Tagged Walleyes Provide Valuable Information

May 11, 2016 by  

Tagged Walleyes Provide Valuable Information

Earlier this spring, biologists from North Dakota and South Dakota tagged the last of some 36,000 walleyes that are part of a comprehensive and long-running study on the Missouri River System in the two states. Since 2013, North Dakota Game and Fish biologists have tagged more than 17,000 of those fish from the Missouri River […]

Transition Walleyes

May 9, 2016 by  

Transition Walleyes

In many areas of the Midwest, walleye fishing for the next while will be kind of in-between seasons depending on where you’re fishing. In the southern and middle regions of walleye country, the fish have completed their annual spawning ritual and are starting to move in the direction of their summer feeding areas. However, this […]

North Dakota Baitfish Rules

May 4, 2016 by  

North Dakota Baitfish Rules

In late March, the State Game and Fish Department issued a reminder to anglers about the state’s baitfish rules, particularly relating to live white suckers, which are illegal to use anywhere in North Dakota except the Red and Bois de Sioux rivers. Fisheries division chief Greg Power said at the time that the regulation has […]

Walleye Ideas

May 2, 2016 by  

Walleye Ideas

Walleye season is either here or very near all across the Midwest. Now that walleyes are or will be fair game throughout walleye country, here are some things to keep in mind. Some anglers are reporting the spawn happened a bit earlier than usual this year. The timing of the spawn varies from region to […]

North Dakota Paddlefish Snagging Season Starts May 1

April 27, 2016 by  

North Dakota Paddlefish Snagging Season Starts May 1

For many, the month of May conjures up images of the first tulips and annual flowers emerging, spotting the first baby goose and even swatting a mosquito. Gardens are planned and planted, jigs and spinners sorted, and we look forward to a walk after supper and spending a little more time outdoors than indoors. And […]

First Trip Crappies

April 25, 2016 by  

First Trip Crappies

Spring came early in many areas this year, and that enabled us to get that first fishing trip of the year in early. For many of us, the first fishing trip of the open water season is for crappies. In some areas, fishing season for walleyes and bass and other species aren’t yet open, but […]

Mild Winter Likely Helped Some Lakes Survive Without Winterkill

April 20, 2016 by  

Mild Winter Likely Helped Some Lakes Survive Without Winterkill

It doesn’t take a biology or chemistry degree to understand fish need water, and it’s no secret the expanded wet cycle since 1993 was the key ingredient in creating a modern version of the good old days in terms of fishing in North Dakota. But reduced snowpack and consequently less fresh spring run-off the last […]

Catch What Wants To Be Caught

April 18, 2016 by  

Catch What Wants To Be Caught

Another fishing season is here. Something you can do to catch more fish and enjoy your time on the water even more is to be flexible in your fishing goals. You’ll catch more fish year ‘round if you go after the species of fish that’s most susceptible to getting caught when you’re on the water. […]

2015 Deer Hunting Success Rates in North Dakota

April 13, 2016 by  

2015 Deer Hunting Success Rates in North Dakota

The spring round of North Dakota Game and Fish Department Advisory Board meetings wrapped up over the last couple of weeks. As usual, the dominant conversations were about deer. The fall round of advisory meetings occurs during the two or three weeks right after deer gun season ends, so it’s logical that deer are the […]

Follow the Fish for More Fishing Success

April 11, 2016 by  

Follow the Fish for More Fishing Success

As the weather warms and the days get longer, more people are headed to the lake or pond or river to go fishing. When we go fishing, we want to catch something. There are several things that we can do to increase the chances for catching something, but the most important thing that we can […]

Keep an Eye Out for Whooping Cranes

April 6, 2016 by  

Keep an Eye Out for Whooping Cranes

A few weeks ago my column explained the transition of documenting bald eagle “sightings” from when they were an endangered species, until now when they are no longer endangered. While bald eagles are of course still protected as a national symbol, they are common enough now that individual sightings no longer warrant a special report, […]

My Favorite Way To Fish

April 4, 2016 by  

My Favorite Way To Fish

It’s warming up and more and more anglers are getting ready to go fishing. I know I am. I’m often asked about my favorite fish to catch and my favorite fishing technique. When I respond that I don’t have a favorite fish or favorite technique, I am being very sincere: I just like to catch […]

