10 Best New Walleye Baits For 2017

November 13, 2017 by  

10 Best New Walleye Baits For 2017

No question about it – fall is the best time for catching the biggest walleyes of the year. Not only are the fish in prime condition after a summer of easy living, they’re putting on the feedbag in a major way to prepare themselves for the coming winter. Even better, as vegetation begins to decline […]

Top 10 New Muskie Baits For 2018

October 19, 2017 by  

Top 10 New Muskie Baits For 2018

Perhaps no group of anglers are more dialed in to new developments in artificial baits than pike and muskie hunters. From massive hand-made trolling plugs that look like Little League baseball bats, to tiny hand-poured soft plastics that might be just as tempting to a trophy bass, lures for big esocids need to cover a […]

10 Best Spinning Reels For 2018

September 15, 2017 by  

10 Best Spinning Reels For 2018

At this summer’s ICAST fishing tackle trade show in Orlando, Fla., we saw an overwhelming array of new gear for anglers, including a host of great new spinning reels. Here are 10 of the best spinning reels of 2018. Anything Possible Profishiency Designed to make high quality design affordable, the Profishiency spinning reel from Anything […]

10 Best Polarized Sunglasses For Fishermen

September 8, 2017 by  

10 Best Polarized Sunglasses For Fishermen

There’s no faster way to a headache than to spend a long day on the water without sunglasses. Good polarized sunglasses are more than a fashion statement – they’ve become as essential as sunscreen. That’s especially true out on the water, where you don’t only have to deal with light streaming down from above, but […]

2018 Hottest Bass Baits

August 24, 2017 by  

2018 Hottest Bass Baits

Berkley Juke The Berkley Juke combines the rolling action of handcrafted wooden baits with the durability of synthetics. Designed with input from master angler David Fritts, the Juke casts like a bullet while delivering maximum action at all speeds on straight retrieves, twitching retrieves, high-speed burns or deep trolling. Available in a wide range of […]

10 New Baitcasting Reels For 2018

August 11, 2017 by  

10 New Baitcasting Reels For 2018

We have put together a list of 10 of our favorite new baitcasting reels that we saw at the recent ICAST 2018 show. 13 Fishing Concept Z Described as the first-ever high performance casting reel manufactured without ball bearings, the Concept Z from 13 Fishing uses polymer technology to cast lures farther than traditional ball […]

Now Is the Time to Get Your 2017 Deer Gun License

May 31, 2017 by  

Now Is the Time to Get Your 2017 Deer Gun License

With North Dakota’s deer gun season license application deadline fast approaching, it’s a good time for a reminder to prospective hunters that the fastest and easiest way through the process is online via the state Game and Fish Department’s website. This is especially true for people who are eligible for gratis licenses, as once you […]

Try a River This Season

May 29, 2017 by  

Try a River This Season

The Midwest is blessed with all sorts of fishing opportunities. Lakes, rivers, ponds, and reservoirs can be found close-by wherever you live. Simply put, you don’t need to drive far to go fishing. Rivers can provide some outstanding fishing action throughout the summer. Actually, rivers can be good year ‘round, especially the larger rivers. However, […]

Early Season Bass

May 15, 2017 by  

Early Season Bass

Largemouth bass can be found in lots of lakes, rivers, and ponds across the country. In southern areas bass catching has been in full swing for weeks, but in the Midwest the bass action is just starting. In fact, in some states that have an open and closed season for bass fishing, the legal season […]

Going Fishing

May 8, 2017 by  

Going Fishing

It’s a new open water fishing season across the Midwest. Most of the states that have a closed season for some species of fish have opened, and in places where the season never closes, anglers have been fishing and catching for several weeks. It used to be that anglers planned their fishing trips well in […]

Fish Sideways

May 1, 2017 by  

Fish Sideways

A new fishing season is underway. Some anglers commit themselves to trying new baits and techniques every new season. They feel that trying new things makes them a more complete, versatile angler, and they’re right. If you’re one of those curious people who wants to catch more fish, and if you haven’t already done so, […]

Catch More Fish This Year

April 24, 2017 by  

Catch More Fish This Year

The fishing season in several states across the Midwest will be opening soon. In areas where seasons are open year ‘round, anglers are already out there chasing walleyes, northern pike, bass, and panfish. The next few weeks and months are the most popular times for an angler to get on the water in search of […]

Experiment with Color to Catch More Fish

April 16, 2017 by  

Experiment with Color to Catch More Fish

People who like to fish spend a good amount of time talking about the different things that can help them catch more fish. There are a number of considerations that can partially or fully determine our fishing success, but perhaps the one consideration that we talk about the most is lure color. Beginning and expert […]

