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proguide

2017 Red River Fishing Reports- From Capt Brad Durick

9 posts in this topic

The snow last week put a hiccup in the catfishing but things are now starting to come back together.  Anglers are reporting mixed success on the catfish front this week.  What we know is the water is warming back up, the forecast is stable and there are lots of fish around the Grand Forks area.

The best fish are being caught on the edge of the main channel in the faster water. Fishing near structure can help also.  Fresh bait has been the best bait.  Some days the bigger sized baits are working and other days you have to downsize to keep the fish from stealing it.

 

Over the weekend and into the week to come the bite will become much more consistent.  Water conditions are perfect in Grand Forks and all accesses are open.

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River conditions are perfect and catfishing is OUTSTANDING!  The catfish are feeding hard in preparation for the upcoming spawn that is still weeks away.  With water temps just nearing 60 degrees everything is in high gear and there are lots of big fish in the area.  The best locations are break lines and current seams, structure does help but does not seem to be necessary for success.  Give a spot 15-20 minutes without a bite and move on.  All baits are working.  With the nice forecast ahead it is a great time to catfish.

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Catfishing remains excellent this week. There are still lots of big fish around to be caught. The cold front that moved in earlier this week has pushed the fish out of the main current but they have not gone far. Just small adjustments to stay on fish is sufficient. They are short biting a lot so downsize bait a bit and make sure it is threaded on the hook well to increase catch rate.  Until things warm up again. It may be a good idea to sit on spots a bit longer to. 20-30 minutes.

 

Bait is pretty anything fresh.

 

River conditions remain great so now is the time to enjoy it.

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Last week's report went from good fishing to terrible thanks to mother nature.  This week things are picking up. A little heat and sort of stable weather has the catfish coming back to feed.  Reports are still mixed, but all in all fishing is pretty good.  The fish are feeding on softer side of the current (inside bends or other areas of slower current.)  The best pattern I have seen is set baits and give it an honest 20 minutes.  If there is an active fish you will know within a few moments but you can get another bite later in the sit.  Bait seems to be starting to shift to goldeye with many people saying they are having success with it. 

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The sudden hot weather that arrived late last week has caused the water temperatures to rise dramatically and shocked the catfish somewhat.  Fishing has been what I would call slow by my standards.  Things are starting to pick up now after a week for temps to stabilize.
 
The best locations have been faster current or structured areas where current speed picks up over it.  The active fish are usually taking the bait quickly when its presented while other fish will pick and peck at the bait before finally taking it.
 
Goldeye seems to be picking up steam as a good bait but goldeyes have made themselves elusive so far.  Any good fresh bait is still working.
 

With water temperature at 73, the spawn will be kicking in any day now too.

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It is safe to say the spawn is in full swing and it is a tough one this year. That hot weather that started a couple weeks ago heated the water to 76 degrees and unlike most years put nearly all the fish into spawn mode. So right now expect tough fishing. Smaller fish are still coming in shallow and near structure. Big fish are harder to come by. The best areas have been the fastest water you can find to head of the last of the pre spawn cats. Sit time should be 25-35 minutes and keep baits fresh. Try everything you know and some things you know.

The good news of spawns like this is they tend to be quick so things should be picking up in a week to 10 days.

Even with all that we have had a decent week of guiding, no disasters yet. www.redrivercatfish.com

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One word comes to mind for the catfish bite the past couple weeks, CHALLENGING.  The spawn is in full swing and it seems that nearly all the fish went to the nest at the same time.  As always, there are fish to be caught but we have to work a little harder to find them.  The best spots have been tight to structure for smaller fish with the bigger fish being very close to a drop off or areas of current.  Sit times have been 25-35 minutes to let the bigger fish find the bait and decide to bite it.  One good tactic has been to change from circle hooks to regular J style hooks and be quick on the hook set for the shorter bites.  Bait has been try it all and see what is working at any given time.  Stink baits have been working great for smaller fish.
 
This weekend is the 3rd Scheels Boundary Battle Catfish Tournament.  Even with the less than stellar report many fish will be caught and weighed in this event that brings out some of the best anglers in the area and beyond.  We still have a few spots remaining if you wish to fish.  For more information www.boundarybattle.com and to enter call Brad Durick 701-739-5808
 

Join us for the weigh ins, Saturday about 2-3pm at the Whopper John Little (north) Boat Landing in Grand Forks and Sunday at LaFave Park in East Grand Forks.  Awards to follow on Sunday.

 

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As expected last weeks rain is helping get the spawn over with and getting the catfish more active.  There are many smaller fish to be caught and some bigger ones mixed in but action is steady.  Most patterns and locations are delivering fish right now.  Give an honest 20 minute sit in spots to let the more sluggish fish find the baits. Active fish will hit right away.  Bait does not seem to matter if it is in the right spot.
 

This weeks heat should also help wrap up the spawn and get everything rolling into mid July and beyond.

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I would call the catfishing this week seasonal.  It is a pretty normal bite for a period of lower water and heat.  The catfish are in post spawn and spread out in their summer haunts.  The more aggressive fish are in the deeper water in the middle of the river.  As usual stay on the move and keep the bait fresh. Bait does not seem to matter still but people with frogs are saying they are getting their better hits with them. 

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