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Labor Day weekend with the kids on the Minnesota near Mankato. 

My first sturgeon and a couple of cats. Great day to be on the river. Still high but manageable however the landing was muddy 

Finally got out fishing, been a busy summer at work. Spent Saturday and today in the Mankato area. Amazing to show up at a boat ramp on Labor Day weekend and be the only person at the launch! Caught a

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I have caught crappies, sheaphead, a bass, channel cats, northern, even a walleye or a few.

Just a warning, river ice is NEVER safe, nor consistant in thickness. The area I have been fishing, I am standing on 10"+, but 20 feet away, there is open water. The ice thickness can change overnight. I even had the ice buckle, and break up and float in the current, when there was 12 inches. I am not trying to scare anyone off, just use more caution then what you would on a lake. Because if you fall in, the current will take you under the ice, and away from the whole you fell into. Almost certain death if you fall in. With that, have fun fishing.

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  • 3 weeks later...

All true. Be carefull out there. I've been fishing the river hard now for several weeks. fished on 4 inches up to 9 inches and it does vary. I always have a spud bar with as I walk. I only weigh 175 lbs though. Lol. Caught a big Channel Cat, a couple sturgen - (first for me!) Cool fish... Weird. Sauger, Saugeye, and Walleyes. Fishing anywhere from 22 fow to 10 fow. This latest crazy high pressure system and extreme cool temp that we've been having has shut things down for me though. A lot of fish traffic and marks but no takers. Fishing has been worse for me this ice season than last. Fish seem much less aggressive on the take. No real noticable hits ... more like dead weight that sometimes you notice too late / thus giving you a poor hook set. Ugh. Last time out, saw a dude fishing through a 6 inch hole backwards... OMG! I'm thinking I should have a river ice fishing 101 class. Simply put = fishing backwards means facing into the current. Don't do this. Also - don't drill a 6 inch hole. Not smart. Some of the fish I've caugh barely fit through an 8 1/2 inch hole. Also, if you want to use your vex. fine... just don't expect it to be helpfull if you have the transducer in the same hole your fishing out of. Current pushes your lure / presentation away from you. You will me marking fish that are a few feet past your lure. Common sense isn't as common as many think.

I just shake my head at times... Hope the minor hints in this post helps a couple people out... OH, Alsom - if you have a power auger, drill your hole with an angle to it. ie; face directly down stream, start drilling, after a couple inches of drilling lean auger down and have the angle facing toward the current. This reduces stress on your line due to the natural river current and also makes landing bigger fish much easier.

Good luck all and be carefull

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CANOPY SAM

Great tips Fever. Thanks. But I wonder if you meant to have the auger bit facing DOWN current, rather than INTO the current? If you angled the auger down current, the bottom edge of the hole wouldn't be an issue as your line wouldn't be pressed up against a sharp ice edge.

When I ice-fished the Minnesota, I always drilled a second hole about 2-4 feet down current (down river) from the holes I fished out of. I put the transducer in this hole, and kept the Marcum in the house with me. That way my transducer was typically right on top of my jigs or baits.

Also, although it seems a little odd to be facing into the the on-coming current, it probably really wouldn't make all that much difference with your fishing success. Perhaps he was simply putting the wind to his back? smile Just semantics.

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Finally made it out, can cross MN River ice fishing off the "Want to try" list and put it on the "Want to do more" list.

I've wanted to try it for 4 winters but never got around to it. I'm a pretty avid outdoorsman, not a nearly daily user like some, just another click or two below that with most of my time concentrated on weekends. And I have a pretty thorough understanding of how rivers work from the classroom and my time on the river in open water. So it's not rocket science to figure out that deep pools hold fish and have safe ice. However, it's seldom that simple. Access is an issue. Needing a buddy and a plan are another. I suppose I put off doing it so long for a variety of these reasons, and a generally cautious approach, especially after marriage and a first born.

Low water years like this with cold temps usually mean good ice, although sometimes it just means a more concentrated thalweg. We found good ice and a few willing biters, but otherwise things were slow. Marked a ton of fish, would have loved an underwater camera. This pool had pretty good water clarity from the looks of things. Flow wasn't too bad, I could make out my 3/8 ounce spoon in the same hole my line was down, 24 feet on 2 of 10 gain/sensitivity.

I got a walleye dinner out of the deal so I'd call it a long overdue success.

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169Sportsman

Fever if you see me on the river some day you may get some good laughs. I pretty much always run my vex in the same hole, drill my holes straight, and put my back to the wind. I actually prefer facing the current allowing the line to angle down the hole while jigging. You can also fit a pretty big fish up a 6" hole. Seen a 20# Muskie come through one. To each their own I guess. smile

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  • 4 weeks later...

I spied, with my own little eye, the river flowing in some areas smile Not enough to shovel the boat out yet, but enough for spring fever to kick into over drive cool

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  • 4 weeks later...

The river is starting to freeze over. It wont be long before we are out ice fishing again this year crazy

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  • 2 weeks later...

River is finally starting to open up here, wont be long and I will have to try starting my outboard!

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Ice is gone everywhere. Spent some time in the boat on Sat.

Chocolate Milk though. It will take some time to clear up.

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harvey lee

I have caught crappies, sheaphead, a bass, channel cats, northern, even a walleye or a few.

