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RED RIVER REPORT Central & Headwaters Region 01/23/02

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With the falling temps the ice is much better then it was just a week ago, just stay away from the dams. Use caution no matter what and check what your walking on often.

Some of the best walleye action as of late has been on the tributary rivers feeding into the Red River.

The plan is to start by looking for the sharpest bends on the rivers. These areas will often hold the deepest water and congregate fish and pray. Deep on many feeder rivers in the winter can range from 13' to 6'. Most good pools on small feeder tributary rivers that will hold walleye after dark will range from 4-8' deep, 5' is still a good hole on many.

The tributary walleye roam a lot after dark. Try to scout out and pre-drill all your holes early before dusk, map out the areas you wish to fish, find 3 or 4 good locations if possible, one will pay off.
Key night bite areas are transitions from deep to not so deep. That is the sweet spot, on the front or back ends of the holes. If they are not to aggressive they may lay in the deep section so have that pre-drilled just in case. Also look for pools with some cover near by, snag piles, bridges, and rock. Any structure can be good cover for food so the walleye will know that, they will eventually check it out.

Deep fish are not as active in comparison to shallow fish, so shoot for the shallow hunters at night. Try to keep the noise down, it makes a big difference, they will spook easy if you do not.
Jig aggressively, as in very aggressively, stir them up and then pause, then stir them up again. If your using a Vexilar you will see why pretty fast. They like the action and trigger more aggressively if you keep them pumped up and interested.

Two of the most effective river jigging presentations under the ice are the plain ball head jig (3/8-1/2), and the blade bait (1/2). Both work well in most situations you are likely to find on the Red River. Ball head jigs tipped with a fathead minnow or salted river shiner worked tight to the bottom tend to trigger most neutral to active walleye.

Blade baits (such as a ZIP lure or Sonar), large profile baits like Salmo Chubby Darters, or the Nils Master Jigging Shads worked aggressively trigger fish into a strike. They work best on active fish, but can trigger neutral fish into a strike. Blade baits may often function well without a bait option added to the lure on aggressive to active fish.

Neutral to sluggish fish I often find scent is key, so add a minnow head to the front or rear treble hook, or a shot of a spray on scent to the blade bait itself.
Try luminescent lure finish's and charge them with a camera flash or a flashlight. A tip-up rigged with a glow jig set up shallow at night while you jig aggressively near by can produce great results. Well worth the time to try it.

Good fishing and please practice selective harvest, keep only what you can use, release the rest to fight again. The larger the fish the greater the risk of heavy metal contamination, so keep 18" walleye or less for the table.

.......><sUMo> ~~~~ ><+>

------------------
"Ed on the Red"
Backwater Guiding Service
[email protected]
fishingminnesota.com/ed-on-the-red/

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Wow! Thanks for the great advice and report. I caught my first walleye through the Red River ice a couple weeks back. I want to go back, but I just have been struggling with time.

BWE- Would you recommend fishing during the night, more often during a full moon? I noticed the walleyes turn on after dark, but do they primarily feed for the first couple hours of darkness or all night? I'm thinking of sticking out a long night with tip-ups and jigging one of these days...say full moon period....

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The moon is our buddy at night, a little extra light helps all hunters.

You may see a peak in feeding over the full moon, if other influences don't mess it up first, like a huge cold front. Stable is good under any moon phase.

Flow is low so the river is very clear, this pushs more feeding cycles into the night.

Walleye are at there best as a hunter at night. To hunt the hunter you need to be where he will be, just be there first.

------------------
"Ed on the Red"
Backwater Guiding Service
[email protected]
fishingminnesota.com/ed-on-the-red/

[This message has been edited by Backwater Eddy (edited 01-23-2002).]

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Ed,
Thanks for your tips, at least i know now i was doing it right. I did everything that you mentioned on monday night but i didnt get a single strike. I was on trib. river below a dam (18+ inches of ice).
I set up a tip up in 8' of water with just a fathead and jigged a Zip lure tipped with a minnow about 8 ft away. I had 6 holes drilled at different depths and jigged em all. There is plenty of structure there also. I know this because i have plenty of tackle down there from last summer. I also made sure i stayed out of the current. I gues it wasnt my night. Had fun anyway as it was the first time out on the ice this year. Well thats why its called fishing, catching fish is the added bonus of being out there.

