Omaha is home to an abundance of outdoor exploration opportunities. Not only does our area boast several bike trails, camping sites (and even a few glamping spots), and rolling golf courses, there are also some fantastic lakes and rivers surrounding us on all sides. That’s why it’s no surprise that fishing is an ultra-popular Omaha pastime.
To help you plan your next fishing trip, we rounded up some of our favorite spots in the Omaha area to cast a line. Whether you’re a brand new angler or an old pro, each of these bodies of water have something to offer you.
Before you head out, make sure you have a proper fishing license. You can get one from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. And also be sure that you know all of the size and bag limits for the areas you’ll be fishing in. You can find that information and more in the most recent edition of the OutdoorNebraska Fishing Guide here. Happy adventuring!
Due to recent flooding, many of the river access points along the Elkhorn River and the Missouri River are closed. If you’d like to stay updated on the closures, visit the City of Omaha Parks website and the Papio-Missouri River website.
Plan your next fishing trip using our interactive map!
Bennington Lake is known for the gorgeous homes that line its shores and the abundance of fish that you can find under its surface. Public access to the lake is only permitted on the jetty located a half mile west of 168th Street, but while it’s a smaller fishing spot, we promise your haul for the day won’t reflect that one bit.
Fish Species: Smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, channel catfish, carp, crappie and bluegill
This adorable pond in Benson takes up about four acres and is perfect for both experienced anglers and beginners. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission stocks this pond regularly with rainbow trout, so even though the pond is heavily trafficked throughout the summer, you’ll still be able to get a few bites.
Fish Species: Rainbow trout, channel catfish, bluegill, largemouth bass and crappie
This family-friendly fishing spot is located in Levi Carter Park. You can usually have a more successful trip in the early spring, but there are still plenty of fish to be caught over the rest of the year as well! The lake itself has a confusing history, mostly having to do with what state the lake is actually located in, but no matter what side of this shallow oxbow lake you decide to cast in, you’re in for a treat. Carter Lake is open from 5 a.m.-11 p.m.
Fish Species: Bluegill, channel catfish, largemouth bass and walleye
Lake Manawa State Park in Council Bluffs is a popular destination for fishers and swimmers of all ages. The modern beach facility at Lake Manawa is a wonderful clean location to enjoy the lake — both on the water or alongside the water. There are plenty of picnic/shelter areas, trails, and other lake activity options in this park, so there is plenty to do during your visit! There’s a refreshment stand near the beach area as well, so you can grab some food and a refreshing beverage while you fish.
Fish Species: Bigmouth buffalo, black bullhead, black crappie, bluegill, channel catfish, common carp, flathead catfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth buffalo, walleye, wiper, yellow bass and yellow bullhead
Lawrence Youngman Lake | West Omaha
Officially opened in 2011, Lawrence Youngman Lake allows bass anglers to catch a mix of both large and small fish with a few rare ones thrown in. While the entire lake offers plenty of space to fish from the lakeshore, during the spring and summer, aquatic vegetation makes it hard to find fish there. During these times, we recommend using a boat or fishing from the convenient fishing pier!
Fish Species: Channel catfish, largemouth bass and bluegill
Located in Papillion’s Shadow Lake subdivision, Midlands Lake offers 11-acre of gorgeous water perfect for fishing, swimming and tubing. While there is no boat ramp, there is access available by a short walk to the lake’s edge. This smaller body of water is nearby the popular Shadow Lake fishing area, but it is usually much less crowded!
Fish Species: Largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish
This 42-acre lake is a largemouth bass gem located just north of Omaha city limits. The area features a concrete boat ramp along with several nooks by the water to find fish on foot. Around the lake, there is a quaint footpath complete with picturesque bridges and plenty of stunning nature views for you to take in during your fishing trip.
Fish Species: Bluegill, channel catfish and largemouth bass
Photo courtesy of Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Papillion’s Shadow Lake is a gorgeous 30-acre body of water surrounded by a concrete walking trail and tall grass. There isn’t a boat ramp, but dropping a small John boat or a float tube is completely possible in this urban fishery. Plus, there are a few foot trails leading right to the water’s edge so you can get some great fishing in from the land.
Fish Species: Crappie, bluegill and largemouth bass
Standing Bear Lake | West Omaha
Named after the Ponca leader, Chief Standing Bear, this lake offers over 135 acres of water perfect for fishing in the warmer months and ice skating in the winter. The park itself covers about 396 acres of land with a large wildlife area located on the west side of the park. While this park is ideal for fishers, kayakers and paddle boarders — bikers, runners and walkers will love spending time there as well.
Fish Species: Bluegill, crappie, channel catfish, common carp, freshwater drum, largemouth bass, walleye and rainbow trout
Walnut Creek Reservoir | Papillion
The Walnut Creek Reservoir in Papillion was built as a fish habitat with anglers in mind, making it one of the best places in Nebraska to go fishing! In the early morning or late afternoons, you can catch bass and sunfish or, if you are a late riser, you can target the deep woody structure throughout the lake for other species of fish. There are also a few locations that are wheelchair-accessible so anyone and everyone can fish at Walnut Creek.
Fish Species: Redear sunfish, bluegill, channel catfish, largemouth bass
Wehrspann Lake | Chalco
Wehrspann Lake is one of Omaha’s most popular fisheries. It offers seemingly unlimited shoreline access and is stocked by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission regularly. The gorgeous lake is located in the Chalco Hills Recreation Area and offers beautiful views no matter what time of day you visit!
Fish Species: Blue catfish, bluegill, bullhead, channel catfish, crappie, largemouth bass and walleye
Photo courtesy of Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
This local favorite features over 200 acres of water, a concrete boat ramp and a wheelchair-accessible fishing pier. And if you aren’t the biggest angler, Zorinsky Lake also offers an abundance of fun outdoor activities from swimming and fishing to picnicking and biking! Interested in learning more about this stunning area? We just happen to have a complete guide!
Fish Species: Largemouth bass, channel catfish, common carp, crappie, redear sunfish and walleye
Did we miss your favorite fishing hole in the Omaha area? Let us know in the comments!