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Lunker

Taylors Falls to Osceola stretch

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Lunker

A couple years ago I did a canoe trip with the ex-girlfriend from Taylors Falls down to Osceola. Now I am planning on doing the same float myself and fishing the stretch. I am up for anything but am mostly a C&R bass guy. I remember it being shallow and rocky, but would anybody mind giving a few words about the fishing on this stretch and the best species and tactics to target this time of year? I have almost no experience on the Croix.

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Slyster

Funny you should ask this... I just came here to look up info for that EXACT same stretch of rivier... We are going tomorrow.. (Mon June 25)... so it's probably too late for me to get info for a trip now.. but use the SEARCH button and you can sift through years of posts in the St. Croix forum.. use "subject only" and set it for 4 or 5 years. That's what I am going to do now. When are you going? If tomorrow.. look for a red 14' lund with a white motor.

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tunrevir

Taylors falls from the bridge south. In the dalles area of TF above the park you can verticle jig along the rocks with crappie minnows, crawlers for panfish, walleye, sauger, cats ect. Moving downstream from the landing there are some scour holes along the top and sides of the islands that will hold eyes and smallies and often times some cats, work the downed trees along the banks with topwaters and spinnerbaits for smallies with the occassional pike thrown in. There is alot of rocky shoreline On the Minnesota side just above the Franconia landing that holds smallies and an occassional pike. The down trees on the Wisconson side will also hold some smallies and pike. Once you get to the island by Franconia you can again work the rocks for smallies, pike and eyes in the deeper water. Where the pipeline starts onthe Wisc side you can find panfish, eyes, smallies and pike. The deeper areas along the rocks will hold eyes and sauger but they can be tough to catch this time of year, Also not a bad area to soak a sucker for some cats. Moving south on the Wisc side where the rocks end there is a nice eddy with a scour hole that runs twelve feet right off shore till the downed tree. Smallies, pike, occassional white bass have come out of here. Move across to the Minnesota side just above the Franconia landing to the rock face. Top side tends to hold a few crapppies this time of year as well as rock bass and the occassional smallie. The downriver side is a scour hole and eddy with creek access that also may hold some crappies and small wally's. Across from the landing Cast the downed trees for smallies and pike. Next there is a Point,sandbar on the Minnesota side where Browns creek dumps in this area can be good for some pike look downstream of the inlet . Floating down futher look again to the islands, rocky shorelines and current swept side of the islands and of course the downed trees. The faster flowing boulder areas above Osceola can be really good for smallies on small spinnerbaits. Hope this helps. Work your top water baits slow with long pauses between pops. If you are taking a boat and motor downstream be prepared to push off from shoals on occassion as there are many areas with a scant few inches of water.

Tunrevir~

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Lunker

Thanks for the tips. I'll be headed up friday morning I think. Slyster, any luck?

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john.wells

Don't listen to Tunrevir- he's never even been on the Croix! tongue.giftongue.giftongue.giftongue.giftongue.giftongue.giftongue.giftongue.gif In all reality, that is the about the most accurate description I have ever read. There is something about us rats that just clicks when it comes to rivers. Maybe it's the fact that you need to know every inch just to keep your prop intact, or to get to where you need to be in the dark and you need that 6th sense, or who knows what. Rivers definitely make their mark. I can't hardly remember what I had for lunch, but I KNOW that I can launch at Interstate Park and go all the way to Prescott without a hitch, and I haven't even fished below the dam for years. ALL rats have this trait, and there are plenty here. From my observations, no one will steer you wrong on the Croix forum-lots of great guys that know, love, and respect it.

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tunrevir

JW, Have you fished above the dam much this year? How's the water levels upstream towards nevers? Yep, us rats gotta stick together. How about the Sunrise fish it lately? I was thinking of putting the waders on and heading out there after work one night just for some fun.

