For Merritt Reservoir largemouths to four pounds, shore-cast weedless Scum Frogs, buzzbaits, jigs-and-pigs and Texas- and Carolina-rigged plastic worms into shallows with standing timber, tire reefs or weed beds in the Powderhorn Arm, the Snake River Arm or from the earthen dam. When summer drawdowns lower water levels, bass move shallow and can be caught in water less than 15 feet deep. While there are few deep drop-offs and little underwater structure, smallmouths are still frequently caught here with chartreuse and yellow No. 5 Shad Raps, and black or root-beer-colored plastic worms and lizards. However, half the total angling effort at Merritt is focused on walleyes. Your best bet is to cast or drift minnows in the main channel, the lake’s deepest water, in the Snake River Arm. Contact: Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area (402-376-3320); Merritt Trading Post & Resort, Valentine (402-376-3437 or 402-376-2758); Guide Joe Dodd (402-722-4279).
Snake River Arm