Sherman Reservoir Ice fishing 1-16-10 & 1-17-10

Water Body

The Nebraska ice fishing season got off to an early start this year with some great ice conditions throughout the entire state. The only problem has been the heavy snows in the eastern portion of the state. Many of the lakes in my hometown area have 10+ inches of snow on them and getting around has slowed down my fishing. With that much snow on the ice my typical run and gun techniques are out of the question without a snowmobile. This last weekend a good group of friends, family, and I headed to Central Nebraska to hit Sherman Reservoir. The bigger lake had very little snow on it and had a perfectly clear 16+ inches of ice on it. Combine that with temps in the upper 40’s and you have yourself perfect ice fishing conditions. Our target for the weekend was going to be walleyes and crappies and we were all fortunate enough to get into both.

Saturday morning we arrived a few minutes later than we had hoped. We quickly headed out to one of our favorite spots for winter walleye to see if we could get in on the tail end of the morning bite. With 3 augers burning a multitude of holes it didn’t take long for the flashers to identify fish below. We fished the area hard and came up with several decent sized crappies but no walleye. As the bite on this spot slowed we decided to split up and cover several different areas of the lake. Jake and his crew were able to find a few small yellow perch. Perch are starting to show up more and more in Sherman. I’ve caught a couple in the boat the last couple of years and maybe now with the improved water quality up there Nebraska will have another perch fishery??? We can hope!! Jake’s crew also caught a few bass but came up empty on the crappies and walleye. I hit some areas on the West side of the lake and marked some decent fish on the bottom but couldn’t get them to commit. Pete and Todd headed north to fish some channel edges near submerged trees. They too came up empty handed. Layne and Brad hit some mid-lake breaks and found a few crappies but nothing that was great. We finally met up again around midday, regrouped and headed to another area of the lake.

Once again the augers were fired up and the search began. We covered several different depths but quickly found that 20-24 FOW was the most productive. We were able to stay on fish for the remainder of the afternoon by staying on the move. We also found that neutral fish could be coaxed into biting by downsizing your baits. If you found fish that were hitting the second your bait was dropped down then you could upsize to a 1/8 oz. spoon with minnow heads. Tip-ups and dead-sticks didn’t do well at all. In fact I can’t remember a fish being landed on one. A few flags flew (a couple from snowballs I think??) and a couple bobbers disappeared but none of them rewarded us with a fish. Sticking with a jigging rod and jumping from hole to hole put fish on the ice for everyone Saturday afternoon. Most of the crappie we caught were over 10 inches and some of the largest crappie of the day were pushing 13 ½ inches.

After some great crappie action in the afternoon we were all hoping for some walleye action as the sun went down. We settled on an evening spot that was holding a few nice crappies and most importantly some roaming schools of shad. Water depth was again 22-24 feet and spoons with minnow heads were the preferred presentation. As if someone had rung the dinner bell the last hour of the day was full of action for everyone. Several small walleye were landed and even a few keeper walleyes. The crappie were right there feeding with the walleye as well. We all had a nice selection of keepers on the ice as the day ended and we were all looking forward to getting back out there again in the morning.

We hit the ice early on Sunday morning and the fishing was hot right away. We landed a few more walleye and the crappies were really going nuts for all of us. Unfortunately, it didn’t last too long. The weather was still great for a mid January day on the ice but, a small cold front was pushing through the area and there was a chilly northerly breeze for the rest of the day. The best part of the day on Sunday was having some of my family come up from Grand Island. My cousins Joe and Jake were along and we had a blast showing them how to use our flashers. They both agreed it’s a little like playing a video game. I think their dad is going to have to do some shopping for flashers now. We had some great conversation and Joe and Jake both took some daring rides in the big Otter sled behind the 3 wheeler. I wish the fishing had been better for them but I think they had a blast anyway. Thanks for bringing them up Uncle Jim!!

If you make your way up to Sherman in the coming weeks I recommend you take some friends with you. Staying on the move and literally drilling hundreds of holes was what productive for us. Having a large group of guys made this easier for us and it sure was a fun trip. I also wanted to give a shout out to a few other IDO members that were at Sherman this weekend too. I got to chat with some of you for a few minutes but maybe next time we can all group up and fish together.


  1. Quote:

    3 augers burning holes….it must of sounded like NASCAR

    It was a sweet sound.

    I would have loved to had 43 augers punching holes!!

  2. Quote:

    Great report Ben Was there much traffic up at Sherman other than your group?

    Thanks Zach. There were quite a few people fishing just off the dam on Sat. I heard reports of them getting some crappies but I’m not sure what the numbers were like or the size. There had to be 30+ fishermen up there from what I could tell. Sunday wasn’t as busy. Only a few shacks at the dam and all the other fishermen were scattered around different areas of the lake.

  3. This new recipie for baked crappie made an excellent crappie sandwich for lunch today. It’s so easy yet so good!!

    Spray a glass dish with olive oil spray and cover the bottom of the dish with fillets (pat them dry first).
    Cover the fillets with a thin coat of Mircle Whip sprinkle that with a little dried dill.
    In a seperate dish melt some butter and mix in some crushed club cracker or crushed goldfish crackers. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the fish and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
    Serve on bread or as is. It’s delicious!!!

  4. Yeah, thanks for leaving the holes by the islands. It looke liked swiss cheese. I tried to convince my dad and son that we needed to stay after dark, but my son had been playing “get your hat back” from my lab and was soaked. If he had to live off of what he caught ne might be a little more interested in fishing.

    Just wondering if anyone heard from Zach. Was he going to Enders or Swanson? I know some guys had been doing very well with the walleye at Swanson for quite some time.

  5. Nice report Ben and those slabs look great. The crappie action when we had ice was poor to none, glad to see someone was getting some.

  6. Nice report Ben and those slabs look great. The crappie action when we had ice was poor to none, glad to see someone was getting some.

  7. Great report Ben…. Glad we made it up there with you, by far the best outing of the year so far. The last 2 hours before dark was just lights out for walleye and crappie both!

    Layne Monroe

  8. Quote:

    Great report Ben…. Glad we made it up there with you, by far the best outing of the year so far. The last 2 hours before dark was just lights out for walleye and crappie both!

    Layne Monroe

    It was a great trip and we need to get back up there again soon. I think my mother in-law will be here next weekend. That sounds like a perfect time to head out of town for the weekened.

  9. Nice report Ben. Looks like you guys had a great time. Wish we could have been there but we had a good weekend out west also.

  10. Well, Ben I guess this sounds pretty redundant by now but thanks for the great report. I hope that you are able to make it back to Sherman soon and that we will be able to meet up. Our trip to the sandhills went well; and Don says hello back at ya.

  11. Quote:

    I hope that you are able to make it back to Sherman soon and that we will be able to meet up.

    Jorg- it’s looking like I’ll be up there this weekend. Haven’t decided what day yet but I’ll let you know by tomorrow night.


    Hows the late ice bite? Maybe we could get an Ice GTG out there ???

    The late ice bite can be great. The only problem is predicting late ice. It could be in the 40’s and 50’s next week and stay that way til May. You just never know how long the ice will last down here on the Southern edge of the ice belt. We melted a lot of snow and ice around here last week and with all the runoff some area ponds and lakes opened a little around the edges.
    We should really think about a late January GTG down here next year. I would love to show a bunch of my buds from up North what Nebraska fishing is like.

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