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Guest

Anyone get cats in here? All channels I assume? If so where? What size cats have you seen? I've heard some rumers. Catch and release only. Love those Ottertail River smallies!

Dan

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Guest

About any part of the Otter Tail River will produce a few channel cats. The predominance will be in the section from the Orwell Dam to the confluence of the Red River in down town Wahpeton ND.

All sizes of channel catfish roam in and out of the Otter during the warm water period, usually starting in April and running to late October. I have caught a few over #20 in the Otter Tail, on average most are #3 - #8.

Most of the common baits for channel catfish will do fine. Try cut sucker, cut goldeye, dip baits like Junnie's Extra Sticky Cattracker, worms, sour minnows, frogs, ect........stuff like that.

From the confluence of the Bois De Sioux River and the headwaters of the Red River look up into the Otter Tail River a few miles. This would be my best bet in early spring for active channel catfish. Depending greatly on the run off water temp, and water levels.

Good luck.

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[This message has been edited by Backwater Eddy (edited 02-15-2003).]

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DARK30

The section of the Otter Tail right below Orwell Dam is one of my favorite spots to hit when I'm in the area. The large fish are becoming fewer but Channel cats are there for sure. Try cut bait, crankbaits or bobber and a minnow. The Smallmouth are a hoot too!...good thing they're C&R.

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cast,cast,cast,cast......

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fish4ever1000

Thanks for the info guys. I'd like a little more info reguarding those smallies, Dark30. I've done well below the Orwell Dam, but I'm looking for smallie water a little closer to the East side of Fergus on the Ottertail river. I've seen the signs posting no-kill smallie water all over but haven't caught any above that dam right in downtown Fergus. Do you know if there is even a catchable population above Fergus? Thanks in advance.

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Guest

fish4ever1000,

Great question. Post it on the Ottertail forum and see what happens.

FLB

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DARK30

I haven't done much fishing upstream from Fergus so I can't tell you much. I have been to the Phelps Mill dam a couple of times but I only caught some crappies and northerns there. I would like to check out the outlet at Rush Lake down to where it enters Otter Tail sometime though.

I usually make it up there only a few times a year (To the inlaws) and I spend most of my time fishing below Fergus and out towards Breckenridge.

------------------
cast,cast,cast,cast......

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Gissert

The DNR has planted smallies in the stretch of river between Diversion dam and the Otter Tail Power plant. Half log structures have also been planted in that stretch of river.

There is an access east of Fergus on hwy 210 that would be a good spot to drop a canoe in.

I don't think that that stretch of river gets much pressure, as the lot at the access is almost always empty.

I do not think any smallies have been stocked above Diversion dam.

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Guest

Gissert,

Specifically, where is Diversion Dam, and what is the name of the dam that forms Red River Lake? Thanks.

FLB

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Gissert

FLB -

Diversion dam is north of Hoot lake on the NE side of Fergus. As you are going out of town on #1, after you cross the channel connecting Hoot and Wright lakes, there is a road called Diversion Drive. Head north on that, and you run right into the dam.

The dam that forms Red River Lake is called Friberg Dam.

That is a nice stretch of river to float in a canoe from Diversion Dam to the access on Hwy 210. A better put in point is the bridge on #1 just before you get to Hwy 18. We used to do that trip a couple times every duck season, but there are too many houses IMO to hunt that stretch any longer.

Diversion dam sends a good amount of water to the power plant, so sometimes flows on that stretch of river can be quite low. Lots of rocks in spots, especially if you float the stretch past the Hwy 210 access.

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Guest

We have caught large SM Bass all the way up the Otter Tail darn near to the lake. Below the power plants are a good spot to wade or fly fish them.

The water jumps up and down over the course of the day in the summer, by peak demand.

You can be standing on a gravel bar at 7 AM, and at 3 PM catching SM of 2' of water on top of them same gravel bars.

Great spots to net bait too, very good!

East of Elizabeth are some interesting spots.

wink.gif

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Guest

Gissert,
Thanks. I know where the canoe access is off #1. So the smallies range is just to Diversion, but not to Friberg? I catch some real quality LM in Red River Lake, but have yet to see SM bass, even in the upper reaches, i.e. "river" portion. I've never actually been to Friberg dam on the west end, but I would assume that if the Diversion-to-Friberg stretch holds SM, that ditching the boat on RR Lake and wading below Friberg might be an option?

BWE,
You posted a link to an arial map service at one time. Could you repeat that? A hard drive failure cost me the link.

FLB

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Gissert

FLB -

The stretches below Friberg may be a bit deep for wading once you get beyond the tailrace. The design of the dam there is unusual. The powerhouse is downhill, remote from the dam. Just below the dam there are some nice riffles, but it tends to get deeper around the first bend. After the river crosses the first county road downstream (cant remember the road #) is starts to get a bit deeper yet, eventually opening up into a wide spot above Diversion dam.

I'd love to hit the stuff below Diversion sometime this summer. Maybe we could hook up? I have a nice stable flat bottom duck boat that I made in high school (Underwood) that would work well in that stretch.

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Guest

Gissert,

I've spent many hours this weekend studying the arials of the river system between Friberg and Diversion Dams (thanks, Ed). I'd be thrilled to do some exploring on the river. I've got several "river" boat options, too, ranging from a canoe, 2 kayaks, a 2-man Bass Baby w/2.5hp, a little 14' Lowe w/6hp, and a 16' bass-jon w/25hp. Upstream trolling can be a great way to do some searching while covering some ground. Send me a message to [email protected] and we'll stay in touch. We're on Heilberger Lake part-time, so we're just a couple of miles from the OT River.

FLB

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Guest
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