Change Up.  Conditions on the Red River are constantly changing with more water coming in and the spawn hitting its stride.  Give baits a half-hour sit so the fish can locate them with the faster flows. DEO Photo by Brad Durick.

By Brad Durick

It’s a new week on the Red River of the North, with new high water on the way and the catfish spawn is in full swing. 

With those conditions right now, catfishing is a grind for sure. We are now on our fourth high water in just over a month so the fish are confused from that in addition to that spawn. For your best chances, fish tight to cut banks where there is slack water or with the high water tight to the submerged tree stumps and root balls. Fishing in the middle of the river – if safe enough – is producing smaller fish on average. 

Five ounces of sinker is the minimum to stick a bait where you want it. Give a spot a good 30 minutes so the catfish have time to find the bait. Dead sucker remains my bait of choice. I tried goldeye and frogs to no avail where I was fishing. Many are saying shrimp are catching fish but those mostly smaller fish.

River access on the entire Red River is limited in some areas while others are open. Both Grand Forks ramps are open.

Congratulations to Trever and Jace Lunski for winning the 10th Scheels Boundary Battle Catfish Tournament. Next year’s tournament will be June 27 and 28, 2025.

Brad Durick is a Dakota Edge Outdoors contributing writer and a licensed ND fishing guide specializing in trophy catfish on the Red River in and around the Grand Forks, N.D. area. Read more from him at rivercatfish.com.