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BigMike

Elk River on Saturday

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BigMike

I'm venturing out to the Elk River section for the first time for some wading on Saturday. I'm planning on meeting up with Tinman for some wading out of Otsego Regional Park. Does anyone have any advice for this section? I figure I'll learn as I go down there, but should I head upstream or down... can I get out to the islands (is there access to the island) or will it be too deep? Are the island even worth my time? I'm just trying to prepare myself as much as possible before I hit the water. Anyone want to join us?

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The Grebe

The little island up from the power plant, looks like it would be accessable on the top end, from the Otsego side...might be private property though?

As shallow as the river is (I came by there again today and the geese were standing out in the middle by the park and they were only knee deep! Well, maybe not quite the middle, but you get the picture.

Try down stream off that wall by the power plant...there is a deep spot adjacent to it and it is always good for a few smallies, an occassional pike and a wally now and then.

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river rat316

Hey Mike
I know this area very well if oyu would like to email me I will be out there on saturday and fish the otsego area all the time we could meet at my house and walk to the best spots (I live a 1/2 block off the river) and trhen maybe I could watch the smallie magnet in action so I have a chance on the 28th in Monti!!!!

email is cdemars316@yahoo.com

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BigMike

River rat - you've got mail. I'm already meeting Tinman down there at Otsego Reg. Park off of 98th and we're planning on wading that stretch. We'll be down there around 7:30ish if you want to join us and I love meeting other FM'ers - not to mention I would love to learn that stretch from someone that knows the area like you & Tinman (it can be our own shore-fisherman's smallie magnet event LOL). Reply to my email when you get a minute and we can talk more.

Grebe - thanks for the info about the power plant, the only problem is: where is the power plant? LOL. As mentioned above, I'll be fishing out of Otsego Park (north bend of river - up river from downtown Elk River). Is it by there at all? If not, I might have to add that to the list of spots I would like to try.

[This message has been edited by BigMike (edited 08-14-2004).]

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Juan Grande

BigMike,

You seem to be the utmost authority on smallie fishing in the Elk River/Otsego stretch of the Miss.

I live in Rogers and would like to fish smallies on the river. I don't have a boat, but I have waders and lots of bass gear.

Is smallie fishing any good near the Dayton Regional park (where the crow and Miss meet)? How about out of Otsego? I was thinking about trying the Coon Rapids dam too.

I'm just looking for something close to home that I can hit in the evening or on weekends. I fish quite a bit, but haven't fished the river much.

Maybe I could tag along with you guys some time if you wouldn't mind.

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BigMike

Juan, I don’t know about being an authority on fishing those waters... passionate might be a more appropriate term grin.gif. As a plug for FM – it really hasn’t been how much I know, but who I know as well. I’ve met some great river anglers on FM that share the same passion and in talking with them, we’ve all learned how to be better anglers and learned a lot about different sections of the river.

To add to that, I’ve never fished the elk river section – I’ve driven by it to scout it out a handful of times and read a bunch about it but tomorrow is my first day down there. I hope to discover some new holes. However, I’ve waded a lot of the stretch between the power plant in Monti to the kadler launch just north of Otsego and fished the coon rapids dam down to the MN river confluence. The river is awesome and gets very little pressure (especially the northern sections) because it’s so shallow - very few boats can fish it which is perfect for you and wading! I forgot to mention it's one of the best, if not the best, smallmouth fisheries in the nation.

As for the areas you mentioned. Dayton Regional Park – ask around for Biglakeba$$. He is from that area and might have more info for you. Pretty much any stretch above the anoka area will have some good smallie fishing. Check out the DNR electrofishing reports of the upper ‘sippi – fish the highlighted sections and you’ll catch fish!

I’ve fished the Coon Rapids Dam and will never go back. That area is great for catfish, crappie, & carp. There are smallies (and several big ones) down there, but it’s really hard to narrow down what water to focus on and I’d rather drive up river to elk river and north for more consistent & guaranteed action. I drive from woodbury now to the upper sections (Elk River to Monti) and for me it’s well worth the drive (45-1hr10min). For you, it’s basically in your back door! If I was you, I would be down on the river every night – even if it was only for a hour or two.

Basically, once you learn river fishing techniques, you'll have all the tools you need to test out waters and become you own "authority" in river smallies. wink.gif I'm always up for hitting the river with guys from FM. Just let me know when you are planning on going and I'll see if I can make it. If you want to join us tomorrow – Tinman & possibly River Rat and I will be wading out of the Otsego Regional Park off of 98th St. (just south of downtown elk river off of parrish). I’ll be there around 7:30am and will be fishing until about 2pm. Post back if you want to join us.

[This message has been edited by BigMike (edited 08-13-2004).]

