What’s It Take To Go Paddle Fishing In ND?
First you need the tag...click here for more on that.
Then it takes the money go get the gear. Check out this guy's outfit.
Then it takes a desire to kill a prehistoric fish that no one wants.
Don't want to mount it. Don't want to eat it. Don't even want to make sausage out of it.
Just want to catch it.
Here's where paddle fishing people talk about how good the oily fish is when smoked. Everything is OK when smoked. I'm sure smoked skunk is great if smoked properly.
Cool thing about this season, the clock is ticking as soon as the starting gun shoots off! Seriously, the season can end on the first day. So, it all matters how successful fishing folks are from the start, because there's a limit to how many of the behemoths you can drag out of the water in a season, Drag is the word, because you don't catch a paddle fish you snag it.
Where can I go paddle fishing? There's spots on Sakakawea, but most folks line the banks of western North Dakota's Yellowstone River. Heel to heel fishin' folks hunkering big hooks into the river wanting to just snag a beast and haul it to shore.
You won't need bait to snag a paddlefish, but you will need saltwater gear. Rods are a minimum of 10 feet long. A spinning reel with at least 200 yards of 30 pound line is also suggested. Equip the line with at least a 5 ounce weight and a large (8/0 or 10/0) shanked treble hook usually placed about 10 inches above the weight
Anglers line the riverbank, casting over and over into the fast running current in hopes of snagging a passing paddlefish. It is a test of endurance. The experience has been likened to standing along the highway waiting for a semi to go by, snagging it, and then hanging on! Some catch their fish in the first few casts, but the average effort requires about 15 hours spread over 3 ½ days.
It's not a sprint it's a marathon. Wait, it is a sprint- because if everyone else slays their fish early, you're screwed with your brand new ten foot fishing pole and nothing but a trip through Williston to show for it.
The 2020 season was COVID cancelled...because ya can't separate paddle fishing people. Crazy right?
Season starts May 1st, 2021.
Get to it y'all!
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