Red River Catfishing with Pro Brad Durick

Last Sunday I had the opportunity to head out on the Red River in Grand Forks with professional guide Brad Durick.  I was excited for the trip because I’ve started to fish the Red River, but I am no expert, and opportunities like this help me to understand the river, the Catfish, and how to fish them effectively.  We headed out just after lunch and fished until a bit after dark.  Brad was on a scouting mission because In Fisherman came to film with him on Wednesday, and he wanted to make sure that trip would be a success.

Catfish Tackle

The first thing I noticed is that while the tackle I had been using was similar, it was very different.  I had been using about 3oz weights with #2.0-3.0 long shank hooks.  Brad was using 4oz weights with #5.0 circle hooks.  He likes the circle hooks because he feels like his hook rate is higher, and also that the Catfish don’t swallow the hooks like they have for me and my setup.

We were fishing with some fairly heavy rods with soft tips and some medium baitcast reels.

Catfish Bait

A face only a mother could love.

Brad came prepared, that is for sure.  He brought along large live suckers, frozen suckers, frogs, and other cut bait.  When we threw out our first set, it was clear he was trying to figure out the bite for the day.  He said that on any given day, the fish tend to prefer a different bait, so each line in our set had a different bait.  One thing I noticed is that the bait he was using was much larger than what I had used in the past.  Good mental note for me.  He commented that smaller bait will work, but you also have to deal with lots of smaller fish, and he is all about catching the big cats.

 

Location, Location, Location

The structure you fish is very important, but the trick is finding the right structure for the day.  The Red River is filled with all kinds of structure.  Flats, cuts, root balls, flats.  Depending on the day, the river flow and the water temp, the catfish seem to prefer different stretches of water.  We fished a variety of water, and the cuts seemed to produce the best when we were out, but at the end of the day, when we caught a couple Eelpout, Brad determined that the cold water had forced the really big cats deeper into the holes, so that was going to be his target for Wednesday with the In Fisherman crew.

 

 

Our Catch

It was not fast and furious, but with the cooling water, that was to be expected.  Also, we were on a scouting mission, so Brad was trying some new things and new locations for the shoot on Wednesday.  We ended the day with 4 nice Red River Catfish, but no real monsters.  In addition to that , we caught a mixed bag of other fish.  One really big Sheephead, some Stoney Cats, a couple Eelpout and one Sauger.

It was a great day on the river, and I want to say thank you to Brad for showing me the ropes and providing great insight into the river.  It was amazing listening to him talk about the river flows, water temps, structure and how it all effects the Catfish.  That guy really knows the river.  If you are interested in a fishing trip with Brad, you can contact him through the Brad Durick Outdoors website.

Other posts relating to Red River Catfishing:

Red River Catfish Q&A with Brad Durick
Catfish on the Red River

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