North Dakota Fishing Info for 2016-17

March 30, 2016 by  

North Dakota Fishing Info for 2016-17

The early arrival of spring and ice out on lakes this year is providing some additional days for open-water fishing in North Dakota this year. Along with a new license that is needed starting April 1, a new two-year fishing proclamation also kicks in April 1, with a few noteworthy changes from the last two […]

Ideas for Early Season Fishing Success

March 28, 2016 by  

Ideas for Early Season Fishing Success

More and more, anglers are getting on and in the water. Some folks are fishing from boats, some are wading, and some are fishing from docks or shore. Some anglers are catching fish, some aren’t catching too much. If you’ll be fishing in the next couple of weeks, keep these fishing thoughts in mind. Early […]

Eagle Nest Sightings on the Rise in North Dakota

March 23, 2016 by  

Eagle Nest Sightings on the Rise in North Dakota

The first robin sighting of the year is one sign queuing up the exit of winter. And while it’s true that you might spot a robin in North Dakota at any time of year, they are a welcome sign that spring is approaching and winter is on the way out. In recent years we’ve started […]

Consider Color for More Fishing Success

March 21, 2016 by  

Consider Color for More Fishing Success

It’s at about this time every year when many anglers take a look into their tackle containers to do an inventory of baits that are needed to start the new open water fishing season. We make a note of baits from previous years that are running low in our inventory, and we also think about […]

All North Dakota Hunting and Fishing Licenses To Be Electronic

March 16, 2016 by  

All North Dakota Hunting and Fishing Licenses To Be Electronic

Rummaging through drawers on one of the few cold and blustery days of winter, I came across a hidden pocket of stuff. Crushed into the back corners were a few of the “old” paper fishing and hunting licenses I used to buy at a gas station on one of those sneaky warm April days in […]

Rod Selections for Open Water Fishing

March 14, 2016 by  

Rod Selections for Open Water Fishing

In some parts of the Midwest spring is upon us earlier than usual. A lot of anglers are visiting sporting goods stores to look at fishing stuff. One popular item this time of year are fishing rods. It’s good to go to a store that has a wide selection of rods so you can feel […]

Time To Apply For Elk, Moose and Sheep Licenses

March 9, 2016 by  

Time To Apply For Elk, Moose and Sheep Licenses

It’s time again for what is affectionately called the “Big Three” application period, and this year has good news on all fronts. The State Game and Fish Department is bumping up the number of elk and moose licenses over last year, and bighorn sheep are back in the mix after a year with no season. […]

Walleyes in Small Rivers

March 7, 2016 by  

Walleyes in Small Rivers

It appears that spring is attempting to make an early return this year. All across walleye country, anglers are getting in and on the water in search of ‘eye action. The small rivers that are so abundant across the Midwest get a lot of attention at this time of year. Here are some ideas that […]

Spring Light Goose Season Up and Running

March 2, 2016 by  

Spring Light Goose Season Up and Running

In case you missed, it North Dakota’s spring light goose season opened Saturday Feb. 20 and no it’s not too early of a season. South Dakota’s opened February 15 and Minnesota’s March 1. The first I heard of reports of Canada geese were the weekend of February 20th and even prior to that some reports […]

Catch ’em on Crankbaits

February 29, 2016 by  

Catch ’em on Crankbaits

Recently we talked about selecting the appropriate jig when you want to catch walleyes. Crankbaits are another tool that will catch a wide variety of fish under lots of different conditions. However, there’s more to it than just tying on a crankbait and casting or trolling it. Here are some things to keep in mind […]

Why States Conduct Game Surveys

February 24, 2016 by  

Why States Conduct Game Surveys

My job as an outreach biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department is varied. I spend a fair amount of time doing media work, but I’m also helping out frequently with other Game and Fish functions such as checking on possible fish kills or fishing access areas, or conducting upland or small game […]

Jigs in Your Box

February 23, 2016 by  

Jigs in Your Box

We often talk about fishing techniques and fish location and things like that, and sometimes we forget about the nuts and bolts of fishing. A regular reader of this column contacted me recently and suggested I talk about the baits we should keep in a tacklebox, and I thought that was a good idea. Jigs […]

Managing North Dakota’s Mountain Lion Population

February 18, 2016 by  

Managing North Dakota’s Mountain Lion Population

Charismatic megafauna. The first time I heard that term was not in college biology classes or early in my career with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, but at a district advisory board meeting some years ago when a former Game and Fish administrator used it in reference to mountain lions. It’s a term […]

