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EBass

What's best area for size and numbers for smallies on the Sissippi?

19 posts in this topic

Just wondering what everyone thinks about their favorite stretch of river for smallies.
I fished the stretch from Ripley to just below the Crow Wing and I got one 17".

So what's the best? Sartel, Monti, Anoka, or Little Falls, Ripley, Brainerd. Anyone go more north than Brainerd.

My friend has a cabin in Atkin and the river is pretty small and fast there. Just curious.

Thanks for any replies riverrats. I have a Jonboat now so I want to explore.

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Aitkin is good for numbers with an occassional 20". North of Brainerd...same. I think each area you mentioned has the potential for a 20"+ fish. Even trib's (like the crow) that meet the Miss. have the potential of producing big smallies. Just my 2 cents...Nav

------------------
Jon Navratil
Navigator Guide Service
www.naviguides.com
Serving Central MN rivers & lakes

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ooooooh! There's just too many to choose from. Under the Sauk Rapids Bridge. When the water was down I caught 15-20 of them below the Sartell dam, biggest was 17".
Just north of Wilson park in St. Cloud has given up a couple of 20" fish too.

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Thanks for the replies so far. Nav, I read the article you wrote. Very nice, where's the link to the report about the tracking of smallies? I just need to get out there and spend some time on the water. I'll try her out this weekend up north somewhere.

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Here is the smallmouth bass telemetry link.
Very interesting info.
There was an article in the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer this month as well.
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/areas/fisheries/montrose/smbtelem.html

I fished the Dayton and Anoka area a lot. Very good area. I am just getting to know the St Cloud area, but without a jetdrive, I wont be up there much. I can say the St Cloud area below the dam is some amazing area.

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Over the last 17 years, I've made it mission to fish as much of the Upper Miss as possible. That being said, the best for "me" without a doubt, is between ST. Cloud and Coon Rapids.

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I get to fish the area from st cloud to satrell a lot and it's been a good spot over the years. Got out 5 times last week. I was in heaven heehee. 19 incher was the biggest with a fair amount of smallies from 12 to 18. They all go back in so I can get em again. Had my son out last night and thought we thought he hooked a pig. Ended up being a 5 pount kitty cat. He was very impressed with the size of the 2 18 inchers I put in the boat. He'd never seen a smally like that. I keep trying to get him addicted. haha

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Thanks fellas. I'm going to try to make it out there on Sat. I still don't know where. Sartel this Sartel that, so it might be Sartel. Unless I get an itch and want to go up nort further

Changed my mind and going to the Croix this weekend. But I'm still going to get there soon.

[This message has been edited by EBass (edited 07-16-2003).]

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Navigator-
I read your Smallie article on the main page, great article. I fish that stretch near little falls a lot. You said you caught at 23 inch smallie in that area, that's a nice fish. I know the DNR fisheries biologist in Little Falls and according to him about the biggest a smallie will get near Little Falls is 21 inches. This is due to the water tempatures. In all the years of electro fishing they have done there, where 100s of smallies are measured each year the biggest ones have been just over 21 inches. Below the dam at St. Cloud down to the cities is where there are 22 inchers.

I'm sure the DNR would be interested to know that there are a few 23 inchers around near little falls.

If you have a picture of that fish you should post it because I'm sure it looked like a football. The 21 inchers I have caught look massive and a 23 would be huge compared to a 21.

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Thanks Mille Lacs Guy for the compliments...and that 23 incher was a blast! She jumped a couple of times..I'm still amazed that the plug didn't fly out of her mouth. Unfortunatley, I was ultra-cheap when it came to purchasing cameras when I was younger and the pictures I have are all pink??? Not sure why and the negatives are no where to be seen. It was a tough lesson to learn about cameras and film.

I have one picture of that 23" where the fish is laying on the my livewell lid with the tape measure in the background. Even though the pictures are pretty much toast, it still brings back memories smile.gif Nav

ps I caught a 21.5" right in front of a DNR researcher in the Clearwater area...he nearly had a heart attack. His comment was, "I didn't know the smallies got that big around here??" Now that one I got pics of..along with a couple of 22's. My website has a pic of one 22" smallie.

------------------
Jon Navratil
Navigator Guide Service
www.naviguides.com
Serving Central MN rivers & lakes

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Having fished from St. Cloud down to the cities for 20 years now, the single best spot i have ever found is close to downtown mpls. Not very scenic but i can catch smallies their like crappies. normal day would be between one to two hundred fish and some pigs, up to 21". Its tough to beat the stretch between Little Falls to Elk River. There are stretches that are better for sure, for instance the otsego area produces many big smallies. I have one 21" this year and my son has 20 3/4" which i consider big for that area and lots of 20's. There are also areas i don't care for, such as the stretch below the coon rapids ****, lots of fish, but at least for me big smallies are rare. ( over 20" )But this area has big muskies and some nice walleyes. It's all good, but some areas are better then others

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Hey, By the way its Sartell with a pair of L's. Anyways I have grown up in Sartell and speaking from experience the St. Cloud dam up to about Blanchard dam near Rice is home to some very nice smallies. You can catch them consistantly on just about anything from live bait to topwater lures. Its a nice stretch of river to fish because the current doesnt get to strong in most places. Just watch out for the rocks.

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Dang, you guys are making me change my mind. I don't know where to fish this weekend now. Sippi or Croix, Sippi or Croix, Finkle and Eihorn, Finkle and Eihorn. (Yep Ace Ventura)

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I don't know if this got a mention some where or not; but Mr. Kevin Turner is featured in an In-Fisherman article about smallmouths that is on the newstands now. Nice job Kevin!

mm

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My son and I got out today. Netted 23 dandy smallies. Had 9 spit the mepp in mid flight. What a day!! Man I love that Mississippi!!! My friend fonz 58 had his 2 boys out yesturday and they had a blast also.

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Two years ago I caught a 24.5 inch smallmouth from land by Blanchard Damb. The fish was also full of eggs and in legal season. I didn't have a scale to weight that fish, but I got some pictures. After a few short picts I released it. Any one have any idea what it might have weighed. I was thinking about 7.5 to 8.5 lbs.(state record 8lbs ?)
I caught it on a tube jig. It made five or six good runs before I got it in. My uncle, his son and my brother saw me catch it. A week after that fish my uncle caught a 25 incher by blancher, he released that fish also. His fish was caught on a white spinnerbait. I have also caught two 22 inchers by Blanchard.

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Hey Joe,
Above or below the dam?

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Since the topic didn't specify, I'd have to give pool 4 and 5 up for a nomination!

I've fished the upper near Sauk Rapids only one time, but managed some nice bruisers!

Like to get up there again!

Jim W

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