Our Outdoors: Keep It Clean

By Nick Simonson Amidst all the discussion of global warming, climate change, and pollution on a level so great that a second landmass made of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean can be seen from outer space, it’s the smaller areas where I encounter garbage that stick with me each spring.  After a winter under…

Brad’s Bites: Picking and Pecking

By Brad Durick The water temperature on the Red River finally reached 50 degrees last Friday (Apr. 30), and with that increase the bite has started improve a little each day. There has been lots of picking and pecking by catfish with  some good solid hits mixed in, showing an increase in activity. The big…

Warden Exam Approaches

By Doug Leier When I was a kid, I thought being a game warden would be a neat career, but certainly a difficult job to land.   As a former warden who understands the time commitment of the job, challenges and rewards I initially fell into the category of wrongly thinking I wouldn’t get hired. Yet,…

2021 Deer Gun Lottery Open, 72,200 Tags Available

NDG&F Release North Dakota’s 2021 deer season is set, with 72,200 licenses available to hunters, 3,150 more than last year. In total, any-antlered licenses increased by 1,500 from last year, any-antlerless by 1,250, antlered whitetail by 100, antlerless whitetail by 100, antlerless mule deer by 200 and antlered mule deer licenses remained the same. In addition,…

Mule Deer Counts Stable in 2021 Survey

NDG&F Release The North Dakota Game and Fish Department completed its annual spring mule deer survey in April, and results indicate western North Dakota’s mule deer population is similar to last year and 21 percent above the long-term average. In 2020 it was up 7 percent compared to 2019 and 22 percent compared to the…

The Peluso Report: Shifting Gears

By Mike Peluso The times they are a-changing and it looks like the weather is going to change as well, speeding up the transition which occurs around the spawn even more. As with last week, the walleyes on the Missouri River are still spawning and will be shifting their focus as we get closer to…

Stick It to Spring Largemouth

By Nick Simonson The warming waters of spring herald a movement for largemouth bass into the shallows of the lakes and reservoirs in which they reside.  Often, those dark bottoms releasing the first green-and-red curls of lily pads or sandy stretches with verdant spikes of emergent reeds and those locations’ elevated temperatures are the first…

Keep It Simple for Spring Smallies

By Nick Simonson I can recall my first smallmouth bass as clearly as the blue skies of the late spring day on which it came to my jig.  Sitting on the shoreline casting the eighth-ounce ballhead out over the small muddy point on the Sheyenne River just a few days after school had let out…

Our Outdoors: Words of Advice

By Nick Simonson Perhaps it was because the spoken-word piece by Baz Luhrmann was in such high rotation on MTV’s video lineup in the summer of 1999 when I had just afternoon classes and the TV in my fraternity house room was just on all morning, but the newspaper column dubbed over instrumental music that…

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

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…

Veteran Catfish Angler Brad Durick Joins DEO as Contributing Writer

DEO Release Beginning April 29, Dakota Edge Outdoors is teaming up with experienced catfishing guide Brad Durick to share the exciting catfishing opportunities available to anglers on the Red River in northeastern North Dakota.  As a licensed catfish guide and promoter and supporter of the incredible fishing resource that is the northern Red River, Durick’s…

The Science Behind ND’s Year-Round Fishing Season

By Doug Leier North Dakota has a year-round fishing season including for game fish. The harvest of big fish in spring before walleye or northern pike have spawned is a common coffee-shop topic. Some anglers wonder whether we should have a closed season, or alternately, whether we should have some type of fish-length restriction that would reduce harvest of…

The Peluso Report: The Spawn Is On!

By Mike Peluso The spawn is on! While I was hoping it would hold off a little longer for the spring, we all know Mother Nature has her way, and her way is right now, and walleye spawning activity is peaking on the Missouri River.  We are catching some big hen walleyes still full of…

Natural Reproduction Next Goal for Red River Sturgeon

By Nick Simonson As the Red River Lake Sturgeon Restoration Program closes out the first phase of its efforts in 2021 and 2022 fisheries biologists and staff are eyeing up new goals of establishing natural reproduction for the fish which were once extirpated from the border water between North Dakota and Minnesota.  With a reproductively…

Southeast Set for Solid Openwater Season

By Nick Simonson With lakes and rivers in the southeastern portion of North Dakota coming down from record high water levels in the fall and winter of 2019-2020, fishing for a variety of species in the region should still be good according to BJ Kratz, North Dakota Game & Fish Department (NDG&F) District Fisheries Supervisor. …

Our Outdoors: On A Break

By Nick Simonson Dragging my jig over the subtle pull of the shifting river bottom, I felt a dead weight sensation and lifted the rod tip to see the slight bend confirm what my cold and glove-covered hands could barely detect.  I completed the raise with all due haste and the point of the hook…

