In the Wild with Greg Wagner

Heading to the Gavins Point Dam Area? by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

A message and pics for those heading to the Gavins Point Dam Area in northeast Nebraska from my good friend Rich McShane of Omaha, NE who is with the Nebraska Walleye Association … 

These pictures were taken by me at 5:00pm on Saturday Oct 2nd below Gavins Point Dam at Yankton.  They show opening paddlefish snagging weekend anglers and how the opening of all 14 of the gates on the dam affects fishing downstream.  I believe the gates had not been opened since 1998 until being done so earlier this year. The area manager told me they are scheduled to remain open through November.  Unbelievable amount of water. I was up there for a walleye tournament and go back Oct 15-16 for paddlefish.

Thanks a million Rich, appreciate the message and the photos! Let us know how you do with your paddlefish snagging, will ya’?  Never know, might see you up that way. Take care, be safe and wear your life jacket! GW.



A quick blog to let you Omaha-metro area anglers know that pan-sized rainbow trout are scheduled to be stocked

in Standing Bear Lake, 138th & Fort Street in northwest Omaha, 

weather and other factors permitting, sometime between Oct. 12-15.

So, you can begin to stock up on your Powerbait, canned sweet corn kernels, etc.

As that time frame draws closer, I will try to let you know exactly when the rainbows will be stocked in ‘the bear’.

After the stocking, I’ll see you out there, with my son Noah, hoping to catch a  couple rainbows, 

to bring home to the kitchen!


Carter Lake in northeast Omaha.

Just additionally getting the word out to you – the Carter Lake user – about what’s gonna be happening at the 3-mile long, 320-acre oxbow lake in northeast Omaha beginnng this Monday, Sept. 27th. If you haven’t seen it, here is the recent Game and Parks news release issued about it.

Rotenone Fish Renovation Scheduled for Carter Lake

LINCOLN, Neb. – Carter Lake will be closed to the public Sept. 27 to Oct. 1. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will renovate the Douglas County fishery as part of the lake restoration project. Common carp, bullhead and other non-game fish have been adversely affecting water quality in the lake.

Staff from both states will apply rotenone to the lake and surrounding small ponds to remove rough fish. Boat ramps in Omaha and the city of Carter Lake will be closed during the week. Crews from both states will collect dead fish for disposal.

Homeowners are encouraged to have boats on lifts or remove them from the water so the rotenone application and fish clean-up will be easier. Fish found near docks should be pushed toward open water, and fish should not be consumed by humans following rotenone application.

The lake is scheduled to be restocked in October with largemouth bass, channel catfish and bluegill. The lake has no length restrictions or bag limits, but new regulations will go into effect next year.

Keeping you in the loop. Take care! GW.


Fall is just around the corner and there’s no doubt that now is the time to start catching big fish as they search for meals to build up fat reserves for fall and winter. Click this link to read Game and Parks Fishing Guru Daryl Bauer’s blog about fall fishing: 

Just moments ago, we certified a nice bluegill for a rod and reel Master Angler Award here at the Omaha Office of Game and Parks. The 10 1/4-inch, 1 lbs. bluegill was caught on a red worm by Kenneth Anderson of Omaha in Prairie View Lake near Bennington this morning. Here’s a pic for ya’.

Congrats Kenneth! See you out there anglers, targeting big fish and taking a kid fishing!

SHAME, SHAME, SHAME … by Greg Wagner


A professional angler found to have stuffed lead sinkers down the throats of fish he submitted for weigh-ins during a prestigious bass-fishing tournament has been banned for life from that and other competitions in a scandal that has rocked the tight-knit and passionate bass-fishing community.

Mike Hart, a successful Southern California pro whose career earnings total more than $200,000, was accused of cheating in this manner during the recent $100,000 U.S. Open held at sprawling Lake Mead on the Nevada-Arizona border. An official with the Western Outdoor News bass tour said Hart confessed after he was caught virtually red-handed. 

From Bass Boat Magazine @ This is a photo of the lead weights retrieved from the bellies of Hart's fish.

Let this be a lesson kids: “Cheaters never win and winners never cheat!”
See you out there, abiding by the rules and regulations of your outdoor sport or activity!


After posting the catfish baits I like to make, I have been flooded with folks asking me for a carp fishing bait recipe using strawberries or strawberry jello. No foolin’.

So, here ya’ go – Greg Wagner’s tried-and-true Strawberry Jello Doughball Supreme.

Strawberry Jello Doughball Supreme
1 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a dash of garlic salt
Bring these ingredients to a boil, then mix together and add:
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1/2 package strawberry jello
Cook for a few minutes until mixture thickens. Pour onto waxed paper, flatten, and cut into squares. When cool enough to handle, roll into balls.
Keep refrigerated for longest life. Can be frozen and thawed before use, but is best when used fresh.
Happy carp fishing! See you out there, going after those bronze beauties!


It’s the time of year that I hold close to my heart (away from my nose). It’s the time of year for some outstanding post-spawn night fishing for channel catfish with prepared stink baits, woo-hoo!

That means it is the time of year to mix up some real stinky stuff to catch them whiskered ones that are so widepread in Nebraska. In fact, did you know that the channel catfish is Nebraska’s official state fish? It is.

Now, being the cheap you-know-what  that I am, I prefer to buy inexpensive ingredients to make my own channel catfish bait for the lake or the river.

Raw (fresh or frozen) chicken livers are on the shopping list for bait.

Here are a couple of  my favs I’ve used for years with good success. Enjoy (sorry about the smell).  

Chicken or Beef Catfish Blood Bait Recipe

Heat one gallon of chicken or beef blood without scorching or boiling it. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1 cup of corn starch. Replace the bottom of a cardboard or wooden box with screen wire and layer it with three to five sheets of newspaper, paper towel or napkin. Pour the blood mixture into the box in 1/2-inch layers. When the mixture hardens, cut it into chunks. Refrigerate but do not freeze. Alternatively, pour the mixture over chunks of open-cell foam or sponge, then dry in the sun.

Greg Wagner’s No. 1 Favorite Catfish Bait

Submerge chicken or turkey livers in a large jar containing a half-and-half mixture of anise oil and water, plus enough salt to make the mixture grainy. Seal and let the livers “ripen” 5-6 hours in the sun or 12-14 hours in a warm room. Can’t go wrong with this channel catfish bait!

Good luck, I’ll see ya’ out there, or, uh, smell your catfish bait before I see you, HA!