Ideas For More Fishing Success

April 10, 2017 by  

Ideas For More Fishing Success

Different anglers have different definitions of what fishing success is. To some, fishing success is catching a bunch of fish: size doesn’t matter, they just want to catch something. To other anglers, fishing success means you caught a big one. Size is more important than numbers. And then there are those who just enjoy being […]

Early Season Fishing Memories

April 3, 2017 by  

Early Season Fishing Memories

It’s that time of year: the boat is being rigged, I’m putting fresh line on my reels, I’m calling friends to see if they have any good fishing reports; in short, I’m preparing for the open water fishing season. As I prepare, I have lots of memories, mostly good, about past early season fishing adventures. […]

Experience Early Season Fishing Success

March 27, 2017 by  

Experience Early Season Fishing Success

I’ve been seeing more and more anglers on and in the water recently. Some of them are fishing from boats, some are wading, others are fishing from docks or shore. Some of them are catching fish, some aren’t catching too much. If you want to catch more fish early in the fishing season, following are […]

Try Different Things for More Fish

March 20, 2017 by  

Try Different Things for More Fish

About this time every year I start thinking about new or existing open water fishing techniques that I want to learn more about. One of the real keys to fishing success is being versatile. There are lots of ways to catch fish. Some techniques are kind of seasonal, others work better for bigger fish, and […]

Walleye Rod Ideas

March 13, 2017 by  

Walleye Rod Ideas

I had a conversation recently with a friend who was new to fishing and wanted to catch walleyes. He’d been watching fishing shows on television and reading articles and going to fishing seminars, and while the information he got from the various outlets was helpful, he was still a bit confused about what rods he […]

Catch Walleyes in Rivers Now

March 6, 2017 by  

Catch Walleyes in Rivers Now

For the most part, ice-fishing came to an early end this year. That means that open water fishing will have an early start. In fact, throughout the Midwest, some anglers are already enjoying open water fishing. They’re on rivers, and they’re fishing for walleyes. Walleyes will eat a bait year ‘round. While they’ll get more […]

Light Geese Sightings in North Dakota

March 2, 2017 by  

Light Geese Sightings in North Dakota

On the morning of Thursday, Feb. 9, Bismarck recorded a low temperature of 15 below zero, the third day in a row of sub-zero readings. At that time, I don’t think anyone could have predicted North Dakota would have snow geese within its borders just over a week later when the spring light goose conservation […]

Things To Do Before Open Water Fishing Season

February 27, 2017 by  

Things To Do Before Open Water Fishing Season

For many of us, the ice-fishing season is over, but open water fishing is still a little ways off. Some will make a trip to a river to get in on some open water angling, and others will travel north to find ice that is still safe, but for many, now is a down time […]

Two North Dakota deer test positive for CWD in 2016

February 23, 2017 by  

Two North Dakota deer test positive for CWD in 2016

Last fall I wrote about specific restrictions that regulate the importation of deer carcasses and heads from other states, and the rules for transporting deer out of deer hunting Unit 3F2 in south central North Dakota. Unit 3F2, located west of the Missouri River and bordering the South Dakota state line, is targeted because it […]

Open Water 2017

February 21, 2017 by  

Open Water 2017

What a mild winter in the Midwest so far! Rain is falling, so today I’m thinking more about open water then I am ice-fishing. I’m sure there are a couple more ice-fishing trips in my near future, but as I go through some new open water stuff that I received recently, I’m looking forward to […]

North Dakota’s Winter Waterfowl Survey Shows Fewer Canada Geese

February 16, 2017 by  

North Dakota’s Winter Waterfowl Survey Shows Fewer Canada Geese

For a biologist, getting out in the field and collecting data is an important and usually enjoyable part of the job. While I don’t spend as much time in the field as a specific wildlife or fisheries biologist, I do have a variety of assignments that come up unexpectedly, like checking for zebra mussels and […]

Things Change

February 13, 2017 by  

Things Change

Things change: that’s true in life, and it’s true in fishing. This past open water season and recently while ice-fishing I realized some changes that I found to be interesting. Following are some of those changes. Consider Clear Lake in north central Iowa: when I was learning to fish many years ago, Clear Lake was […]