March on the Ice

February 16, 2016 by  

March on the Ice

It seems like February just started and I’m already looking forward to ice-fishing in March.  March is my favorite month for ice-fishing. The days are longer, the weather isn’t as cold, and the fish like to get caught in March. Following are some things to keep in mind to catch more fish through the ice […]

Waterfowl Season Setting Process Changing

February 10, 2016 by  

Waterfowl Season Setting Process Changing

Many people who hunt waterfowl are familiar with a season-setting process that in the northern tier of states is finalized only a few weeks before opening day. Starting this year, however, the process is changing. What was previously a two-cycle regulatory practice – one for waterfowl and one for other migratory birds (doves, cranes) – […]

Looking Forward

February 9, 2016 by  

Looking Forward

I looked out the window this morning and sure enough, there was a blizzard going on just like the weather predictors had said there would. With today’s clothing and shelters, ice-fishing in the cold is no problem.  But ice-fishing in the wind with driving snow is not for me today. I decided if I can’t […]

How To Start A Career In Natural Resources

February 3, 2016 by  

How To Start A Career In Natural Resources

January and February typically generate a few phone calls and emails from parents, teachers, school counselors and high school and college students about careers in the outdoors. I had a conversation with a counselor recently that might help answer some of those questions. The counselor has a student who loves to hunt and fish, and […]

On Frozen Pond

February 1, 2016 by  

On Frozen Pond

We’re on the back side of winter, and that means a couple of things. We’ll probably get another winter storm or two, and we’re also entering a period of outstanding ice-fishing action. End of the winter ice-fishing can be productive and enjoyable for a couple of reasons. For one thing, the days are longer. That […]

Now is the Time to Get Your Hunter Education

January 28, 2016 by  

Now is the Time to Get Your Hunter Education

Every year, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department certifies between 5,000 and 6,000 hunter education students. This is the time of year when many of those students are looking for classes so they can legally hunt when their chosen season comes around. It’s particularly important for youngsters who will turn 12 prior to the […]

Ice-Fishing Memories

January 25, 2016 by  

Ice-Fishing Memories

I was in the garage messing with my ice-fishing gear the other day. I got to thinking about how ice-fishing has changed so much in the past few years, which got me to thinking about some of the memorable ice-fishing trips I’ve been on. In the following, I’ll share what made those trips memorable and […]

Conservation Reserve Program Enrollment Period Open

January 20, 2016 by  

Conservation Reserve Program Enrollment Period Open

Even after three decades, I still run into people who don’t realize that the Conservation Reserve Program is a federal program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. At its peak in 2007, 36.7 million acres were enrolled in CRP nationally. North Dakota, Montana and South Dakota were among the leaders in CRP enrollment, and […]

Spoons Under the Ice

January 19, 2016 by  

Spoons Under the Ice

Most bodies of water across the Midwest now have a coat of ice, and it looks like the fish have been eagerly awaiting the ice. Many anglers are reporting outstanding fishing when the weather is right.  Fish are kind of like most fishermen. They don’t like the extreme cold weather too much, but when the […]

Tentative 2016 Opening Dates in North Dakota

January 13, 2016 by  

Tentative 2016 Opening Dates in North Dakota

With most 2015-16 hunting seasons now in the books, many of us are already making plans for next season, whether it’s scheduling vacation, or simply marking a date on a calendar to make sure to NOT schedule anything else for that time. To help hunters get started on those long-range plans, the North Dakota Game […]

Leveling with the Fish

January 11, 2016 by  

Leveling with the Fish

There are lots of things an angler can do to put more fish in the boat, but I truly believe there are two things we need to do to consistently catch more fish. First, we’ve got to find the fish. That has become easier and easier as sonar technology improves. Today’s sonar is just outstanding, […]

2015 and Beyond – Whitetail and Pronghorn Numbers

January 6, 2016 by  

2015 and Beyond – Whitetail and Pronghorn Numbers

Last week I covered some highlights from the 2015 outdoors scene with a look at pheasant and sharp-tailed grouse populations, plus record fishing license sales. While these were some of the many positive outdoor stories from the past year, there’s seldom a year of “perfect” conditions when most or all species are trending higher across […]

Best Bites Ever

January 5, 2016 by  

Best Bites Ever

Every now and then I get nostalgic and start thinking about past fishing trips. This is one of those times. In the following I’ll share some memorable fishing trips by species. Gotta’ start with walleyes. This is a tough one, because I’ve been in on some outstanding walleye bites. I’ve had the good fortune to […]

