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river fishing

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I fish the area around the 101 bridge at ER. my grandson and I have been getting a lot of smallies 14-18". Want to know if there are any concentrations of walleye in that area. I havent had much luck in that department and I dont know if I'm doing the wrong things or just doing them in the wrong place or both???

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Yer in luck, Crawdaddy. Oh, welcome. I like the Lake Orono Spillway. It's the south end of Lake Orono, no boat needed, just walk on down. Plan on spending an hour or two learning the current with a bobber up top, and/or an 1/8-1/4 oz. whatever from bottom. I've hit only a couple of 'eyes down there on 1/2 oz. jigs w/a fathead, but another guy I know hits even more with a bobber, 4' of line, and a fathead. Lots of snags, though. Used to be lots of smallies in there, now I guess I know where they went!! Might go down there this weekend myself.

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RobertC

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THANKS FOR THE INFO ROBERT C. I GOT OFF WORK EARLY TODAY SO HIT THE RIV AGAIN. JUST GOT HOME. NAILED MY FIRST 20" BASS FIRST CAST. 3RD CAST GOT MY SECOND 20". ALL IN ALL I GOT ABOUT 30 TODAY ALL BIG. IM HAVING SO MUCH FUN MAYBE I'LL FORGET ABOUT OL MARBEL EYES ALTOGETHER. THOUGHT ABOUT KEEPING ONE OF THE 20INCHERS BUT COULDN'T KILL SOMETHING SO PRETTY. TOOK SOME PICTURES AND SET IT FREE.

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Welcome CRAWDADDY, I'm from Elk River also and fish that stretch of the Miss. also. Note: check your regs., smally season has been closed since Sept. 9th, so don't be too tempted to keep one! Also, while it was open, any fish between 12 and 20 inches has to be released. RobertC : We'll have to hook-up at the Orono spillway sometime...never tried there yet,but your recent posts got my attention. Scott

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THANKS, SCOTT! THE SMALLIES WERE ENOUGH OVER 20" TO KEEP ONE BUT I DIDN'T REALIZE THAT THE SEASON WAS CLOSED CRAWDADDY

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I'm at the office this morning, but i'm hittin' the spillway for a couple hours on the way home with some fatheads. I'll be the guy with the Carhart-type overalls, and the cowboy hat.

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RobertC

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Robert, Any idea what time you'll be hitten the water? Scott

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Hey Crawdaddy, Im not trying to be a smarta**
or anything but are you sure you had 2 at 20+ inches or better?? How did you measure them?
I say this because I live on the Mississippi on the stretch between Monticello and Clearwater. I have fished this part of the river for over 15 years and yes the smallmouth fishing is incredible! But my brother and my three sons and I all together have cught hundreds of smallies over the years and only around 4 maybe 5 of those were over 20 inches,--and all but one
would be barely over 20--like 20 and a quarter to a half. which is a huge smallie. Now I know there are better fisherman than me out there, but two 20+ inchers in a couple casts seems incredible!! Remember that day well - because it doesnt get much better than that!
Hell Al lindner calls a 19 to 20 incher a big hog of a smallie when he's up on canadian fly in lakes!
Has anyone else here had this kind of success on the Miss. Am I missing something?

[This message has been edited by Iron Cowboy (edited 11-03-2002).]

[This message has been edited by Iron Cowboy (edited 11-05-2002).]

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Sobe, EXACTLY--thank you! Around here anything 20 or over we call a five year fish.
Seems like it takes an average of that many years to get one that big. But like I said I'm no pro, I usually fish the simple way--find the fallen tree's ,deep holes, or the current breaks behind the big rocks or Islands, throw jigs or cranks at em.--Maybe Navigator can weigh in--he has to have the most 20 inch or bigger fish out of anyone. I have to book a trip on the riv with that guy so I can learn more about where those big piggies hang out!

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Okay...I have to chime in here. Just getting back from a guide trip at the dam. My customer, David Smith from Eagan, caught some nice walleyes, wish I could post his pics here, anyways for the day we caught approximately 25 walleyes and a half dozen cat's. The biggest walleye was 5 pounds and the biggest cat was 7 pounds.

The bigger smallies WERE goin' great guns in the deeper holes up and down the river. When the water temp hits 40 degrees the smallies activety (periods of feeding) decrease. That's not to say that the fish hibernate, they don't!! The fish will be present and will make sporadic attempts at feeding, but the frequency and all-out aggressive tendencies of the fish are toned down. I could write a book's worth of info here about river smallies and I'm sure that some (maybe all) of it would be boring. So I won't go on....if there is one thing I need to stress about river fishing...experiment with presentations and locations.

Here is an example of this, today it started out clear and became cloudy in the middle of the day. The walleyes were VERY active and we caught fish on jig & plastics, jigging spoons and jig & fatheads. As the day changed to cloudy and windy conditions, we changed to strictly livebait fish slowly and we still caught fish. Here's the kicker, there were four other boats fishing the same hole and they caught cat's while trying to fish for walleyes. They didn't change their presentation style (experiment). Nav

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Hey cowboy, After many THOUSANDS of casts on the river, I have yet to get a 20 incher! My best so far has been a FAT 19 incher... Gotta keep tryin - I guess!!! Scott

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WOW! Thats a nice walleye David caught yesterday. (as well as all the the others )
Hey Nav. you said a trip to the dam, was it
the SCSU dam?

