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Snowman, I think your on the right track, yet you should try cut bait, worms, and or dip bait. I have fished the river from shore for quite a few years, not targeting any type of fish, and last year started to go just for cats. I started with little knowledge of river fishing, and have learned alot since then. I am by no means a river expert, as i post questions to try to better my self. I have however been in your shoes. and learned a few small things that took me from confused as H#ll and no fish, to confused as H#ll with fish in the boat.

first thing is to catch some bait. Small hook, night crawler, any where in the river for five min will catch you a gold eye, sucker, sheep head, or carp and maybe a cat. cut into chunks. (not the cat though)

Use a hook that hides well in the bait. big hook little bait = one bite wonders(one bite and you wonder where the fish went). small hook big bait = one jerk wonders.

fish no longer than 20 min with out recasting closer or farther from shore try diffrent curents fast/slow/non. I feel if i dont catch something in 20 min i can find a better spot (for that time of day).

fish every where. I used to read posts that said the fish are in the deep holes, or behind snags. so i would drive up and down the river looking for a deep hole, or a text book snag. I have caught more cats by accident than by theory. first question i asked was what is a deep hole. I feel that change in structure close to a bar works good. maybe ony 2 feet deeper than the average channel depth in that area.

next thing is time of day. I dont know the river well enough to say what time to fish what depth, yet i have seen spots go off and on during the day. just because you didnt catch something there before doesnt mean they wont be biting there today. If that were true, I would have to drive 3 hour north before i could fish. because i have fished every spot for 2 miles one day and didnt catch nuthin.

last, just fish!

remember im not an expert, just a man who has swore off the red river for years, and now cant believe what ive been missin all these years.

let me know when you headin out, maybe we can run it together.

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Join the boat, bud! I, too, have struggled. It takes a lot of practice and trial and error.
I heard early in the season you go for the deeper holes for these fish. I don't know if that's true of not.
Another thing is you are fishing in some very unseasonable weather. These cold fronts really mess up the fishing. Wait for some drier, warmer weather to warm the water and you might have better luck.
Fish for some fresh Goldeyes and cut them up and try those for bait. Keep putting fresh bait on the hook every ten minutes or so. The fresher the better. Goldeyes are very easy to catch (and fun). Worms are best, minnows work on a small hook or small jig.

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I'd stick to the cut-bait for bigger cats. Fresh cut sucker or goldeye will work great. Dip bait and crawlers catch the small guys. And don't hide the hook tip in the bait, leave it exposed. I'd keep the leader short or use no leader at all. Just let the sinker slide up to the hook. Maybe a bead to cushion the knot. You'll keep out of the snags better and the bait won't be caught up in the current so much. Much easier to cast also. Cats can't tell a sinker from a rock anyway. Fish the upstream side of the structure you are fishing. The cats will pick up the scent trail and come up to your bait. I like fishing in front of the snags, but also look for classic fish holding structure. Various current breaks, riffles, eddys, heads of holes etc. Just some suggestions. Vern

[This message has been edited by vern (edited 05-01-2002).]

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Snowman,
This here is old River, now I aint an expert either but I've been fishin the Red for the last three years pretty hard up in Grand Forks area. And I believe that there aint nothing better then chicken liver. I know every buddy says cutbait, but I'll tell you I've caught more fish between 20-30#'s on chicken liver than anything else and I haven't used nothing else in over a year. so get yourself to a log jam throw a couple hunks of liver out there and wait for those kitty's to start biting. If you get up to the Forks give me a hollar and we'll go slaye some cats. Good Luck

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[This message has been edited by fiskyknut (edited 06-27-2003).]

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Fisky,
we measured that cat roghly about thirty-seven inches give or take the marker on my boat goes up to 30 inches and he was a little over a hand length past that, I'm going to get his big brother tomorrow I'll let you know if I findem.

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[This message has been edited by fiskyknut (edited 06-27-2003).]

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Fisky,
I think I know where you are talking about by the two drains then you got the farm just over the bank to the west, we were about a good 2 miles north of there we found some real good jams on the east side, we got in between two jams and there was a tree about five or six feet under water if you could keep them from wrappin ya up in that darn tree you'd pull in a pile of em. Thats where I got him and I'm gonna hit that same spot tomrrow

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O.K., after reading the great reports on this forum yesterday myself and a buddy decided to make some changes in our schedules and go after the cats last night.(Fished from 5:30-9 P.M.) We launched from the Convent landing in Fargo and ran South, fishing along the way. We fished snags, holes, etc. all produced nothing. We used cut up smelt for bait, as their was not time to find anything else. For presentation we used 3 ounce weights and circle hooks on 3 foot leaders. My question is this - WHAT THE H*** ARE WE DOING WRONG? This is our 4th trip out on the Red (including the 3 late last summer) and we have caught 3 small cats between us. Is it location? Presentation? Bait? I am nearly at the end of my rope, especially since the reports here seem to say that the fish are jumping in the boat left and right. Any advice? Anyone want to come along and "teach" next time? Thanks in advance!

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[This message has been edited by fiskyknut (edited 06-27-2003).]

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