2015 and Beyond – Fishing, Pheasant and Grouse

December 30, 2015 by  

2015 and Beyond – Fishing, Pheasant and Grouse

I’ve always enjoyed my final column of the year and first column of the next year, as a kind of closing one door and then looking ahead to what may or may not be coming for the next year. This year, instead of one review and one preview, I’ll cover the past and future for […]

North Dakota Ice Fishing Regulations

December 23, 2015 by  

North Dakota Ice Fishing Regulations

This year winter has kind of softly tiptoed into the Midwest, to the joy of pheasants and deer and somewhat to the dismay of ice anglers and everyone else who likes or needs snow. However, it’s late December and we’re finally getting some better ice fishing conditions, so it’s a good time for a refresher […]

Walleyes on the spoons through the ice

December 21, 2015 by  

Walleyes on the spoons through the ice

Walleyes are often the quarry of early-season ice anglers. Walleyes will respond to a number of different lure types under the ice, but they especially like to eat spoons. From new ice to late ice, walleyes like flashy baits. There are a bunch of different types of spoons available to walleye anglers. Although they may […]

How to stay safe while ice fishing

December 16, 2015 by  

How to stay safe while ice fishing

Walking out of church a couple of weeks ago I overheard a conversation in which the participants were lamenting the December sun and warmer than average start to winter. The gist of the dialogue was something like “…it’s not nice enough to golf and not cold enough to ice fish….” Such are the struggles when […]

Electronics for more ice-fishing success

December 14, 2015 by  

Electronics for more ice-fishing success

Most open water anglers who fish from a boat wouldn’t think of going out without a sonar unit, also known as a depth finder. That same thought is true with most ice anglers. A depth finder will help you catch more fish, and they are also much more than just a depth-finder. Here’s how. In […]

Mule Deer, Salmon and Upland Hunting Updates

December 9, 2015 by  

Mule Deer, Salmon and Upland Hunting Updates

With the busy fall hunting seasons I often wish I was able get more important updates worked into my weekly column. From deer to pheasants, ducks and geese – did I forget fall fishing? There’s just such a frantic pace of information and I guess that’s a good thing. Here are a few items that […]

Ice Fishing Reminders

December 7, 2015 by  

Ice Fishing Reminders

First there’s ice, then there isn’t. I promise, ice is on the way. When it gets here, if you keep the following reminders in mind, you’ll catch more fish through the ice. On early ice, it’s very important to keep quiet, and also to keep movement to a minimum. Early ice will be thin, it […]

Winter Boat Maitenance

December 2, 2015 by  

Winter Boat Maitenance

Let’s face it, while many people put an unofficial end to open-water fishing months ago, others enjoyed the warm fall and extended their boating and fishing even into November. Then with the rush of deer season, perhaps the annual chore of winterizing the boat is still on the “to do” list. For the most part, […]

2015 open-water fishing takeaways

November 30, 2015 by  

2015 open-water fishing takeaways

I’m sure of it: My open water fishing season for 2015 is over. It’s sleeting outside and the boat has been retired for the season. When the boat gets put away, I like to reflect a bit on the just-completed open water fishing season. Following are some “take-aways” from my 2015 open water season. The […]

Darkhouse Spearfishing Growing in Popularity

November 25, 2015 by  

Darkhouse Spearfishing Growing in Popularity

It’s almost December, and if there’s a transition time for outdoor activities, this is it. I felt it the last week of deer season as rain turned to snow, and the wind blew out the extended fall and brought in more “normal” temperatures. When that happens, it doesn’t take long for serious ice to start […]

First Ice Panfish

November 24, 2015 by  

First Ice Panfish

The weather is getting colder, which means ice-fishing is getting closer every day. There is a skim of ice on the pond, and with a little help from the weather-maker, that skim will be a solid layer soon. Once that layer of ice is established, it won’t be long until there will be anglers out […]

Managing the Deer Population for 2016 and Beyond

November 19, 2015 by  

Managing the Deer Population for 2016 and Beyond

As the sun sets on the 2015 deer gun season, the State Game and Fish Department is already well into the process of thinking about next year and beyond. Agency biologists and administrators are close to finalizing a new plan that will guide deer management for the next five years, with a goal of increasing […]

Get Ready for Ice Fishing

November 17, 2015 by  

Get Ready for Ice Fishing

I haven’t given up hope for a couple more open water fishing trips in the next week or two, but I know that I need to start getting ready to go ice fishing.  Following are some things you can do to prepare for the ice season, and also some things you should consider for your […]

