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Shore Fishing the metro


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I know shore fishing spots are hard to come by but does anyone have any advice for shore fishing the metro? Thanks

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best bets are the river, there are tons of places on both the Minnesota and the Mississippi

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try buying a cheap canoe, lets you get out on plenty of smaller lakes and get into some nice fish. The river no boat is neccesary and there are hundreds of quality spots to fish from

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Minnetonka is a good lake for shore fishing. Plenty of spots to try and you can catch some pretty nice fish, too.

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Check out county/regional parks along the rivers. There are lots of spots to be found that way.

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Most metro lakes have a public access on them or park/beach that you can fish from and in the spring all you have to do is drive by them and if they are putting up fish there will be people there. But as said the river(s) are hard to beat any time. Look through old post in the shore fishing forum that should also help.

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Rivers are your best bet...drive a little farther east and hit the croix so you can use 2 lines...increases your catch rate and variety of fish. I don't waste my time shore fishing lakes. I'd rather catch suckers, sheephead, and carp than potato chip sunnies. But lot's of gamefish such as walleye, smallmouth bass, silver bass, and catfish can be caught as well.

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Find a good lake map and you can figure out some good places to go from shore. I have a spot from shore that I catch walleyes consistantly for about a month after opener. You just need to do a little bit of homework and it will pay off.

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If you go down to the coon rapids [PoorWordUsage] and cross the entire [PoorWordUsage] and walk down around it (opposite side of main parking lot) you can catch a variety of fish. If you go down there early enough (5am or so) you can catch a decent bag of channel cats. You will probably run into many carp and sheephead too. I have caught a few walleyes, crappie, and pike down there too. Also, there is a stocked trout lake in the park. I dunno how great it is. I know its there though. Take care SLL

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Presscott on the Mn side is not bad. You can also get into a good variety of fish from small mouth bass to walleyes. I fish it 2 to 3 times a year.

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Wearing waders vastly increases your ability to shore fish. That way you can enter the water in a legal area, say by the Arcola bridge on Minnetonka, and then wade to other areas where you otherwise would not be able to fish.

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There are a lot of nice public docks to fish from. You just have to keep in mind that a majority of lakes are infested with millfoil. So get out early before that grows because once it does it is all most impossible to fish off of the docks.

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If people are stuck shore fishing and want to hit the smaller lakes I usually have an open seat in the canoe. I'm hoping to get it out soon.

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Lot's of people do...pretty tough to fish from shore this time of year though. Parking lot is probably flooded.

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I can't speak about the St Paul side, but the west side of the Metro has a lot of excellent shoreline, wall and dock fishing all summer long and very good ice fishing in the winter. The fishing does move around some with the seasons, but that is true everywhere. It can be hot as a wildfire or ice cold too, but normally those who work it with any amount of skill will take their fish. Some of it is on common bus lines and quite a number of fishermen bicycle to the waters. There is trophy potential for nearly all of the larger game fish and carp besides. There are also some decent bluegill and crappy waters available, although bluegill size is normally far less than desirable. Most crappies will run between 7 and 10 inches and sometimes in fantastic numbers, although slabs as big as 14 are taken once in a long while. All available on foot.

There are some special consumption advisories for certain west metro panfish to pay attention to, but there are significant consumption advisories statewide that should be followed as closely and are commonly ignored. Most of those I fish with fish for sport and do not harvest much of anything of any size of any species; so those advisories don't much bother us. They do not seem to have much effect on fish population numbers or available sizes except to limit some of the human harvest, which is a very good thing IMO. The more limited the human harvest the better the fishing for nearly everything; that should go without saying.

Finding live bait in the Metro proper is more difficult for those who use it than finding places to drown it, but Metro fish of all species respond very well to artificials, except maybe carp and catfish. Some very good carp and catfish are even taken by casting and the new scented and biodegradable artificial baits are very often even more effective than live baits and usually every bit as good.

There are even loons that will occasionally take a sucker! I have seen that twice in the past couple of years. The wild life is very interesting beyond the ever present geese and the tame scenery is very often good enough to distract from fishing, too, especially in the summer. So don't forget to bring the camera...

The really nice thing about the metro fishery is that once one patterns it out a bit, one need not take more than a couple of hours out of any day to enjoy it with every expectation of decent catches. I normally only take 2 to 4 hours an outing and will often have very good success simply doing some casting on the way home from work.

