About Fins & Fur
As your guide, my goal is for you to have a wonderful time, learn while having fun and be completely satisfied with your outdoor adventure!
Meet Steve, your boat captain and hunting guide:
Welcome to my website! Why should you book a trip with me? Well, expect to have an adventure that will leave you with many lasting memories of the trip!
I'm an experienced angler, hunter, and a trapper. I've been fishing, hunting and trapping in Nebraska for over 50+ years. I credit my early years of hunting and fishing to an inspiration, time well-spent early on with one of my grandfathers, with my father and a favorite cousin who let me--tag along!
In my many years of hunting, fishing, and trapping, I attained in-the-field experience that I'm willing to share with you! Many of my skills, techniques, tricks and tips have been learned by "trial and error" with the mix of the science, they have been perfected by spending lots of time outdoors.
I love the outdoors, the challenges experienced while fishing, hunting, and trapping. Each day out is another new adventure! I wish to share my passion for the outdoor's, let's go out and have some fun on a guided trip!
You may be wondering, why go fishing Steve?
A few years ago I majored in the field of Natural Resources in college with an emphasizes on fish and wildlife management. I attained a Bachelor of Science degree in 1981 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, adding to that study, I credit a 44 year career as a fisheries biologist with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, now recently I'm retired. The years with NGPC was useful as I broadened my learning and knowledge of both biological system's and the outdoor interest of recreational folks. I worked with the Nebraska Aquatic Habitat Program (primarily lake and reservoir rehabilitation's) from the Program's 1st inception. I helped improve and develop many fishing and boating access sites across Nebraska. I was most job satisfied helping with planning, the designs, funding & construction of numerous new, flood control and recreation based reservoirs in eastern Nebraska. Now- I fish them!
Steve's Guiding and Fishing Philosophies:
Catch and Release:
4 Rules I Fish by:
Everyone should practice catch and release fishing, Why? Because it works! Many fish can be caught over and over again allowing you or someone else to make a catch of that same fish!
Catching fish for the sake of catching them and returning them back to the water is your personal choice. Some critics of angling have argued that being caught with a hook is painful to the fish and that catch-and-release fishing should be banned, accordingly. The evidence presented in support of this view is not, in my view, rigorous or convincing. My investigations and research into the neurology of pain has shown that fish brains don't have the required systems for a conscious pain experience. It is especially interesting that many anglers, myself included, have caught and released a fish only to catch the same fish again within a few minutes, something hard to explain if being hooked causes a fish extreme pain and suffering?
In spite of the unlikely prospect that fish can feel pain, anglers practicing catch-and-release are ethically, and often legally, obligated to handle fish so as to help ensure their survival and well-being.
#1 When your state’s fishing regulations (enforceable size limits and bag limits) apply---- it is a no brainer, return the fish quickly to the water! Treat the fish properly and carefully return it safely to the water.
Properly handling fish (Practice Makes Perfect): Don’t catch a fish and let it flop around/roll around on the ground or in the bottom of your boat before you return it to the water! Fish have a protective coating on their scales or skin that helps to protect them from parasites and diseases and when this slimy coating is removed even partially it leaves them vulnerable to infections and/or stressors that could lead to their death. Often delayed mortality comes into play.
Don’t keep the fish out of water for extended periods. Our fish have gills not lungs and are able to exchange dissolved oxygen they obtain from the water, they can not get oxygen from the air like we can! If you are going to take a photo of your catch, whether a trophy or just a nice quality fish, please be prepared ahead of time to get that photo “quickly” and release the fish as safely as possible back to the water.
Getting the hang of releasing fish properly takes a while. If you’re new to it, start releasing fish before you hit your limits. That way, if the fish looks like they’re not going to make it, you can always keep it and learn from your mistakes on the next one. Don’t see it as a failure – no one wins all the time.
#2 Fish responsibly ! Do not “high grade” your fish. Don’t put a fish on your stringer or in your basket or your live well unless you plan to keep it, clean it and eat the fish. Don’t later throw that fish back because you caught a larger one you want to keep!
#3 Everyone should practice self-imposed size limits! Why harvest a small, young bluegill (5-6-7”) or crappie that is (7-8-9” long) when they have the potential to grow much larger and become a size that when you fillet the fish you actually have something to put in the grease
#4 If you plan to keep a fish or two for the table, let the hook-up decide what you kill. Many people who claim to practice catch and release are in fact doing what commercial fishermen call “high-grading”. They are sorting out the smaller fish, looking for the bigger fish. If a trophy size fish is hooked in the lip for an easy release – return it, let it go. If you catch a smaller fish that is bleeding – keep it.
FISHING IS GOOD FOR YOU, HERE'S WHY:
Fishing is a wonderful therapeutic return to nature that revives the soul and the senses and makes you feel alive again. I should know because it has revived me, my soul, my life, my career and now my retirement! Fishing can be its own form of "meditation" (especially during the slow afternoons when the fish sometimes take their naps), the sunlight and the Vitamin D are great for your health and for your skin (so long as you don't over expose...bring sunscreen). Fishing is a time to connect with your friends and family, not to mention us awesome guides, which is a priceless bonus.