Diseases That Can Affect Deer Populations

November 11, 2015 by  

Diseases That Can Affect Deer Populations

With deer season in full swing, it’s a good time to take a look at a couple of diseases that can influence the state’s deer populations. As we all know, wildlife can get diseases, just like humans. In a recent North Dakota Game and Fish Department webcast, Dr. Dan Grove, the Department’s wildlife veterinarian, shared […]

Memorable Fishing Trips

November 9, 2015 by  

Memorable Fishing Trips

Open water season in my part of the world is winding down. There might be a couple more trips in the boat, but I’m getting the ice-fishing stuff ready to go. It’s at this time of year that I like to look back at the season just completed. Every year has trips that are more […]

How to Care For Your Deer in the Field

November 4, 2015 by  

How to Care For Your Deer in the Field

For many deer hunters there’s no spring, summer, fall or winter – only deer season and preparing for deer season. That’s a testament to the level of respect and importance many hunters attach to North Dakota’s deer hunting heritage. In the coming weeks we’ll see pictures, hear stories and weave memories like the farm-to-market dusty […]

Making Plans

November 2, 2015 by  

Making Plans

There was snow in the air last week. Not much, but enough to remind me of something that I didn’t need to be reminded of: Winter is getting closer. We could be ice-fishing on small ponds and lakes in less than a month. Strangely, I enjoy ice-fishing more now than I did in the past.  […]

Q and A on Deer Hunting Rules and Regulations

October 28, 2015 by  

Q and A on Deer Hunting Rules and Regulations

Every year the North Dakota Game and Fish Department receives questions from deer hunters who want to clarify rules and regulations. Some common questions are listed below. Q – What is the proper procedure for tagging a deer? A – The law says upon taking possession of your deer you need to immediately tag it. […]

Northern Pike on Walleye Gear

October 27, 2015 by  

Northern Pike on Walleye Gear

It happened again recently.  We had a great plan for catching fish and the fish just didn’t get with the program that we were presenting.  We changed our program completely and caught’em: Caught’em good. Here are the details. We were on Lake Winnibigoshish in north central Minnesota. My fishing partners were Craig Brown and Kyle […]

Pneumonia Outbreak Means No Bighorn Sheep Season

October 21, 2015 by  

Pneumonia Outbreak Means No Bighorn Sheep Season

This is the first fall in many years that North Dakota has not had a bighorn sheep hunting season. Even though the number of licenses has always been low, typically ranging from three to six a year over the last two decades, interest was always high, with odds of receiving one of these once-in-a-lifetime licenses […]

Fall River Walleyes

October 19, 2015 by  

Fall River Walleyes

Across the Midwest many anglers are putting their open water fishing gear away. Some are going hunting, others are getting ready to go ice-fishing. However, there are a good number of anglers that look forward to this time of year for open water fishing. They know that right now, in rivers throughout the Midwest and […]

Pheasant Numbers on the Rise in North Dakota

October 14, 2015 by  

Pheasant Numbers on the Rise in North Dakota

Even with reduced deer gun hunting opportunities the past several years, I’ll still argue that deer hunting is king in North Dakota in terms of popularity. More than 70,000 prospective hunters continue to apply for regular deer gun season licenses, maintaining the popularity of deer hunting even though fewer than half the hunters who applied […]

Ice-Fishing Baits for Open Water

October 13, 2015 by  

Ice-Fishing Baits for Open Water

The cool weather we’ve been feeling in recent days reminds me that it’s time to get the ice-fishing baits ready to go. However, I won’t be using them for ice-fishing just yet. Many, many years ago, probably sometime in the late 80s or early 90s, a group of us started using spoons that were thought […]

Think Safety This Hunting Season

October 7, 2015 by  

Think Safety This Hunting Season

What are the most important reminders as fall hunting seasons are in full gear? Knowing the limits? Having the right license? Taking a kid hunting? These are all good, but the list below should occupy the top spot. 1. Treat every firearm with the same respect due a loaded firearm. 2. Control the direction of […]

Fall for Crappies

October 5, 2015 by  

Fall for Crappies

Fall has fell in the Midwest. When we left the dock at Kabetogama Lake in northern Minnesota last week at about 8:00 a.m., the air temperatures were in the high 20’s. That’s pretty chilly, but we hadn’t traveled to Kab to sit on the shore. We pulled on the Guidewear and headed onto the lake […]