Tunrevir~

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john.wells

I haven't been out above the dam for about a month, so I can't tell you about the water levels, but I can tell you that when I was there it was low. I'm sure it is worse now, but even then it ain't too bad with the dam keeping levels somewhat stable. I haven't been out to the Sunrise since spring thaw. It was a disappointing spring- low water and a quick warm up=bad runs. I have heard of a good pike bite above the first dam, though. As far as Never's, I don't get up that way all too often- I have a few nice honey holes downstream from there that USUALLY prevent me from needing to travel there.

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slipperybob

I felt like I was there fishing... laugh.gif

Reality check...*pinch*

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so haaad

Yeah, I think I even saw a few shoreline fish along the way...granted they were all carp or sheepies. The only thing tunrevir failed to describe is that one stupid branch that I always get snagged on! (Above the rock island, MN side, around the rocky corner to the left, all the way back in the corner by the creek) smile.gif

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tunrevir

SoHaad, Yeap!, me too but you weren't suppose to tell. I always thought I might go out with the Scuba gear and see just how many baits you put on that log! grin.gif I don't think I divulged to many spots and you have to fish for the species you are after to catch them. If I did, well there is always the stretch above the dam and also the miles of water below to fish.

JW, I have heard the pike bite wasn't bad and a few pannies are being caught amongst the rougher variety but hey, those make good catfish bait. I'm looking at getting out above the dam soon, as the water below is starting to pool more like a lake. I'm hoping as things start to cool ito fall we get a bit more runoff, makes for better runs! Don't you just love it! Have a great night!

Tunrevir~ cool.gif

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Lunker

Just got back from the river myself. Thanks again all for the tips and insights.

I rented a canoe(yes I was one of the flotilla of dang canoers and kayakers) but probably one of only two or three boats I saw fishing total today. Beautiful day, nice temp and breeze, and fished from 11:30am to 6pm from the Interstate Park launch down to Osceola. It was fun, but frustrating fishing alone in a canoe, since I had to work hard to stay in a spot for more than a couple casts, so I definitley couldn't fish slow, so I'm sure I passed up many a good fish.

Caught a smallie on my first cast, and ended up being an enjoyable day on the water. Caught 13 smallies from little dinks up to one 16-17" fish, one Largemouth, 3 northern, 2 whitebass, 1 walleye, and 1 crappie. All fish were released except one whitebass(never had them and wanted to try one) and a northern that was badly hooked.

Almost all of the fish were caught on a white mini strike-king spinnerbait, including the walleye, whitebass, northern, LM, and most of the smallies. A couple SM took craw cranks and senkos, and the crappie was caught jigging a tube jig.

Almost all of the fish came off of wood cover along the banks. A few SM and the whitebass and crappie came off of rocks, and a northern out of a little backwater, but everything else was in wood. The midstream cover(rocks, wood, current irregularities) didn't yield anything. They were just hanging in the wood along the banks. Bottom composition didn't seem to matter, I caught them over sand, gravel, rock, and mud as long as there was wood.

Here are a couple sucky pics taken of my fish by me(I was alone what could I do?). Fun day.

grin.gif

stcroix013.jpg

Nice Smallie

stcroix011.jpg

Nice surroundings

stcroix010.jpg

White bass

stcroix012.jpg

Another smallie

stcroix005.jpg

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trailratedtj

i myself have been dying to get into some smallies this year and need a pretty place to carry the little lady. Heres my question, is this stretch navigable with a 17ft alumacraft with a 60horse strapped on the back? approximately how many miles is it from taylors falls to osceola?

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tunrevir

Trailrated tj, Looking at the river today as I went by, I'd say you'd have a heck of a time launching that size boat right now without the proper 4-wheel drive and launch. Some shoals that are sandbars right now peeking through from the park south that normally a guy could float so if you do try and get out just be real careful.

Lunker, Glad to see the advice payed off and that you caught a few fish, Nice pics too! Sounds and looks like you had a great time!

