To say he becomes obsessed by the challenges of fishing is an understatement. Capt. Brad Durick, who has earned his captain's title both by passing a U.S. Coast Guard course for boat operators and for his proven prowess on the water, is always trying to learn more about his favorite quarry - catfish.
"The book is written that a river is a river and a catfish is a catfish. That's the way it is meant to be," said Durick.
Information contained in the book was primarily compiled from Durick's own experiences chasing catfish on the Red River, but the guide proven and revolutionary theories explained in detail in the book are meant to improve any angler's chances of hooking catfish in any river. Research for "Cracking the Channel Catfish Code" was prompted by fluctuating flows on the Red River, flows that often converted reliable catfish holes into frustratingly empty spots on the GPS.
Capt. Brad Durick, a Bowbells native and current resident of Grand Forks, recently authored this book on catfishing. Durick is a catfish guide on the Red River.
"The number one thing for me was understanding flow changes when a river fluctuates," explained Durick. "If a river comes up 4 feet, the seams in the current are going to change. You need to understand how flow fluctuation dictates the seams to consistently catch catfish."
In addition to helping catfishermen recognize changes and understand the importance of river flows to their success, Durick delves into two other areas he considers critical to arriving at the best conclusions for finding catfish - metabolism and lateral movement.
"Nobody looks into fish metabolism. I think water temperature is more important than barometer," said Durick. "Also, lateral movement is a huge deal. That's with any fish as well. If water fluctuates, instead of going miles and miles up or down stream, go to the edges. The reason I wrote the book, I'll tell you flat out, is the flow chapter in that book. There's nothing out there about the fluctuation of rivers as it pertains to catfish."
Durick made extensive use of U.S. Geological Survey river elevation and flow data, combing them with temperature readings and his own catch rates to help arrive at conclusions contained in his book.
"I slowly figured things out. Something negative would happen in the fall but, by spring, I had a theory in place," said Durick. "I just kept digging deeper and finding the answers. That's kind of how the whole thing came together. A lot of people understand part of what to do to catch fish, but they don't always know why."
Durick's book supplies the "why," backed by his own fishing experiences on the Red. The book is not only the first major publication on catfishing in many years, it contains a wealth of information that dedicated fishermen can readily apply to species other than channel catfish as well.