Brad’s Bites: Spawn Brings Tricky Bite

By Brad Durick Water temperatures on the Red River are nearing 80 degrees this week and many of the flow’s catfish are now on the nest or getting ready to spawn. This week fishing has been spotty in most areas with lack of current to hold fish and make them predictable, as most sections of…

The Muskie Minute: Open the Window

By Andrew Slette With the hot days, rising water temps and high skies, muskies have been seeking shelter in the deep weeds.  There is a small window of opportunity in the mornings and evenings that has fish out actively chasing baitfish during those low light periods. Muskies can be found suspended over deeper water or…

The Peluso Report: Solid Action as Summer Nears

By Mike Peluso Fishing remains good all over the state of North Dakota right now, especially throughout our three big bodies of water: Lake Sakakawea, Devils Lake, and the Missouri River system. I’ve been mostly on Devils Lake the past couple of weeks with a trip or two up to Sakakawea and Devils Lake fishing…

One Knot to Rule Them All

By Nick Simonson For standard tackle fishing and connecting the line directly to the hook, a swivel, or even a small lure, the Palomar knot shines above most others not only in its simplicity but also its strength.  With just four simple steps that retain more than ninety-five percent of a line’s given pound-test rating,…

ND CTL State Tourney is June 16-18

By Nick Simonson The North Dakota State High School Clay Target League (ND CTL) will be holding its annual state tournament at the Shooting Park in Horace, N.D., June 18-20, playing host to approximately 1,000 shooters from 60 high schools and showcasing some of the best shotgunning talent in the state over those three days…

Record-Setting Muskie Angler Andrew Slette Joins DEO Staff

DEO Release Beginning June 15, Dakota Edge Outdoors is teaming up with Andrew Slette, one of the most accomplished young muskie guides in the upper Midwest, to bring readers weekly reports on the fish of 10,000 casts just across the Red River in west-central Minnesota’s lakes country.  Having previously held the Minnesota catch-and-release state record…

Brad’s Bites: Sizzling into Spawn

By Brad Durick With incredibly hot temperatures over the weekend and to present, the catfish on much of the Red River are heading to the nest.  I have started seeing males protecting the nests and others acting like they are looking for a nest. The bad news is the bite will slow, the good news…

Waterfowl Tracking Provides Answers & More Questions

By Doug Leier The lack of winter snowpack created a bit of mystery as to when the spring snow goose migration would begin, which route the birds would take and if the lack of snow would slide the geese through without delay. Coming up with the answer was a combination of biology, gut feeling and…

2021 Breeding Duck Numbers Dip, Water Index Down Significantly

NDG&F Release Very dry conditions, along with a decline in numbers of breeding ducks compared to last year, were found during the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s 74th annual breeding duck survey. The 2021 May water index was down 80 percent from 2020, and nearly 68 percent below the 1948-2020 average. The percentage-based change…

The Peluso Report: Lake Walleyes on the Feed

By Mike Peluso I promised last week that the reports would switch over to mostly to Devils Lake and Lake Sakakawea for the next couple of months, so with that said, let’s get to it! First off, I’d like to let everyone know, in case you didn’t know already: we are extremely spoiled here in…

First & Ten

By Nick Simonson In all my fly fishing efforts, a brook trout has eluded me.  While I know some of the waters which I have fished, particularly small streams on the north shore of Lake Superior, have contained the fish so often found at the chilly head of creeks, I had yet to catch one. …

Between Me and the Trees

By Nick Simonson In the pool before me on Spearfish Creek sat so many trout I could hardly contain myself.  Having scouted the run the day before, my jaw dropped as brookies, browns and rainbows lazily sat all within a foot of each other, rising and picking off the unseen midges in the surface film…

Our Outdoors: Deep Recollections

By Nick Simonson My first experience with wild trout came in Montana just before my senior year of high school.  There, alongside a ditch that we were told was a trout stream by the man at the shop in the nearby town, I wandered out toward the bank and looked down to see a dark,…

Defending Gardens from Deer

By Doug Leier I’ll never be mistaken for a master gardener, and it really doesn’t bother me. Beyond borrowing the neighbor’s tiller and breaking up the ground, I lose interest in the garden even before the first spuds are planted.  But I also fully understand the pride many gardeners take in their summer produce, as time is measured in weeks…

Brad’s Bites: Shock to the System

By Brad Durick Get ready for some catfish shock. The forecast is everything we don’t want: nice stable comfortable weather shifting right to nasty hot. Water temperatures will be rising very fast into the 70s and shocking the fish for a few days and then I suspect the spawn will be close behind. In the…

