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Drayton area fishing. 08-20-03


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Well I made my maden voyage to Drayton yesterday. Wow is the water low there. Careful if you use the ramp below the dam. Very steep and with a large boat you will swamp the back end. The water level was average of 2-3 feet. Could not get my boat even close to the dam.

Still got some good cats down river. Hemolck went with along with a fella from North Carolina. We had a blast!!!

Hemlock hooked onto his first cat ever, Almost 20#. I do believe he is also now addicted. Fished till dark then loaded the boat and fished from shore till about 11:00. Got about 12 cats, 30 mosquito bites, 1/4 inch of mud from toes to knees. LOL Was the most fun ever had getting dirty.

Small boat is recomended for that area.

Used suckers, not a bite. Steak, all the bites. Did not have frogs.

Between Hemlock's Canadian bacground, Jason's NC background and my OK background, it was a trip we will never forget. Ribbs still sore from hours of laughter.

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Wiskers Guiding Service
Red River & Minnesota RIver Channel Cats, Flatheads & Walleyes
Crookston, MN
[email protected]

218-280-0442

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Hey sounds like you guys had a blast. Congrats to Hemlock on his first Catfish, a dandy one for a first no doubt! Swamp the back of the boat....Why? What kind of boat do you have? I've never had a problem like this, even as steep as that ramp is. Put Mr Pike 18, and a 20 Alaskan both with 115's in without incident there many times, last week there were some folks in a good sized glass Yarcraft with a bigger motor {100+] on it and they looked okay going in and out. Sounds like the water has dropped even more in the past week. Does your sonar have a keel offset feature set on it? I was tied up to the big long branch sticking off that big tree that's wedged over the lowhead one nite a bit back and had 4-5 foot motoring up to it....and the scour hole was 7-8 foot. Did you guys get any rain last nite out that way? Any rain in the Valley anywhere yesterday? We could sure use some, my frog catching spots are about all dried up! I better head over to Springsteel today and stomp those ditches near the lake to get frogs for tomorrow, afraid my froggy spots on the trip west may be all dried up by now!

Fisky

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Wiskers hit the nail on the head, we had a blast. Like he mentioned, I got my first cat! A beauty, and boy was it fun to set into and play up stream to the boat. Definately a strong fish.

We had all sorts of weather in our few hours there. Hot, calm, sunny, windy, stormy, lightning, and about 2 or 3 10 minute downpours.

The ramp issue...I don't know, I was driving the pick up and I couldn't see much. Wiskers has a '03 Alumacraft Magnum 175 w/115 Honda, not sure why the rear got wet.

All in all a new and great experience for me. Wiskers did a fine job getting us on fish, although I felt we were in a bath tub at times with the shallow water. It makes a guy doubt his electronics, but when you put the net in the water and only half of the net goes under before bottom, you have your answer. Thanks again Wiskers for a great experience! I'm hooked on kitty's!

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Hemlock
"Throw'm back"

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Well the water must have went down some since you were there? The water was rushing in over the back of the boat like crazy, it was soo steap and with that 115 hp honda 4 stroke, " ship anchor", it could not float up with the angle of the trailer. We ran aground trying to get to the dam. A couple small boats were up there catching fish but they too were hitting rocks and bottom getting back to shore. We also met another Fishing MN Prostaff up there... ummm crud now I forgot his name. ô¿ô. The lightning must have gotten too close.
Any how it was great to meet another fellow FMN addict.

The water level was below the end of the ramp where it drops off at a steap angle.

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Wiskers Guiding Service
Red River & Minnesota RIver Channel Cats, Flatheads & Walleyes
Crookston, MN
[email protected]

218-280-0442

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You did'nt reach the end of the ramp with your trailer wheels did you? Is this what you meant when you said "water level was below the end of the ramp where it drops off at a steep angle". We definetly need rain soon, seems everytime I've been there over the past 2 weeks or so it's down another foot or more! Much lower and it'll be as low as I've ever seen it in years past. Yikes! Amazing how the water can so quickly fall and rise on the Red river for sure.

Thats a tricky ramp when the waters this low for sure, I suppose a guys trailer set-up can make a difference as well. The low water sure makes the fishing easy though!

Fisky

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Yeppers that is a bit tricky there. Have you fished above the day yet this year? Is that pretty good up there? I would imaguine it's deeper up there.

I will just have to bring my 14' next time.

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Wiskers Guiding Service
Red River & Minnesota RIver Channel Cats, Flatheads & Walleyes
Crookston, MN
[email protected]

218-280-0442

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Rusty,
I've fished above it twice so far this year. One time pretty good, the other not so good! The not so good time was a river condition thing, or I have at least convinced myself of this anyways! We could'nt get boat in below the dam as the parking lot there was a mud field and impassable, water level was near the top of that ramp at that time, you know how this river gets sometimes!. Differences here are simular to above and below the Riverside dam you're familiar with, deeper with a bit less current on the upstream side when the waters at normal or lower flows. There are 4 good spots I fish between the ramp and the dam, 3 of them anyways should be very obvious to you. Once you get 3-4 miles south of town it starts to get shallower again, turning back to a kind of runs and holes river again with a few midriver and shoreline snagpiles here and there, mussel beds and holes and what not. Lot's to explore out this way. Seems the big fish are fewer above the dam, below the dam I expect at least 1 or 2 anyways in the 20# class to be boated per trip, when I'm above it my hopes are not quite this high! They are in there though, 3 years ago I had a father/son on a trip, kid C&R'd a mammoth broad shouldered fish just a hair over 40 inches which turned out being the largest fish boated of the season for me. This fish was caught where we had tied up to a 3 inch metal pipe which you should see if you head towards the dam from town....hint! Average size of fish is usually good above the dam, numbers/action usually okay, and there also seems to be fewer pecker kittys, madtoms, and assorted roughfishes {Walleyes!} picking at your baits than you find in the strech below it.

