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Red River Report 08/29/2003

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RED River of the North
Date 8/29/2003
Location Central and Headwaters Region
Water Temp 73
Stage (Fargo South) 13.8
Flow 142
Technique Cutbait rigging & Crankbaits

The catfishing and increasingly so the walleye fishing is very good on the Red River of the North.

In the recent weeks we have seen exceptional catfishing on most of the Red River system. One of the best seasons I have seen in a while in fact. Lots of big cats plus numbers of eater sized cats on most every outing. Some of the best baits have been fresh cut Goldeye and frogs.

Frogs will increasingly be the hot bait as the calendar creeps into fall, for catfish and walleye alike. Crankbaits run along shallow structure in the evening has produced some very nice walleye in recent days. Soon we will see more of a nocturnal bite if traditional fall patterns hold true. Oversized plastics have also proved to be valuable in the fall, sumo sized tube baits are one I definitely like. wink.gif

Decreasing water levels has us concerned and limits boat accessibility and safety on many sections of the Red. The past week has seen some of the lowest levels in recent memory. This is partly due to work under way the Orwell Dam on the Otter Tail River, that has now been completed. We should see the river on the rise soon. We do need rain, plenty of rain to get the system full again.

A mysterious an isolated fish die off appeared on the Red just North of Fargo this past Sunday. It was a very representative type fish kill, everything from catfish to pike were hit, and everything in between. All sizes and all age groups in a small section of the Red River were found on snags and floating free on the Red. A fish kill is a very disheartening sight for any lover of rivers like myself.

The MN DNR and the NDG&F plus many other water quality agencies were fast on the scene investigating the incident. Water and tissue samples have been collected to try to isolate and identify the culprit.

What we see so far is it has been limited and in not showing any sign of continuing. No new kills have been discovered since the one last Sunday. So that is encouraging. Toxicology reports are due soon so we should have more to work with to determine the cause or causes of the incident.

Anglers and the public is encouraged to report any suspicious activities associated with the Red or storm drains feeding into the Red River in the past week or so. You may pass that information along to the MN DNR or the EPA.


For the last minute trip planner on this Labor Day Weekend, how about a little catfishing among friends?

Backwater Eddy's B-Day "Frog Stomp" & catfish gathering 2003.

2003 Frog Stomp Info link below.


Please Do Not Driver Drunk or operate a boat under the influence!

Live to fish another day!

Have a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend Holiday.

Ed "Backwater Eddy" Carlson

Ed Carlson
Backwater Guiding
10409 CO. RD #17 SO.
Horace, ND. 58047-9500

[email protected]

To find "Backwater Guiding" on the WWW.

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Thanks for the update, Ed. I'm looking forward to the walleye season cranking up pretty soon. Maybe we can get out and chase some greenbacks sometime in the near future. I've got some more ideas about where to try that catfish/walleye technique you showed me on the Sheyenne last fall. I'll call them my new "double-top secret hotspots". I can't wait to get out and chase some eyes!!!
Is it just me, or is fall definitely the best time of year to be alive! grin.gif

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This past weekend the very low flows and low water levels had the bite a Little slow. The best overall bite was in the very early morning hours and again after dusk.

Tough to find a magic bait for the cats, frogs and cuts were about the same. Frogs got the most hits yet the cats were not holding baits well, or for long.

We didn't target walleye much so no new reports there. We did catch several very nice SM Bass on a few spillways on the Red. Last week we found a mixed bag of SM and walleye on these same areas. Once we again see a cooling trend I feel the walleye action will pick back up.

The lower Red on the Canadian end has already seen a interesting walleye bite develop. Keep your eyes on that one folks, it may be a great fall up North for big walleye!

Ed "Backwater Eddy" Carlson

Backwater Guiding "ED on the RED"
[email protected]

[This message has been edited by Backwater Eddy (edited 09-08-2003).]

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...   Ice fishing continues strong and it is still winter on the border.    Overnight temps in the teens and twenties are maintaining ice nicely.  Fishing continues to be excellent.  It has been an incredible year for walleyes and saugers with both numbers and size.     Resort fish houses and sleeper fish houses are available.  Some ice roads are allowing pickup trucks pulling wheelhouses as well.  Check with each individual ice road for specific limits.   As always, and certainly this year, it is important to stay on the resort ice roads.  It is tempting to go off on your own as there isn't much snow, but that is a risky move any time of the year.  Resorts and outfitters keep their roads on the best ice and monitor it numerous times per day.   Lake of the Woods enjoys an extended ice fishing season each year.  Fish houses are allowed on the ice through March 31st, the walleye / sauger season goes through April 14th and the pike season never ends.   The majority of ice fishing for walleyes and saugers is taking place in 24 - 34 feet of water.  Jigging one line and using a live minnow on the second line is the way to go.   Pike anglers fishing shallower shoreline breaks and reporting good activity and big fish.  Pike activity will only increase as we approach the month of March.  Arming your spread with a mixture of live and dead baits will allow you to quickly figure out what the pike wants that day. Alewife, smelt, herring, numerous sizes of live suckers, or even large shiners work well. On the Rainy River...  Most ice fishing is taking place on the lake.  There are a couple of resorts that ice fish on the Rainy River.  Know ice conditions or work through a resort or outfitter for safety.    The river is open east of Birchdale.  Those who enjoy the spring open water season on the river are optimistic the river will open early.  Is your boat and fishing gear ready when it does? Up at the NW Angle...   Another very good week of ice fishing up at the Angle.  Walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch, eelpout, pike and some big crappies in the mix.   Water conditions are clearer this winter compared to most.  For that reason, the morning and evening bites have been stronger than midday overall. Jigging one line and deadsticking the second line is the way to go.  Electronics help in determining what the fish want that given day and will up your catch of fish.   Ice fishing has been excellent, come on up.  It's still winter on the border! 
    • Kettle
      There's only one Waterfowl guide in the country that I went to. He runs about 20 trips a year. So he harvests about 185,000 less teal a year than some of the individual southern states. In MN, lots of the teal are gone before the early teal season 
    • leech~~
      Wow, don't want to be one of those guys.  But, you don't think such liberal limits down there, hurts the northern population next spring?  
    • smurfy
      Kettle..........we really didnt have a winter.......even up in your neck of the woods!!!!!👍🤣
    • Kettle
      I only duck hunted this trip. Definitely going back next year. Winter gets too long for me. I met some amazing people and might help with guiding for them in the future. Would love to escape a month or two every winter
    • Mike89
      just seen a show about duck and dove hunting down that way, Scoot Lyseth and the Dead Meat show!!  
    • Kettle
      Some teal from central America 
    • JerkinLips
      I think it was opened so I don't think I would trust it.  I will find use for the wooden blocks however.
    • SkunkedAgain
      Some morons just shouldn't be allowed out on the ice. Thanks for pitching in to clean it up.   On the bonus side, is it a quart of oil that you can use?
    • SkunkedAgain
      Some morons just shouldn't be allowed out on the ice. Thanks for pitching in to clean it up.   On the bonus side, is it a quart of oil that you can use?
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