The Evolution of ND Fishing

By Doug Leier Sipping coffee early in the morning and talking fishing is about as close as it gets to enjoying fishing without wetting a line. Truth is, I spend more time talking about fishing than actually casting, but I’ve gotten used to it. I say it’s like the plumber whose faucet is always leaking,…

The Peluso Report: Sak Walleyes Slide Deeper

By Mike Peluso I’m back on the travel wagon this week getting a chance to fish both Lake Sakakawea and Devils Lake. I know I mentioned this in my last report, but with both a drought and pumping operations ongoing, my anxiety of what will happen to both of these systems concerns me. Reports are…

Southwest ND Deer Surviving EHD, Habitat Loss

By Nick Simonson Despite last year showcasing one of the worst outbreaks of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) – a midge-borne illness that impacts primarily whitetailed deer, but did infect and kill mule deer, a few pronghorn and even an elk in southwestern North Dakota late last summer and fall – the region’s deer herds remain…

Brad’s Bites: Finding a Way for Cats

By Brad Durick Things are looking up this week after continued dropping flows on the Red River. After attending the Cats Incredible tournament over the weekend, I am encouraged that we still have lots of fish to catch. There were many reports of good numbers of fish and a few big fish mixed in to…

Mixed Bag May Await ND Hunters

By Doug Leier Hints of North Dakota’s fall duck and pheasant populations were revealed in spring. Upland Stable in Spring For starters, the pheasant population index was about the same as last year, according to the state Game and Fish Department’s 2021 spring crowing count survey. Pheasant crowing counts are conducted each spring throughout North…

Our Outdoors: Summer Swim

By Nick Simonson Rocked by the waves generated from the wake board boats closing out their weekends on the water, my brother and I drifted around the patches of weeds on the long point extending into the lake.  Here and there, loons would cluster and then spread out as jet skis and pontoons wove their…

Duck Brood Numbers Drop Considerably

NDG&F Release State Game and Fish Department biologists expect a fall flight of ducks in North Dakota this fall that will be unfamiliar to many hunters. Mike Szymanski, Department migratory game bird management supervisor, said based on observations from the annual mid-July duck production survey, the 2021 fall flight is anticipated to be down 36%…

The Peluso Report: Nonstop

By Mike Peluso When I grew up in Bismarck, we had a weather beacon that would change colors to tell you what weather was coming. If it was white as snow, down the temperature will go. If it was green, there was no change foreseen, and if it was red as fire, the temperature will…

Early Goose Seasons Set

NDG&F Release North Dakota’s early Canada goose season dates are set, with bag limits and licensing requirements the same as last year. Opening day is Aug. 15 in all three zones. Closing dates are Sept. 7 in the Missouri River zone, Sept. 15 in the western zone and Sept. 22 in the eastern zone. Early…

SE ND Whitetails Stable at Midsummer

By Nick Simonson With a mild winter, dry spring and a warm summer, whitetail deer populations in southeastern North Dakota are doing well.  More than that, according to Jason Smith, Big Game Biologist with the North Dakota Game & Fish Department (NDG&F) office in Jamestown, the relatively easy conditions have also helped improve the age…

Our Outdoors: Scout Out the Drought

By Nick Simonson Early last fall, as I rolled up over the hill with my buddy behind me closing out the two-truck caravan in our grouse hunt, I was a bit dismayed to see the stretch of public-access grass from yellow sign to yellow sign completely hayed.  While it wasn’t a big blow to our…

Brad’s Bites: All Time Lows, Cats & Cars

By Brad Durick I wish one week I could write this report and say something like “WOW, we got rain!” Unfortunately, low water continues to get lower with the Red River in Grand Forks now at 430 cfs and Drayton just over 500 cfs. Again, the lowest I have ever fished the Red River at…

Muskie Minute: A Time Out for the Resource

By Andrew Slette With water temperatures now in the low 80s, I have had to reschedule all my fishing trips until early August to avoid harm or even possibly killing the fish that we catch.  You can still go fishing when the weather and water temps are this warm, but there should be a few…

Pronghorn Season Set, Apply by Aug. 11

NDG&F Release North Dakota’s 2021 pronghorn hunting season is set, with 1,720 licenses available in 15 open units. Applicants can apply online at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. The deadline for submitting applications is Aug. 11. Bruce Stillings, big game management supervisor for the Game and Fish Department, said license numbers are down slightly…