One things for certain, you will like the ramp in town more so than the dam ramp!

I'm hoping to get out tonite somewheres, a bud is supposed to be getting out of work early, hope to get out of town by 3pm. Went and caught a mess of frogs last evening, all big 1/4 pounders! Could'nt find any medium sizers at all, just these darn humungous ones.

When you thinking of heading up this way again?

Best regards....Fisky

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Hey guys,

It was nice to meet you as well, always a plesure to put an FM'er face with a name. Sounds like you had about as good a trip as us, sent Rick a pic of that big girl I got...have to see if he gets it up.

Wish I could go back soon but that is a haul for me. What is the fishing like around Oslo, that would be a little closer?

Take care guys!

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First Choice Guide Service
The Cass Lake Chain
FirstChoiceGuide.com
Phone: (612)730-9620

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Fishing around Oslo is decent, as is the case on all of the Red. I personally don't think you'll find better fishing than the Drayton area in US waters. Up near the HWY175 access is very close though, with less fisherfolks too, but this is further for you yet {about 20 miles}. Fish usually average bigger as you get further north and there is survey data that supports this. To me it seems the better fishing is on the downstream side of the dams. Oslo is 25 miles south of Drayton via 75mph interstate. You should some time try and fish up in the Selkirk/Lockport area of the Red in Manitoba. Hate to say it but as good as the fishing is on streches in the US its a far cry from the quality of the fishing up that way....Totally amazing the numbers of BIG fish a guy can get into up that way.

Fisky


[This message has been edited by fiskyknut (edited 08-22-2003).]

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I hope to get back up there some time this week end.

Has any one been up by hallock landing much? I want to get up there too maybe this weekend. I have been told that the cats are pretty good size up there if you can navigate towards the canadian border.

Maybe we can hook up this weekend some time?

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Wiskers Guiding Service
Red River & Minnesota RIver Channel Cats, Flatheads & Walleyes
Crookston, MN
[email protected]

218-280-0442

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Brian,

Nice to place the face with you too. Thanks for the advice on shallow waters, you weren't joking. I think some of the locals were "making fun" at us and the size of our rig. Oh well, we were comfy and didn't do any damage. As Wiskers stated, I caught my first one and had a ton of fun with it. I think he sent a pic to Rick too, so maybe we'll both be on it? How big was yours anyways?

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Hemlock
"Throw'm back"

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I fished on the Red Lake River in Crookston yesterday and caught about 30-40 cats from 12:30 to 7:30 in the afternoon. It was great! Frogs and goldeye were the ticket. They were absolutely slamming the frogs, I went through about 50.

They averaged about 24" give or take with one 30" and about 5 in the upper 20's. I need to get a scale so I can get some weights on these pigs.

I am hooked on these cats, almost to the point of being unhealthy. I guess there are worse things to be addicted to other than fishing. Oh well.

Now all I need to do is learn how to catch those big ol' walleyes that I hear so much about.

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Ryan Timmer
Warroad and Crookston, MN

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timdog:

Wow sounds like you did very well.. I hope to maybe hit the river here today also.

Gonna get some frogs after work and head down there. Check out Ceason's Bait, they got some good deals on scales in there for ya. Try fishing off the bridge on Woodland by the PD in the evenings, that is pretty good also and you got light to fish by. Just make sure you have another person with you for netting under the bridge. LOL

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Wiskers Guiding Service
Red River & Minnesota RIver Channel Cats, Flatheads & Walleyes
Crookston, MN
[email protected]

218-280-0442

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Timdogg:

Yes, I enjoy fishing out on the bypass under that bridge. There is a large sand bar on the north side you can set up on and cast out across the river to the large hole just under and after the bridge. There has been some real large cats taken out of there. Last summer a fella from IA caught and released almoast a 30#. cat from there.

That bridge by the arean, or any bridge above the dam has not produced any fish for me in years. I have yet to catch a fish above the dam for some reason. I have tried form shore and boat all over but no luck. I am thinking that the water is so slow in town and the dark water causes it to heat up and not hold Oxygen to keep the bait fish and cats in there.

However if you do have any luck for petes sake let me know, LOL.

Keep that line tight...........

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Wiskers Guiding Service
Red River & Minnesota RIver Channel Cats, Flatheads & Walleyes
Crookston, MN
[email protected]

218-280-0442

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I will have to try that bridge sometime. Are there any other spots in the area other than the dam that you can get to from shore? I was thinking maybe the bridge on hwy. 2 just before the arena might be worth a shot. There are a couple pillars in the water that break up the current a little(if there is still any current at all!).

If the fish keep biting like they are I won't need to try anywhere else, but I don't like fishing with alot of other people either. I need to find a few more reserve spots just incase.

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Ryan Timmer
Warroad and Crookston, MN

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Hemlock,

Not sure how much a 35-36 inch cat weighs but it was some where in that length. Did you measure your big one?

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Brian,

We measured length to be 39, if I recall correctly. Digiscale was "missing" so Rusty guess high teens, maybe 20 lbs.

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Hemlock
"Throw'm back"

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We weighed a 39" at Drayton a couple of weeks ago- 24 pounds, ten ounces. Wasn't a particularly tubby fish, either- just about average proportions for a big cat. The guy whose scale we borrowed guessed seventeen or eighteen. They're heavier than they look, I guess.

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Cool.....wish we had weighed it now!

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Hemlock
"Throw'm back"

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