Fishing the Fifty
My Quest to Fish All 50 States
I chose Ben Garver (nebraskawalleyeguide.com) for a day of hybrid striper fishing on Branched Oak Lake, northwest of Lincoln, Nebraska. As his website name implies, Ben’s specialty is walleye but his pictures portrayed a very versatile fisherman. I was eager to catch hybrid striper because I had heard good things about their fighting ability and because they are relatively uncommon in Virginia; only 18 citations were caught statewide in 2011, only 14 in 2012, and 20 were caught in 2013 (and half of these 52 citations were caught by the same two anglers).
The weather was perfect, reaching 82 degrees without a cloud in the sky. However, the bite was very slow. Fortunately, I did catch a 24.5-inch hybrid that definitely lived up to its reputation as a fighter and that also earned me a Nebraska Master Angler Award. I noticed that the few other boats on the water were not catching anything, so I was very thankful to have a knowledgeable guide like Ben on a tough day of fishing. (This is a prime example of why not to put credence in feeding forecasts or the solunar calendar, both of which predicted a “Good” bite.)
It would not be a trip to Nebraska if I did not attend a Nebraska football game. Going to Redskins games back home means sharing the customary, heart-wrenching home-team loss with tens of thousands of fans from the other team. The Nebraska game, by contrast, was 87,000+ red shirts all cheering on the Cornhuskers. When the stadium is full, it is the third largest city in Nebraska. Lincoln itself is basically all red on game day. Seeing the Cornhuskers play (and win) was one of the best non-fishing times I have had on my state-fishing quest.
Nebraska ... the good life
A drive through the Nebraska countryside
Beautiful day on Branched Oak Lake
My 24.5-inch trophy hybrid striper
Cheering on the Huskers at a Nebraska football game
Red balloons released after a Nebraska touchdown