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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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. Over-sized plastics have also proved to be valuable in the fall, sumo sized tube baits are ones I like.

Decreasing water levels has us concerned and limits boat accessibility and safety on many sections of the Red. On many sections of the Red if you are not running a specialized boat designed for skinny water, such as a River Pro Hi-Pro, you are not running. Caution is well advised on all of the Red, especially for prop rigs. The past 3 weeks has seen some of the lowest levels in recent memory. This is partly due to work under way at a dam on the Otter Tail River that has now been completed, and due to no new rains on the basin. We should see the river on the rise soon. We do need rain, plenty of rain to get the system full again.

A mysterious and very isolated fish die off appeared on the Red just North of Fargo a week ago Sunday. It was a very representative type kill, everything from catfish to pike were hit, and everything in between. All sizes and all age groups in a small section 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. So far the finger is pointing at a combination of low DO (dissolved oxygen) levels and high water temps. If this is indeed the case, it is mother nature just doing her balancing act, lets hope that is all it was.

The walleye bite should just get better from now on. Fall is most definitely big walleye time here on the Red River of the North! This past weekend we boated some very nice walleye, so it may be starting already.

Ed "Backwater Eddy" Carlson

"Piggy's are my business, and business is good"


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