Brad’s Bites: Stage is Set for Red River Catfishing

Brad Durick

By Brad Durick

The recent warm up over the past couple days is also raising water temperatures.  The forecast for the next week looks great to get things kicked off for the catfishing season on the Red River in and around Grand Forks. Water temperature is currently up to 48 degrees and the magic number is 50-plus sustained for five to seven days in order to get the big cats moving and feeding heavily. Right now, the water levels on the Red River are nearly perfect for getting around – not too high and not too low.

While things are a bit cool, catfish are being caught, but the bite is spotty. Smaller fish are showing up in the shallows with the occasional big fish being landed. Those bigger ones are still mostly holed up and their metabolisms are low, so they have to pretty much have the bait dropped on their heads before they will eat. They will get more aggressive over the next week if the weather holds. There will be much more to report next week.

The Red River Valley Catfish League in Grand Forks/East Grand Forks begins on Wed., May 5 at the North Landing. Fishing hours are from 6 to 9 pm with two-person teams. The cost is $20 per person to join the league and $10 per boat per week to enter.  More information on the popular league can be found at

Brad Durick is a DEO Contributing Writer and a licensed ND Fishing Guide focused on trophy catfish on the northern reaches of the Red River in and around Grand Forks, N.D.

Featured Photo: Anglers young and old can expect a solid start to the catfishing season on the Red River as stable weather helps warm water temperatures in the coming days and bigger fish begin to feed more aggressively. DEO Photo by Brad Durick.

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