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The catfish bite on the Lower Red River in Canada has been, and is now, very good.

Locally in the Central Red Region the bite has been slow to fair. The spawn is approaching and it will get much slower before it gets better again. I suspect the channel catfish spawn in the Central Red River Basin to commence in a week, a bit earlier then normal.

Back to that big cat bite up North. We were up on the Red last week and it was Hot, 40-60 big cats a day was not too tough to do.
Fresh cut Goldeye was key for bait, next was shrimp, or prons. Cuts in the day, shrimp and the like at night was the basic pattern.

You will find Big cats in numbers up in the shoots, in the miracle mile channel, and all the way out to the lake. Larger groups of cats were congregated at the Lockport Dam.

If you go you should stock up on a couple of rigging options. Carry 4-5 oz teardrop weights for working the shoots at the dam. You want that bait to stay put, dragging will just Lead to a lost rig. Show patience, them cats will find the bait soon enough.

For most of the other cat work carry 3 oz. No-Roll style sinkers. The No-Roll is the way to go, often down river 2 oz will do where 4 or 5 oz's of any other style would be barely enough in this flow.

Hooks should be 6-8 O/T on circle or Kahle styles, shank works but not as well in my opinion. Bring lots of large barrel swivels also, snags can and will happen.

I also recommend some surgical tubing to cut into 1" chunks. Slip this between the weight and the barrel swivel, add a bead between the weight and the tubing, this adds extra knot protection and a bit of sound to the rig. This will help to protect the knot from wear and you will save on tackle. Make your leader test just a bit lighter then the lain line test. So when you hang up the hook you can save the bulk of the rigging once snapped loose.

One more consideration that is key if you fish the lower Red is anchors.

The lower Red is not your average river, serious anchor's are needed to hold well.

Most go down just fine, and if they do manage to hold, you may not get them back again. The Lockport dam eats anchors like them Sumo cats eat Goldeye Eh!

Bring a spare anchor, or two, with at least 50' of 1/2 cotton rope. Cotton rope has the give needed, it aids in holding in the faster water. Plus cotton rope is far easier on the hands, keep gloves handy too. Nylon rope often will shear off in the rock, a poor choice up North on the Red, or on many dams.

I have a friend in Valley City ND. who has made one serious River anchor system. They weigh about 35 pounds and will hold the biggest V-hulls in the roughest of rivers, plus they are far more retrievable then others systems. We designed them just for the Red and other big River systems with Dams, they work very well. If interested drop me an e-mail and I will give you his info so you can contact him.

Oh, bring a good net. A light to med duty walleye net will not cut it! 9800_ProFormance.jpg I strongly recommend the Frabill line of landing nets, especially the Halibut net. Get a net that tangles less and will handle sumo cats all day long for years to come. Check out the Frabill Live Well Net system too, darn handy for them large live baits like Mooneye and Goldeye. 1295LiveWellLiner.jpg Keep you cut baits fresh tell you need them. That will up your odds for a real Sumo Piggy channel cat here on the Red River.

Yup..Yup...The velocity of the flow is up on the Lower Red, that brings them big cats up in numbers to the dam to feed.

A very good time to Rock on big cats Eh!

Ed "Backwater Eddy" Carlson

[email protected]

"Backwater Guiding" on the net. http://ed-carlson.fishingbuddy.com

~ ~ ~ ><,sUMo,>


[This message has been edited by Backwater Eddy (edited 06-03-2003).]

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Nice report Eddy, Real sorry I missed U o the Red but later, right eh. Just got back to home late last nite but the lawn looks like a jungle it took me 7 hrs to get it back looking like a lawn. Have many other chore before I can try and wrestle a couple of those sumo's but one must do what one must, it is hard living up here. Let me know when U come up and I will book a couple of days that we can swap a few tricks and areas.
When I was away I was able to check a few websites and kept up to date on the Red and saw some guys were having trouble getting cats and thought, what, that shouldn't be and now I see it wasn't the fish but the fishermen,

Yes, we will do the corking...and maybe some crank baits tooooo.

U write a mean report nice to see.

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Good-Day, Sir Ed,
Haven't posted on you for a year!!
So how's the pike fishing on the red around fargo these days. I'm not much on Kittys and I just haven't been able to get down there as much as last year. i check in on the board every so often and I think you are doing a fantastic job. I've told dozens about the board and your services. No this isn't a promo speech. Just a way to say,
Keep up the good work!! grin.gif
Perhaps seeya on the red. StM

Need trout or pike flies!
[email protected]
And good luck out there!

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • BartmanMN
      Thanks Cliff. I am coming up for my week of paradise tomorrow as well.
    • tacklejunkie
      The last two times on the river have been slow to say the least. Trolled Shipping channels, river channels, and all the flats. Crawler harnesses and crank baits. Anybody having any luck out there?
    • gimruis
      If the water is that clear and you can see 17-20 feet down, the fish will be very spooky.  And if the sun is out, they will be looking for relief from the sun in the form of shade.  Night time might actually be a better option.
    • gimruis
      Not terrible.  But they can be merciless, I will tell you.
    • Mike89
      below the darn is a park there too if I remember right, Plus Garden City has a park by the river too I think..
    • Rick
      Good fishing in the Blue Earth river too. Also, a short drive to Rapidan can be productive.
    • Wanderer
      Welcome to the site @eg_gophers2124 I have never even seen the lake but these screen shots might help. Navionics Judging by the Lake Finder report, it’s a super clear lake; 17-20 foot clarity but with plenty of weeds. A couple shots of the weed report. Starting from scratch, I would head to the southwest area.  The southern basin has better looking structure too. You might do well simply working edges of the emergent weeds with spinnerbaits in low light and weedless frogs or spoons up in the weeds when it gets to be mid day.  Crawler under a slip bobber on the weed edges could do well also. It’s purely guessing on my part.  Hopefully someone with experience on the lake will chime in. Good luck!
    • Mike89
      walked that creek to the river many years!!!  again home area!!!!  
    • Rick
      Bring your spinning rod and fish for walleyes or white bass at the confluence. Wherever the river is pounding the shoreline fish the current breaks for big flatties. Heavy fiberglass rod with a sturdy baitcaster and 50 lb power pro line will be effective. Fish the head of snags for channels. Setup just like a Lindy rig for them with 1 oz to 5 oz no roll sinker and a big live bait like a 7" bullhead or even larger sucker for flatties. Use cut strips of bait off a large sucker or something similar for channels. Frogs can be good too. Have fun.
    • ifishwalleye
      Thank you Vermilliongold. This took care of the problem.