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dan2957

Just moved to MN and I need some Mississippi river smallie hot spots.

40 posts in this topic

Hey hey, I've just moved to Minnesota (Buffalo) and I really need to get on some Smallies. I have a good river boat and a very good trolling motor. I tried the river twice, 1st time I got skunked and second time I landed a 18.5 in gaint, but I had to fish for 3 hours to get him. I starting to get the hang of the river I think.
Here is my question. Where is the best place for smallie numbers? I haved in Monticello and at Clearwater. Can you guys give me any tips and is there a boat launch in St Cloud?

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There certainly is a ramp in St.Cloud. I'm not sure of the name of the roads to get there, but It is on the saint cloud state campus on the west side of the river. It is part of the Beaver Island Trail. Does anyone know specific directions for how to get there?

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If you can find the hockey arena in St Cloud, you are within eyesight of the launch. But its a twisted mess to get there.

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It's been a while since i've launched there,but beware of the VERY shallow spot's just down from the launch. float trip is a nice way to fish the area. Can't help with direction's, sorry. But if you find the arena you,re almost there!

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It's been a while since i've launched there,but beware of the VERY shallow spot's just down from the launch. float trip is a nice way to fish the area. Can't help with direction's, sorry. But if you find the arena you,re almost there!

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Ive done well putting in at Coon Rapids Dam, fishing upstream (only way to go... lol) around the bridge always provides smallies, at least 1 per piling... also look for tell tale big rocks, and changes from small to big rocks...

Wally

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I wouldn't recomend by the campus right now. Really low!! Wilson Park and Just north of Sauk Rapids are good spots to put in with Wilson being the safest. I went out at clearwater on Moday p.m. and headed north. Good fishing there too. Mepp spinners have been working great and we found a nice hole under an eddy that was about 10 feet deep where they loved the night crawlers we offered them. Another good place to start is north of Sartell past the papermill about a mile. Very nice landing there. Good luck!

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Hey guys, thanks for the feed back and info about the st cloud ramp. Think I'll try N. of the paper mill. By the way, what side of the river is the ramp N. the paper mill on? East or west??

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on the east side. go north of the mill about a half mile then turn left, cross the tracks and road curves to right, access is right by the long white fence. smile.gif

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Welcome to MN. I'm fairly new here also and I live pretty close to you (Monti). Just started fishing the Miss this year and have been out there about 8 times so far since spring. I have only fished from the power plant in Monti to Elk River, but have never caught less than 12 Smallies everytime I've been. The fishing is great locally so I've haven't ventured to far from home. Spinnerbaits, Crankbaits, and Jigs have worked best for me. I'll be out there tomorrow AM, so the story may change frown.gif
Good Luck.

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Wow! More river rats...always good to see new faces on the river....
I've been fishing the central MN Mississippi for 15 years, so if I can be of help just let me know.

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Welcome!
I'm in Buffalo, as well, and fish the Missy near Monticello every chance I get. I'm shorebound due to mechanical difficulties I find mechanical things difficult grin.gif ), but still get my share of this & that & the other. For smallies I look for transitions in current, transitions in bottom, transitions in light/darkness and if I were in a boat I'd throw at the backside of every big rock I saw.

------------------
Aquaman
<')}}}}}><{
Peace and Fishes

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Just a tidbit, Monti and Elk River areas hold the highest number of smallies from electrofishing by the DNR. But angler catch rates are generally better in areas with diverse habitat. Like upstream of Monti Nuc plant or around St. Cloud. Basically areas with islands offer more diversity in depth, substrate and eddies.

As the flows get lower a jet becomes a requirement, not an option. Keeps the Riff-Raff out!! LOL Wading in certain areas can be good as well. I love the river and wouldn't trade fishing there for just about anything!