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Mark Christianson

I am not an authority by any means either, but here are some thoughts.
I fished the Miss a lot from Anoka up into the Dayton area. The area south of the Crow is probably the best waters for smallies in that stretch.
Now, since I have gotten to know smallie_hawger, he has enlightened me to the waters of the St Cloud area.
In my opinion, the waters up and down from St Cloud are incredible. If I picked an area to fish, I would definitely pick St Cloud over Anoka.

Now, as far as fishing the Miss, in locations from Rogers, you obviously are not going to drive to St Cloud for a quick outing. But, if you do have time to make a day of it, definitely try St Cloud and Sartell areas. There are a lot of spots for wader fishing up in the areas right near the various boat launches.

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Juan Grande

BigMike & BigLakeBass,

Thanks for the tips guys. You guys are a perfect example of what makes this site great. Guys willing to share fishing info. with total strangers.

BigMike, thanks for the invite but I won't be able to join you tomorrow. I'm heading up to my in-laws' place on Blue Lake in Princeton. No smallies, but good LM fishing.

Ironically, I'm from Cottage Grove and I still play softball down there so I'm well aware of the hour long drive. I made it last night actually. Do you ever hit the Miss down there? I've fished the stretch from Hastings up past the 494 bridge (South St. Paul). I've caught a few smallies. Lots of walleye and sauger.

Did you graduate from Woodbury by chance? I graduated from Park High in 94'.

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Doonbuggy

Biglake - thanks for the crow river/miss info.

I have a friend who recently moved to Otsego and I told him I'd take him out on the river (from shore).

He's a casual fisherman and would be happy catching anything. I got into some nice smallies up on LOW earlier this year so this smallie talk is starting to make me drool.

On to the question: from where the Crow dumps into the 'Sippi, is that public land that is free to go wading? Any park up there that would serve as a starting spot?

I used mapquest so I have a basic picture of the area, but don't know the actual terrain and how developed it is.

Thanks for the help.

DB

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BigMike

Juan - thanks for the kind words. I literally just moved (3 weeks ago) to Woodbury from downtown mpls. I haven’t fished the lower pool 2 section yet (494 area) but I plan to in the upcoming weeks hopefully. I also want to get out and wade/shorefish the st. croix for smallies too. I used to fish the ‘sippi downtown mpls, UofM, & Minnehaha/hidden falls & Lake Harriet on the mpls chain a lot after work, but now I’ve got to find a couple new places closer to Woodbury.

I grew up in CA & WI and came here for college – graduated 2 yrs ago. I’m a part time youth pastor in Woodbury and ironically my full time job was in woodbury until the week before I moved there when I found out I got transferred to work 3-4 days at our regional office in Plymouth – go figure tongue.gif. I still work in Woodbury 1-2 days a week which is real nice and makes up for the long drives the rest of the week.

We can hit the river sometime later in the month or first part of September. The river smallie action gets hot from late August until mid October (if you can handle the cold days in October – the fish are there).

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Juan Grande

BigMike,

It's going to be tough to gain access to the river in the South St. Paul area for a while. That 494 bridge construction has a lot of roads closed in that area.

The St.Croix is an awesome fishery with tons of smallies. It's harder to shore fish though because it gets deep quick and there's a ton of boat traffic on weekends. If you do go down there, check out St. Croix River Bluffs Reginal Park, it's a beautiful park.

Where did you go to school? I went to the U of M myself.

I'd be up for some late summer river fishing.

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buzbunni

BigMike et.al.,

The FishinLogician and I will be wading up there(wait, we'll be DRIVING up there and THEN wading) around 0630 or so. Per all of your great(and generous) info, I went up there solo near Otsego last Sat and had some decent luck.We are thinking of hitting a different spot than you both are, but would love to maybe meet up. Heck, we don't care, we'll fish with you guys(if you don't mind). Pop me an e-mail if you want to chat about the spot I tried last weekend, or plans for Sat.

Also, can't seem to track down that electrofishing data you mentioned. Care to provide a link?

------------------
SERIOUSLY! It was THIS big!

[This message has been edited by buzbunni (edited 08-13-2004).]

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buzbunni

Nice response time!

Thanks biglakeba$$

------------------
SERIOUSLY! It was THIS big!

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EBass

BLB always has his eyes peeled - LOL

Have a great time fellas!

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BigMike

Juan I went to a small bible college called North Central University on the edge of downtown mpls (3 blocks south of the metrodome) and got my degree in youth pastoral studies. You're not kidding about the construction down on 494 - it's all ripped to shreads! So there is decent smallie fishing out of bluffs park? Does it cost $$ to get in? I know that wading my be tough, but if I can't wade - what kind of structure can you fish down there?