North Dakota’s Watchable Wildlife Program Supports Nongame Species

February 9, 2017 by  

North Dakota’s Watchable Wildlife Program Supports Nongame Species

Looking out my urban backyard, even in the middle of a bone chilling North Dakota morning, it’s always a treat to see a few squirrels, red poles, chickadees and other backyard birds scrounging around for a little mid-winter food. I’m fortunate my kids love watchable wildlife even more than I do. Over the years I’ve […]

Various Fish Through The Ice

February 7, 2017 by  

Various Fish Through The Ice

Boy oh boy what an ice-fishing season it’s been across the Midwest, and it’s not done yet: there is still lots of time to go fishing and lots of fish are still out there waiting to be caught. This is the time of year, though, when it pays to be flexible in your fishing. In […]

Top 10 Game and Fish Violations in 2016

February 2, 2017 by  

Top 10 Game and Fish Violations in 2016

Many hunters and anglers might assume that when it comes to game warden’s work, a good share of which involves checking hunters, anglers and boaters for license and regulation compliance, that the most common violations would involve hunting in general, and deer hunting more specifically. So it might come as a surprise to many that […]

Walleyes Right Now

January 30, 2017 by  

Walleyes Right Now

In some states in walleye country, the walleye ice-fishing season is winding down. Some places protect walleyes as they enter the time of the year when they’re preparing to spawn. In the areas where catching and keeping walleyes is permitted, though, we are entering a time of year when walleye fishing through the ice can […]

Give Wildlife Plenty of Space This Winter

January 25, 2017 by  

Give Wildlife Plenty of Space This Winter

I’ve been getting peppered with questions about winter and wildlife since the snow began to fall and the wind started to blow back in late November and early December. Until just recently, the snow continued to accumulate, and the wind continued to blow it around, while temperatures plunged below zero at night more often than […]

Small Details For Bigger Fish

January 24, 2017 by  

Small Details For Bigger Fish

Ice anglers and open water anglers are always looking for a new trick that will help them catch more fish. They’re looking for that magic bait, or bait color, or method of retrieving, or whatever that will help them get more fish to bite. In reality, there is no one bait or technique that will […]

Winter a Busy Time for North Dakota Game and Fish Department

January 18, 2017 by  

Winter a Busy Time for North Dakota Game and Fish Department

Late January is sometimes considered a time when not much is going on in North Dakota’s outdoors. But this year with new boat registrations coming in, winter deer surveys in progress and the state legislature in session, it’s a busy time at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Here’s a recap of a few […]

Creating New Ice Anglers

January 16, 2017 by  

Creating New Ice Anglers

Ice fishing is in high gear wherever people go ice fishing. Ice fishing can be a wonderful social event that anglers of all skill levels and ages can take part in. I recently got to watch a dad introduce his young son to ice fishing with outstanding results. The best time of the ice fishing […]

Time For Next Generation to Take Hunter Education Course

January 13, 2017 by  

Time For Next Generation to Take Hunter Education Course

Sunday, Jan. 8 was the official end date for archery deer, pheasant, grouse, partridge and turkey seasons in North Dakota. Just one month after that comes the application deadline for a 2017 spring turkey license, followed closely by the spring snow goose opener. What makes those dates somewhat significant beyond putting them on your calendar, […]

Mid-Winter Ice Fishing

January 9, 2017 by  

Mid-Winter Ice Fishing

We’re entering the mid-winter ice-fishing season. Ice-fishing this time of year can be productive, but it can also be challenging. If we have answers for those challenges, we can be successful at catching fish through the ice. Following are some of the challenges and some ideas for meeting those challenges. Perhaps the biggest challenge for […]

2016 North Dakota Game and Fish Highlights

January 6, 2017 by  

2016 North Dakota Game and Fish Highlights

Last year at this time we were at the start of a mild winter and were looking at what that might mean for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in 2016. While not everything turned out exactly as envisioned, it was a good year on many fronts. Here’s a look at some of the […]

A Favorite Ice-Fishing Location

January 4, 2017 by  

A Favorite Ice-Fishing Location

There are so many outstanding ice-fishing opportunities across the Midwest, but one location that has become a favored destination of mine and of many others is Big Stone Lake in west-central Minnesota. Actually, the east shore of the lake is in Minnesota, the west shore is in South Dakota. Big Stone is a wide spot […]

North Dakota 2017 Hunting Season Info

December 28, 2016 by  

North Dakota 2017 Hunting Season Info

In a way, it doesn’t seem fair to start planning for 2017 fall hunting seasons even before some of the 2016 seasons have closed, but for some it’s not too early to block out dates on a calendar. Whether it’s planning vacation time or just initiating the anticipation process following recent closure of your favorite […]