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Smallie Hog smile.gif

I couldn't agree more, jet drive is the requirement. I was out today on the river and I watched(I mean I heard), three different prop boats chunk rocks. Thank goodness for jet-drive!
We caught a few fish, nothing spectacular in size.
Always fun though! Nice to be out and not have huge cuddies swamping a guy.

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smallie_hawgin sounds like you got it right.

There are tons of smallies in between Elk River and Monticello. But there also is a wicked current to deal with. You need a nice heavy anchor and a shallow running boat.

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OK, since you guys are on the river all time I have a Q.

I have a 14' Jon with 25H tiller prop and can put it on shallow drive, but how low is low when people are hitting rocks? I pretty much drive like a granny especially in low water.

I guess just wondering what those people were in when they hit and was the motor all the way down?

I was on the MN river and good thing the bottom is mud in most places. I swear I was under a foot in some places.

Also, how's the clarity?

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Clarity is awesome right now.

If you don't have a jet drive, you just are looking for trouble in a lot of areas. There are stretches that are fine, but impossible to document in text.
Float trips are your best bet. Don't plan on going down river somewhere and try to get back upstream.

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Hey biglake I have some questions. I am going on the Miss. out of coon rapids dam. Are the waters going north realtively deep? I was going to use electric motor and fish along the shoreline. Then motor around to other areas. It looks relatively deep around that area is this true or are my eyes deceiving me from shore. Are many anchoring and fishing?

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If you dump at the Coon Rapids dam, you can go all the way up the Anoka/Champlin bridge with no problems, using your big motor.
Just DO NOT go past the bridge.
Then you are asking for problems.
I have not anchored and fished the river this year at all. In fact I have not fished the river down there at all yet.
I have been out a few times from Clearwater and west, and I hope to try it down there sooner than later.

[This message has been edited by biglakeba$$ (edited 08-11-2003).]

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Biglake, thanks for the info. and warning. I am going to give the area a try after I am done responding. I'll post if I got any.

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EBass, I have a 16' with a 20hp. I've been going out there every weekend. You have to have a depth finder to use your motor at all. There are a few sections of the river (I'm only familiar with the area between Monti and Dayton) where you can go north with your motor and drift back down, but it is easier on your boat if you just launch north and drift to the next launch. You need two people or vehicles for this to work, though.
If you put in at Montissippi Park, you can't go north at all, unless you can drive in 1ft of water. If you put in at the park in Downtown Monticello, you can go north to just past the bridge. If you put in at Dayton, you can go north for about a mile before you will reach the 1ft deep area. I have tried going south of Dayton because there are some shallow rapid areas just below the Dayton Launch, and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get back up stream.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks for the replies. I need to save for a jet drive I guess. I think my draft is 18" or close to that. I do have a Vex to. I guess if I go I have to take it slow. I always - ALWAYS go upstream as far as I can or want then float and fish back down.

So has anybody launched from Coon Rapids Dam? I saw before when the water was low the launch was closed. This is on the Coon Rapids side not the Brooklyn Park side.

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Ebass, I launched at CR dam this morning for the first time. Decent landing. The waters going north is relatively deep. I was wide open in this area. When you come upon the first bridge, cement, that's where it starts becoming shallow in areas. Watch your locator on depths. I was using my electric motor most of the morning and doing some drifting. Only caught 3 fish in about 5 hours. To me the water is really murky. I thought it would be a bit more clearer. Some areas you can't see bottom and it is only 2-3 feet. Hope this helps and good luck fishin'.

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Loon,

Boy 2-3 feet of clarity in the Miss would be about is good as it ever gets. This is the Ole Miss.
What did you toss for baits?

As far as watching your locator for depths, I hope you aren't under power of the outboard, because you will be beached awfully quick in a couple areas west of the bridge. And they are not sandy.

[This message has been edited by biglakeba$$ (edited 08-12-2003).]

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3 fish in 5 hours. Sounds like Lake Sara last night. I hope they had some size to them. I still think the smallies are up stream even with the low water.

Thanks for launch update.

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