We got a little rain last week which softened up the ice in many places throughout the midwest. There was a lot of standing water on the ice where we were at in Southeastern North Dakota on Saturday and the ice was slushy. The ice fishing season isn’t over, but its days are limited. With several daytime highs above freezing in the forecast for the coming week, the ice conditions will continue to slowly deteriorate.
My biggest piece of advice for ice fisherman is to Read more
We arrived at a small lake near Fergus Falls, MN just before 2pm so our fishing time was limited to a few hours of daylight. Having never fished the lake before, we set up near the crowd on a drop-off from 10 to about 20 FOW. The fishing was slow in the first spot which prompted a move slightly deeper into the basin which was about 25 feet deep. As soon as I drilled my first hole, I marked a school of suspended crappies as well as Read more
Temperatures dropped fast Friday with the warmest part of the day being before the sun up as we got on the lake. We found a few smaller fish near the bottom in 30-35 FOW. Around noon we moved to a smaller lake and set up on the deepest part of the lake (around 20 FOW). The bite came in waves, but when the fish came on our flashers, they were very active. Perch and sunfish were hitting on small jigs tipped with wax worms. Pike and walleyes were hitting crappie minnows on plain hooks about 6-12″ off the bottom. Read more
What a beautiful morning to be on the lake! Unfortunately, the fishing wasn’t as good as the weather. After drilling 30 or so holes up and down a breakline from 12-30 FOW, we only found a couple of perch. After several moves and dozens of holes later, we decided to call it quits on Big Pine and move to another nearby lake. In 6-8 FOW, we were able to find a few pike and perch on the second lake, but the fishing was still slow. I talked to a conservation officer on the lake who said that most of the anglers she had talked to also reported slow fishing. Read more
Despite 25+ mph wind, we got out on Leaf Lake near Audubon, MN on Tuesday. We checked the ice thickness every five to ten yards on our way out to the first drop off from the access and there was an even 5-6″ of hard, clear ice. There was one hard-sided spearing house set up shallow and there was one snowmobile on the ice. With that said, the majority of the traffic was people on foot with portable shelters. Always be extremely careful on the ice. Read more
Over 80 different species have been identified in surveys of the Red River of the North. I have caught 18 of them as of October 2017. While I don’t expect that I will ever catch all 86 species, I would like to add one or two to the list each season.
We’ve had quite the change in weather between Saturday and now. Several days in the low- to mid- nineties quickly shifted to sixties and low seventies overnight. With that we’ve seen the water temperature drop four degrees over the last couple of days. My guess is that the rapid change in temperature messed with the metabolisms of the fish. Fishing was slow, but not bad. I still caught plenty of fish, but they were infrequent. Smaller, bite-sized baits were key. I wish I could have found some frogs since it had just rained. After the temperature stabilizes a bit over the next few days, fishing should continue to be excellent.
UPDATE (8-20-15): Fishing is still slow, but the fish have been bigger than earlier in the week. Several times fish came up and tasted the bait and passed it up. Be patient and use smaller presentations (goldeye guts worked well). Warm weather tomorrow and Saturday will hopefully get things going again. Good luck!
I’m back! It’s been a while since I posted my last fishing report. I’ve been working 6-7 days a week and fishing different bodies of water when I get the chance.
Fishing is great right now. Early in the morning (and I would assume later in the evening) fish are aggressive as ever. Frogs and goldeye guts are turning big cats, though mid sized cats will even hit nightcrawlers. The water is low right now (just like I like it!). The river sits at 14.87′ @ Fargo as of posting this. Fishing with a 1/4oz jig and a nightcrawler laid on the bottom is a fun way to catch a mixed bag and feel the bite. Give this often overlooked technique a shot!
Rain + warmth has been the equation to produce a hot bite. Catfish are on fire right now. Catch big ones on fathead minnows or suckers. If you fish with nightcrawlers, you’ll catch a mixed bag of carp, drum, bullheads, and channel cats. Suckers will produce the biggest fish. Fish in current seams where the fast water meets the slow water. I had one large catfish hit a 1/4oz jig tipped with a single fathead minnow in about a foot of water right near the bank. They are aggressive!
The water temperature is still low from the cool down over the past week. The rain has been great for the bite, but a few days of sunshine to raise the water temperature would do wonders. More water means faster current (still very manageable) and heavier sinkers to keep bait in place.
I still managed a mixed bag today. Lots of small catfish, a few drum, a few bullheads, and one unlucky goldeye that became a meal for a 31″ channel catfish that was the highlight of my day.