TYunrevir~ cool.gif

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trailratedtj

Would it be wiser to put in somewhere farther south than taylors? If so, where would be the best? I do have 4wd so thats not an issue.

thanks for the help

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tunrevir

You can probably get in at both of the state parks either Mn or Wisc and go a bit north, south right now is a bit iffy and the Franconia landing is going to be quite shallow as well but with 4 wheel and a littly moxy you could still launch. I would say your best bet at finding a decent launch and the smallies and or fish you seek might well be above the dam right now. In 20 years of fishing the Franconia/TF area, I have never seen the water this low between the park and Franconia. Osceola on south you will run into many of the same issues as Franconia and TF right now. Above the dam you should be able to run a bit upriver and fish because they are holding the water back right now till our next big rainstorm..which by the way helps the fish to put on the feedbags! cool.gif Hope this helps!

Tunrevir~

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Lunker

I would definitely not fish that stretch of river if I had the boat you say. I was beaching my canoe on sandbars!

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slipperybob

If the water is that low..., I've better go find all the lures that I've lost...snagged pretty close...

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tunrevir

SB, Hey just make sure you return my jigs and cranks before you go putting them all away in your box! grin.gif It is that low but maybe they were holding the water back a bit to make electric for the Holiday. From the sounds of things though the river is low all the way around.

Tunrevir~

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so haaad

Lunker, nice post. Glad to hear that you had a productive day. I recognize those rocks! smile.gif

Tunrevir,

I think Steph and I are taking the Tracker above the dam tomorrow. Also, I picked up a new toy last night...the Bear Truth bow. I got a great deal on it so I couldn't pass on it.

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trailratedtj

Hows the water level looking now with all this rain in the past week? im still thinking about heading out in the morning maybe around 5-6am. should i go to the wisconsin side to launch?

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so haaad

Not a lot of change with the river levels. Still pretty low. Above the dam, I launched on the Wisconsin side launch. Other than the young swimmers all over the place, this launch is in great shape.

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trailratedtj

how far is the dam from interstate park?

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tunrevir

The dam is a 1/2 mile or so above the bridge going into Wisconson. If you take your first left once you are over the bridge and go through St. Croix falls you will se the launch on your left as you are headed out of town.

SoHaad, how'd you do up north? Got any tips for me? I have a shedule of the FL sportmans club 3-d shoots and there is a league there as well. As a non member you can go out and shoot the course on league nights if you are interested. Shoot me an E-mail and fax# and I'll send you the info. I hit Algoma this weekend for some kings and have the boat nearly rigged for subsequent trips out there at some point. Lots of extra money I don't have but I figure I'll get there! No new bow this year:(

Tunrevir~

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so haaad

tunrevir,

Fishing was slow. But it was a great day just to relax in the boat with Steph. I'll definitely keep the 3-D shoot in mind, that would be fun. I still want to put a new arrow rest and buy some new arrows in the next couple of weeks. I want to spend some money on some new toys before...well...you know the rest! smile.gif Enjoy your weekend!

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trailratedtj

well, i finally got on the croix today. got up at 4:00am(after falling alseep finally at 12:30am being i was so excited) anyways, got to taylors falls at 6:00am. I ended up visiting the interstate park launches both wi and mn, both being way to shallow. Then heading on south i visted 2 more launches before finally getting to the one just north of stillwater. Getting on the water at 8:00am i was very disappointed. Needless to say i fished all the way up to the first bridge north of the launch(train bridge) before seeing a sign that posted "no watercraft travel beyond this point" i wasnt for sure that the sign was for barges or domestic boats so i turned around. i then proceeded to fish all the holes listed one the hotspots map catching nothing but snags. i stuck to crawlers and fished all day with them being jigging, long lining, slip bobbering and spinners(gold #2 colorado blade with red beads), no takers... what was i doing wrong? are the fish farther north, farther south, did i forget how to fish? after packing up at 3:30pm i had two fish boated, a 12" cat and a 4" rock bass.

anyways.. i hope someone else had better luck than i did.

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