There are also overlapping communities of regulars on a lot of these lakes and even the river who are normally very friendly and often share experiences provided one is polite and friendly in the first place and is patient enough not to be pushy, communities that are racially and socially mixed and tolerant, as well.

One doesn't need a boat in the Twin Cities to have satisfying fishing experiences for nearly any species one wishes to target. Parking is sometimes an issue with very little available for boat trailers in most areas. For a few dollars those of us who drive can purchase year long stickers for most park waters and over the course of a year that averages out to a very small amount per trip. For a lot of fishing areas the parking is free, if sometimes a bit limited or restricted to certain parts of the day.

The best times to go are weekdays and weekday evenings, since a lot of these metro waters have a significant amount of other recreational uses that tend to concentrate most heavily on weekends. There is frequently a better bite on weekdays, too, and fewer of the casual musky fisherman who individually take up a huge amount of fishing space whenever they are present.

That being said there is a significant trophy musky potential from shore, all over the western metro at least. I see big gators virtually all the time in the summer and will have them come through several times normally in the course of an afternoon or evening on the ice. Although I seldom if ever fish for them, I will get some dozen and a half or more takes and probably 4 or 5 dozen follows a year just fishing panfish and walleyes. Once in a blue moon I will beat one of them on my lighter tackle, too, but usually I simply end up having to re-rig.

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Nice post Half-Dutch, and welcome to the FM site. I do a lot of shore fishing, most of the time without too much luck, but that is my fault, not the fishes. I do have a boat, but keep it up north, because of limited parking space and the hassle of putting it in the lake by myself. I do agree though that parking at some of the lakes is a hassle, because of the lake home owners not wanting people parking in front of their houses, but if there is public parking nearby, you just have to walk a litte, and there isn't anything wrong with that.

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half-dutch. Welcome to FM. Check out a few sportings goods store and maybe even a few book stores. Sybil Smith published 2 maps just for the shore fishermen. Many good fishing guys helped on these. Some of us with boats, even showed Sybil several areas, where we do our better fishing. Check out the maps. Also hit the local library, they have some books that may help you also.

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Thanks for the welcome.

I have actually been lurking a long time.

As far as shorefishing goes, I almost always fish park waters, most of which have convenient parking, if not too much of it sometimes. For the Minneapolis Park Board waters a parking sticker which is relatively cheap for the whole year is a real help. I have found the regulars in a lot of areas to be very helpful, once you take the time to get to know them, and there are certainly spots that produce better than others. Some of them are very good multi-species locations, too.

Those public waters are pretty heavily fished at times, since they are so convenient to so many people, which is why I fish them myself, but also receive significant supplemental stocking for at least muskies and walleyes. Bass, pike, crappies, bluegills, and even walleyes in some of those places reproduce naturally.

Of course, for bullheads nothing beats Nokomis! The bottom of that lake must be carpeted with them. Talk about an underutilized fish! This time of year they are generally not bad eating either as cold as the water still is. Like buffalo they are infinitely better out of cold water, but not nearly so good once the water temperature has reached summer levels, when in a lot of cases I would consider them both pretty much inedible.

I grew up in Iowa. What can I say...

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Honestly I got hooked on fishing first by shore fishing all the metro lakes. Grew up in St. Louis Park, and in between the ages of 7-12 while my folks were away at work I would spend all day riding my bike around Cedar Lake, Lake of the Isles, Calhoun and Harriet. With my backpack full of tackle and other baits I would constantly be trying new spots. Unfortunately because of the milfoil problems- the best times to go are early in the season; However, as the year progresses you can still find some reasonable spots. Try fishing bridges, inlets between the lakes, the beach transitions when they're not full of people, and especially the drainage outlets. There is one in particular on Cedar lake on the west side. As soon as the rain starts comin down and the water starts flowin out, multiple fish species congregate to feed. Not only in numbers but quality as well. One summer I can recall half dozen or so anglers catching 4/5 lb bass, 35''+ northers and muskies, crappies and everything in-between all in. Some days can be tougher than others we all know this, but if you know where you are and what you are doing chances are you can put something on the line. It takes time to find these spots, but if and when you come across them you will be pleasantly suprised.

