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I go to school at UND and usually do most of my fishing at devils. It's a great place but the drive gets old after a while. I've been interested in fishing the river in the grand/east grand area. Does anyone have much experience here? Any info on current to look out for and maybe a starting place or two? I'd be willing to tag along if anyone is interested in tackling it. Thanks.

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There's a good bit of ice fishing done near the Point bridge, at the confluence of the Red Lake and the Red Rivers. Some of the big bends and holes have some good fishing to be had too- fish the shallow flats at the head or tail of the deeper water. Fish with a buddy, carry ice pics and rope, and be careful! Good luck!

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The 10# walleye that hung in the middle bar at Whitey's came out of that area between the rivers back in the early 90's. I know because I caught it!

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I haven't been back to GF for many years. I was going to school @ UND and was a bartender @ Whitey's 20 years ago. Those were some of my best memories. Schooners @ Bonzers, a late night grinder from the Red Pepper, the list goes on & on...

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My son is in his third year at UND (aviation). I keep telling him he needs to spend more time checking out the red. He's been out a few times on the river and out to devil's a couple times but not a lot of time to play with schoolin and driving bus.

I hear mom and dad get really cheap airfare if the boy is driving da plane grin

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Gave it a shot last night. Only 2 mooneyes to show for... Will be out again to give it a shot.

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Back in the day, we used to go north of town a few miles and we caught a ton of fish that I thought were goldeyes. Maybe they were mooneyes. I was just a dumb Iron Range kid that didn't know anything about river fishing. It was nothing to get 50-100 in a few hours. We never kept them. Are they worth eating?

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Yeah I've heard people calling them goldeneyes as well. From what I researched, I thought they were mooneyes but I could be wrong! Fished there again the other night and just mooneyes. Walleyes and saugers might've moved out?

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I lived in Grand Forks for several years. Do yourself a favor, and keep fishing! It's crazy how much that river changes. We'd ice fish a spot one night and catch nothing but goldeyes. Next night, same spot, same time, and WHAM! Limits of saugers or walleyes. Chunkers, too! Beautiful fillets, awesome eating.

I will say this: go shallower than deep. We had our best luck in 6-8 FOW. Also, try out those jigs with the flutter blades attached. Name escapes me, but you can find them at any of the outdoor stores in GF. Depending on the current, I'd stick with 1/4 ounce or lighter. I tipped it with two fatheads and if the biters were finicky, added a stinker hook. Only problem with that is they tend to get snagged at the bottom of the hole, so I didn't use it that often unless I got really desperate.

My only other advice would be to look at some satellite imagery. My best spot ever was just downstream of a small tributary that dumped into the Red. Took quite a few eyes out of that spot, and I know for a fact that a buddy caught a 30-incher there in the middle of the day that is now proudly displayed on his wall.

Anyway, good luck and keep at it! The way I figure it is, you can spend a lot more time on the river with a fraction of the cost it would take to fish Devils or even the closest MN lake. Hit it as hard as you can until you find success.

Good luck! And don't forget the kitties in the spring! God I miss GF for that. Fargo cats don't hold a candle compared to the ones north of here...

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I lived in Grand Forks for several years. Do yourself a favor, and keep fishing! It's crazy how much that river changes. We'd ice fish a spot one night and catch nothing but goldeyes. Next night, same spot, same time, and WHAM! Limits of saugers or walleyes. Chunkers, too! Beautiful fillets, awesome eating.

I will say this: go shallower than deep. We had our best luck in 6-8 FOW. Also, try out those jigs with the flutter blades attached. Name escapes me, but you can find them at any of the outdoor stores in GF. Depending on the current, I'd stick with 1/4 ounce or lighter. I tipped it with two fatheads and if the biters were finicky, added a stinker hook. Only problem with that is they tend to get snagged at the bottom of the hole, so I didn't use it that often unless I got really desperate.

My only other advice would be to look at some satellite imagery. My best spot ever was just downstream of a small tributary that dumped into the Red. Took quite a few eyes out of that spot, and I know for a fact that a buddy caught a 30-incher there in the middle of the day that is now proudly displayed on his wall.

Anyway, good luck and keep at it! The way I figure it is, you can spend a lot more time on the river with a fraction of the cost it would take to fish Devils or even the closest MN lake. Hit it as hard as you can until you find success.

Good luck! And don't forget the kitties in the spring! God I miss GF for that. Fargo cats don't hold a candle compared to the ones north of here...

This is very helpful and confidence boosting!

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I have lived in Grand Forks for many years and have never fished on the hard water until last week. It was certainly an eye opening experience and something that will give many years of enjoyment right here in our backyard . I hired a guide my first time out and have no regrets. His vast knowledge put me way ahead of the curve.

TylerS hit the nail right on the head with everything he said.

One thing to add is bigger is better(6"+ sucker minnow)on a tip up and shallow works the best. When he drilled a hole and I put the sonar in and it flashed 2' I started laughing and said we better try again he said... perfect. HUH!?!?!? I pulled a 24" eye out of 2' of water. The most productive times according to my guide are 6am to 10am and 4pm to 12am and maybe as late as 3am.

According to ND Game and Fish the next state record Walleye is coming out of the Red...

PM me and maybe we can figure out a time and place to catch a few.

