Winter Spares ND Wildlife Thus Far

By Nick Simonson Halfway through winter, sportsmen are keeping their fingers crossed that the relatively temperate conditions and low snow totals will continue into spring after a 2017 that taxed many species of game in the state both with a cold, snowy winter and a drought-stricken summer.  With very little snow cover coming into February,…

Improved Ice Conditions Set Up in N.D.

By Nick Simonson With the cold snap over the holiday season, ice anglers around the region were delighted with the improvement in ice conditions and thickness, but the sub-zero highs on some days kept many of them off the water during that stretch.  With last weekend’s warm-up, anglers were able to get back out and…

Ride the Wave of CTL

By Nick Simonson In the heat of the June sun, the wave of noise sounding up and down the cement walkway at the Alexandria shooting park sounds surreal.  It’s a constant roll of bap-bap-bap-boom-boom-bap-bap-bap as the surge of shotgun blasts, muffled by earplugs, rolls by a person’s vantage point during the Minnesota State High School…

Respotting a Spot-on-a-Spot

By Nick Simonson No location in the outdoors is quite as legendary as the spot-on-a-spot. You know the place, it’s that one big boulder on a reef, the rock pile in a mud-bottom reservoir, or that place on the sunken hump that just has a heavier summer weedbed that hangs on all winter and holds…

The On-Ice Odd Couple

By Nick Simonson Fishing – and particularly ice fishing – is a fun amalgamation of old and new, fast and slow, low-tech and cutting edge.  From new-age augers that run on lithium ion batteries like an on-ice Tesla, to tip-up models that have stood the test of time and continue to be top sellers, the…

Top Spoon Tactics

By Nick Simonson Lift-fall-pause-jiggle.  Nothing. Lift-fall-paaaaause-jiggle.  Nothing. Lift-fall-paaaaaaaause-jiggle.  Nothing. Lift-fall-WHAM! Fish On! It’s hard to tell exactly what part of a spoon jigging sequence, and the slight adjustments worked in, that will set a fish off.  Sometimes, they’ll rise right up and smack that shiny piece of metal as it makes its way down from…

Ice Conditions Remain Challenging in Early Season

By Nick Simonson With recent winds and warm temperatures, what ice was formed by the cold start to November has disappeared in most parts of the state in December, leaving anglers uncertain as to many bodies of water.  From Devils Lake to Lake Sakakawea and other points in between, it’s a mixed bag of ice…

Tip-Up Tactics for Pike

By Nick Simonson Upon my return to North Dakota, while sorting through bins, chests and buckets full of odds and ends from the move, I found a black mesh cylinder with a zipper top. I opened it and turned it over, and three orange tip-ups slid out of the container, each still with leaders and…

Shift In Weather Gives Time to Assess Ice Safety

By Nick Simonson With Thanksgiving Day temperatures touching 70, and much of the region forecast to be well above average for the next few days with both highs and lows above freezing, hardwater anglers will have to wait it out for good ice, after many experienced a successful first foray following a cold start to…

A Warden’s Perspective on a Changing Landscape

By Nick Simonson For North Dakota Game & Fish Department (NDG&F) District Game Warden Corey Erck of Bismarck, the job of patrolling, investigating and assisting hunters and anglers throughout his area is an extension of his love of hunting, fishing and the outdoors.  The job, and the gear that goes with it, along with outdoors…

Starting a CTL Team – Part 3, Recruitment & Readiness

By Nick Simonson With community support and the green light from the affiliated high school, the real fun of setting up a North Dakota State High School Clay Target League (ND CTL) team begins.  Beyond the point-and-click and fill-in-the-blank processes of getting started at the ND CTL website, there are a number of tasks to…

Fall Advisory Board Meetings Set

NDG&F Press Release Outdoor enthusiasts are invited to attend a North Dakota Game and Fish Department fall advisory board meeting in their area. These public meetings, held each spring and fall, provide citizens with an opportunity to discuss fish and wildlife issues and ask questions of their district advisors and agency personnel. The governor appoints…