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THE TWO SMALLIES WERE OVER TWENTY BY ABOUT 1/4. NOT MUCH, BUT OVER. I MEASURED ALL OF THE FISH I CAUGHT, AS ALLWAYS, WITH A TAPE MEASURE. I ALSO TOOK PICTURES OF ALL OVER 14 INCHES WICH WAS JUST ABOUT ALL OF THE FISH I CAUGHT ON FRIDAY. TOOK A CO-WORKER WITH ON SATURDAY. ALSO TOOK A DIGITAL SCALE.WE ONLY CAUGHT 10 FISH ALL OF WICH WERE AROUND13-14 EXCEPT THE LAST ONE WHICH WAS 19 3/4. IT WEIGHED 3LBS14.5OZ. DIDN'T GO OUT YESTERDAY. SORRY IF SOME DON'T BELIEVE ME. I MAY BE A LITTLE VAGUE ABOUT WHERE I TELL YOU I CATCH MY FISH, BUT I NEVER BS ABOUT WHAT WAS CAUGHT, THE SIZE OR THE NUMBERS. CRAWDADDY

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Iron cowboy,
I spent some of the day there, but there are deep holes down stream from the dam that are holding more and bigger fish! And my preference is to get away from the crowds and catch fish. Nav

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I have to chime in on this one about catching 20"+ smallies on the Mississippi, In 31 years of river fishing only in the last 5 years have I caught two smallies over 20" one being 20 1/8" and the other 20 5/8" and the 1/8" and the 5/8" are important because anything over 20 is quite a catch. There has been two times that I've caught 75 +fish in a day but that is also very rare. one of those days was in January with waders. The small mouth fishing is fun and is like the walleye bite on Mille lacs this summer, not hard to do . there will be some great info coming up from the DNR from this years tagging with radios. A friend from church is a marine biologist for the DNR and is he full of fishing info around Wright co. be kind to the river .Metro

[This message has been edited by metro 1 (edited 11-04-2002).]

I have said something that the administration did not like and have been banned from the board.F.M has pretty thin skin if that's all it takes.Metro

[This message has been edited by metro 1 (edited 11-12-2002).]

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hey metro, I know, in my previos post I said my family has caught 4 maybe 5---thats because two of those were caught by my brother-- he told me about them , and I dont know if he stretches the tape a little bit sometimes just for the story telling. But I have to give him the benefit of the doubt.
I personally have never caught one --19" is my biggest and I live on the Damm river!
Its been over three years now since Ive seen one over 20 pulled out--that one I remember like it was yesterday, my boy, nine years old at the time, was with me, it was a sunday in late October. He had a double mister twister jig !(white) He thought he had a snag at first, then his drag started screaming and he had a look of panic on his face. His rod was pointing straight down and he was haveing a hard time holding on. I just remember me being very excited, yelling "keep your rod tip up and let the drag do its job" Well with what seemed like an awfully short fight for such a big fish here was this huge smallie that looked like it was from the prehistoric days--bigger mouth than lots of largemouths ive caught.
I was shakeing as I measured it--I measured it three or four times with a witness ( for my brothers sake )
21 1/4 to 3/8 inches!! and here we are miles from home and no camera--I still feel bad about that. Needless to say I could never kill one of these beutifull fish, so back it went and we have been looking for it again ever since, like I said for over three years now.
A lot of people have told me that I should have kept it and mounted it. Sometimes when someone questions the length I sort of wish I had. But you should see my boys ( all three) eyes light up when they set the hook on one now, wondering if this is the big one again, priceless.

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I fish the river around Montissippi Park about 2 or 3 times a week in the summer and on into fall. My two best smallmouth this year was one 19 1/2 inch and a 19 inch fish. We routinely caught 17 to 18 inch fish almost every time out. Twenty inch plus fish are definatly in the river. If I quit duck hunting and actually went fishing in the fall, I'm sure I could catch some more small mouth close to or over 20.

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Riverrunner, I know its incredible. My boys are so spoiled, they have never really fished for smallies anywhere else. They are just ho hum its just another 18+. I try to explain to them how most places thats a rare fish and they usually anwer yea right dad whatever you say.
I sure hope the D.N.R never changes the restrictions on this stretch of river, this has to be the reason for the great fishing.

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iron cowboy that's a great story ,I even got goose bumps with that one. how fun metro

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Are the smallies still biting up by the 101 bridge? I am thinking of stopping by there for a while for a little fishing prior to going to Mille Lacs. Would I need to put my boat in or is shore fishing equally as good? Any help that you can offer me would be appreciated.
Thanks,
A

[This message has been edited by Alphid (edited 11-07-2002).]

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My son and I haven't been able to make as many trips as we'd like this year but we've still managed 18 smallies over 20" and 5 over 21". Three over 5 lbs. Plenty of pics and some big northerns, walleyes and cats also. Dillon my 13 yr. old son has a 21 and a half this yr. Many 19+ smallies too. I just began guiding at reasonable rates and have references so e-mail me if your interested thanks jjensen44@msn.com

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