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So. MN lakes


Swamprat68

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Looking for decent fishing lakes for Northern & smallmouth in southern MN. Live in St. Louis MO, and would like to find a place to get to in less than a day. Ideally looking for less populated fishing lakes rather than high volume recreational lakes. Can anyone offer some suggestions?

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I would suggest the mississippi river backwaters. You might not even need to come all the way to MN, NE IA would provide the same fishing. I don't really know anything about the river downstream of wabasha, but there are miles and miles of backwater lakes that provide both largemouth and smallmouth fishing, pike, walleye, panfish, white bass, etc.

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Don't know of any So. MN lakes that will have smallies..most of the lakes down here are too warm for smallies... your best bet is the Mississippi like others have said.. Check out Pool 7.. LaCrosse, WI area..

Also take a gander at the Root River.. good smallie water.. with a mix of trout and other native suckers and redhorse

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Thanks, JB. I've shied away from the Miss. because of how bad it is in STL, but I've had enough people suggest it, I might give it a try.

Thanks again.

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The mississippi by STL is nothing like the Mississippi north of Prairie Du Chein...

Funny thing.. A buddy of mine.. who's originally from the StL area.. had a friend come up about a month ago because he wanted to catch some big pike.. Had no idea that you guys really didn't have any down there... figured you guys did since the Busch WMA ponds were stocked with muskie and pike.. but I guess that's really the only area for ya'll

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Looking for decent fishing lakes for Northern & smallmouth in southern MN. Live in St. Louis MO, and would like to find a place to get to in less than a day. Ideally looking for less populated fishing lakes rather than high volume recreational lakes. Can anyone offer some suggestions?

If you are looking for a place that has some Smouth Mouths and Pike, you might want to check out Spirt Lake of the Iowa Great Lakes. I usually catch a Small Mouths & pike draging spinners over the rock piles for walleye. Seems to be a decent population of Small Mouths and some fairly big pike.

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I suggest the CEDAR RIVER IN AUSTIN MN, lots of big smallies south of town and northern's are also very abundunt in river. austin is 20 miles east of I-35 and is near MN/iowa boarder. the cedar river has just been added to MN DNRs website for desenated rivers and their website has river maps and lots of info.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • JerkinLips
      Earlier this morning it looked like Vermilion froze over last night but now I see open water on the Hibbing Point webcam.  The strong winds must have opened the lake back up.  Tonight the temps drop to single digits and the wind dies down by 5am so it will freeze over tonight.  Expecting 1-2" of snow on Friday with high winds so hopefully the snow will blow off the new ice.  Saturday-Thursday looks very cold with no more snow, so the main lake should get a solid freeze.  Some are ice fishing in Stuntz Bay already, and some braver than I may walk out from McKinley Park this weekend.  I'm going to wait until the end of next week to venture out, although it will be very cold.
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end... Ice is forming, but other than some back bays, it isn't ready quite yet.  Mother Nature is on track.  Some resorts are making the prediction of December 10th for day houses being out, give or take, but at this point, this isn't set in stone and time will tell.  There are cold temps in the forecast and things look optimistic.  Many resorts and outfitters have been checking ice conditions.  When the time is right, resorts and outfitters will slowly and safely begin marking and grooming trails for ice travel.    Please remember, ice conditions vary greatly in different parts of the lake.  One ice road can have good ice that has been checked and marked while down the shoreline there may be ice not suitable for travel yet.  Work through resorts and outfitters on the ice and stay on the marked trails for safety. Anticipation is high as the walleye and sauger fishing this fall was good and fish were staged in good numbers along the south shore.   On the Rainy River...   Much of the Rainy River is frozen up.  Things are progressing but it certainly needs cold weather and some time. Ice conditions vary and on the river there is current, so much like the lake, we encourage visitors to work through a resort or outfitter for safety.   Up at the NW Angle... Ice is forming nicely and is right on track for this year's ice fishing season.  There has been no ice fishing yet as resorts are simply monitoring ice conditions at this time, waiting until the ice is thicker before marking trails and getting fish houses out. Fall fishing was excellent with walleyes in good numbers along with some monster pike being caught.  All indications point to good fishing when the ice is ready as the fish are there. Driving through Canada to reach the Angle no longer requires COVID vaccinations or the use of the ArriveCan App (which is optional).   For those looking to access the Angle while avoiding customs, there are few options.   1.  When ice conditions allow, the snowmobile trail will be groomed and staked from the south shore up to the Angle. 2.  The Lake of the Woods Passenger service provides round trip bombardier service across the lake.   3.  Lake Country Air provides air service to both the south end and NW Angle.    
    • Wanderer
    • leech~~
      Was just going to post this!  
    • Wanderer
      At least they can all say they were there early!  
    • SkunkedAgain
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    • gimruis
      I'm planning to go later this week.  There's fresh snow coming tomorrow too.
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    • leech~~
      Well, a new report for today talked about cracks opening up and ice piling up!  Better check the night before you head up.  😕
    • Harv
      Leech,  that's what I've been reading.  I'm heading up on Friday the 2nd, for the weekend.   Fingers crossed limits are caught
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