of fish. The ramp is just a gravel one and there are a lot of carp and gar there but there are also some nice bass, catfish and pike.