Finicky Panfish Through The Ice

December 27, 2016 by  

Finicky Panfish Through The Ice

It’s fun to catch fish through the ice, and it’s also really fun to eat some of those fish. When some anglers get a desire for a fresh fish meal in the winter months, they go after panfish. Here’s why and how. Why go after panfish when you want a fish supper? In most areas […]

Get Spearfishing This Winter

December 21, 2016 by  

Get Spearfishing This Winter

Did you spend any time on the ice last winter, spearing in North Dakota? If you did, you were part of a record 4,328 participants who registered to darkhouse spearfish, an increase of nearly 1,000 from 2014-15. One of the likely reasons for that is that North Dakota has set records for the number of […]

Ice Fishing This Season

December 19, 2016 by  

Ice Fishing This Season

Anglers are on the ice in many areas of the Midwest. Following are some considerations for better ice fishing this season. Be safe on the ice. Even if you see other people out there, keep in mind that ice will sometimes have flaws. Be careful where you’re walking and where you’re driving on the ice. […]

Plenty of Hunting Opportunities Remain in 2016

December 14, 2016 by  

Plenty of Hunting Opportunities Remain in 2016

For many, enjoying North Dakota’s outdoors in December means waiting for the ice to firm up for ice fishing, darkhouse spearfishing, or maybe muskrat trapping. But there’s no shortage of other things to do in the next few weeks while the ice is taking its time. While most of the good duck, pheasant, goose and […]

Keep Warm When Fishing In Cold Weather

December 12, 2016 by  

Keep Warm When Fishing In Cold Weather

Winter has arrived. The Midwest provides lots of fishing opportunities throughout the winter months for both open water and ice anglers. Many anglers like to go ice-fishing, many others enjoy fishing in the open water in rivers below dams. Regardless of where you go fishing, you want to stay warm. If you’re not warm, you’re […]

How the Migratory Bird Treaty Act Changed Waterfowl Hunting

December 7, 2016 by  

How the Migratory Bird Treaty Act Changed Waterfowl Hunting

As I write this the first winter weather of 2016 is turning an extended fall into the reality of a typical November, which means ducks and geese on the move, and in many parts of North Dakota that can create quite a spectacle – for hunters and others who just enjoy observing migrating waterfowl on […]

Spoon Ideas for Icing Walleyes

December 5, 2016 by  

Spoon Ideas for Icing Walleyes

It won’t be long until we’re on the ice chasing walleyes. There are a lot of different ways to catch walleyes under the ice, but it seems like many, maybe even most walleye ice-anglers like to use spoons. There’s a good reason for that: spoons and other styles of hard baits catch walleyes really effectively. […]

Hunting and Fishing Expectations

November 30, 2016 by  

Hunting and Fishing Expectations

When it comes to conversations about hunting and fishing, it’s pretty easy to understand when someone relates they caught a five-pound walleye or bagged a limit of mallards. For me, those references bring to mind a stream of different fish and fowl I’ve seen, caught or shot for a comparative point of reference. But when […]

Easy Ideas For Increased Ice Fishing Success

November 27, 2016 by  

Easy Ideas For Increased Ice Fishing Success

I saw a skim of ice on the pond this morning. Certainly not enough to walk on, but enough to provide hope that ice-fishing is not far away. Some folks just enjoy the social aspect of sharing an ice shelter with a friend or family member, but we all want to catch a fish, or […]

North Dakota Game and Fish Public Meetings Scheduled

November 23, 2016 by  

North Dakota Game and Fish Public Meetings Scheduled

Several decades ago, the state legislature created an advisory board for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. One of the results of that is that each fall and spring, advisory board members host public meetings in their district. These public meetings provide citizens with an opportunity to discuss fish and wildlife issues and ask […]

Catching More Big Fish

November 21, 2016 by  

Catching More Big Fish

Some of the time we hear about the good old days of fishing, back in a time when the fish were bigger and there were more of them. And, while I’m sure there were times and places where the fish were larger and more plentiful in yesteryear, the reality is, the current era is pretty […]

Wildlife Refuges Ready To Welcome Upland Game Hunting

November 16, 2016 by  

Wildlife Refuges Ready To Welcome Upland Game Hunting

When North Dakota’s regular deer gun season closes – this year on Sunday, Nov. 20 – it’s kind of a bittersweet end to the traditional hunting calendar for a lot of folks. But for some avid upland bird hunters, the end of deer gun season is a new beginning of sorts, as most of the […]

