Jump to content

    If you want access to members only forums on HSO, you will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up .

    This box will disappear once you are signed in as a member. ?

Plans for the Red


Recommended Posts

Just wanted to double check on when the best time is to head north to the Red to tangle with the mass quantities of large channel kitties up there. June? Also, do I bring a boat or just fish from shore? I just gotta give it a try!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cooter: Opening is always good and it usually stays that way into the 3 or 4th wk of June. Yes, you will get 20 to 30 in July but the numbers are better in May and June. There is about a 2 wk period almost every year when they slow down and it is hard to get 10 a day but thank heavens that only lasts for about 2 wks. September, well, the kitties are fattening up in September. In May/June they should average 15 to 22 lbs and in Sept they will average 17 to 28/29 lbs with a few in the low 30s. Sept is good but you can get funny weather then too. I would sugguest May for your first time up though.

Bait, I am strictly a cut bait person and start the year off with suckers, then switch to goldeyes when they start to run (about mid june) then to frogs for about 2 wks in Aug then late Aug switch to tulibbles (I never spell them right but hopefully U get the picture).

I would recommend a boat as Whiskers says you can move and one should be moving. In an 8hr day I have move 20 to 30 times. These kitties move and you have to adapt to their movements too. The waters are not that huge that the waves are a problem but the current can be strong so I would recommend a good anchor, one that will grab into the hard bottom and yet will bend if U snag up. We make our own and attach about 3 ft of chain to the end of the anchor and use 50 to 75 ft of rope. With these kitties you have to keep your bait still and not swigging all over the bottom of the river.

If U are coming up check this bb about a wk prior and ask as we do NOT hide areas to fish(ask Backwater Eddy or Rusty). I live about 3 miles from Lockport and put in over 100 days on the Red last year. Oh yes you asked where to fish. I would sugguest you plan on fishing from the Lockport dam north towards Selkirk. Sometimes you don't have to travel very far. Stu has a good ramp right at the locks.

If you havn't noticed I am HOOKED on Kitties.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You guys are great, I really appreciate the replies. I've heard about the Red for several years but still can't fathom the numbers and size of cats you guys are getting! If I'm lucky here in WI I'll get one 15lb fish each year when going for flatheads.

As long as I got your attention, what is standard gear as far as rod length and weight as well as line and hooks? Am afraid most of my flathead rigs are too heavy. Got a couple heavier bass rods that might work? Thanks again, if I get up you guys can have a brewski on me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think gear is kindof a personable thing but there are a few common threads. My favorite reel for me is a 6500 Abu with a power handle but when I guide I have to use the 7000 Abu as the clients get so excited (and rightfully so) they keep cranking when the kittie is peeling line. I used to use 6500s for guiding but found they couldn't stand the full season, mind U when guiding they get well more than the usual work out.

Line: I use 25 Berkely Big Game High Vis. You could get by with 20 lb but probably get alot of break offs and have to fight the fish alot longer and I feel that puts too stress the fish.

Rods: Now that has so many choices and everybody has they own preference. Mine is a 9 ft with the end 2 ft very sensitive then lots of back bone. I like the sensitive tip as sometimes those kitties are so light on the bite you will miss it otherwise, BUT that is just my preference.

Hooks: Well I use Eagle #2 wide gap.

Sinkers: I would strongly recommend you use inline sinkers and that can vary accordingly to the current. Last year I never got below 3 oz and the most I used was 6. That also depends if U fish up at the locks or down stream.

You never mentioned nets and it is amazing how many times when U come back to the landing you find nets (pretend nets) in the trash bin. Make sure you get one that can handle 20 lb fish. I use those Frabil nets and just love them.

I hope this helps. I am too scared to take my wife's digital out on the water as digitals and water just do not go together or I would send U some pics. I know Rusty and Eddy have some good samples of the kitties up here. Also check "Catsonthered.net" HSOforum and you will see some pics of the kitties.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great tips for sure. Canuck knows his stuff Eh!

A good net..Yup-Yup, defiantly a must for the Red. I also highly recommend a Frabill net, and in particular the new fine mesh with the flat bag. Take a look at the Frabill Pro-Formance line with the new Pow'R Lok yoke system. A super net for cats and walleye alike. Great for all fish really, the fish tangle less and get beat up less by the net. When you boating big cats 2-3 at a time a good net or two is a must!

A good off the shelf rod is the Berkley Re-Flex in a 8-9' med-heavy model. A great Cat combo is the Pete Maina Signature series PMX80XHT-T with the PMX3000MH reel ($140 combo at Bass Pro).

Good baitcasting reels that can accommodate 30 lb. mono is a good match. I like the ABU 6500 and 7000 series Big Game reels with the power handle for most of my straight line fishing. For Cork'n and Pitch'n into the shoots I like a 9-11' rod with a saltwater class spinning reel spooled with 65 lb. Power-Pro. If you handy with a baitcasing reel you can use the same rods for both most of the time. A lot of folks like a longer rod to cork, myself included.

Lots of weights, No-Roll sinkers work the best for me. 2-6 oz covers most conditions on the Red.

Hooks, buy good hooks. I prefer Gamakatsu hooks ranging from 6 O/T to 8 O/T for my circle hook needs, and Gamakatsu Wide Gap 5 O/T for Cork'n. For straight line fishing fussy fish I use Kahle hooks ranging from 4-5 O/T down to 1 O/T. I never use treble hooks for baitfishing cats, never-ever!

Bait is whatever is hot, Canuck nailed it with his seasonal choices. Cats on the Red like fresh fish, dip and paste baits can work...meat works all the time.

If you plan to fish the Canadian end I recommend you book rooms at "Cats on the Red". Great rooms right on the river and Stu and the crew will treat you right.

See ya there Eh!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have much to add about the gear to use up there.Both Canuck and Ed covered it pretty good.

I just wanted to say,It really is as good as they say. I was a little skeptical about the numbers and the size of fish they talk about. I am NOT anymore.

I made my first trip up last fall. For the first time on the river we did pretty good.We were getting over 30 fish and not fishing too hard. OUr average fish was just over 20lbs. Matter of fact I don't think we caught one less than 17lbs. The guides were doubling and tripling those numbers. The last day Canuck joined us in my boat and gave me a good education on locations and techniques on those big Red River cats. Thanks Canuck! smile.gif

I will be making this trip at least once every year,if not two,three....I just wish I lived a little closer!!

I would also suggest staying at Cats on the Red. Its a great place with comfy rooms and you just can't beat the veiw of the river and the dam right out your rooms window. You can leave your baot at the dock so you don't have to pull it out everyday. Just hop in and off you go to get a work out on those big kitties.

You can check out Cats on the Red here.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cooter: Try living right next door to the Red and knowing that the kitties are sleeping. The one good thing is hopefully the greenbacks will be there as soon as we can get on the ice. The river has a skim now so it will only be couple of wks before we can hit the river.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I only got out for an hr on Monday morning and dropped 2. Stu landed 2 and had 3 make a major bend in his rod but never hooked up. We are going to give it a full try on Thursday. I hauled my ice shack down to the river today and will set it up tomorrow.

We were in about 20 ft of water and think we will move much shallower on Thursday.

We were trying out a new portable ice shack, Calm Yokon (sp) and it seem kind of nice. The temperature outside was -26 C and we had a small heater and could sit in the portable comfortably with no gloves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.