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It’s High Water on the Red For Catfish By Larry Myhre

Grand Forks, N.D. The water in the Red River was up, up a lot, up thirteen feet with debris, branches, logs and even entire trees, floating by as they headed north towards Canada.

The Red River begins its journey north where the Bois de Sioux and the Otter Trail rivers flow between Minnesota and North Dakota flowing northward through the Red River Valley into Manitoba Canada.

Larry Myhre, Sioux City, IA. our guide Brad Durick and I found ourselves anchored just above one of Brad’s favorite catfish holes.

Brad, a guide specializing in fishing for channel catfish on the Red of the North, he is the author of the 2013 book, “Cracking the Channel Catfish Code” and a nationally recognized educator and outdoor writer.

On this trip, we were after channel catfish, which have poor eyesight, but a tremendous sense of smell as they have receptors in, along the outside of their lips and on the barbells protruding from either side of their month. Catfish use these receptors to follow the scent coming down river, helping them to locate their meals, even in the muddiest of waters. When you are fishing for channel catfish, you had better use bait that is oily and smelly the better if you want to entice these bottom dwellers into biting. We were using chubs and goldeye for cutbait, both oily fish and when cut into inch and a half to two-inch pieces, they leave a scent trail, which is easy for the fish to follow. [Read more…]

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Red River Channel cats on the bite By Larry Myhre

Reprinted from the Sioux City Journal.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. | It was the Mother of All Cold Fronts that swept through Grand Forks, N.D., and other parts north a couple of weeks ago.

“The river is up about 13 feet from where it was a week ago,” Brad Durick told me over his cell phone. He was on the Red River with noted outdoor photographer Bill Lindner and staff, doing product still and video filming.

Gary Howey and I were pounding down the interstate on our way to Grand Forks after flying out of Ontario’s Carroll Lake. We were to fish with Brad the next day.

We had battled the effects of that cold front for the past week, all the way from Lake of the Woods to the Ontario fly-in. For the next few days the sun would be shining and we hoped the catfish, for which the Red River is noted, would be in a biting mood the next day.

As it turned out, they were.

The tip of Brad’s Rippin Lips catfish rod took a heavy dive and stayed down while the Rippin Lips 8/0 circle hook did its work. I picked up the rod and began battle with the channel cat.

It was a 10-pounder and like all his brothers, he fought to the end before we finally got him in the net.

“That cold front dropped the water temperature several degrees,” Brad said, “and that slowed the fishing. It was really great before.”

But the fishing was bouncing back and the next rod dipped with the bite of a 4-pounder.

Durick is widely known throughout the cat-fishing world. He is now a full-time cat-fishing guide on the Red and also can arrange trips on North Dakota’s Devils Lake. He is also a nationally recognized fishing educator and outdoor writer. He is the author of the 2013 self-published book, “Cracking the Channel Catfish Code.”

Prior to the cold front, the Red was running very low. The area had received little snow so there was no runoff, kind of unusual for this area.

In fact, in 2011 the river was at near flood stage the entire year. Now, with the river running 13 feet higher than earlier this year, Brad says the level is just right for good cat fishing.

“We just need it to warm up a bit,” Durick, a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain, said.

We had launched Brad’s 19-foot G3 aluminum boat at the Grand Forks boat ramp and headed downstream, which is north on this side of the divide. We hadn’t run very far before Brad pulled above a river hole just off the main current and dropped his Cat River anchor (made in rural Hinton, Iowa, by the way) over the side.

With all three of us licensed to fish, we could put out two rods each. Each rod was rigged with 30-pound test mono on Abu Garcia Ambassadeur reels. A no roll, 2-ounce sinker rode above a swivel and a 2-foot leader of mono ran to the hook. The rigs were baited with cut sucker pieces. [Read more…]