Tailrace Fishing

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I would like to take my kids up to the tailrace next weekend with the boat. Has anyone been fishing there that could give me a report?


  1. Xero's Avatar
    Take them into the spillway. Navigation is simple to get there and just drop a worm on a slow death hook and move around. Catfish and walleyes are in decent numbers. Chutes have been pretty slow.

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  2. guywhofishes's Avatar
    and have fun back there with the 2,000 snags

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  3. guywhofishes's Avatar
    sorry.... 39,000

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  4. MSA's Avatar
    No offense, but when did the tailrace turn into a Chuck-E-Cheese kind of family attraction? The last two years I have been baffled by all the kids, lawn chairs, and dogs down there. There's literally two dozen much better family friendly fishing spots within ten miles of the tailrace. I'm terrified of hitting a boulder, or log, or having boat trouble down there when I'm by myself....but with my kids? and I've been fishing it for 30 years. And the shore fishing, I mean come on. Why take your kids to fish fast water on slippery loose boulders? Especially with as hot as the fishing has been on sakakawea lately. To each their own, but if you want your kids to catch some fish, literally any place is better than the tailrace.

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  5. MSA's Avatar
    And no, navigation is not simple to get there. The water is just high enough right now to get all the googans comfortable running their boats in all the wrong places. When that water drops a bit that river is gonna eat some boats.

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  6. MSA's Avatar
    If you do go, please keep your boat on plane, especially if you're passing other boats

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  7. JayKay's Avatar
    Maybe fishing the wingwalls with kids is easy, but making my way down the east rocks, at night (and back up later) - while carrying backpack, rods, fish, etc... my kids aren't mountain goat enough.

    My one piece of boating advice in the tailrace SHOULD go without saying, but never ever ever use an anchor. One would think that that'd be common sense, but...

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  8. MSA's Avatar
    The wingwalls are a great place for kids if you got a pier net or basket. I'm referring to the inexperienced fishermen that go once or twice a year trying to take their kids down there. I saw a family in a Bayliner the other day running right down the middle of the river and I just cringed and thought thank God the water isn't a foot or two lower.

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  9. JayKay's Avatar
    Yup. I've seen some hair-raising things there too. Clipping along in 20 + ft, and suddenly you look overboard and there're rocks sliding by, the size of a Greyhound Bus, about 3 ft under the surface. big pucker-factor.

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