BLB is always on top of the posts - I almost wonder if that's all he does. j/k blb! And then there is his trusty sidekick ebass with the quick follow up LOL grin.gif

It looks like we might have a nice group tomorrow in Elk River. Tinman, River Rat, BuzBunni, Fishinlogician and I. I'll have the digital camera and we'll be sure to post pictures of any nice fish. If you guys don't know where it is, it's Otsego Regional Park off of Parrish & 98th St NE in Otsego (it's about 1 miles or less south of downtown Elk River). I'll be there around 7:30 in a red isuzu rodeo. Just look for the guy with the extra rod hanging off my vest. I'll see you tomorrow.

[This message has been edited by BigMike (edited 08-14-2004).]

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Mark Christianson

Hey now!

Just doin my part to help out.

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Lost

I might be able to see you guys. Not sure though. My girlfriend's dad's side of the family planned a family reunion over a month ago for some place up yonder. If I spot ya, I'll stop by, yell and scream "here fishy, fishy, fishy" as I throw handfuls of pebbles into the water. LOL. You know, gotta scare them away so that I'll be able to catch them on Sunday. grin.gif

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BigMike

BLB - just teasin' - that's me doin' my part grin.gif.

Lost, if we see ya, cool - if not maybe next time. Well after that post, maybe we don't want to see you! j/k wink.gif

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buzbunni

BigMike,

U got mail(um...sorry, about 1.5 hours ago)

------------------
SERIOUSLY! It was THIS big!

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Mark Christianson

Some pics from Big Mike. I'll let Mike narrate them for us.
47b4d637b3127cceb42573cd2c2e0000001610

47b4d637b3127cceb42573caad190000001610

[This message has been edited by biglakeba$$ (edited 08-16-2004).]

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BigMike

Thank BLB for posting the pics. I met up with 4 other FM'ers (RiverRat, Fishin'Logician, BuzBunni, & Tinman) and waded the Elk River section. It is a great looking stretch but we only had dinks all morning. Buz got a couple nicer fish early, but just dinks from then until noon (biggest probably 10inches) - nothing worth of any pictures. Then after noon Buz & Fishin' had to get going and I caught up again with RiverRat and he had found the hot spot & presentation. We only had about 30-40 minutes left to fish until we had to leave so we covered about 100-150 yards in those 30minutes using topwater baits and had MASSIVE blowups (more like explosions) on practically every cast and hooked a fish on every couple casts. They would miss and chase it, just like a northern, it was wild!The top picture was a 14incher (I'll take it - compared with the dinks we had earlier) and the bottom picture was a nice 17.5incher. Actually, that is a really rough estimate (I didn't bring the measuring tape, so we made a quick estimate on my rod and measured when I got home - 17.5''. But we didn't have him right up on the rod and may have gone another .5-1''.) Either way, nice fish to end the day. Total for me: 3 northerns, 13-15 smallies (3 14-15'' & 1 17.5'' & lotsa pocket bass). A funny side note, Riverrat caught a nice cat on an inline spinner - we were all laughing about that!

If we had stayed for another hour or two we would have really covered that section more thoroughly and probably had another dozen nice fish.

It was a lot of fun meeting everyone out there this weekend! We'll have to do it again sometime and hit the section where I caught up with RiverRat. Thanks for sharing the hot presentation and snapping a couple pics RRat! I have to say too that RRat you really are a River Rat - when we got there the first thing he did was cross the river - it was about 58-60 degrees out and the guy fords the river up to his chest/shoulders! LOL It wasn't that bad when we crossed back over in the afternoon, but all of us couldn't believe you just jumped in first thing in the morning! LOL.

We'll have to do this again!

[This message has been edited by BigMike (edited 08-16-2004).]

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Lost

Them are some nice fish! I actually didn't have a chance to drive out that direction. Wanted to but was running late for the family reunion. Maybe in the near future. I'll throw on some shorts and my old sneakers and go swimmin' after the fish. I'll even take the hook in my hand, catch the fish, and put the hook in its mouth so you can reel it in.

LOL. Okay, so I've lost it due to all the stress. Sure is gonna feel good to be fishin' on a more regular basis.

Let me know when you wanna take me with ya for some bassin'.

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Juan Grande

Nice fish guys! I wish I could have joined you. We didn't have much luck this weekend. I think the colder weather had the LM a little tight lipped.

Let me know when you're going out again. I'd like to meet you guys.

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BigMike

Juan we'll get out on the river sometime soon! The fishing over the last few weeks has been really picking up! I got out again last night with a friend of mine after work and hit Otsego park again. I wanted to hit a couple spots and head downriver to keep exploring new areas. We fished for 2hrs 45min and I ended up with 6 fish all but one over 12inches with 2 hitting 16 & 16.5''. My friend caught 4 fish (8-14inches). After not having my measuring tape on Saturday, I made sure to bring it last night smile.gif. I snapped a couple pics but they look almost identical to the ones posted above with an evening backdrop instead. Last night was the perfect evening and the river had only came up about 1inch with the new rain.

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