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Happy New Year!

You all know I fish, a lot.  I will spend at least some time on the water somewhere in Nebraska every month of the year.  I have mentioned this before, will again here, I have kept detailed fishing notes on every fishing trip I have made since I was about 10 years old (I AM a pointy-headed fish biologist and I have been really serious about my fishing for a LONG time).  Organization of each year of my fishing notes is by fishing season and does not follow the calendar year.  Each new fishing season begins when we have safe ice.  So, in my mind, my new fishing year, my “New Year”, occurs the day I am able to crunch onto first ice and fire up the power auger.  Oh how I love that day each year.


Where I left off, ice season 2013.

“New Year” 2014 came last Friday, a Friday the 13th!


Right back where I want to be, picking up where I left off.



First fish through the ice. New Year’s baby 2014!

After that fish, the next 3 were bass!  Of course the jig popped out of the biggest one when I got it in the hole.  I am guessing it was about 18 inches long, and yes, even though I have been ice-fishing for years and have caught a lot bigger bass through the ice, I reached into the hole to get it, got my sleeves wet, and any of you who have spent much time on the ice know I was not able to grab the fish–all I got to show for it was a wet sleeve.


That’s a little more like it!

I was fishing public water in southeast Nebraska, most of you will be able to figure out where.  I found 8-9 inches of ice, no problem!  I mentioned my ice fishing strategy a week ago, Ice System, and to emphasize what I said in that blog post let me tell you that I talked to a couple of other guys who had fished all day without catching anything, and I did not find any fish on the first 15 holes I drilled either.  But, the next dozen to fifteen holes put me on the spot and then I sat and steadily caught fish until dark.  They wanted a horizontal presentation, tipped with a wax worm (Hang Time).

Now if all you want was a fishing and ice report, quit reading now.  I have to close out this post with some personal news and thoughts.

When I got home after fishing that afternoon, my “New Year’s Day” 2014 took a turn for the worse.  That is when I found out one of my best fishing buddies, my Dad, had a brain tumor and was being transported to a hospital.  My family and I are dealing with that now, getting by day-by-day, hoping for the best.  I do not know how much time I will have on the ice in the next few days, maybe weeks, but when I get some time I will be there.  I will have to be there.

Until then I will tell you this. . . . Spend every minute you can fishing with your friends and especially, family.  You will never regret one second of time you spent together on the water even if you did not catch any fish.  Some of you will recall my blogging about some time we made sure to spend with family last ice season (Nebraska Ice-fari).  Right now, I cannot tell you how much that means to us.




The boys

Family means a lot right now.  Good thing we have a big one!





About Daryl Bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.


  1. A situation like the health of a loved one surely puts life in perspective. We all are aware it can happen but it is something we can’t prepare for, like you said, appreciate every opprotunity you have with family.

    I wish you and your family the best Mr. Bauer.

  2. Prayers for you and your father in this trial. He will help you to be ready for anything. Keep fishin’! Jesus was a fisherman.

  3. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  4. Daryl hopefully everything will turn out ok with your Dad, the treatments that they have now are amazing compared to just a few years ago. I also know how you feel right now as I lost my Dad 15 years ago and reading this blog have tears in my eyes right now. The only thing I can tell you is thank God that you have had the relationship with your Dad that you have. So many sons and daughters are always to busy to take time to be with family, but I know that it has be a priority with you. I was with my Dad when he died and 3 hours before he passed he looked right at me and said ” What’s that up on the fence line?” I said” I don’t know Dad” He said “It’s a coyote!” We chased it for about 5 minutes and then he went back to sleep. Will never forget that last hunt he had together. Take Care and God Bless.
    Ed Olson

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