Brad’s Bites: Catfish Spawn is On

By Brad Durick The big news this week is the ramps in the Fargo/Moorhead area are opening up. Grand Forks where I am fishing is nearly perfect for boating by my standards. All three ramps are now open. No docks yet but I suspect they will be coming shortly. Fishing is fairly tough as it…

Our Outdoors: Sweating It

By Nick Simonson Two months ago today, it snowed and snowed and snowed; and it wasn’t just for a day, but for nearly four straight days that the skies remained gray under a stalled low-pressure system, where the wind howled, and drifts of ten feet in depth that blocked traffic into and out of my…

2022 Deer Lottery Held, Licenses Remain

NDG&F Release North Dakota’s deer gun lottery has been held and more than 5,500 deer gun licenses remain. Only resident applicants who were unsuccessful in the lottery can apply for remaining licenses. More than 71,000 individuals applied for a deer gun lottery license, in addition to over 13,600 gratis applicants. The 2022 deer gun proclamation allows for…

Spring Pheasant Crowing Counts Drop

NDG&F Dept. Release The number of roosters heard crowing during the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s 2022 spring pheasant crowing count survey was down 22% statewide from last year. “The decrease came as no surprise,” said R.J. Gross, upland game management biologist. “We documented below average production from late summer roadside counts and the…

The Peluso Report: Relocating & Readjusting

By Mike Peluso My report this week is one of relocation and more wind. I was able to guide Friday on Devils Lake before the hurricane and we did well. I’m now relocated to Lake Sakakawea so we will have about a month worth of reports from here. Before I talk about Lake Sakakawea let’s…

Waterfowl Habitat Rejuvenated this Spring

By Nick Simonson Aside from the physical appearance of prairie pothole sloughs filled to the brim with runoff from spring snow melt and rain, the ability of these engines of America’s duck factory to support broods of waterfowl has been supercharged.  The ducklings now emerging from nests alongside these refilled lowlands and onto their heightened…

Our Outdoors: For Reference

By Nick Simonson Atop the tank of the basement toilet, where any good publication of any sort rests in any household, sits a well-worn copy of the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. As a smaller reference book, it tops of the stack of old Outdoor Life and Dakota Country…

Be Safe on the Water

By Doug Leier One of the struggles in preaching about safety is that, quite honestly, no one heads out the door thinking a boating or water tragedy may occur.  No matter the outdoor activity, there’s always a safety checklist, and I’ll never lose sight of the importance of keeping everyone safe from start to finish….

Brad’s Bites: A Late Start

By Brad Durick We finally got in the Red River at Grand Forks on Sunday, June 12. As far as I know the two Grand Forks ramps are the only two open boat accesses on the on the Red River right now. As of now there should be little change. Due to the river levels…

The Peluso Report: DL Hot Ahead of Warm-Up

By Mike Peluso Things have really started to heat up here on Devils Lake! The impressive walleyes and total weights in the Spirit Lake Casino Tournament recently are evidence of that. So, what’s working for walleyes? Maybe a better question or easier question would be “what isn’t!?” I truly believe you can catch fish on…

A Mountain Lion Bow Hunt

By Courtney Wilhelm For most of my life, I had dreamt of experiencing a mountain lion hunt and it was at the top of my hunting bucket list. For a time it seemed as if it would never be anything more than a fantasy but in December, I was able to embark on a trip…

Our Outdoors: Smells Like Summer

By Nick Simonson For some, the scent of summer is that of hamburgers on the grill, floating into the evening air between houses and through yards, ringing the mental bell of Pavlov’s dog in even the most civilized of us.  For others, it’s the smell of freshly opened lilacs, a sweet fragrance which industry has…

“Help” Wildlife by Leaving Them Alone

By Doug Leier I’ve connected with many compassionate people in person, on the phone and via email regarding situations with young wildlife, and I understand it’s not easy to step back from the urge to “help” an animal. Most people understand why the answer remains consistent even if they don’t like it. The best advice…

Brad’s Bites: Falling Toward a Bite

By Brad Durick Finally, I get to tell you something good. The projections the past few days on the Red River have the ramps in Grand Forks opening as early as Saturday, but it will probably more like Monday. Water temperatures and the time of year are saying we missed the best part of the…

The Peluso Report: Calming on Devils Lake

By Mike Peluso We finally have received a couple lighter wind days and we have also been able to get around Devils Lake a little more. Both of which have helped the fishing. The water hasn’t warmed up a ton yet but it’s getting better, it is currently 60-62 degrees and the water is mixed….

