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Guest

I'm taking a couple of days to take my son fishing in two weeks or so. Last year we went to Leech Lake and got skunked on muskies, so this year we're setting our sights on getting skunked on some other kind of fish. Since Walleyes are extinct, we're thinking about trying catfishing. Years ago I used to shore fish the Buffalo river and a bit in the Red north of Fargo. Never caught much. Since we're pretty much open to anywhere between Wahpeton and the border, where is the best area for a couple of rank newbies to the catfishing game to start? I've got a boat now; I'll leave the nettles and mosquitoes and lovely Red River mud for the rest of y'all. We'd just as soon not get into an elbow-to-elbow situation, and we don't need world-record potential. A decent chance at a ten pounder, and a lot of smaller cats would be good. Do the Red River cats bite all day, or are they strictly nocturnal like they are other places?

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Guest

Most any area in the Central and lower Red right now will produce some cats. The Fargo area has good clean ramps these days, easy in, easy out.

Get some frozen suckers for cut bait and frogs if available, you will catch fish. D&H Baits just East of Dilworth MN can set you up on bait.

If you can catch fresh Mooneye for cut bait, the cats prefer it on most days. Keep the bait in a cooler and fresh as long as you can, fresh is best.

Good fish'n to you and your son.

------------------
Ed "Backwater Eddy" Carlson

Backwater Guiding "ED on the RED"
701-281-2300
[email protected]

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Guest

Right on, as allways, Ed!!!!!!!! I caught a 20+ under the Hendrum bridge off the bank. Quite a rumble. I don't have a boat.

She hit on a frog bigtime and the ole abbu was singing pretty good. That was Wed.just before dusk but some 3 lbrs. were common on suckers and cutbait like goldeye.

The people using crawlers were catching the little ones and a goldeye or 2. They're biting fairly well now.

The access there is primitive but useable now as the water went down. They still haven't fixed the boat ramp since 97 but a small boat had no problem last night.

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Guest

I figure we'll probably head to the Grand Forks area; the river's bigger, we can slide over to Red Lake Falls for a round of golf, and then there's, "but honey, I HAD to go to Cabela's, it's the only place I could get bait!!"
Where are the good ramps in the GF area? Minnesota side probably; I don't have my North Dakota (resident) fishing license yet, but I do have my Minnesota (nonresident) license. Go figure.

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Guest

You can fish the Red River with either a ND or MN fishing license, they have a reciprocating agreement on the Red. You can launch on either side too, no difference.

There is a good boat ramp near Cabela's in East GF, about a block S & W in the park.


[This message has been edited by Backwater Eddy (edited 07-29-2003).]

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Scoot

scubohuntr,

Just a thought- hire Ed for a day or a half day. You'll reap huge benefits and put your son on fish. More importantly, you'll learn a ton and have the knowledge to put your son on fish for the rest of the trip and in the future. It'd be money well spent.
Scoot

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Guest

Scoot,
I really wish I could, but there is just no way this year. I'm sure it would be worth every penny, but right now every one of those pennies is dedicated to frivolous things like mortgage and groceries. Maybe next year I can afford to do it right, and spend a day with Ed and a day with Stu up in Canada. That would be the way to really get the river figured out, I suppose. This year we'll just have to blunder along as best we can.

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fiskyknut

Scubo,
I'd suggest you keep going right past GFKS and head to Drayton. Fishing has been excellent there the past few weeks for Catfish of all sizes. The further north you are on the Red the bigger the fish average too. Crowds are less up here also. There is a ramp in town if you wish to fish above the dam, and a ramp at the dam for the waters below the dam. The ditches on the road to the dam near the beet plant lagoons are full of frogs. Goldeye and Suckers for cutbait are easy to catch at the tailout. I fish downstream of the dam more often than upstream of it, but there are a few good spots above it as well. If decide to hit the Drayton area shoot me an e-mail and I'll tell you of a few good Catfish spots that we've pulled some big ones out of lately. I was out there Saturday with a couple Nebraska folks and the Catfish are going crazy. We caught 9 fish over 33 inches with the biggest going 38, and a bunch {dozens} of smaller ones in about 5 hours of fishing.

Regards....Fisky

fiskyknut at yahoo.com

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Guest

Yup, it is getting pretty darn crowded around here these days. I did see one other boat out on the river yesterday?

Boy I hate them dang crowds Eh..Uf-Da!

[This message has been edited by Backwater Eddy (edited 07-30-2003).]

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fiskyknut

Uff-da....It just NEVER ends....Eh?

Your one boat on a Monday is twice as many as I see on the average weekend day up north here, but anyways.....

I was speaking of crowds in general not just boats....Shore anglers, traffic in town, peoples just cruising thru the access areas, partyers, criminals, ect.

Last time I drove thru GFKS or Fargo they sure seemed alot more populated than the big town of Drayton to me.

Miles of river on the Red that don't see a boat for weeks at a time thats for sure.

Over the past 4 years I've fished the HWY 175 area perhaps 35 or 40 times and have not seen another rig up there yet. I do see a rig or 2 on weekend days around Drayton sometimes though, pretty much have that strech of river all to yourself in a boat during the week most times.