Fishing Memories

November 14, 2016 by  

Fishing Memories

Another open water fishing season is in the books: it was a nice season. Caught good numbers of fish most days, had a great time every day. I got to fish with old friends and new friends. It’s at this time of year that I like to reflect on those days of fishing, but I […]

What to Do If You See Feral Pigs in North Dakota

November 9, 2016 by  

What to Do If You See Feral Pigs in North Dakota

As thousands of deer hunters fan out across the state over the 16.5-day deer gun season, many others who didn’t draw a license will enjoy some duck and goose hunting before the waters lock up with ice. Pheasant season will continue to provide more field time, along with archery deer hunters too. The North Dakota […]

Ice Fishing is Coming

November 7, 2016 by  

Ice Fishing is Coming

It may not look like it now, but soon the outdoor landscape is going to change. It could be tomorrow or next week, but it’s going to get cold, it’s going to snow, there’s going to be ice on the ponds and lakes, and we’re going to have the opportunity to go ice-fishing. There are […]

Answers To Your Deer Hunting Questions

November 2, 2016 by  

Answers To Your Deer Hunting Questions

Even if hunters are enjoying the variety of fall hunting seasons – from ducks, geese, pheasants and grouse – November is deer season, and most of the questions coming in have to do with deer or deer hunting. Hunters with further questions are encouraged to call the Game and Fish Department at 701-328-6300, from 8 […]

Fishing Thoughts

October 31, 2016 by  

Fishing Thoughts

It appears that my 2016 open water fishing season is coming to a close: it may even be over, although I hope to get in another quick trip or two. This year, like all other years, I have learned and relearned a good number of things related to fishing. Following are some of those things. […]

North Dakota Deer Season Reminders

October 27, 2016 by  

North Dakota Deer Season Reminders

North Dakota’s deer season is no longer weeks away, and if you haven’t had time to work through the list of reminders, you are not alone. That’s why every year the North Dakota Game and Fish Department provides the answers to questions asked by deer hunters who want to clarify rules and regulations. Some common […]

Just Go Fishing

October 25, 2016 by  

Just Go Fishing

I’ve had the good fortune over the past several decades to go fishing in lots of interesting places. I’ve also had the good fortune to have used lots of different fishing products, from rods and reels to lures to boats to whatever else anglers use to fool more fish. This past year was an unusual […]

Eight North Dakota hunters ready for bighorn sheep season

October 24, 2016 by  

Eight North Dakota hunters ready for bighorn sheep season

North Dakota’s bighorn sheep season opener on Oct. 28 will come and go with little fanfare, except from eight hunters who are excitedly gearing up for their one and only chance to hunt these special animals in the state. It’s a big deal for biologists at the State Game and Fish Department, too, because at […]

Best Smallmouth Bass Trip Ever

October 17, 2016 by  

Best Smallmouth Bass Trip Ever

In 35 years of fishing all over the Midwest and much of North America, I’ve had the good fortune to get in on some outstanding fishing action for a wide variety of fish. In narrowing that down a bit, I’ve had some memorable days of catching smallmouth bass. I have fond memories of outstanding smallmouth […]

How North Dakota Works With Private Land Owners

October 12, 2016 by  

How North Dakota Works With Private Land Owners

Last week’s column on the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Private Land Open to Sportsmen (PLOTS) program generated some questions about other agency efforts to work with private landowners. The PLOTS program falls under the Game and Fish Department’s Private Land Initiative, which is designed to work with private landowners on managing wildlife and […]

Catch Crappies Right Now

October 11, 2016 by  

Catch Crappies Right Now

From now until the lakes freeze over, crappies can, in many bodies of water across the Midwest and elsewhere, be found in deep water. In some lakes, they might be in 30 feet of water right on the bottom, in other lakes deep they might be in 15 feet of water. It depends on the […]

North Dakota PLOTS Program in 2016

October 5, 2016 by  

North Dakota PLOTS Program in 2016

Not long ago I had a conversation with caller on the current status of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s popular Private Land Open to Sportsmen program. Rather than try to explain the long history of the PLOTS program, which in its current form got its start nearly 20 years ago, I directed him […]

Fall For The Weedline

October 3, 2016 by  

Fall For The Weedline

The weedline is an outstanding location to find fish during any season. As soon as the weedline is established, and even before, predator fish will be there looking for something to eat. There will be fish along the weedline all summer, and lots of anglers like to drill holes in the ice along the weed […]

