Most serious Nebraska fisherman have at least heard about the famous southwest Nebraska guide named Steve Lytle. Well, I had heard enough, and took up my buddy on his idea to head down to Red Willow and see what Steve was all about. On May 27th, we were up to the challenge.
What was the challenge you ask? Well, the challenge is not whether you can catch fish or not. The real challenge is whether you can wear Steve out or not. When you pay the reasonable rate for a day with Steve, you actually get the entire day. There is no 6 or 8 hour limits that are considered a day. He will take you at at dawn and fish with you as long as you can take it until dark. That is the challenge, to go an entire day of non stop fishing and keep up with Steve. Lets just say you get your money's worth.
Daren and myself actually arrived at Red Willow in the evening of May 26th. We saw and talked to Steve who was there with his clients from that day cleaning a nice batch of crappies. As Daren and I were backing my boat down to try our luck for an hour before sundown, Steve came running up to us waving. When he got to my car, he told us that he was going back out to find himself a master angler wiper and asked us to join him. Within 5 minutes of arriving at our first spot, Steve nailed a nice master angler wiper on a topwater plug. That night we caught a few small wipers and Steve's master angler.
The next morning we met Steve on the ramp at about 7am with a notion to fish for largemouths. Steve was all for it, so we tied on and hit the water. We started out fishing a weed flat and Daren managed a nice master angler wiper on a buzzbait. After hitting this flat and some trees without much luck, we headed down the lake to some coves. In the first cove we each started started catching largemouths about 12-16 inches, though nothing huge. The water was quite murkey, yet Steve continued to somehow find bass on their spawning beds. It was very interesting, and although we could not entice any large females into biting, I definitely learned a lot about bed fishing. In the next cove we caught some more bass, Steve caught the largest with an 18 incher on a jig. I also lost a few decent bass as well. Later I was throwing a tube on a weed flat for bass, and after setting the hook into what I thought was a nice bass, it turned out to be a solid 21" walleye. Although I was surprised, I should not have been. Red Willow has a great population of so many different game fish including largemouths, smallmouths, pike, walleye, wipers, white bass, catfish, crappie, and bluegill. Any cast could yield a fish of almost any species.
We later left the coves in search of some main lake bass. At one of the first brush piles we hit, I managed a nice 17.5" bass. After trying our luck at several more brush piles, points, and coves, we decided to try for some wipers. We began chunking large topwater plugs and crankbaits to try and entice anything into biting, but we had to fish fast as we watched a large storm blowing its way over the lake. After it finally became too windy to fish, we pulled the boat out at about 7pm. Now, a normal fishing guide would have said "good day" and left, but Steve was determined to wait out the storm and fish until dark. Although the storm did not allow us to get back on the water, Steve stuck around with us talking and showing us various lure modifications.
We definitely hit Red Willow at an overall tough time for bass fishing. Some fish had already spawned and some had not even hit the beds yet, so patterns were hit and miss. In addition, the lake was down 12ft and an unbelievable amount of cover was out of water. However, Steve managed to put us on fish. I cannot describe to you in one article how much one learns when fishing with Mr. Lytle. He is constantly talking about what he is doing and why is doing it. He also does not try to outfish you or catch all the fish, and he'll tell you certain spots and areas to cast to. He also lands and photos all of your nice fish. As an experienced fisherman, I will tell you all right now, that you will learn so much more while fishing with Steve. He will also fish for whatever you want to fish for. It is a guarenteed good time. I would recommend to everyone out there, to book a day with Steve and his 21ft Triton that will go around 70mph! It is well worth it.
Daren and I stayed another day to hit Red Willow on our own. After catching a few small wipers on topwater, we hit some timber and some coves and ended the day with several bass including a 17.5 incher taken by Daren who also lost one even bigger. All in all, it was a great weekend of fishing. For those of you who have not been to Red Willow, it is definitely worth the trip. I have honestly not seen a better looking lake to fish than Red Willow, especially if water were at full pool. Just check the Nebraska Game and Parks master angler database for proof of how many nice fish come out of there and how many are caught and released by Steve Lytle. For more info on Lytle's guiding service, check out the following link: Steve Lytle
Hope to see you out fishing.
re: Great Fishing With Steve Lytle
I have met Steve. Nice guy and I don't doubt you caught fish when you were with him. Red Willow is a great place to fish. You never get skunked.
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