The ND Deer Lottery, Part 2: The Process

By Nick Simonson The workings of rut-influenced bucks go a bit haywire in November.  Where they could be patterned in summer and early fall, their daily mechanics go out the window when the breeding season hits and they’re driven by natural instincts to do their part in begetting the next generation.  The same can be…

The Big Leagues

By Nick Simonson “That’s why they say Montana is the big leagues of fly fishing.” My brother’s words stung like a spring training cut for the lifetime AAA baseball player that knew this was his last shot at the majors, but still found the pink slip tucked into the air slot on his April Arizona…

Our Outdoors: Corner Compilation

By Nick Simonson In the turn of the creek so tiny I could step across it I saw the tell-tale sign that suggested brook trout were lurking along the cut.  The fast water of the tiny flow rolling down from the small impoundment in the recreation area above spun out against the grassy bank, still…

Brad’s Bites: Red Levels Surging

By Brad Durick Storms over the weekend have put our flood situation on the Red River right back where it was last week. Only this time, we will have to wait a week for the river to rise and fall again. It now looks like around June 15 before boats will be able to get…

The Peluso Report: Spring River Recap

By Mike Peluso I honestly cannot believe this is my last spring river fishing report. It just feels like we all got cheated out of a nice long season here. It is what it is, so here we go. Looking back, the Missouri River opened up around Bismarck in mid-March like normal. Maybe it was…

Cover the Water

By Nick Simonson When afforded the opportunity, accessing an entire lake, stretch of river, or impoundment provides the greatest clarity on where fish are, what they’re up to, and how they’re biting.  While sometimes we’re limited by time, access, and terrain; a boat or a fishing trail around many angling destinations opens things up, and…

The ND Deer Lottery, Part 1: Influencers

By Nick Simonson With the lottery drawing deadline for the 2022 North Dakota firearms deer season fast approaching on June 8, many factors influence the set number of tags awarded through the state’s online lottery process: herd health, weather conditions, disease and habitat availability affect the opportunities made available to hunters during the state’s most…

Our Outdoors: Spring Sing

By Nick Simonson Staring out over the glassy lake, the early morning was a symphony of spring, and like the trill of the redwing blackbirds coming from down the beach in the brush surrounding the high flowing creek, it was a far cry from the day before.  Then, as my wife and I took the…

Brad’s Bites: Getting the Drop

By Brad Durick All of my Red River reports from last year had some mention of low water and dealing with where we could and could not go. Let’s start 2022 off with a change. We have been flooding here on the Red River  since mid-April. It is officially the latest start to catfishing that…

The Big Draw

By Doug Leier One of the most important aspects of drawing a North Dakota regular season lottery license is applying by the deadline. Seems simple enough, right? Our licensing folks could certainly entertain you with the many applications that come in the final 24-48 hours. Waiting until the last minute doesn’t improve the odds of…

Fredericks on Fishing: Getting Warmer

By Jarrod Fredericks Angling for all species in northeastern South Dakota has been ramping up as conditions stabilize and temperatures warm.  Water temperatures are nearing the 60 degree mark and we are seeing the walleyes firing up.  Currently most lakes have bass and crappies in the shallows for spawn. Trolling crankbaits a bit deeper has…

The Peluso Report: Clearing Up

By Mike Peluso Walleye fishing on the Missouri River has definitely improved since Wednesday of last week. The water in the river is settling back down, it’s clearing up, and the fish are responding. I’m almost done on the river here near Bismarck for the spring. A few more trips and I will be headed…

Pushing RAWA to the Finish Line

By John Bradley The warning signs are there for America’s wildlife and if you listen close, you can hear the alarm bells ringing. Across the nation, over a third of wildlife species are at a heightened risk of extinction. Here in North Dakota, the Game & Fish Department (NDG&F) has identified 115 species in need…

Our Outdoors: Four Weeks

By Nick Simonson In good springs and bad, snowy ones and warm ones, no matter how the kids come out of the final day of competition in the USA High School Clay Target League’s regular season, it’s the four weeks in between today’s end of the often chilly, windy, and trying eight weeks that make…

Exploring the Game Warden Position

By Doug Leier The 38 game wardens in North Dakota come from a variety of backgrounds and interests but each bring to the Game and Fish Department a special skill, talent and ability. Spending time at the Department’s booth at the Sportsman Show this winter I enjoyed the conversations with hunters, anglers, kids and those…