Fall Hunting Expectations

September 30, 2015 by  

Fall Hunting Expectations

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about our attitudes and perceptions. The back-and-forth went from complaining about the weather to a fear of flying, and it got me to thinking about hunting. A bright sunny day with no wind is usually not very good for duck hunting in October, but such […]

Fish Smarter This Fall

September 28, 2015 by  

Fish Smarter This Fall

I went fishing last week and the action was okay. I’m going fishing again this week and I expect the action to be better. As the water cools and the days get shorter, fishing for a wide variety of fish is going to keep getting better. We fish differently in the fall than we do […]

PLOTS Signs a Boon for North Dakota Hunters

September 23, 2015 by  

PLOTS Signs a Boon for North Dakota Hunters

Next to sunflowers, Private Lands Open to Sportsmen signs are probably the most visible yellow objects found across the prairies of North Dakota this autumn. Over the past years, PLOTS signs have become synonymous with quality habitat open for hunting access. The signs mark the boundaries of parcels of private land that landowners have opened […]

Now’s the Time for Northern Pike

September 21, 2015 by  

Now’s the Time for Northern Pike

I’m going fishing next week. Late September and October are wonderful times to be on the water almost anywhere in the Midwest chasing walleye, largemouth and smallmouth bass, and panfish. On the fishing trip I have in mind, however, those species will all be safe: we’re going after northern pike. Pike are very susceptible under […]

Here’s why 1 in 4 North Dakotans Over 16 Bought a Fishing License for 2014-15

September 16, 2015 by  

Here’s why 1 in 4 North Dakotans Over 16 Bought a Fishing License for 2014-15

I bought a fishing license this year, just like I have every year since I turned 16. I bought a license for my wife, and my kids still aren’t old enough to need one (16 or older) but we all fished the past year, just like we do every year. I’m not sure I’d say […]

Fish the Weedline in the Fall

September 15, 2015 by  

Fish the Weedline in the Fall

The weedline is a great place to find and catch fish all during the open water fishing season. Lots of anglers even work the weedline while ice-fishing. Simply put, there is almost always a fish somewhere along the weedline that is willing to get caught. In the autumn months a variety of fish will be […]

North Dakota’s 2015 Waterfowl Season Set

September 9, 2015 by  

North Dakota’s 2015 Waterfowl Season Set

One of the final pieces of North Dakota’s fall hunting picture is the setting of waterfowl season. While the moose and elk season was set way back in March, followed by deer, pronghorn, small game and fall turkey, waterfowl must wait until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service establishes the frameworks under which states can […]

Fall Fishing Ideas

September 8, 2015 by  

Fall Fishing Ideas

It’s time to start planning our fall fishing trips: Where we’ll go, what we’ll fish for, and how we’ll present our baits. Fall fishing in northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, and North Dakota might be kicking in now. In southern Minnesota, South Dakota, north Iowa, and southern Wisconsin, it will start in two or three weeks, […]

Report Poaching Violations to the Proper Authorities

September 2, 2015 by  

Report Poaching Violations to the Proper Authorities

For all the good stories I’m told about an angler’s memorable catch or hunter’s tale of hits or misses, I also hear a fair share of stories without laughs or smiles. These are the stories of illegal activity or suspect practices that people witness or hear about all to frequently. It’s these kinds of stories […]

There’s Still Lots of Time for Fishing

August 31, 2015 by  

There’s Still Lots of Time for Fishing

Labor Day indicates to many people that the end of summer is near, and to some that means it’s time to put the boat and their rods and reels into storage. Anglers who quit fishing in early September are missing out on two months of some of the best fishing of the year. Keep the […]

Hunting Out of State? Check the Chronic Wasting Disease Guidelines

August 26, 2015 by  

Hunting Out of State? Check the Chronic Wasting Disease Guidelines

It was a hot August Saturday and I was at the pool with the kids. It was even too hot to fish. Ironically the conversation turned from water and fish to big game during the dog days of summer. My friend was looking at a possible trip to Wyoming or Montana, and even planning years […]

Fishing the Midwest

August 24, 2015 by  

Fishing the Midwest

Fishing season started early this year. The ice went out sooner than it had in several years, so we were able to get the boat on the water much earlier than in the past. Early season fishing always brings excitement and expectations. I’m always anxious to try new locations, new baits, and new presentations. This […]

