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Fishing Mississippi
LSF Member
Joined:
12/06/2007
From St. Cloud
Posts: 198
I don't have a boat and so have decided I'm going to work on learning to fish the Mississippi around St. Cloud. I fished the boat ramp shore, south of the dam, today and caught one small mouth. The season is over for them I'm pretty sure.
Can anyone suggest good spots to shore fish along the river. I'd really like to learn to catch walleyes. I've been studying the drop/shot rigging and caught the bass on that. Am thinking of simply using a slip bobber and night crawler for fishing walleye, but would like to know some good areas to work. Thank you for any help.
Should I have posted this under "north Mississippi"?

Posted on: 2016/9/21 19:28
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Re: Fishing Mississippi
LSF Member
Joined:
03/18/2004
From Princeton,MN
Posts: 4642
I catch smallmouth in good numbers, all year. Fall is the best time, as they are putting on the feed bag. If you aren't catching them, you're doing something wrong.

As for catching walleyes in the river, you need to be fishing bottom. Slip bobbers work in deep holes, pretty much everywhere else you need to use a jig or some sort of bottom rig.

Walleyes will in habit the same places small mouth do, and you'll likely catch 10 smallmouth to every walleye. If you aren't catching walleye, see my comment above about not catching smallmouth.

Posted on: 2016/9/21 19:48
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Re: Fishing Mississippi
LSF Member
Joined:
05/01/2009
From Cambridge
Posts: 493
Below the dam right now might be a little tough with the water being up. But if you want to try it again i would head to the other side of the river below the dam. Later in the fall there seems to be more up there also.

Posted on: 2016/9/22 5:53
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Re: Fishing Mississippi
LSF Member
Joined:
03/28/2013
From Thief River Falls
Posts: 339
agreed on being on bottom for walleyes. We float the Mississippi with canoes at least once a summer. I almost exclusively use a no. 5 or 7 rapala tail dancer, which gets me really close to the bottom every time. I am the only one that can ever seem to catch walleyes. It also seems to catch the biggest bass more times than not.

I will never forget the one time we got stuck in an eddy with the canoe and I caught a walleye on my first cast, I quick switched to a jig with a twister tail and twitched that along bottom back to the boat. I caught my limit of walleye in about 10 minutes out of that hole.

The Mississippi is one of my favorite bodies of water to fish. good luck. I hope this helps!

Posted on: 2016/9/22 7:29
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Re: Fishing Mississippi
LSF Member
Joined:
12/06/2007
From St. Cloud
Posts: 198
Well, it took me 3 hrs. to catch the small mouth so JJ is probably right that I'm doing something wrong, but I don't know what. I was thrilled to catch the fish on the drop/shot. What rigging do you use to catch the small mouth?

I'm thinking a rapala crankbait, like the tail dancer, would snag quickly and also I can't troll from the bank.

It sounds like I must keep the bait close to the bottom. A Carolina rig? Just a plain lead head with plastic curly tail?

I'm going to try the other side of the dam today.

Posted on: 2016/9/22 11:07
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Re: Fishing Mississippi
LSF Member
Joined:
03/28/2013
From Thief River Falls
Posts: 339
my go to for walleye is a lindy rig with a gold or silver hammered spinner. just cast it out and let it sit on the bottom until you get a bite. Worm or leech should work for bait. you can also use a plain lindy rig without a spinner, I will use a lindy rig if I just want to catch fish cause you will catch everything from suckers to catfish to carp to bass to walleye. depending on the current, my go to weight is 3/4 ounce... more or less depending on current and how well it stays on the bottom without getting swept away by the current

Posted on: 2016/9/22 12:09
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Re: Fishing Mississippi
LSF Member
Joined:
03/18/2004
From Princeton,MN
Posts: 4642
Drop shot rigging is more of a vertical presentation. Fishing from shore you need to use a lateral presentation.

I use a lot of rattl-traps, as they can be fished to contact bottom, just by adjusting the speed of my retrieve. Next up would be jig and plastic. i seldom use less than a 1/4oz jig, and go heavier based on the current river flow.

If you are a more laid back fisherman, a lindy rig with a 1/2oz+ and a floating jig head will work. Depending on flow, your drop line should be no longer than 24", and if the flow is high, as short as 6".

The number one rule of river fishing for me? If you aren't losing tackle in the rocks, you aren't fishing where the fish are.

Posted on: 2016/9/22 13:00
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Re: Fishing Mississippi
LSF Member
Joined:
01/29/2015
Posts: 118
Drop shots have worked just fine for me from shore in some places, but I think the thing to remember about it is that it's generally a finesse presentation. Not always, but usually.

With the stained water on the Miss, finesse stuff is very rarely my go-to.

That being said, try a wacky-rigged senko with some weight for smallies (a 1/8 oz or so jighead with a short shank hook works well). Some may argue that this is finesse, but when you get some weight on a thick 5-inch hunk of "meat", you can make a ruckus with it. It's also basically impossible to fish the wrong way. Dark colors are almost always better, particularly on the Miss.

The main thing with catching fish in rivers with any appreciable current is to look for seams (where water moving different speeds meets up). Almost every fish in the river will hang out in the slower water right next to the faster water using the fast water like a conveyor belt to bring them food. Whatever you throw, try to run it along these current seams from upstream to downstream. The fish will be facing upstream and will see it coming this way, and it looks more natural than something going against the current.

Sometimes the fish get right out in the current to feed, but this is rare. Work the seams and find the fish.

Also: no season on Mississippi River smallies. You can fish for them whenever. Just note the regulations for keeping them if you were wanting to do that (basically, you can't).

Posted on: 2016/9/22 13:14
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Re: Fishing Mississippi
LSF Member
Joined:
12/06/2007
From St. Cloud
Posts: 198
Thank you guys for all the good info. I'll put aside the drop/shot rig for a while and try the Lindy. I have such a fear of losing tackle, but JJ set me straight on that. I'll practice and search for good locations.

Posted on: 2016/9/22 13:30
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Re: Fishing Mississippi
LSF Member
Joined:
02/16/2005
Posts: 1282
Quote:

DrewFlu33 wrote:
Also: no season on Mississippi River smallies. You can fish for them whenever. Just note the regulations for keeping them if you were wanting to do that (basically, you can't).


That's not true for the whole river.

Page 42 of 2016 Fishing Regulations:
MISSISSIPPI RIVER VALLEY (Ramsey, Washington, Hennepin, and Dakota counties) walleye, sauger, smallmouth bass, and largemouth bass: Catch and release
with a continuous season in the following stretches: a) Minnesota River downstream from the Mendota Bridge; b) Minnehaha Creek downstream from Minnehaha Falls; and c) Pool 2 of the Mississippi River between the Hastings Dam and the Ford Dam, including all backwater lakes and connecting waters except Crosby, Pickerel, Upper, Little Pigs Eye, and North Star Steel lakes.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER (Sherburne, Stearns and Wright counties) smallmouth bass: All from 12-20 must be immediately released from the confluence of the Crow River upstream to the St. Cloud Dam, including tributaries to the posted boundaries. Possession limit is three, with one over 20.


The rest of the state (Except NE of US Hwy 52) is catch and release only from Sept 12 - Feb 26, 2017.

Posted on: 2016/9/22 14:49
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