GFKS should see some boat traffic this weekend with Catfish days going on! Good luck to any participants, wish I was there with you but can't seem to get drawn the past couple of years. Maybe 2004? I'll try again!

fiskyknut

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bklimek

Fiskynut...you've been catching some dandies eh? I have never fished below the Drayton dam and would appreciate some of those spots you were talking of. I am leaving next Thursday and will be fishing next Friday-Sunday. Shoot me an email at [email protected]

Thanks,
Butch

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Guest

Fiskyknut if you want to get in call Norm Block ASAP at 402-580-1535. He lost his partner and needs a partner with a boat for the GF event.

I would Norm is a good guy, but I have bookings all weekend.

Call fast if your interested!

------------------
Ed "Backwater Eddy" Carlson

Backwater Guiding "ED on the RED"
701-281-2300
[email protected]

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fiskyknut

Golly I wish I would have known this last week, just my luck though! I'm heading down near Redwing way on Friday morning to take a look at a Used Pursuit center console boat I've been eyeballing for LOTW use. Called them last week and they're gonna have it ready to plop in the water for me when I get there and iffin I wanna do any dealing I better not skip out on them!

Thanks for the heads-up though. Are you gonna be fishing it this year Eddy? I may mosey over to GFKS to watch the final weigh-in day and to do a bit of tackle shopping, my mom gave me a $50 gift certificate from Scheels for my B-day....What a great gift eh! Should'nt have a problem using it up.

Fisky

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fiskyknut

Oops Ed I see you have folks booked for the weekend so I guess you won't be around there.

Butch, I'll shoot a e-mail to you here in a bit after I figure how to describe areas to you via written {typed} words. May try and capture terraserver imagary or something to send....I'm kinda computer challenged for stuff like that though! Wife will be home around 4pm and she can help me with it.

Fisky

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bklimek

sounds good. Will you be in the area that weekend?

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fiskyknut

Butch,
Most likely be over there that way one of those days, I try to hit the Red at least once a week from now into October. Fishing is just too darn good on the Red to spend all my time on LOTW you know! Wife and I are still sporting only 1 running vehicle since last summers flood wrecked the other 2! My wife is going to GFKS on the 2nd for her new neices baptism and I may have her drop me off for a bit of shorefishing, then she can go spend time with her family in GFKS, and spend money in the malls of course!!! Iffin I get out there I'll look for you, I know what your rigs look like. Never know I may hook up with a friend and head that way, kinda hard 'cause most folks I fish with around here are too addicted to LOTW to go anywhere else! What a shame. I'll know more next week, keep in touch.

Eddy I sent you an e-mail in reply, got a question for you on there too.

Fiskyknut

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bklimek

Fiskynut:

Wondering what you would be doing next Friday? WOuld you like to jump in the boat with us for they day? Send me an email.

Butch

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Steve Foss

Scubo:

Wherever you go, if you have a choice of putting in above or below a dam, put in below. Cats often work upstream to feed as the water rises after rains, for example, and unless the dam is flooded, it acts as a barrier.

If the fish are moving upstream, there's not much point fishing immediately above a dam, is there?

That's not chapter and verse, because nothing's written in stone, but its better odds.

I've fished GF/EGF since 1971 for cats, moving away only a couple years ago.

If you fish that area, and it's a darn fine area, you can put in below Cabela's in EGF or below the old Riverside Dam at the public landing off Old Mill Road.

Wherever you put in, look for snags that are anchored to the bottom. Anchor upstream, leaving enough room so you can cast down to those snags, letting your bait/weight sink just upstream of them. Active cats in the snags will smell/taste the bait on the current and come up for it. Big snags near deep water are best all around. Early in the moring and late in the evening, start shallow. Fish deeper in the middle of the day. Look for deep holes, too, and anchor upstream of those at mid-day. Also, lots of places on the Red you've got a relatively shallow shelf that comes out from shore before dropping to the channel. Fish sometimes move up on those shelves to feed, and during low light you can find them there.

With two guys in the boat, four rods will easily cover a lot of depths.

There is 30-foot-plus water around Forks.
Below the Drayton dam, where the water is wider (after several tribs have added their water to the Red on the way north), I've found the water shallower, but have only fished a few miles downstream (north) of the dam. Haven't explored farther.

The cats do average bigger at Drayton than Forks. Typical day at Forks would yield a bunch of cats, with a few over 10, maybe one 15. At Drayton the action is similar, but size bigger. At Lockport, It's even more true. As best I know, there's no dam between Lockport and Drayton, so there's a LOT of water between the two for those active cats to move upstream in before hitting the Drayton dam.

They've converted the old lowhead dams in GF/EGF to rock/rubble rapids, partly to make it easier for fish to pass, but I'm still not sure how frequently cats navigate upstream through the rapids, or if they still act as barriers.

Wherever you go, have a great time. I sure do miss those cats!

------------------
"Worry less, fish more."
Steve Foss
[email protected]

[This message has been edited by stfcatfish (edited 08-03-2003).]