Expect changes with federal duck stamp this year

August 19, 2015 by  

Expect changes with federal duck stamp this year

In the coming weeks when thousands of North Dakota hunters will go through the annual ritual of buying a federal duck stamp, most people will notice a change or two. One of those changes is a price increase from $15 to $25 passed by Congress and signed into law late last year. It was the […]

Get ready for fall fishing

August 17, 2015 by  

Get ready for fall fishing

It seems like summer just started, but it’s already time to think about fall fishing. Nature has started providing us with the signs that remind us that autumn is closer than we think. Just like summer fishing is different in some ways than spring fishing, fishing in the fall can be different than fishing in the […]

How to get in more fishing this summer

August 12, 2015 by  

How to get in more fishing this summer

Usually in August comes the inevitable “I didn’t…” syndrome. You know, “I didn’t fish enough,” or “I didn’t spend enough time on the water.” Before you spend the last precious days/weeks of summer moping around, grousing about time slipping through your fingers, here’s a few tips to help people with even the most harried schedules […]

Catch the Hungry Fish

August 10, 2015 by  

Catch the Hungry Fish

It may sound obvious, but when we go fishing, we want to catch a fish. Lots of fish are even better. Yes, it’s fun to be on the water and watching ducks and deer and eagles and spending time with family and friends, but we don’t need to buy a bunch of fishing equipment and […]

August goose hunting

August 5, 2015 by  

August goose hunting

With back-to-school ads, high school sports and college students all shifting from summer into fall mode, I’ve started to hear some anglers transition from summer fishing to hunting talk. Which isn’t all that surprising, considering the early Canada goose season opens Aug. 15. What may be surprising is that this early season for resident geese […]

Fishing Don’t Always Know What They’re Supposed to Do

August 4, 2015 by  

Fishing Don’t Always Know What They’re Supposed to Do

Down through the years we’ve been taught that fish do certain things at certain times of the year, and that there are certain ways that we can catch those fish. Often those time-tested techniques for catching fish work well, but there are times when we need to do things a little or a lot differently […]

Fall Pronghorn Season is On Its Way

July 29, 2015 by  

Fall Pronghorn Season is On Its Way

I’ve hunted pronghorn in southwestern North Dakota, and seen them in the wild in McIntosh County and Sargent counties, east of the Missouri River and well away from their population center in the state. I’ve also heard of people spotting them in Steele and Traill counties in years past, and no doubt they’ve been sighted […]

Fish Slower and Simpler… Sometimes

July 27, 2015 by  

Fish Slower and Simpler… Sometimes

Different people go about their fishing in different ways.  Some anglers like to consider every reason why a fish was caught on a certain bait, was in a particular location at a particular time, and why that fish decided to bite just then.  That’s great.  Curious anglers catch lots of fish and often are the […]

Shorefishing is a Surefire Good Time

July 22, 2015 by  

Shorefishing is a Surefire Good Time

Greg Power is the Fisheries Division Chief for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, so when he speaks of fish or fishing, I stop and listen. The other day I heard him state, “…Lake Sakakawea has more shoreline than the state of California….” I stopped and thought about that for a moment, and then […]

Summer Fishing Suggestions

July 20, 2015 by  

Summer Fishing Suggestions

Across North America, we’re smack in the middle of summer.  Fishing can be good, or it can be tough.  If it’s tough though, it generally doesn’t need to be.  There are some things we can do to catch more fish right now.  Following are some of those things. Many of us have a tendency to […]

Fishing Accessories Galore at ICAST

July 17, 2015 by  

Fishing Accessories Galore at ICAST

by Craig Ritchie From tackle boxes to high performance rain suits, tackle manufacturers have pulled out all the stops with an incredible range of new products unveiled this week at the ICAST fishing tackle trade show, held in Orlando, Florida. Plano exhibited a number of new tackle boxes, including a Women’s Series of soft-sided tackle […]

Next Generation Rods and Reels Unspooled at ICAST 2015

July 17, 2015 by  

Next Generation Rods and Reels Unspooled at ICAST 2015

by Craig Ritchie One expects to see new technologies introduced at the world’s largest fishing tackle trade show, and manufacturers did not disappoint with numerous new rod and reel introductions at ICAST, held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando from July 15 to 17, 2015. Leading the way from Abu Garcia are the […]

Hundreds of New Baits Unveiled at ICAST

July 17, 2015 by  

Hundreds of New Baits Unveiled at ICAST

by Craig Ritchie Anglers will face tough choices when shopping for new lures next spring as manufacturers unveil a wide range of new hard and soft baits this week at ICAST, the world’s largest fishing tackle trade show. More than 11,000 people representing manufacturers, buyers, dealers and reps from around the globe are on hand […]

