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Red Lake River/Thief River Walleye?


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Hi guys. I fish the river in Thief River Falls just about once a week, and I have the hardest time finding and catching walleye on these rivers! I thought I could figure them out, but I haven't had much success. Any info on what I need to do and where to look, would be greatly appreciated.<P>The area I'm asking about is above the dam, I can find Walleye below the dam, but not in the upper portion of the river.<P>Please let me know if you have any tips?<P>Thanks Much and Good Luck Fishing

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Hey buddy... Your not alone. Rivers are a very elusive creature to grasp and try to tame. I have been studying rivers for the past 10 years and thought I was getting pretty good at it and my conficence was growing...... that was until I decided to head to TRF and try fishing over there for the first time ever..... Well... It was not a real good confidence builder LOL...

I landed the boat above the dam in that park. started out confused.. three rivers all of a sudden LOL... I tried graphing for fish but that did not work when the average depth was 3 feet.. found some deeper water, tried all sorts of techniques with only 3 bites... Got some local advice and headed below the dam to fish from the fishing piers... well after loosing about $20.00 worth of stuff in every cast into that rig eating snag heaven, I managed to bring in one Pike and almost got another type of fish to the shore but it also managed to run off with my rig.. LOL...

Maybe it was the major storm rolling in but I did not have any luck above or below the dam there....However... I want to put my two cents worth in for Theif River Falls....

BRAVO to you............ My first time visit over there was very shocking to say the least....

The boat landing was very nice, even a dock.. your river banks were beautifully lined with very ambishious and decorative land owners, your city has went out and made areas for fishing.... OH MY GOD... cement fishing piers, rod holders, well maintained areas... I was very impressed and will be back. I have been fighting with the city over here just to get the boat landing cleaned let alone places to fish from or keep it clean.. You however do need one thing.. a biat shop... could not find one any where...??

Any how.. just keep trying.. try everything.. make up stuff.. think like a fish and you will succeed. The only fish I got over there was using crank biats.. casting into the rappids and bringing it back to shore. bottom rigs are tough unless you dont mind loosing them...

hope this helps..

------------------
Wiskers Guiding Service
Red River, Red Lake River & Minnesota River,for Channel Cats, Flatheads & Walleyes
Crookston, MN
[email protected]

218-280-0442

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Thanks Rusty...

Atleast now I know I'm not the only one! I'll keep pluckin' away and see if I can figure em out.

------------------
CatMan

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Catmanlee,Whiskers, I,m glad to hear whiskers that you tried the "rivers" in TRF! Bait can be gotten at Erl's Mkt. on 8th and Main. By the looks of the amount of boat trailers at those ramps somebody must be catching something! River rats are notorious for keeping quiet!!! The Thief River is very high and muddy. I'd try the Red,hit some holes in the bends. Just before freezup try right where the rivers come together. Hopes this helps.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok here goes.. All I can say is wow...

I landed the boat at the sportsmans public access in RLF. I went up river about 9 miles before I decided I better turn around.. I went through a million rock rappids and now I have to go back down them to get home.. well... going up is much easier than going down them because you cant see the surface breaks when your above the rocks.. Plus there are a ton of leaves in the river now.. well Leaves and my intake for the Jet were not a good combo.. lol... I was down to an idle and unable to clean it out with out getting into the water. Might I remind you the water temps are about 50*... brrrrrrrr...

I floated down the river back to the bridge east of RLF. started walking back to my truck.. got a ride.. took the truck and trailer down under the bridge and loaded the boat there... wow that was a pretty big hill to go back up lol... I never did get any fishing in by the way.. .lol

I went back to the landing and headed up the Clear water river.. wow is that low... I made it as far as the areana, fished in some holes there... then headed back home..

Not much of a fishing day but was that an adventure... the looks on some of the peoples faces as I went by their homes was priceless.. I think with about a foot of water I could make it all the way to TRF and fish below the dam.. Now I am going to have to figure out how far by river it really is all the way to TRF. Kinda curious as to how close I was.

------------------
Wiskers Guiding Service
River Pro

Red River, Red Lake River ,for Channel Cats & Walleyes
Crookston, MN
[email protected]

218-280-0442

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You could make it after a good rain but there are many spots bewteen here in RLF where you won't find a foot of water. Please don't drive over us standing in our waders.

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Ya I think if there was about a foot more water I could make it..

