Understanding ANS Rules in ND

By Doug Leier No angler or recreational boater wants to get a citation for any violation. In the same line of thinking, game wardens would much rather see compliance with rules and regulations than issue a citation. And remember, “ignorance is not an excuse.” While you may not knowingly violate a law, the future of…

Brad’s Bites: Waters Warm for Catfish

By Brad Durick Things are warming up for catfish on the Red River.  Currently, the water temperature is at 70 degrees, when normally the best fishing of the year should be commencing and there is nothing but heat in the forecast. This may mean that catfish will be going to the nest early this year,…

The Peluso Report: Working with the Wind on DL

By Mike Peluso My change of scenery up to Devils Lake hasn’t disappointed. However, I think if folks are fishing any of our major bodies of water like Devils Lake, Lake Sakakawea, the Missouri River, or Lake Oahe, they are going to find unreal fishing right now. It seems for the walleye fishing on Devils…

Our Outdoors: Summer Bounce

By Nick Simonson With the rapid warm-up over the past week and the unofficial start to the summer season in the books, it’s tough not to think about longer days, humid evenings and the slow tick-tick-tick of the metal peg on a bottom bouncer dragging along the substrate of a favorite walleye lake.  While normally…

West Fargo Angler, Businessman Dips into Breading Business

By Nick Simonson For Todd Rettig of West Fargo, N.D., the exploration of various waters for his favorite fish species are adventures on par with his efforts in many angling business niches as well. So, it’s no surprise that this North Dakota businessman and inventor would set his sights on making an impact with a…

Wear Your Life Jacket

By Doug Leier What’s the key to a memorable fishing, camping or boating trip? Before you finish your thought, I’d like to suggest that safety should top the list. Period. No discussion. If it isn’t, let’s make it. My argument is if you don’t have a safe fishing, boating or outdoor outing, it doesn’t matter…

It Won’t Be Long

By Seth Owens Winters are tough, especially those that are as long and brutal as this last one was. But it does eventually end, and as the last few snowdrifts melt out from the tree rows in May, spring has finally settled across the North Dakota prairies and it brings a rebirth of color, sounds,…

The Peluso Report: So Long to a Short Spring

By Mike Peluso It’s hard for me to believe this is my last Missouri River walleye fishing report until fall as it just never felt like we had much of a spring. With late ice off, muddy water and terrible weather, it just made for a frustrating time. I’m hoping Mother Nature repays us with…

Our Outdoors: The Intercept

By Nick Simonson Calculating when fish will be where is as much a part of the angling process as threading a plastic on a hook, switching up the blade color on a spinner, or firing up the boat motor.  For most of us, life limits the windows in which we can access our favorite waters,…

A Farm Bill for North Dakota

By John Bradley Despite the hard winter in North Dakota, North America’s most recent glacial period ended about 10,000 years ago. As the ice sheets decayed, they left thousands of shallow depressions across the northern part of the continent. Today, those potholes and kettles fill with water, either each spring or permanently, and create the…

Brad’s Bites: In the River

By Brad Durick We are in the river! The Grand Forks north landing on the Red River is open and clean for those catfishermen looking to get out and scratch the itch. The river level is sitting at 25 feet and some change, which is still fairly high for many anglers. If you are not…

An Early 2023 Deer Preview

By Doug Leier For many deer hunters the application is automatic. You’ve put in for the same unit, same first tag option forever and don’t plan to change. Others may look to different units with better odds, opting for a doe tag in a unit with less competition and opportunity to secure deer sausage for…

The Peluso Report: Fast Forward on a Half Tank

By Mike Peluso These past two weeks on the Missouri River near Bismarck have been a fast-forwarded version of normal spring walleye fishing. Good friend and past Big Muddy Winner Corey Perman had to remind me that the walleyes in this system are like death and taxes. At some point it is inevitable that they…

Our Outdoors: Six Spring Smallmouth Spaces

By Nick Simonson Smallmouth bass in spring stake out premier spawning sites, with the biggest fish getting the best pieces of territory.  Typically, the shallows where they make their beds have many structural elements and knowing what to key in on as these fish make their moves will help connect you with more bass this…

Bait Lone Concern for Red River Cat Anglers

By Nick Simonson Winterkill woes impacted dozens of sport fisheries across the upper Midwest, but the effects of the harshness of the season also extends to those flows where fish don’t freeze out.  While falling water levels and warming temperatures on the Red River along the Minnesota-North Dakota border are setting an ideal scenario for…