Pheasant Population Counts Up Statewide

July 16, 2015 by  

Pheasant Population Counts Up Statewide

Most hunters don’t apologize if their conversations drift to the coming fall hunting season while they are still enjoying summer fishing, camping or one of many other outdoor activities. We’re prone to keeping one eye on the bobber and another on the calendar while our imagination ponders what the fields and skies might hold this […]

Crankbaits for Summer Fish

July 13, 2015 by  

Crankbaits for Summer Fish

Crankbaits are a great way to catch summer fish for several reasons. Crankbaits allow an angler to cover lots of water in a short period of time. Crankbaits appeal to most species of gamefish regardless of where you’re fishing. Crankbaits can be cast to precise areas that are holding a concentration of fish, or they […]

Should Fish Length Limits Be Introduced in North Dakota?

July 8, 2015 by  

Should Fish Length Limits Be Introduced in North Dakota?

Throughout the last 20-plus years, since the drought-busting summer of 1993, many fishing waters in North Dakota have had fish populations that peaked, declined and then peaked even higher. Within that same time period, State Game and Fish Department biologists have had many discussions internally, and with concerned anglers, about whether some type of “length […]

Work the Weedline

July 6, 2015 by  

Work the Weedline

It’s summer.  Lots of people are fishing, and lots of fish are just waiting to get caught.  In the summer months, there are so many ways to catch fish.  They can be deep, they can be shallow, they can be suspended or they can be relating to structure.  One very good way to catch a […]

Getting Outside for Some Summer Fishing

July 2, 2015 by  

Getting Outside for Some Summer Fishing

Each July, I promise myself to fish more the rest of the summer. It’s usually because I’m wondering where the first month of summer went and I realize I haven’t gotten out as much as intended … thus far. I do know I’ve never made it to fall freeze-up and said I’ve spent way too […]

Trollin’, Trollin’, Trollin’

June 30, 2015 by  

Trollin’, Trollin’, Trollin’

 If you go fishing in the summer and want to catch fish, trolling is a great way to do it.  Following are some ideas for more effective and productive trolling. Anglers can troll with either a bow mount or transom mount electric motor, or with the boat’s main engine.  I use my main engine most of […]

Looking Ahead to Fall Hunting Season

June 24, 2015 by  

Looking Ahead to Fall Hunting Season

Here it is barely summer–the calendar says summer began June 21– and a lot of us are already looking ahead to what the fall hunting season might provide. While some prospects are risky to try to pin down just yet, spring weather conditions can give us some ideas about how various species have fared so […]

Want Walleyes Right Now? Use Spinners

June 22, 2015 by  

Want Walleyes Right Now? Use Spinners

As the water warms and we get into the heat of summer, most predator fish will be feeding aggressively.  Walleyes will be eating whatever they can find.  A very effective way to catch walleyes is with a spinner rigged with a nightcrawler.  Here’s how you get started. Spinners are the preferred presentation of many walleye […]

Stay Safe This Boating Season

June 17, 2015 by  

Stay Safe This Boating Season

I grew up in the 1980s when recommendations for seatbelt use were turning into laws, and people were trying to adjust to the process of having to click in before driving off. And who would argue about that? It’s impossible to plan the best time to wear or not wear a safety belt, so it […]

Spread Out for Fishing Success

June 15, 2015 by  

Spread Out for Fishing Success

We’re into the summer bite! For most species of fish, the spawn is over and the predator fish have one thing on their mind:  Food!  Their only concern for the rest of the summer is eating.  If we want to catch more fish, we need to be where they’re eating, and then we need to […]

How to Become a North Dakota Game and Fish Warden

June 10, 2015 by  

How to Become a North Dakota Game and Fish Warden

One of the more common questions asked of any Game and Fish employee, whether it’s over the phone, through friends, via email, or at the grocery store, is: “How do you get a job as a game warden?” I get variations of this question frequently when the topic of my occupation comes up in conversations […]

Catch More Fish All Summer Long

June 8, 2015 by  

Catch More Fish All Summer Long

It’s starting to feel a lot like summer.  Fish behave differently in the different seasons, and if we want to catch fish in the different seasons, we need to vary our lure presentations and how we go about catching fish.  Following are some ideas for catching fish during the summer months. Perhaps the most important […]