Just a warning, river ice is NEVER safe, nor consistant in thickness. The area I have been fishing, I am standing on 10"+, but 20 feet away, there is open water. The ice thickness can change overnight. I even had the ice buckle, and break up and float in the current, when there was 12 inches. I am not trying to scare anyone off, just use more caution then what you would on a lake. Because if you fall in, the current will take you under the ice, and away from the whole you fell into. Almost certain death if you fall in. With that, have fun fishing.

You just listed about all of the reasons I do not go on the river as the ice is so unsafe. Kind of like asking for issues. I know one can be careful but when you do not know, that is so unsafe.

I will leave the river ice for you guys. The lakes have enough fish for me.

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  • 4 weeks later...
TruthWalleyes

Anyone got a water temp?

Might hit the river sunday. Got to break in the motor friday/saturday on a lake, then i would like to swing some cats in the boat sunday smile

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last time I was out, I had 41, but that was before this last snow fall. I will be out tomorrow, I will let you know.

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The water temp when I went out was 47 degrees, but dropped to 43 when we loaded up in the evening. It wont take long, I assume next week we will be seeing water temps above 50 during the days.

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motownmasher

spent a few hours out yesterday, but no takers. trying for channels. the main channel was about 48. found 55 in some backwaters. good luck to all!

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JackPineGuy

fished for whites, all i got was a a few spawning walts. pulled the plug early after a couple eyes. dont want ta disturb the dripers.

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NKLCOLT1911

was out sunday during the day water was at 53-53 degrees, fishing was slow and the river was moving fast, but it was my first trip of the year so it was just nice to be on the river.

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Scott K

Water was looking like chocolate milk this morning. This cold snap will put a hurting on the water temps again.

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I fished last Monday (4/29) right in Montevideo and had no trouble limiting on 18-22" channels. Fished a log jam about 100 ft up the Chippewa River from the confluence with the Minnesota. Didn't take even an hour - pretty sweet lunch break! I fished the same spot from shore yesterday under cold front conditions. Still caught a few channels and a couple sheephead, C&R yesterday. Everything caught on slip rigs with night crawlers, 1 oz. egg sinker. Local CO put me on a tip that the run below the Marsh Lake Dam was hot for buffalo today - I hope to take my girls up tomorrow afternoon.

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JackPineGuy

i stay off the river for walleye opener if u care about the fishery. lots of fish still pre and mid spawn

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Scott M

Saturday is going to be a zoo...contemplating if its worth it...

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JackPineGuy
Saturday is going to be a zoo...contemplating if its worth it...
on the mn river? oh of course it will be. 10 years ago, even 6 0r 7 years ago there wasent a soul on my stretch of the river. and if there was we all nknew eachother from town. know the landing just packed. PACKED. the cat guys put the word out and it was the begining of the end. all the locals agree. when i was kid there was hardly an acsess on my stretch, just carry ons. we owned the river. i still sneak down to heavilly fished ares and pluck some limits tho when the weekend warriors are away
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JackPineGuy

sum cat guru moved down here from up north 6 or 7 years ago and began to exploit. They call it promoting, which promoting fishing is a good thing, its was basically to take credit for something that was already there. I read about it in the ODN and have her chatter from the locals. There all around us folks

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Alagnak

the cat guys put the word out and it was the begining of the end. all the locals agree.

Well then that's settled. If the locals agree, it must be the cat guys! LOL

Or it could be that the river in general is a little cleaner, more respected/used/traveled than it was instead of viewed and used as a dump for everyone. It could be some population increase ( know I didn't live here 10 years ago). It could be the fact that gas prices drive many of us to stick closer to home and have found out there are some decent options besides the WALLEYE lakes of the north. There's a lot of factors that go into it but that's water under the bridge since the locals have it figured out already. ;-)

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sum cat guru moved down here from up north 6 or 7 years ago and began to exploit. They call it promoting, which promoting fishing is a good thing, its was basically to take credit for something that was already there. I read about it in the ODN and have her chatter from the locals. There all around us folks

grin

Since there was article about me in the ODN not too long ago, I assume you are referring to me. First of all, not sure what the cut off is, but I've lived here for over 15 years now. I'm sure not taking credit for any fishery that is here and I ASSURE you I've spent more time on the MN river over the past 10 years than probably anybody reading this, except for a few people. smile Promoting it? Sure, I like to refer to it more as a sharing thing though. I've met a TON of great people as a result of my involvement with the MN river. Lifelong friends.

I've been part of a fine Catfish League, and have also sat with the MNDNR Catfish group to try and preserve the great fishery we have here.

I guess a guy could sit back and watch the "locals" and non residents throw a rope through every flathead they catch or he could do something to try and protect the fishery by promoting catch and release. That has ALWAYS been my main goal.

Its a lot of fun to catch some nice fish, take some pictures or make some videos. Smiles and laughs is what its all about.

Remember when??? Yeah, don't we all smirk

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rushing

sum cat guru moved down here from up north 6 or 7 years ago and began to exploit. They call it promoting, which promoting fishing is a good thing, its was basically to take credit for something that was already there. I read about it in the ODN and have her chatter from the locals. There all around us folks

I here some guy with a tree name is responsible for the decline of intelligence.

My statement is just as moronic as yours.

All the locals agree.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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