Blade Basics for Late Summer Angling

By Nick Simonson Late summer brings the bling on big baits and small ones too, and for any angler in just about any realm of fishing, flashy blades are a part of every late season arsenal.  From big double-bladed bucktails cast for muskies, to crawler harnesses trolled for walleyes, to spinnerbaits burned for bass of…

Our Outdoors: Bigger than the Fish, but not by Much

By Nick Simonson The last time I was fishing in a kayak, I was lazily rolling down the canal which connected the back of our VRBO south of Ft. Meyers, Florida to the intercoastal waterway, where flounder, sailcats and the seatrout that I hoped most of all to connect with waited along the drop off…

Brad’s Bites: A Stellar Stretch

By Brad Durick Catfishing on the Red River has been quite stellar this week. We have had lots of big fish coming in. If you know where you want to fish, things have been pretty easy as the catfish have been hanging out in the mid-river holes toward the front. One thing that has been…

The Peluso Report: Back on Sak

By Mike Peluso I’m back on Lake Sakakawea this week and the walleye fishing certainly isn’t a letdown. This lake has been on fire since the very beginning this year and it hasn’t let up a bit. The walleyes are moving around some. You can still find some really nice fish up shallow. You just…

Unsnagged

By Nick Simonson There are many good adages that come from and apply to angling.  From “wind from the north, don’t venture forth” to “ninety percent of the fish inhabit ten percent of the water,” big and little lessons alike are summed up in quick catchphrases that are easy to remember and applicable in most…

Our Outdoors: Midsummer Signs

By Nick Simonson About this time of year, the young loons on the calm morning water of the lake begin to become more apparent. Half feathered and not quite yet the sleek black-and-white of their parents, they flex their independence or congregate in hangouts in front of the dock which rival teenagers getting together on…

A Good Hatch May Balance Out Crowing Count Dip

By Doug Leier Most hunters don’t apologize while spending summer fishing, camping or enjoying any number of outdoor activities if the conversations drift to the coming fall hunting season. We’re prone to keep one eye on the bobber and another on the calendar while our imagination thinks of what the fields and skies might hold…

Brad’s Bites: A Summer Catfish Thing

By Brad Durick The big news this week for catfish anglers on the Red River is that both boat ramps in Drayton are open. That means that all ramps on the Red River are now open and usable. Fishing this week has shifted to a full-on summer pattern. The fish are spread out and doing…

The Peluso Report: Spinner Selection Key on Devils

By Mike Peluso The walleye fishing has been good on Devils Lake this past week! Bug hatches, tons of new food like baby perch and white bass, and lots of freshwater shrimp give fish plenty to eat, yet the walleyes on Devils Lake just continue to bite! What’s working? Well, it’s Devils Lake, and it…

Spring Grouse Counts Strong Predictor for Season

By Nick Simonson North Dakota’s recently released sharptailed grouse counts are a strong predictor of what hunters will encounter each fall in the field. This year’s tally of birds seen on spring mating grounds, called leks, showed an overall decline across the Roughrider state and early nesting attempts were likely hampered by late April blizzards…

Our Outdoors: Thinking Big

By Nick Simonson It was by far the biggest walleye my ten-year-old eyes had ever seen.  Back in those days at the lake cabin, when septic fields slowly filtered their way into the water, and weeds grew thick this time of year from the warm, fertile shallows out into the depths, walleyes were a bit…

Farm Fresh Fishing

By Doug Leier I’ve loosely compared some of our fisheries division work to farming.Planting, stocking and growing fish is parallel to farmers planting crops. You need the right soil, right conditions and weather to grow thecrop. Wheat or walleyes. It’s not too far off when you think about it.So, this spring when farmers were battling…

Brad’s Bites: Cats Still Spawning?

By Brad Durick It appears we had a second spawn or late spawn this year. It really doesn’t matter but it is noticeable this week that we have a bunch more beat up and skinny fish. The bite continues to be good if not great up and down the Red River. Water levels are down…

The Peluso Report: A Return to Devils Lake

By Mike Peluso I reluctantly left Lake Sakakawea earlier this week to travel east to Devils Lake, and all the discussion as of late has been regarding how good the fishing has been on both of these waters. I’m here to tell you Devils Lake is holding its own. Both bodies of water have been…

Our Outdoors: It All Comes Together

By Nick Simonson While preparing for the upcoming salmon season, and tying a few extra spinners for summer walleye trolling, my fingers began to find the smoothest of patterns on the various rigs coming together at my desk.  The turns and twists of line around the metal of the hook shank and gentle tug that…