North Dakota Pheasants – By the Numbers

September 28, 2016 by  

North Dakota Pheasants – By the Numbers

North Dakota’s pheasant season is just around the corner, but before we take a look at the prospects for hunters on opening day, let’s glance in the rear view mirror for a recent historical recap. Last year, about 85,000 resident and nonresident hunters bagged about 590,000 roosters. That was up just slightly from the 587,000 […]

Big Baits for Big Fish Right Now

September 26, 2016 by  

Big Baits for Big Fish Right Now

Autumn has arrived in the Midwest. In a couple of weeks the countryside will be alive in color and lots of outdoor enthusiasts will have departed the lakes for tree stands in search of deer or the fields looking for pheasants or geese or ducks. Nothing wrong with that: hunting is a wonderful outdoor tradition. […]

Know Where You’re Hunting

September 21, 2016 by  

Know Where You’re Hunting

I’ve learned over the years working and playing outdoors to always pack extra boots and socks, plan to leave early and get home a little bit late. Jumper cables, a tow rope and extra sandwich are worth turning around and going back to get. Beyond that, one of my go-to bits of advice refers to […]

2016 North Dakota Waterfoul Info

September 14, 2016 by  

2016 North Dakota Waterfoul Info

Let’s cut to the chase this week and get to the important details of the 2016 waterfowl hunting seasons. Technically, they already started with early goose in mid-August, and now continue on with youth weekend, the resident opener and regular opener on three consecutive weekend. The youth waterfowl weekend  is Sept. 17 and 18, and […]

Ideas For Early Fall Fishing

September 12, 2016 by  

Ideas For Early Fall Fishing

This period of time we’re in right now, the time between late summer and early fall, can provide some very good fishing, but it can also be a challenging time to catch fish. The night-time air temperatures are chilly, but the daytime temps are still warm. Thirty-degree temperature swings in a day aren’t uncommon at […]

North Dakota Continues Fight Against CWD

September 7, 2016 by  

North Dakota Continues Fight Against CWD

A decade ago, North Dakota still did not have its first documented case of chronic wasting disease in a wild deer. However, since every bordering state or province had at that time documented CWD in wild or farmed deer herds, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department had already adopted its first rules and regulations […]

North Dakota Hunting Regulation and License Changes

August 31, 2016 by  

North Dakota Hunting Regulation and License Changes

This time of year it seems like every week there is new information coming out about hunting seasons or regulations or license applications. Here’s a recap of some recent topics from North Dakota Game and Fish news. Small Game and Furbearer Regulations North Dakota’s 2016 small game and furbearer regulations are set and most season […]

What You Need To Know Before Bow Hunting Season Opens

August 24, 2016 by  

What You Need To Know Before Bow Hunting Season Opens

Archery deer hunting has expanded in popularity in North Dakota over the years. Even as deer numbers have fallen from record highs a decade ago, bow license sales have increased. With North Dakota’s archery deer season opening Friday, Sept. 2 at 12 noon Central time, it’s a good time for a few reminders on some […]

Try a Crankbait Now

August 22, 2016 by  

Try a Crankbait Now

I went fishing last week. We were after largemouth bass, and we were on a good largemouth bass lake. They were spread out over and along the weedline and also on off-shore submerged weedbeds. When the bass are in locations such as these, casting crankbaits is an outstanding way to locate and catch them. So, […]

How Hunters Help the Harvest Information Program

August 17, 2016 by  

How Hunters Help the Harvest  Information Program

For hunters my age, the acronym HIP associated with the outdoors isn’t anything new. While anywhere beyond two decades ago, HIP might have meant “aware” or “fashionable,” to those of us familiar with the migratory bird hunting world today, it also refers to the Harvest Information Program. What is HIP? HIP is a survey method […]

An Ice-Fishing Bait For Open Water Walleyes

August 15, 2016 by  

An Ice-Fishing Bait For Open Water Walleyes

Much of the time, lures are designed with a specific application in mind. But sometimes we discover that some baits are multi-purpose. I was reminded of that on a recent fishing trip. I was sharing a boat with fishing friend Mike Frisch in central Minnesota and walleyes were our target. Mike had been catchin’em good […]

Early Canada Goose Season Opens August 15

August 10, 2016 by  

Early Canada Goose Season Opens August 15

These days, spending time outdoors in August is no longer just about winding down the fishing season and starting the planning and preparation for hunting seasons that start in September and October. For hunters of my generation and older, perhaps that’s still a back-of-the-mind thought process, but for nearly a generation of young hunters, the […]