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Well you hit and then you miss, that was a miss but you learned the area better in the process. So it was not a lost trip.

Now back off from that dam and hit one major bend at a time and eventually you will hit fish.

I have a hunch where you were, I would have given it a shot too. They may be there yet ya never know, maybe try it again in a few days and see. The cold snap made fishing a bit harder the past few nights.

Keep looking, it will pay off eventually.

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Thanks Ed.
One of these days I will get back to the river when the weather is more stable and I find the time. I'll send some reports on here and hopefully positive reports at that!

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Scoot

I fished a tributary last night with a buddy about a 3/4 mile from the Red. We fished on the back side of a fairly sharp bend, but the deepest spot we found was only 6 feet deep. Fished in 5 feet off of the "deeper" water and also fished in between two snagpiles in about 4.5 feet. We had about a dozen holes drilled and moved around a lot, but we didn't manage to find anything. Not one single bite!
Ed, it sounds like the actual depth we fished in was alright, but we should have found a spot that was near deeper water??? To find this deeper water I assume you are typically talking about the backside of sharp bends- is that true?
Suggestions are more than welcome.

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Scoot give me a buzz at home tonight if you can. I may be able to help you.

701-281-2300

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Hey Ed...... I know I could look this up myself, but when does the season close on the two sides of the river down south? As you know we are closed the end of March but we can always go in to Ontario for another couple of weeks (mid April Closure for 'eyes).
So how was the fishing this weekend? I couldn't get out...had a bit of a bug frown.gif

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On the US section of the Red River it is open year around in ND.

MN has slightly differing regulations, be sure to read and understand both first.

You need to fallow the spring conservation regulations that apply to the Red River and it’s associated tributaries as agreed upon by ND & MN.

The Spring Conservation Season begins on March 1 and runs through the first Saturday in May.

Limits on walleye or combination of sauger or saugeye are 2 under 18" and the OPTION to keep 1 over 28".

So 3 is the potential daily limit. But if you decide not to keep a one over 28", you CAN NOT keep an additional fish less than 18" to compensate.

Catch all you want, just keep 2 eaters is what we do. We NEVER keep the fish over 28"! We treat walleye over 28” as an ethical mandatory release, although legally you may keep one over 28”.

Northern Pike is 3 a day, 6 in possession.
No fish to exceed 27", larger then that they all go back.

Catfish is continuous and does not close.
Daily limits are the same as always for the Red River system.
Five a day with only 1 to be in excess of 24".

MN has slightly different regulations then ND, so as a non-resident under some situations it pays to get a ND permit.

ND & MN do differ as to what constitutes a tributary and also how far you may enter into tributaries. So make sure to note the differences. MN watches this closely.

Resident license fee- $10
Husband and wife fee- $14
Resident over 65 fee- $03
Resident disabled fee- $03 (Available at the ND office of the NDG&F only in Bismarck ND.)

ND Non resident licensee fee's;

Nonresident single fee- $25
Nonresident Husband & wife fee- $35
Nonresident 3 day fee $10
Nonresident 7 day fee $15

See the details at the links below.

www.dnr.state.mn.us

www.state.nd.us/gnf

Hope your bug gets better soon bud!

------------------
"Ed on the Red"
Backwater Guiding Service
[email protected]
fishingminnesota.com/ed-on-the-red/

[This message has been edited by Backwater Eddy (edited 02-04-2002).]

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Scoot

Ed,

I haven't checked the board since I posted that last message so I missed your post. I'll try giving you a call in the near future and see if I can get a little pearl of wisdom or two.
Scoot

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Scoot

Ed,

I've tried calling the last couple of nights and I've only reached a busy signal. I finally got through last night and got your answering machine. I'll just be patient and keep pestering you!
Scoot

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I was out on the river.

A friend was working on my computer setting up some new stuff for me. She must have had it tied up tell after 10:00 pm?

What I seen last night was a lot of blank looking Vexilar screen, not good. I picked a looser spot, or the bite was dead?

I will be headed west today, not sure how far yet?

------------------
"Ed on the Red"
Backwater Guiding Service
[email protected]
fishingminnesota.com/ed-on-the-red/

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