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Guest

Steve, thanks for your insights. We'll be giving it a shot this weekend, and your advice will help narrow down a lot of river into manageable pieces. Hopefully we'll be able to catch at least a couple of good-sized fish this trip. My "dad" status as a fishing expert is in serious jeopardy after striking out on muskies last year.
Fiskyknut, I sent you an e-mail taking shameless advantage of your offer of help. Thanks again.

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Guest

Catfish on the Red have been tracked on several studies reaching back to the late 70's.

They often travel hundreds of miles in a short time frame. One radio tracked cat was on the central Red and 2 months later was in Canada. A month latter it was back here stateside again. Movements of 300 miles in a month have been tracked by radio transponders embedded in catfish. Other studies were conducted by tagging.

The Red spills around the dams frequently so cats may go anywhere they like, often several times a season. With the reconstructed dams more species may make unrestricted movements fulfilling once hindered spawning runs, such was the case with the sturgeon.

Now most any species on the Red River basin may travel the entire length of the Red with ease. Two smaller low head dams remain to be reconstructed, or demolished, then the project will be complete on the US end of the Red. Then we will see if the Canadian part of the project will be fallowed through with. In the original US & Canada Red River Basin project design a section of the St. Andrews Dam would also be refitted to allow greater fish migration. Now that the flood way is complete it has merit to allow the final stage to begin. The existing fish ladder does allow movement past the St. Andrews Dam. An additional access way will increase movement at more water levels and seasonal flows.

------------------
Ed "Backwater Eddy" Carlson

Backwater Guiding "ED on the RED"
701-281-2300
[email protected]

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Guest

Okay, looks like we'll be heading up towards Drayton Friday morning. A couple of questions for the experienced Red River hands:
Where can a guy find big circle hooks in Fargo or GF? Cabelas? Scheels?
Where is a good camping spot around Drayton or in that general area, not spendy, doesn't have to be right on the river.
Are there lots of smaller "worms and chicken livers" cats around, to keep a twelve-year-old interested while we wait for the sumos, or should we head back down toward Fargo if the big girls aren't interested?
How stumpy is the river up there? Do I need to bring extra anchors along?
If you spot an 18 foot red Lund/Mariner 45 behind a rusty green Dodge, come on over and say howdy.

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fiskyknut

Hey Kevin....Did you get the info I e-mailed you yesterday afternoon? If not shoot me another mail as I went thru my Yahoo mail yesterday and deleted a bunch of mails including the one I got from you a few days back. Don't have your e-mail addy on account of figuring you'd be e-mailing me back.

I'm gonna be near Drayton Friday as well.

Regards....Fisky

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ibwhnt

scubohuntr, If you have to travel through Fargo I would stop at Scheels down there. I'm not sure if the shelves have been restocked since the Cat Incredible last weekend or not. I remember seeing #6 circles at scheels but am not sure what Cabela's has. I'm sure they have stocked but I would get a little tackle down there just to make sure. Good Fishing

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Guest

Well, we're back. We blew a tire on the boat trailer somewhere between Carrington and Cooperstown Friday afternoon, and of course the spare was flat, so we didn't get to Drayton until 9:00. Put the boat in below the dam for a few minutes and caught a couple of goldeyes. No lights on the boat, so we tried fishing from the bank for a while.

Apparently the water has dropped several feet in the last couple of days, because anything within fifty feet of the water is absolute, solid mud. There were already a couple of guys fishing at the only solid spot around (the boat ramp), so we had to brave the mud. Ben hooked a nice one and it got wrapped up in a log, so I went in after it. It broke off just as I got it untangled.

At this point, we had had about all the mosquitoes and mud we could take so we went back to town and tried the landing. I caught a 28" from there, and we talked to some guys from Missouri who had been at it all day. They had caught a 23 pounder in the morning, and a ten and a fourteen after dark. About 12:30 I caught another 28", and that was it for the night. At dawn we went back to the dam and put the boat in, and went about half a mile downstream. By 7:00 I had yet another 28", Ben had a 28" and a 31". A little later he caught another 28", and about 9:00 he tied into a sumo- 39" and 24 pounds, ten ounces. We tried to release this one, but we couldn't get it to swim, so it came back to town to the certified scale. So Ben got into the ND Whopper Club, with room to spare.

We bought some circle hooks at Cabelas on the way up, and they really rock! Very few missed hookups, and every one hooked in the corner of the mouth. We had a couple break off on the 20# leaders, wrapped up in rocks and whatnot.

[This message has been edited by scubohuntr (edited 08-10-2003).]

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fiskyknut

Way to go Kevin, I figured you'd have fun and do well. Enter that fish to in-fish's master angler program too maybe....congrats to your son, 39 inch 25 pounder is a fine catch. I heard on Saturday about a minivan pulling a boat out, must have left the Dodge at home huh. Glad that worked out okay for you too. I did'nt make it over that way till Saturday pm myself, you must have peeled out pretty early in the day. The water had dropped quite a bit since a week and a bit ago since I was there for sure, I was surprised it had dropped that far. That Red river mud gets kinda like butter eh!

Glad you had fun....Fisky

[This message has been edited by fiskyknut (edited 08-10-2003).]

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