The Peluso Report: River & Lake

By Mike Peluso This report is a combination fishing report for both the Missouri River near Bismarck and the east end of Lake Sakakawea. This will probably be my last river report until this fall. I do have to say this is very bittersweet for me. It feels like only yesterday I was rushing home…

Netting Out

By Nick Simonson The evolution of the fishing net in the past few decades has leapt from the one-size-fits-all model of an aluminum hoop with a nylon basket of one-inch squares into the branches of an evolutionary tree reaching out across the horizon of angling options.  From ergonomic grips for more stable solo landings, to…

Training Days

By Nick Simonson Pulling the pheasant dummy down from the rafters from under the deck in the backyard, I whipped it twice in a circle before launching it across the greening grass, and it bounced with a clank against the metal fence.  On the rebound, my lab jumped up and snared the foam-and-plastic bird and…

Our Outdoors: Home & Away

By Nick Simonson I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m a homebody when it comes to the outdoors.  It doesn’t take much for me to get lost chasing walleyes along the river winding through town, casting after trout in the nearby lakes, or picking off a few hungry bass as summer progresses on…

Avoid Contact with Young Animals

By Doug Leier This is the time of year when North Dakota Game and Fish Department game wardens, biologists and other staff across the state handle an influx of calls about young animals. From seemingly abandoned deer fawns, to birds that fell from a nest, to a mother duck trying to lead her brood across…

Brad’s Bites: A Wild Week

By Brad Durick It’s been a wild week. We were blessed with rains in the northern Red River valley that gave the catfish a fresh drink. However, water levels remain seriously low from Oslo to the south and heavy rains brought Drayton up nearly four feet but the river is quickly falling now. The recent…

Pheasants 101: The Key is Habitat

By Rachel Bush, ND State Coordinator, Pheasants Forever With spring turkey season wrapped up, our thoughts and anticipation await the next opening day, mine do at least. There is a lot of time between now and then, but now is the time of year that those wildlife species we enjoy pursuing so much each fall…

The Peluso Report: A Random Giant

By Mike Peluso Just when I thought there was little chance left this spring for a really big walleye, boom goes the thump on a jig and presto, a 33 inch monster Missouri River walleye! The one thing this last string of big post spawn walleyes has taught me, is never count a big fish…

Sportsmen Have Strong Legislative Session

By John Bradley The 2021 Legislature was a busy one for issues affecting wildlife, habitat and access for hunters, anglers, and outdoor enthusiasts. As we have in years past, the North Dakota Wildlife Federation (NDWF) played a crucial role at the Capitol, monitoring key issues and speaking up for those issues and our outdoor heritage….

Our Outdoors: Cream of the Crop

By Nick Simonson A shellacking. A beatdown. A butt-whooping.  All these terms paled in my young mind when describing a drubbing on the baseball field when compared to the term “getting creamed.”  That descriptor suggests that the opposing team had swung their bats so mightily and so frequently and with such success that they converted…

Brad’s Bites: Something Like Summer

By Brad Durick The water temperatures have really come up the past few days in the northern reaches of the Red River. Some sections of the flow are producing fish better than others. Most areas are fishing like it is mid-summer as the lack of current seems to have not sparked the catfish to make…

Boating Course Benefits All

By Doug Leier Most work or recreation plans follow the principle that you reap what you sow. The more planning and preparation, the better the odds are for success. Or, in other words, the time to start preparing for deer season isn’t the night before. The search for the misplaced deer tag, the rifle that…

G&F Encourages Boaters to be ANS Aware

NDG&F Release North Dakota has seen an increase in aquatic nuisance species in the last decade, yet the state remains in pretty good shape with the low number of waterbodies with invasive species. Even so, public awareness about ANS, including zebra mussels, and the actions that help prevent their spread, remains a priority of the…

Peluso Report: Downstream Drift

By Mike Peluso Things on the Missouri River remain pretty solid following the spawn.  There are lots of fish to be caught, and many of them are being caught right now on a jig and minnow. The scary part for me at the moment is that the walleyes are moving extremely fast downstream. Upstream is…

Considering Carp

By Nick Simonson There’s an encounter each spring that reminds me of how lucky we are to have ugly fish.  They don’t glisten in gold like walleyes, sparkle with silver like a white bass, or even bring up the base of the podium like a smallmouth bass bedecked in bronze.  Instead, they fight hard, provide…