Going Beyond the Badge

By Doug Leier  When it comes to work in the outdoors and natural resources fields, most people understand the role of fisheries and wildlife biologists. Talking to an upland game biologist about the pheasant counts or seeing a fisheries crew stocking pike in spring or checking nets in summer is a pretty frequent occurrence. If…

Brad’s Bites: Cats Coming Soon

By Brad Durick Boat ramps around Grand Forks should be opening any day as the Red River has gotten below flood stage. Water levels are still dropping rapidly which is generally not good for catfishing but according to projections they will level off late this week. Water temperatures on the Red are in the low…

The Peluso Report: Walleyes Turn On for Tourney

By Mike Peluso I’ve seen a lot of things over my 40-plus years of fishing the Missouri River. But the May 6 Big Muddy Tournament was one for both the record books and the memory bank. This spring has been a tough one. The walleyes were slow to arrive in the Missouri River around Bismarck,…

Our Outdoors: New Neighbors

By Nick Simonson I first saw our new neighbors in the dim light of an early February morning.  As I walked the dogs past their driveway, they cautiously eyed us over but, unlike the residents who had been on our block for a while, they didn’t take off when both my large lab and German…

ND Firearms Deer Season Set, Apply Online

NDG&F Release North Dakota’s 2023 deer season is set, with 53,400 licenses available to hunters, down 10,800 from last year. In addition, muzzleloader licenses decreased by 146 and restricted youth antlered mule deer licenses by 145. Residents age 11, 12 and 13 who hold a youth antlerless white-tailed deer license are no longer restricted to…

Three Big Little Things for Jigs

By Nick Simonson Success in fishing, as in life, comes down to doing the little things right.  If you’re not familiar with the cautionary tale dubbed “for want of a nail,” it’s well worth the ten second read in any of its poetic forms.  The base lesson is that due to missing the smallest detail…

Explaining ND’s Firearms Deer Lottery

By Doug Leier  Where are the fish biting? How are the deer numbers? These are the two most often asked questions I get.  Along those same lines, the most popular licensing inquiry deals with the firearms deer lottery and bonus points.  Let’s establish from the start these are “bonus” points and not any kind of…

The Peluso Report: Challenging

By Mike Peluso Confused, frustrated, and depressed are all words that can be used when to describe what is happening on the Missouri River near Bismarck right now. You could probably even throw in a couple swear words. If you have fished the river as hard and as much as I have for over 40…

Our Outdoors: Making the Most of the Least Spring

By Nick Simonson The water was cold, fast, and dingy rushing out of the gates of Baldhill Dam, as atop the spillway the ghostly blue-gray ice still held fast to the shores of Lake Ashtabula at its generally widest and deepest point of the 12-mile reservoir, despite being a single day away from the month…

Five Faves for Both Bass

By Nick Simonson With our increasingly condensed spring, the spawning runs of fish are beginning to stack up.  Pike have just begun in earnest, well behind normal.  It’s likely walleyes across the region will get going shortly as well.  Behind both of those species, smallmouth and largemouth bass will next stake out their nesting sites. …

Tiger Trout to hit Two ND Lakes

By Nick Simonson While the late ice-off for much of the state’s waters is delaying spring angling for many sportsmen, it is also hampering some of the North Dakota Game & Fish Department’s (NDG&F) efforts when it comes to egg collection and stocking. With many lakes just beginning to lose their ice cover, however, processes…

Paddlefish a Unique ND Species

By Doug Leier  One of the most unique seasons in North Dakota’s outdoors is the paddlefish season. For some the season is an annual reunion of family and friends, sort of the spring version of deer camp. And if you can’t make it, your excuse better be good.  For those who don’t know, here’s a…

The Peluso Report: Mystifying and Muddy

By Mike Peluso I wish I had more news on the fishing end of things for this week’s Missouri River Fishing report, unfortunately the update is not much in the form of catching fish, but hopefully we are trending in that direction. The ramps are all pretty much usable up and down the entire river…

Our Outdoors: Less is More

By Nick Simonson I’m not a huge fan of the saying “less is more.”  I mean, MORE is more, right?  Raised in the go-go-Reaganaut 1980s capitalism environment that I was, Gordon Gecko and just about every other big screen role model said greed was good, faster was better, biggest was best and certainly more is…

Spring Slip Float Setups

By Nick Simonson Business End To complete the rig, tie on a chosen hook or jig.  There are many options that can be fished under a slip float for all sorts of species.  An octopus hook in size 2 or 4 works well for walleyes, and smaller hooks like the size 6 will do the…