There were many places I was running in less than a foot of water and wow the rocks.. man I have never seen so many rocks... Every corner there was another rock rappids..

I will watch for ya in the waders lol.. just dont fish around any corners, I cant stop it its too shallow LOL.. You might have to make a run for it.. LOL..

------------------
Wiskers Guiding Service
River Pro

Red River, Red Lake River ,for Channel Cats & Walleyes
Crookston, MN
[email protected]

218-280-0442

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • JerkinLips
      There were a lot of ATV/SxS running around the lake but I found it quite slippery even with AWD engaged.  I did see a couple of snowmobiles crossing the lake.  There is enough snow to keep the slides lubricated, especially when the temperature is above freezing.  If your track is studded that would help traction and slide lubrication.
    • SkunkedAgain
      It looks like it's ATV/SxS season on the lake. Snowmobile season is on temporary (or permanent) hiatus.
    • JerkinLips
      Was back Tuesday-Thursday this week after I discovered that walleye season ends on Sunday, February 25th.  I thought that the season has closed the last day of February in recent years.  I see that I fished on Monday, February 28th two winters ago so lucky I didn't get busted then.   The ice was in very good shape.  I found 15-18 inches of solid ice in the areas I checked.  There was no standing water on the ice and very little snow as shown in the 3 pictures of the McKinley Park landing from Thursday afternoon.  When the temperature was below freezing, the ice was very slippery.  When it warmed up mid day it wasn't as bad.  The landing was starting to deteriorate today, but with the cold weather on Friday it should freeze over.  It may start to get bad again by Sunday when it warms up.  Full size vehicles were still driving out close to Birch Island so apparently that path is still good.   Fishing was very good for late season.  Most of my walleyes were again 9-12 inches, but I did catch a 21, 24, and 27.  I was lucky to catch my limit of 14-15 inchers today to bring home for a meal.  The walleyes preferred small rainbows, but also liked lively chubs.  I caught four fish on the same small rainbow today when I was running low on small ones.  I finally gave up on that minnow when I went 20 minutes without a bite.  I had 3 rainbows come off the hook on their own; one when I dropped it in the hole and the other two when I dropped them to the bottom.  I think that happens when you hook them in the soft part of their body.  I caught my first tulibee of the winter (15 inches) and it really stunk up the house.  I also caught a lot of perch for the first time this winter.  I only caught 1 perch the previous 14 days I fished, but I caught 11 perch in these 3 last days, including six that were 11-13 inches long.  I wish I liked to eat perch so I could have kept them.  The hardest bite I had this week was by the pictured 8 inch walleye.  This little guy grabbed that full sized minnow and pulled it quickly to to bottom of the hole.  (However the 27 inch walleye did peel off a bit of drag bringing her in).  Morning bite from 830 to 1230 was best.   If you venture out the last weekend of the season, good luck.  Be cautious of ice conditions since the sun can really melt some holes in the ice this late in the season.
    • smurfy
      i cant speak for out that way but check the st cloud thread.......Rick gavee a pretty decent report on the ice around the area. he fishes a ton in the winter and is thinking of calling it quits............that tells me something!!!!
    • Mike89
      be careful!!  
    • mulefarm
      Thinking about one last outing, any information on the ice?
    • Brianf.
      There's not much snow left from what I can see on our Ring cam.  This is facing North across Niles Bay.  Also, the temp is 44 at this moment so what snow might be left is going fast.  
    • rundrave
      @Rick G   have you changed your approach or how you are fishing with no snow cover this year? It seems to really have changed things. Fish are spooky to  any movement above the ice.  Even just jigging a rod with your hand etc. spooks fish. Weed lines are not dying off etc., fish are staying up shallower etc.   I have had a lot more luck just dead sticking and bobber fishing and being away from holes or intentionally drilling holes in slush pockets or drifts to eliminate shadows etc.
    • smurfy
      Awesome cause Rick!!👍👍👌
    • Rick G
      Fishing has been pretty good for the most part with the exception of a slow day mixed in here and there. Been on a few different lakes in the last week. Ice conditions continue to fluctuate depending on warm and cold spells.  Right now there is 7-8 inches on the lakes I have been on. Snow cover is just about gone again, and with the warm days coming I think our ice season might be coming to an end locally.  Today I fished with a good buddy and we were on a mission... To find enough fresh fish to feed the folks at a local veterans home Friday dinner.  Mission accomplished!!!   Found a good mix of perfect eater size fish😁.   
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