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That's the one thing that people can't seem to get past with river fishing in the Winter- fish shallow! It's even tougher when you go into the deeper holes and mark a lot of fish. Howeveer, the biters tend to be at the heads and tails of the holes and in particular, in the "quiet" (read: little or no current) water. I don't tend to soak much big bait anymore because I'm too busy moving, but like Trump said a big sucker under a tipup can be effective. Big baits can also be good- my favorites are still Buckshot Rattle Spoons and Salmo Zippers.

Flashers are important- lots of fish are not bottom huggers and often the "high flyers" are very aggressive. Many refuse to believe it, but underwater cameras are great tools on the rivers in the Winter much of the time. Unless there's been a recent thaw, the water is usually gin clear and cameras work great.

Like I said before think safety first- the ice changes amazingly fast on the rivers and can go from 25" and solid to 5" and mushy in one night (I've seen exactly that before and it's scary!)

Good luck!!!

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Thanks for the reminder Scoot. As MuskieFever is a noobie to the river, it's SO important to remember to be extra, extra careful on the Red during the winter!

Interesting note about the next ND state record walleye. I have absolutely no doubt what-so-ever that there are numerous record sized fish of many species swimming in this river system. So much of this water NEVER gets fished! And the forage base is gigantic. The water is rich and fertile, and the natural spawning habitat is all over the place. It's the perfect storm for gargantuan fish!

Thanks for all the help guys. I pointed MuskieFever in this direction, and I knew there'd be a bunch of great guys that would step up and lend a hand!

Scoot. Might be time to coordinate a Red River of the North FM Get Together?

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Scoot. Might be time to coordinate a Red River of the North FM Get Together?

That'd be a lot of fun, but I just don't have the time to pull it off right now. Between work, kids activities, and family health issues I don't have much free time at all. When I get a little free time, I hope to get my son out fishing a little more- he's really been on me for not fishing enough this Winter.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Believe me, Scoot, I understand completely.

Keep in mind, it wouldn't have to be anything extravagant. Could be as simple as an Ed Memorial Fishing Day. Just throw a date out there, time and place, and ask folks to come and bank fish out of a park, bring your own food, etc.

Just a simple excuse to get a few guys together, with their wives and kids, to do a little fishing. Don't have to include the Froggie Stomp. I think old Ed would approve! smile

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That's a great idea, CS. I definitely think ol' Eddie would approve. I won't promise anything, but I do like the idea of it. Let me take a look at the calendar and see what I can see...

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If you don't have the time, just let me know and maybe Tyler and I can throw something simple together.

Seems like it's been quite a few years since we had any kind of FM GTG's up in our area (but maybe I just missed em'?). Maybe we could combine a large area get together into one. Something like Crookston/Red Lake River/Red River of the North/Northwest MN/Northeast ND FM Get Together?

Just let me know if you guys need help putting something together. I know Eddie used to coordinate these on a pretty regular basis. He'd probably be a little disappointed if he knew we dropped the ball.

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I had very good luck below both GF/EGF dams back in the days they were lowhead dams, but it shouldn't be different now.

For ice walleyes, I always fished the seam between the downstream current and the backwater eddy. This is usually only 10 feet offshore or so, and put me in fairly shallow water.

Two reasons for my selection. The more or less neutral current there made a good travel/forage zone for 'eyes, and my lure stayed in the 19 degree cone of my Vexilar.

I always went in the late afternoon/evening. Some nights I'd get no fish, but most nights I would. Standard jigging spoons or jigging raps, tipped with minnow head or whole minnow.

Just drill a line of holes a foot or two apart from 5 feet offshore out to about 20 feet offshore and hop around until you find the seam, which will be evident because your lure stays put beneath the hole. Depending on flow/volume you may have to get up quite close to the dam or down a ways. The lower the flow, the closer to the dam/rapids you need to be because the backwater eddy dissipates when the current slows.

Interestingly, most of my walleyes came out looking like Lake Winnipeg greenbacks, and became the brown/green/gold we normally see after they laid on the ice for awhile.

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Holy cow, a Steve Foss sighting!!! Steve has lots of experience under his belt on the river in GF, so I'd pay attention to his suggestions. Be particularly careful on the ice near dams though- it can look good, but be bad and it can be good one day and bad the next. Use precautions and be careful!!!

Steve, good to see you chime in here! I hope all is well with you.

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I'd be up a for a get-together of some sort! You know what would be really sweet? An exploratory outing. There's a good 70+ miles of river between Fargo and Grand Forks that never gets fished. And at least the same distance north and south of both cities. Just imagine what mondo fish are holed up, just waiting for that tantilizing bait to come bouncing by...

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Amen Tyler, Amen! I've spent hours and hours staring at maps and fantasizing about what lies in those deep outside bends filled with downed trees and old timber.

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We should call it "Operation: State Record Walleye 2013"

I like the idea and I like your optimism, Tyler! Go for it! Let me know how I can help, but I'd like to be an assistant planner and not the chief planner on this one. I'll certainly help out as much as I can though. If it's at a date/time when I can join in, I'll happily do so too.

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Now the only question left to ask is, "Which state...record walleye?" I'm pretty sure it'll have to go to Minnesota! Yuk, yuk, yuk!!! grin

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Scoot, I've been back posting for awhile. Mostly I hang out in the BWCAW-Duluth and Vermilion-Ely regional forums and talk lake trout. But I so fondly remember growing up along the Red in GF/EGF and fishing it for multispecies for many years. smile

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