2nd Deer Lottery Complete, Licenses Remain

NDG&F Department Release More than 3,500 deer licenses are still available in seven units for North Dakota’s 2022 deer gun season, and will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis beginning July 27 at 8 a.m. Central time. Residents and nonresidents who have not already received a lottery or landowner license are eligible to apply…

Brad’s Bites: Cats Shifting on Red

By Brad Durick Catfishing continues to be good on the Red River in and around Grand Forks but has slowed some over the past week. The heat and a water color variation have made fishing a little tougher but it is still outstanding. There are still many big fish around to be caught with many…

The Peluso Report: Sak Sustaining Success

By Mike Peluso The walleye bite at times is absolutely insane for both numbers and quality fish on Lake Sakakawea this past week, with overall fishing success continuing to be good. Walleyes on most days have been trending deeper in the 16-to-20-foot range, but if wind and water clarity are right fish can still be…

Our Outdoors: Live Like a Lab

By Nick Simonson The neat thing about labs is they never want to quit. Whether it’s in the field or on a summertime swim, it most often comes down to their owners to know when to say when.  On about the twenty-seventh stick thrown from the end of the dock yesterday morning, the mounting blue…

Trail Cam Tips

By Nick Simonson With the lottery application process wrapped for this fall’s firearms deer season, many hunters’ minds are already turning to the cool days of autumn, despite the confirmation from a warm, sweaty suggestion that summer has just started.  In this time of preparation, no other tool is more important in the process of…

Brad’s Bites: Red Hot Summer

By Brad Durick It’s mid-July, and the big catfish just keep coming all up and down the Red River!   It seems that everywhere on the Red River – from Wahpeton to the Canadian Border – is producing great catfish. One big change the past couple of days, however, is that the fish have moved…

The Peluso Report: Sak Staying Solid

By Mike Peluso This week, the walleyes are still biting across Lake Sakakawea. Some areas like the mid-section or the Van Hook Arm can be better, but that doesn’t mean the eastern edge can’t be dynamite! Key depths have been 12-to-18 feet. Now, some days with the right winds and water clarity they move up…

Sporting Clays & State Events Keep Hunters Sharp

By Nick Simonson With the Fourth of July in the rear-view mirror, it won’t be long until birds take to the skies in front of hunters across the northern plains. Keeping shooting form and eye function at their peak requires practice during the off season and one of the best ways to do it is…

Our Outdoors: Water, Water Everywhere?

By Nick Simonson Whether it’s taking my pick of one out of 10,000 lakes on my Independence Day holiday road trip, or floating down the Missouri River back home, the presence of freshwater is a major part of my summer and presumably that of any other boater or angler enjoying the warmer temperatures of the…

Keep It Cool at Summer Boat Ramps

By Doug Leier No matter if you’re attending a baseball game, concert or any summer gathering, getting there and getting home safely and efficiently is important. At a recent concert it was pouring rain, and everyone had the same idea. How can we get out of here as fast as we can? It’s the same…

Brad’s Bites: Even with Drop, Action Up

By Brad Durick Since last week, the Red River in Grand Forks has fallen over five feet. After just a few days off the water for the Independence Day holiday, it is like a totally different world out there as far as how things look. Looks are one thing, catfishing is another. The catfish bite…

The Peluso Report: Crawlers Strong on Sak

By Mike Peluso The walleye fishing is on fire up here on Sakakawea. On certain days, it’s truly remarkable. A mix of slow death, PK prop rigs, and a plain old live bait rig with crawlers is hard to beat. The fish are still really shallow on days depending on conditions, but average depth to…

Old Reliable

By Nick Simonson As fishing lures went, the bait I found buried among the myriad muskie offerings on the wall in the old boathouse was a first generation bucktail.  The fluted Indiana blades came from a bulk order I placed when I was first tying up the in-line spinners for muskie fishing more than a…

Despite Drop, Pheasant Optimism Remains

By Nick Simonson This spring’s decrease in crowing counts for rooster pheasants was not unexpected according to North Dakota Game & Fish Department Upland Game Biologist RJ Gross.   And while the statewide decrease of 22 percent year-over-year of roosters heard marking their territories in the early morning hours on the countryside seems large, he points…

Our Outdoors: A Blaze of Color

By Nick Simonson When it comes to angling, I’m a huge fan of matching the hatch to catch more fish and will often start with something natural on that first cast if I know what bass, walleyes, pike and other species I pursue are eating.  Silver jig-and-twister patterns shine for walleyes when the spottails are…