Bass on the Top

August 8, 2016 by  

Bass on the Top

Fishing is fun: that’s why we go fishing. And it’s more fun when we catch some fish. And there are some techniques that are more fun to employ. Throwing topwater baits for largemouth bass is one of those techniques that are really fun. Seeing a wake approaching your floating lure, then seeing the bass explode […]

Record Walleye Fingerlings Released in North Dakota

August 3, 2016 by  

Record Walleye Fingerlings Released in North Dakota

Walleye are the most popular fish for a good share of North Dakota anglers, so it was good news when the State Game and Fish Department announced a couple of weeks ago that this summer’s walleye production effort hit record marks for both the number of fingerlings produced, and number of lakes stocked. It wasn’t […]

End of the Summer Fishing

August 1, 2016 by  

End of the Summer Fishing

I can’t believe I’m thinking this already, but autumn is fast approaching. The month of August signals the end of summer and the beginning of school and football season. It also is a time when fishing can be a little tough if we don’t make some adjustments in the way we go about our fishing. […]

North Dakota Pronghorn Numbers on the Rise

July 27, 2016 by  

North Dakota Pronghorn Numbers on the Rise

Most North Dakotans can relate to the trials and tribulations of how fragile it is to grow a crop of any kind in the extremes of the Midwest. And it doesn’t matter whether the crop is thousands of acres of wheat or a few square feet of backyard tomatoes. It’s not much different with annual […]

Troll Fast For More Fish

July 25, 2016 by  

Troll Fast For More Fish

It’s summer. The water is warm, there are lots of baitfish in the water, there are lots of people fishing, and there are lots of fish that are looking for something to eat, and fish that want to eat are easier to catch. Trolling is a great way to present a bait, and you might […]

Spring Survey Info Announced for Pheasants and Sharp-Tailed Grouse

July 20, 2016 by  

Spring Survey Info Announced for Pheasants and Sharp-Tailed Grouse

In July most people are still associating the outdoors with fishing, boating or camping, but it’s also a time when talk of hunting starts working its way into conversations. And that seems only logical, considering the early Canada goose season, the first major 2016 “fall” hunting season, opens on Aug. 15 with, officially speaking, still […]

Catch What Wants To Be Caught

July 18, 2016 by  

Catch What Wants To Be Caught

It’s mid-summer and that means that fishing can be good. Some days are better than others, just like at any other time of year. There are a number of things we can do to increase our catching success at this time of year, but perhaps the most important thing we can do is to be […]

Duck Numbers Down Slightly in North Dakota

July 13, 2016 by  

Duck Numbers Down Slightly in North Dakota

During mid-July we obviously note the sun is setting a bit earlier, the small grains are nearing harvest and the August 15 early Canada goose opener is nearing and hunters can begin to form plans for the fall hunting seasons. In the past few weeks the North Dakota Game and Fish Department has released some […]

Fishing Accessories For Safer Fishing

July 11, 2016 by  

Fishing Accessories For Safer Fishing

When we go fishing, we want to catch fish, big ones and lots of’em. But we also want to have a good time, and really, we usually remember the good times more than we remember the big fish. There are things we can do to have a better time fishing that have nothing to do […]

Fishing Is Great…Even When You Aren’t Catching

July 6, 2016 by  

Fishing Is Great…Even When You Aren’t Catching

Ask me how fishing is, and I’ll reply that fishing is always great; it always has been and always will be. For me, the catching is a different story and tends to be a bit overrated, to tell you the truth. But perhaps my prowess at catching helped change my goals and fishing philosophy over […]

Live-Bait Rigs For More Summer Fish

July 4, 2016 by  

Live-Bait Rigs For More Summer Fish

From now until autumn, one of the most productive ways to catch fish is with a live-bait rig. Live-bait rigs are simple set-ups, but they’re so effective so much of the time. Whether you’re after walleyes or crappies or smallmouth bass, pretty much anywhere in the Midwest, when nothing else will get the fish to […]

Be Courteous in Public Outdoor Areas This Summer

June 29, 2016 by  

Be Courteous in Public Outdoor Areas This Summer

Most people who enjoy the outdoors realize the level of enjoyment and satisfaction provided by not simply just getting away from it all or peace and quiet, but the smell or nature and the refreshing body cleanse the outdoors provides. All this for comes essentially free of charge. When the campsite is still blaring rock […]

Mid-Summer Fishing Reminders

June 28, 2016 by  

Mid-Summer Fishing Reminders

July is here. Time goes by faster every year. We had an early ice-out this year, but the weather stayed cool and the water didn’t warm up as quickly as we thought it would. But for the most part, fishing has been pretty good darn across the Midwest. Following are some ideas that will help […]