Paddlefish Snagging Returns May 1

By Doug Leier The 2020 closing of the paddlefish take season (a limited catch and release was offered) was one of the few outdoors cancellations I recall over the past year. Game and Fish fisheries chief Greg Power said safety of snaggers, caviar processors and data collection staff were a major concern.   “Paddlefish snaggers concentrate in…

Deer Hunter Success Spikes in 2020

NDG&F Release A total of 58,146 North Dakota deer hunters took approximately 39,322 deer during the 2020 deer gun hunting season, according to a post-season survey conducted by the state Game and Fish Department. Game and Fish made available 68,650 deer gun licenses last year. Overall hunter success was 68%, with each hunter spending an…

The Peluso Report: Changes Coming Fast on Missouri River

By Mike Peluso Busy is an understatement right now for Mike Peluso Outdoors and Guide Service. Being a full-time guide, even if I do get an off day, I’m out scouting to make sure I stay on top of changes which can occur quickly, and lots of things are beginning to change on the Missouri…

Mike Peluso Joins DEO as Contributing Writer

DEO Release Dakota Edge Outdoors is proud to announce a partnership with renowned fishing guide Mike Peluso, beginning April 19. Peluso will be providing weekly updates on some of the state’s best walleye fishing and the tactics that are working from the Missouri River to Lake Sakakawea to Devils Lake, with timely reports on these…

Habitat: The Key to Better Hunting Opportunities

By John Bradley Each year sportsmen and sportswomen look forward with anticipation to hunting season.  Even in spring we wait with hope for the email from Game and Fish Department notifying that we were drawn for one of the “big three:” once in a lifetime tags for moose, elk, and bighorn sheep.  Later we hope…

ND Hunting & Fishing License Sales Up in 2020

By Nick Simonson Hunting and fishing license sales by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department (NDG&F) increased by more than 10 percent across the board in the most recent licensing year of Apr. 1 2020 to Mar. 31 2021.  With the addition of approximately 5,000 firearms deer tags and about 800 spring turkey tags,…

Our Outdoors: Better Lucky Than Good

By Nick Simonson I can’t tell you what I was reaching for in the boat when I set my rod down.  Likely, in the chill of the start to an otherwise perfect Saturday, it was the blue coffee tumbler I had borrowed from my mom when meeting my brother and a buddy for a drift…

Zebra Mussel Q&A

By Doug Leier With boat fishing season picking up and recreational boating just around the corner, we need to again focus on the role anglers and boaters play in reducing the impact of zebra mussels and other invasive species.  Ben Holen, North Dakota Game and Fish Department aquatic nuisance species coordinator, answers some common ANS questions.  Q: What can water recreationists…

NDG&F Confirms New State Record Walleye

NDG&F Dept. Release A 16-pound, 6-ounce walleye caught March 13 by Dickinson angler Jared Shypkoski is the new state record, according to North Dakota Game and Fish Department personnel. Shypkoski reeled in the 33-inch fish in the Eckroth Bottoms area of upper Lake Oahe. The previous record of 15 pounds, 13 ounces was taken in…

Spring Trout Tips for Prairie Lakes

By Nick Simonson With the early spring and a fast ice out this season, fishing options are opening quickly, and trout angling provides a chance at bigger holdover fish from last year’s stockings.  Those trout that remain in lakes across the upper Midwest are active in cold water and they’re usually quite a bit bigger…

NWTF Programs Succeeding in ND

By Nick Simonson As spring turkey hunting season kicks off across North Dakota, the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) is looking through its Save the Habitat, Save the Hunt program to continue advancing its missions of improving habitat for the birds in the state, putting more hunters on the landscape and increasing their access to…

Our Outdoors: A Moment of Calm

By Nick Simonson Coming over the rise and down the gravel road to the boat launch, the early morning sun reflected off the sprawling lake, which was only slightly dappled by a light and variable breeze.  It was the first time I had arrived at the water this season where a chop wasn’t already rolling…

Wardens See Uptick in 2020 Activity

By Doug Leier The challenges of the past year have impacted all jobs and North Dakota game wardens were no different.   In a similar way to how virtual conferences and online shopping were suddenly more popular than ever due to the reduced contact and concentration, so too was time outdoors. Fresh air and wide-open spaces…

The Eyes Have It

By Nick Simonson There’s a curlytailed grub that’s getting tougher and tougher to find, to the point where I have to order it directly from the manufacturer’s site to ensure I have enough for the season.  While it comes in standard white and yellow, two must-have colors for my spring fishing, along both sides of…