The fall walleye bite is on! I’ve caught walleyes every time I’ve been out in the past couple of days and looking at the forecast for the rest of the week, it seems the bite should persist a little longer. I’ve had mostly small fish, but I heard that someone brought in a 10.5lb walleye to Fargo Bait and Tackle to be weight for the ND G&F whopper club.
Fish are hitting shallow, just a couple feet from the bank. The bite has been hot before sunrise through about the first hour of daylight. The evening bite seems to start around 5-5:30pm. Read more
It’s been a busy couple of weeks between school, work, and other commitments so I didn’t let 30+mph wind and occasional rain deter me from getting out and catching fish this afternoon. Though the conditions weren’t great, the fishing was good and got better as the day progressed–likely due to rising water temperature. 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.
It’s muddy. It’s messy. It’s cold. It’s windy. But the rain has kicked the fish into high gear. Last night I had a fish on dang near every cast. The water is cold. It dropped 12 degrees from a week ago when it peaked at 64 down to just above 52 right now. The cool down has the fish biting light. I’ve found again that the best presentation has been a nightcrawler or leech on a 1/4oz jig. Fish have been hitting about every cast whether in the channel or in slack water. Just be patient. Let your jig sit on the bottom, or retrieve very slowly.
P.S., if anyone fishing upstream of the 32nd Avenue dam in Fargo finds a 20lb carp with a pink 1/4oz jig in his lip, I’d like my jig back.
The water temperature continues to rise into the low 60s, which is prime for channel catfish pre-spawn. As long as things remain stable, the fishing should be fantastic for a couple more weeks leading up to the spawn. Cool weather on Sunday slowed fishing down considerably. Fish were finicky on cut goldeye and cut sucker (lots of hits, but no hookups). The fish we did end up catching were on frogs, fathead minnows, and nightcrawlers. I anticipate good fishing early this week, but thunderstorms and cooler weather later in the week into the weekend could shake things up.
Earlier in the spring, I had focused my efforts on the tributaries, particularly the Wild Rice River, however it appears that as we are getting closer to summer conditions, the fish are moving back into the main channel of the Red.
UPDATE (5-4-15): Wasted a bunch of time not getting bit until I switched to a nightcrawler on an 1/8oz jig. Set it on the bottom and just felt for the hit. Lots of action to follow: catfish, carp, and freshwater drum.
The water temperature almost reached 60℉ this weekend while the river level maintained a very low level around 14.5′. However, a cold front starting Sunday has dropped the water temperature about five degrees since writing this. Cooler weather this week and potential for rain this weekend should shake things up a bit.
This unusual spring with it’s low water and high water clarity has left many anglers stumped when it comes to finding fish. Position your bait upstream of the deepest holes you can find, and be ready to move if you don’t get any hits. There will be 3-5 fish in a spot, and then they’re gone.
There hasn’t been any impressive size to any of the catfish we’ve caught yet (mostly 1-3lbs), but plenty of them to make for a really good time bending rods.