Meadowlark Sightings Declining in North Dakota

June 22, 2016 by  

Meadowlark Sightings Declining in North Dakota

A few years ago on a Sunday drive near the edge of West Fargo, creeping along with no particular route in mind, one of my kids let out the proverbial, “look.” Instinctively I took my foot of the gas – not that slowing from 10 mph down to 5 would make much of a difference […]

Fish Where the Fish Are

June 20, 2016 by  

Fish Where the Fish Are

We’re into the summer season, and in the summer fishing changes a bit. So far this year our open water fishing in many situations has been taking place in fairly shallow water, often near where the fish spawned. Now that the fish are done spawning, they will be wherever their food is. If you’re not […]

Fish Stocking Taking Place Across North Dakota

June 15, 2016 by  

Fish Stocking Taking Place Across North Dakota

Starting in late May, the State Game and Fish Department’s aerated fish stocking trailers are on the road almost nonstop for several weeks, delivering the year’s crop of hatchery-raised northern pike and walleye fingerlings to lakes and rivers around North Dakota. First will come northern pike, followed a couple of weeks later by walleye with […]

Fishing Simple is Better…Sometimes

June 13, 2016 by  

Fishing Simple is Better…Sometimes

I remember when I first went fishing more than 50 years ago. I fondly remember the long, heavy cane pole with a reel that didn’t work taped to the pole and a couple of guides and a tip on the pole along with heavy braided line to which was attached a big bobber, a long-shanked gold […]

How To Prevent Transport Nuisance Species in North Dakota

June 8, 2016 by  

How To Prevent Transport Nuisance Species in North Dakota

One of the many North Dakota hometowns I claim is LaMoure, in the southeastern part of the state. The James River runs by just off the western edge of town, and it was there, at a popular fishing spot called the James River Damsite, that some of the first Asian carp in the state were […]

Crankbaits For Catching

June 6, 2016 by  

Crankbaits For Catching

Crankbaits are hard-bodied baits that often resemble a baitfish of some sort. They come in all shapes, colors, sizes, running depths, actions, some rattle, some don’t. The one thing that crankbaits have in common is that they catch a variety of fish year ‘round, but they are particularly effective in the summer. They’re great spring […]

Tips for a quick and hassle free boat launch

June 1, 2016 by  

Tips for a quick and hassle free boat launch

Even with more places to fish, boat and enjoy the water than ever before in North Dakota, the increase in opportunity also means an increase in anglers, boats and personal watercraft. It’s a unique combination that can lead to isolated problems at boat ramps when everyone has the same idea: Get on the water sooner rather […]

Bass Tactics for Walleyes and Crappies

May 30, 2016 by  

Bass Tactics for Walleyes and Crappies

My friend Mike Frisch and I went fishing on Clear Lake in north Central Iowa this past week. I get to fish Clear Lake several times every year: Mike visited Clear Lake a lot in the early 90’s. Clear Lake was a good body of water then, but it’s an outstanding fishery now. In fact, […]

Keep Boating Safety In Mind This Summer

May 25, 2016 by  

Keep Boating Safety In Mind This Summer

An early spring ice-out provided a jump start to the 2016 open-water season for North Dakota anglers. Then came a period of rather cool temperatures that slowed water warm-up and delayed other forms of water recreation. Now, however, Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of summer is at hand, and regardless of water temperatures, […]

Catch What’s Biting

May 24, 2016 by  

Catch What’s Biting

Make this fishing season the season you become a more versatile angler. Versatile anglers generally catch more fish. Versatile anglers are generally more willing to try new techniques and are also willing to chase different species of fish. They just want to get bit. We might really want to catch walleyes, but in reality, in […]

Deadline Looming for North Dakota Deer License Applications

May 18, 2016 by  

Deadline Looming for North Dakota Deer License Applications

North Dakota’s 2016 deer gun season opens Nov. 4 at noon and as the saying goes, if you want to participate, you need a deer license, and if you want a license, you need to draw one in the lottery. The first step to drawing a license in the lottery is applying by June 1, […]

Open Water Fishing 2016

May 16, 2016 by  

Open Water Fishing 2016

It’s pretty much official: the open water fishing season for 2016 is here. Minnesota walleye season opened this past weekend, Wisconsin was the week before, and northwest Iowa was the week before that. Most of the other states in the Midwest don’t have a closed walleye season, and while there are still a couple of […]

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