Fish Responsibly

By Doug Leier Food waste is a hot topic with an effort to raise awareness of the changing mindset from allowing food to rot, spoil or in some cases even just taking more than you need or will eat. For many here in the Midwest, it’s hard to understand a heritage dating back to our…

The Peluso Report: Fish Faster on Sakakawea

By Mike Peluso Fishing on Lake Sakakawea from a guide’s perspective is absolutely unreal! From a tournament angler’s point of view, maybe not so much. What do I mean when I say this? Well, fish 14 to 18 inches are extremely abundant and fairly easy to catch right now, making the lake great for guides,…

Kellen’s Call: ND Muskies, Walleyes Hitting Hard

By Kellen Latendresse These past two weeks have been packed for me, I had two open days from work and guiding, spending them on the water at lake with family. It felt kind of weird with no fishing rod in hand.  I’ve had everything from muskies, catfish, walleye and bass trips in the last 12…

Six Tips for New Hunters

By Hannah Hayes A big part of my job is encouraging folks to participate in outdoor recreation, particularly hunting. Whether that’s hunting for the first time, continuing the enjoyment of time spent afield, or diving back into a hobby left forgotten, my job is rewarding in so many ways. Something I enjoy the heck out…

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

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…

Our Outdoors: On Edge

By Nick Simonson The haze of a hundred wildfires dimmed the light of the mid-July sun overhead on the afternoon fishing trip as I drifted along the breaks of a favorite rocky lake.  The orb’s all day orange glow made me uncomfortable as the effects of yet another heatwave crashing on the west drifted slowly…

New Hunting, Angling Laws Take Effect Aug. 1

By Doug Leier By Doug Leier Every other year in North Dakota, elected officials gather at the state capital to propose, review, debate and ultimately vote on legislation that will set the course for the state and its citizens. Some of these bills are also related to how the North Dakota Game and Fish Department…

Muskie Minute: Warm Water Muskie Moves

By Andrew Slette Warming midsummer water temperatures have the majority of muskies transitioning from open water basins to weed covered structure in Minnesota’s west central lakes country.  All our local lakes have water temperatures in the upper 70s or low 80s pushing the open water baitfish deeper and out of the muskies’ reach.  This puts…

The Peluso Report: Sak & Devils Lake Bites Still Hot

By Mike Peluso We are going to experience another hot stretch of weather here in the Dakotas this week and one thing is for sure, the fishing on both Lake Sakakawea and Devils Lake remain hot as well. One thing to note as the water temps continue to rise, the fish will begin to go…

The Double-Edged Sword of Hunting Technology

By John Bradley Open any hunting magazine and next to the photo of a world class buck or bull you will see an ad for the latest, greatest, hunting gadget – guaranteeing that if you buy it, you’ll punch your tag next fall.  From cellular trail cameras that send photos to your phone instantly when…

Bullinger Brothers Represent ND at HS Fishing Nationals

By Nick Simonson It was a long trip to Lake Hartwell near Anderson, S.C. for brothers Brandon and Logan Bullinger of Century High School in Bismarck, N.D., but the time and effort put in competitively fishing bass in the Student Angler Federation’s High School Fishing league (highschoolfishing.org) and a North Dakota state title earned them…

Our Outdoors: Turning Twenty

By Nick Simonson It was 20 years ago this summer I took a job in between college and law school as a part time reporter for my hometown newspaper, the Valley City Times-Record.  In fact, it’s a publication for which I still proudly write today, and I am happy and sometimes amazed that they’ve kept…

NDG&F Director on Career, Retirement

By Doug Leier After nearly 40 years with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, the last 15 years serving as director, Terry Steinwand has decided to retire at the end of July. Terry on his career path to becoming Director. I started out as a Garrison Diversion fisheries biologist. I managed the canal lakes…

Brad’s Bites: Go Frozen for Hot Weather Cats

By Brad Durick The water continues to fall on the northern Red River. Everywhere is now flowing lower than I have ever seen. The catfish are in search of any current they can find, which in above dam areas is getting more and more difficult to locate. When you do find it, you generally get…

The Peluso Report: Sak Remains Strong

By Mike Peluso We have had some changes in weather here in North Dakota and a cold front that also brought in much needed moisture. So, what did this do to the fishing this week? Except for a few slower moments, walleye angling has remained good to excellent! Lake Sakakawea remains strong with lots of…

Lining Things Up

By Nick Simonson The first thing I look at when inspecting a young angler’s reel is the type of line coming off of the spool.  Over the holiday, I had the opportunity to connect with my wife’s cousin’s kids and introduce them to my style of bass fishing.  While we had angled together a number…