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Mississippi River Fishing Report Alma WI - How to keep jigs vertical?

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....keep a jig on the bottom with heavy current?

Fished the Mighty River south of Alma on Friday. Took my 4 y/o kid with and he had a blast seeing everything that's to be seen. Water temps held steady at around 38 give or take 1/2 a degree. We found a cut with 38.9 degrees and fishable water. Caught a big sucker and a 15" white bass on an un painted lead head jig with a red hook with a straight tailed small Berkeley slugo with a small crappie minnow. Missed a lot of short bighters in about 5-7 fow. Was a fun day getting the boat out and fishing with the kid.

My question is I do not understand how to keep a walleye sized jig be it pre spawn down on the bottom in such heavy current? Mainly fish rivers late summer early fall with very light current and do not understand how on earth you can keep a jig in even shallow water on the bottom vertically?

Any tips on keeping a jig on the bottom in such heavy current?

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To stay vertical you usually have to slip your boat at the same speed as the current. Most river angler use a colored Hi Vis line so that they can easlily see the angle the line is at. The better you are at boat control this lighter jighead you will be able to use use. Most of the time I use a 1/4 oz to 3/8 oz jighead tipped with a ringworm or minnow.

I do not like to fish the heavy current as the bigger walleyes usually prefer the slower current. I look for slower current in 10 feet of water or less. Most often I cast a 3/16 oz jighead with a ringworm to these areas.

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use a heavier jig.on pool 4 right now we are using any where from 1/8 oz up to 3/8. we are using the 1/8 oz up in current seams with minimal current in water from 6 to 15 fow.we are using heavier jigs in spots with more current and deeper water.as of lately most of our fish have been coming in the seams so we have been using lighter jigs. look for a u shaped depression on shore and if water isnt swirling around in it you are in a seam and you should be able to use a light jig just try to stay in 10 to 15 fow most of our fish have came in 13.just jump around from size to size and see what you can stay in contact with the bottom with or whatever you feel confortable with... hope this helps.


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last year when I fished the fast current and did very well at that we used 3/4 oz and even 1oz jig heads and staying the same as the current is a must. we also used big profile plastics and fatheads. the water was alot warmer than it is now but soon (I HOPE) the water will be at that magic temp and thats when boat control is everything. most of the fish that I have caught this year has been on the slow current side of the seam and the big jigs haven't worked as well do to the water cooling off.

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Water temp is 38 at the Ford Dam, won't be long now, I am thinking this weekend it will be hot!

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Boat control is the Key to fishing, the river or even a lake. I drift/slip in the river. But don't forget to drop the giant hook and cast into shallows. My wife and I got on the river one afternoon( 1:30) by 3:30 we had 9 fish in the box.

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This is dumb but i'll ask anyway...so if you find a productive spot on the river you drift with the current over-top the spot, then motor back upstream and re-drift over and over? Also, do people ever anchor while fishing current areas of the river, or is it very tough?? Sorry again, i'm inexpirienced.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • leech~~
      This is a darn good practice!  
    • CigarGuy
      When I left there last Thursday, I had my boat as high as it would go on the boatlift. When boats would go by too close it would rock a little bit, so I tied the 4 cleats to the lift.  I might have to pull the darn thing off and park it around the corner at the neighbors dock while I'm there. With my rocky shoreline, I can't leave it tied to mine, it gets the crap beat out of it from boat waves. I'll have to pull it when I head home....that means removing the canopy on the lift, what a bummer. Who would of thought this could happen when the water was so low this spring!!!
    • SkunkedAgain
      On the FB page, people are reporting more than 5" of rain from today's storm.
    • SkunkedAgain
      I saw the rain forecast and then zip-tied all of my dock pallets to the steel dock. Of course, I only do one side so that if the waves start popping the pallets up, they will just lift and fall back down instead of floating the entire dock up and down.
    • PSU
      Nice fish! Any rain total updates so far? Getting a bit nervous about our dock boards
    • Hookmaster
      Shaweeeeeet Brian!!
    • Brianf.
      Mother Nature gave me quite a thrill on Father's Day. 
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...   The walleyes are biting!  A great week of fishing with a combination of jigging and pulling spinners the go to methods.     Most walleye fishing is taking place between 21 - 24' of water.  When you locate fish on your electronics, either anchor up and jig or simply drift with spinners and crawlers (or troll if there is no wind) through the schools.   When jigging, gold combined with a bright color such as glow white, pink, orange or chartreuse is a hard combo to beat.  Use a fathead minnow, rainbow or a frozen emerald shiner.     When hooking the minnow, it is helpful to hook the minnow through the mouth and out the gills, pushing the minnow all the way up the hook to the jig head.  Re-hook the minnow as far back as possible.  This will catch the short biting fish.    Use a two ounce bottom bouncer with a two or three hook snelled spinner and a nightcrawler.  Some good blade colors are gold or gold combined with gold, orange, glow red or pink.   As happens most years in June, another good walleye bite fired up in various areas of the south shore in 5 - 10 feet of water.  Oftentimes, minnows spawning pulls in hungry walleyes creating some excellent fishing.     Some big walleyes over 30 inches being caught, along with the eaters, smalls and slot fish between 19.5 - 28 inches that must be released.   Anglers can keep a combined limit of 6 walleyes and saugers.  Up to 4 can be walleyes.  All walleyes 19.5 - 28.0 inches must be released.  One fish over 28 inches may be kept. On the Rainy River...  The river is flowing with a strong current.  Consequently, fish are being found in areas just out of the current.     Jigging with a minnow is effective when you are on fish.  Otherwise, pulling spinners and trolling crankbaits along shoreline breaks against the current in 6 - 12' of water is producing a mixed bag of walleyes, saugers, pike, smallmouth bass and an occasional crappie.   The Lake Sturgeon season opens July 1st.     The river is a great summer option with 42 miles of navigable river and many nice boat ramps.   Up at the NW Angle...  The fish are snapping up at the Angle.  Another great week of fishing amongst the 14,552 islands in these parts.     Minnesota waters are producing nice walleyes. Some fish being found off of deeper structure.  Some nice opportunities are shallow based on forage, hatches, minnows spawning, etc. Pulling spinners with shiners or crawlers has been effective.  When you are on "a spot on a spot", jigging is the best technique.     Trolling crankbaits is working well and is a nice way to cover water and put your lure in front of a lot of fish.     In addition to walleyes, saugers, pike, jumbo perch, crappies, pike and smallmouth bass are also in the mix.   Muskie anglers caught some nice fish this past week.  No specific pattern as the cold spring has fish still settling into summer.  The lake boasts a healthy population of fish, many in excess of 50 inches.
    • Jetsky
      I'm catching them on bobbers and leeches.  Try fishing smaller side bays on the edge of some rocks but not in the rocks.  Fish in about 6 - 10 feet of water.  The bite starts about 7:30 pm till 9:00 pm.  I also noticed a few may flys hatching in the areas I'm getting success.  I think they're coming into the bays in the evening to feed on the mayflies.
    • SkunkedAgain
      Generally I agree with your assessment Gimruis. Nobody likes a nanny state, but the harsh reality is that without rules and regulations far too many people take advantage of limited natural resources. There are those that will never follow the rules regardless, as well as those that don't recognize that as more people catch more fish, we all need to keep less.   I've eaten a few SM in my life, and they taste just as good as a walleye or northern. However, I would bet that 80% or closer to 90% of all people catching SM practice catch-and-release. Therefore I am not sure what a slot is going to do in this specific situation. Maybe the DNR has some good theories but I doubt the main culprit is the number of large SM being kept for food. I assume that it is a contributing factor but not the main one.
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