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Sometime midweek this coming week I plan on renting a canoe and fishing on either the Zumbro or Cannon River with my wife and son. We'd either use one of the 2 outfitters on the Cannon River listed on the DNR website or Zumbro Valley Canoe Rental and go out of Zumbro Falls. I'm kind of leaning toward the latter.

I'm wondering if anyone has any advice that would help me decide between the two. Things I wonder:

What are the water levels like in each right now?

Is one more scenic than the other?

Which trip is likely to be lonelier or have fewer people lauched with us?

Is the fishing better in one than the other? (We'd probably just throw spinners for bass or try crawlers for cats....keep it easy.)

Is there some other river and/or canoe rental outfit we might want to consider for a better experience in that area? (BTW, we are also going to do a trip on the Root River during the same week.)


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I would say go with the zumbro. I have no clue what the water levels are like, but if your going midweek you'll most likely have the river to yourself. And in my opinion the scenery is alot better, as well as the fishing. It's about the only place in MN where you can catch a muskie on 1 cast, then a brown trout on the very next smile

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I would say cannon cause i've floated that river many times over the years from cannon falls to miesville with great success

Never tried the zumbro but from what JB said about 10 days ago in another post is that the flow is to fast to fish effectively out of a canoe so whatever that means...

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I'd have to say Zumbro. Water levels are fine right now, water is typically fairly calm. (Depending of course where you're at..) Lot more variety of fish....sunnies always easy to catch for the kids..just a worm and hook.

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We rented a canoe on the zumbro last year in oronoco. We did good on the smallies on the first half of the trip. I was glad it was there canoe instead of mine since we slide along the rocks for the better part of the first half. Water clarity was less then 6 inches and the water was low when we went. I would do the trip again if i had the chance to camp down there instead of driving down there for the day.

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Well, we did the Zumbro out of Oronoco on Wednesday. Even though other species were supposed to be present, I only caught one smallie and a couple of really nice cats using crawlers...no activity on Mepps or Beetle Spins. It was shallow enough that I had to hop out and drag the canoe in a few places. The scenery was pretty nice and we didn't really see anyone during our 6 hours. Most of the fishing activity was a little over halfway between Oronoco and Zumbro Lake by the ropeswing with all the "No Trespassing" signs. If you're thinking about fishing Zumbro Lake above the bridge, I wouldn't bother. The water was shallow and weedy and I never had a bite.

By the way, filleted the fish and cooked out at Rice Lake State Park....holy %$@# were the skeets bad! I'm plenty used to bad skeeters in Itasca County, but I didn't expect to be swarmed in September in S MN.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Tripp_315
      How’s the the smallie bite? I’ll be up on Friday 😎 ~Tripp
    • FishinCT
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