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Opener on Red Lake River

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Just wondering what the water level is like and if it is pretty fishable right now in between red lake falls and thief river falls. If anyone would like to share any tactics for early season walleyes on the RLR, that would be nice too. I'm planning on just using jigs and minnows and maybe leeches. Thanks

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I plan on fishing the Red Lake River this weekend. The water levels are low. We are taking the canoe. My friend offered his 12 ft boat, but access to many "secret" spots will be limited with the water levels. As far as tactics, I'm simple. Jig and minnow/crawler/leech. Sometimes I will use a lindy rig and spinner.

Good luck, maybe we will bump into you.

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Yep, water is pretty low, but it's also fairly warm. At least it felt warm enough when I was walking in the river today. I haven't tried any fishing yet, but did see a lot of Suckers cruising by my feet and saw a few other fish that looked like eyes? Also saw what looked like a small catfish.

Water is very clear and as mentioned above running on the low side. This means, being stealthy is gonna up your odds. I think using light tackle and staying well away from your casting area is going to be key to catching more fish.

A jig and minnow are hard to beat, but slip bobber's and bottom rigs will also produce well. In fact my favorite way to fish rivers are bottom rigs. All year they produce and catch a variety of fish, depending on your choice of bait.

If your looking for eye's, you can throw out a light bottom rig set-up with a single minnow or lindy rig and let it sit on the bottom. You can bump it towards you every once in a while or let it sit in one spot. Crawlers will catch you everything from Eye's to Cat's and everything in between.

I like to use a small Octopus Hook and cram a couple minnows on it. I will usually cut one or two of them, so they send out some more scent and fish as stated above. When I do this, I will normally catch a nice mix of Walleye's and small Catfish. You will find eye's in some pretty fast shallow water right now too, so don't overlook these areas when fishing. Last year I was catching eye's in water as shallow as a couple of feet and it was moving pretty swiftly.

I'm not a "river Pro", but do spend a lot of time fishing the river, and using these approaches will catch fish just about anywhere.

Good luck fishing this weekend.

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I'm planning on taking the canoe out too, kinda glad to hear the water is low enough for some easier navigation. Does anybody drift with jigs or lindies at all or do you usually anchor or pull up on a sandbar and cast?

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We have done some drifting in the past. Actually, this is how we have found many of the "holes" that we now fish by anchoring. With the water clarity, this might not be very pratical. As was previously mentioned, the fish, especially the eyes will spook. Also, if you plan on drifting, bring a lot of extra tackle. Drifting will lead to many, many more snags unless you run some sort of floater rig. I've never found anything that works well for drifting "snag resistant." Maybe some other people have some ideas they would like to offer up.

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Do you anchor upstream and then cast down into the hole I'm guessing?

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Yes. Work my way through the hole by pulling the anchor and moving down stream through the hole.

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Another good tact is to troll up river... Use a heavy foam walker and lindy rig or rap and just go fast enough tell that you are moving up river. turns up some awesome Eyes. Pending on the depths you are fising will tell you what kind of rap to use. I hope to get out on Sunday.

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We fished from about 4:00-8:00 on Saturday using jigs and minnows, just casting and vertical jigging a little bit. Picked up two walleyes about 17-18", a couple little cats, and about a half dozen smallmouth. Didn't see another person out there, which is my favorite part of going out on the RLR.

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You got that right. Pretty darn peacful. Wish the winds would let up a bit.. This is getting old with 40 mph winds every day.. .Went out yesterday morning and landed my biggest cat ever on the RLR. 24#. It was a real nice fish. Landed two cats, 16# 24# and two pike in about 45 minuets. That was a good hour of fishing.

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Quote:

Went out yesterday morning and landed my biggest cat ever on the RLR. 24#. It was a real nice fish.


Atta boy! Thats a sumo in town for sure!

I've got a date with the mighty Red for all of Memorial weekend. Super pumped up about that! smile.gif

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The Red has been producing some real hoggs also. first 3 fish in the boat the other day were over 16#. Boy do they have some fight in them in the early feed.

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