Brad’s Bites: Current Key for Cats in Low Flows

Brad Durick

By Brad Durick

The low waters continue on the Red River and appear to have no end in sight. Fargo flow is now down to 133 cfs, Grand Forks is at 629 cfs and Drayton is at 746 cfs. For comparison, the lowest flow I have ever fished prior to this year on the Red River at Grand Forks is 1,200 cfs. This pretty much limits us with normal boats to angling for the river’s large catfish above the dams that still have deeper pools. Shore anglers or those with jet boats or kayaks can have pretty much private fishing below the dams now. These shallow areas should have pinch points making current which will hold great fishing nearby.

,The key right now is to find current of any kind. If you find current you find fish. Once you find current try fishing all parts of the hole including the very back. It seems the fish are hanging out in the back of the holes right at the rise. Keep an eye on your lines as fish will pick up the baits and run upstream due to lack of current. Spot sit times should be a minimum of 20 minutes and maybe even more to allow fish time to find the bait.

Bait choice is up for debate. One person says fresh goldeye, one says frozen, one says fresh sucker and one says frozen. I have thrown everything at them and have found dead sucker packed on ice to be the best.

Upcoming tournaments are Cats Incredible in East Grand Forks on July 30 and 31 and the Catfish Capital Challenge in Drayton on Aug 6 and 7. Both events are still accepting participants.

Brad Durick is a DEO contributing writer and a licensed ND fishing guide focused on trophy catfish on the northern Red River.

Featured Photo: Anglers can still find catfish in areas of current above dams, but low waters on the Red River are giving shore anglers and kayakers near-exclusive use of areas below them.

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