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awkwardjim and half-dutch are right there are a lot of great spots around the metro for shore fishing. I have a great time just fishing for blue gills and what ever else will bite. It is not necessarily about pulling in the biggest and the best or having something to take home. It is just fun get out and catch some fish.

If you do spend some time out there and find the spots there are bigger then potato chip side gills out there and some nice Crappies.

I am still learning how and what works after taking up fishing again so if any one out there is interested in getting together and going fishing let me know. I can use some pointers and it nice to find a great new spot. [email protected]

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • leech~~
      I think you got it! Nice Eye and hog Perch! 👍
    • MarkB
      I'm gonna try this picture thing again. Please bear with me.      Our buddy Greg with his best of the trip.     Above: Pike River bridge the morning we left.        Below: My cousin Tim caught these the morning after the storm.  
    • redlabguy
      Mark, Glad your crew had another great outing. It’s always good to read your reports. Just wish there were more of them like the old days. Sorry you hit the storm. One of the worst in our 14 years. We’ll be dealing with dock issues for a long time but nothing like the good folks in Cook have.  The fishing has come around a little since the storm. Definitely nightcrawler now. I don’t get far out of Frazer but the reefs are where the action is. Looking forward to hearing from you in September.  My best to you and Linda, RLG p.s. Our good old red lab, Ole, cashed it in last summer, but we have a 6 month old lab now who is learning the ropes up here (and teaching us we’re older than we think we are!)
    • Mike89
    • leech~~
      No can see?  
    • smurfy
      yeppers......nuttin more aggravating the boat motor issues!!!!!!!   what was the problem the first time???????
    • Hookmaster
      Nice fish Kettle. Hope it's really "fixed" next time.
    • Rivergroup
      Our group will be returning in September as well. Wish we were able to be there now to lend a hand.
    • smurfy
      dang...tough to hear..........hope the good people up there recover soon!!!!!!!!!
    • MarkB
      We just returned this afternoon from 6 days on Vermilion. We arrived Saturday and enjoyed 3 fantastic days of walleye fishing. My cousin, our friend Greg, and myself fished several of our spring spots and found fish on all of them. Water temperatures were pretty much 65-67 degrees everywhere we fished. The wind was variable and made boat control a challenge at times. Bait was not an issue and we had success on crawlers(Tim), leeches(Greg), and minnows(me). If I had to pick one of those as catching the most fish, it would be crawlers. Our best day totalled 48 walleyes, 4 smallmouth, and 2 big JUMBOS. We ended up with over a hundred walleyes, 12 jumbos 11"-13", and 10 smallmouth to 18". Our biggest walleye was 24.5" and the balance went from 13"-22". There are lots of 14"-16" walleyes this year which are perfect eaters. The mayfly hatch was in full bloom in some areas but we found very few mayflies in the water column over rock reefs. We caught our fish in depths ranging from 10' to 32'. I didn't fish in any area where I could see mayflies top to bottom in the water column. Slow trolling in the .3mph to .6mph worked and we caught nothing using slip bobbers. Terminal tackle was a 3'-4' 10# flurocarbon leader, 2 lime colored beads, and a plain #6 Gamakatsu walleye hook . Snags are always an issue when fishing in and around the rocks and when the fish are biting they are acceptable. NOW, for the bad news.......Tuesday was a day I won't soon forget. The area suffered devastating torrential rainfall. Lightning was non-stop for several hours and when things settled down, flood damage was everywhere. We checked our rain guage on the side of the cabin and we got 7 3/4 " in a little over 4 hours! Breezy Point road washed out, Mud Creek road washed out as did several others in the area. Cooke business area was completely covered with flood water. I would consider it a disaster area and should be declared as such. We couldn't find a dock anywhere that wasn't covered with water. People were stranded behind flood covered and washed out roads. Dock decking, limbs and such were floating everywhere in the big water. My group sends our prayers to the people of that beautiful country that lost their businesses, homes, and suffered damage to their lake properties. The people of that north country are resilient and we have confidence that they will recover. We stayed our final 3 days but didn't fish at all Tuesday. Our last 2 days showed the effects of the storm. Water temps dropped to 64 degrees and our premo fishing became 10 walleye days. We did manage to catch a dozen really nice jumbos. We plan on returning in September and we pray the area will have returned to normal by then. I haven't figured out how to transfer photos from my phone to my computer yet so no pictures at this time. Good Fishing and God be with you. MarkB
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