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fonz58

River Muskies within 30 Miles of St. Cloud

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fonz58

I'm wanting to try the river for muskies. I do have a jet, so should be get to most any hot spot. Have any of you fished the river for muskies? What kind of areas to you look for to cast? Is there any particular bait that works better when you're trying to deal with the current? Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

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EBass

The only .02 I can give you is up by Ripley on the river. I caught one 32" by accident going for smallies (spinner bait). And saw one that had to close to 50" on a follow. Again spinner bait. But we were going for smallies. I wish I had more info.

Oh and typical spots. Like a nice weed edge is where the big gal came from, while the one I caught was in a river bend and got about 12' deep.

Take it for what it's worth - not much.

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Kevin Turner

I've been fishing between St. Cloud & Coon Rapids, for 15 years,(throwing spinner & buzz baits), and I've never landed a Muskie.

I've landed two Muskies between Sartell and the Blanchard dam. I do know one guy that hunts Muskies above Sartell with some fair results.

As far as baits...can't help you much... I just don't Muskie fish.

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Navigator

As far as lures, try BIG safety pin style spinnerbaits (1-1/2 oz) and Kevin is right...the Sartell stretch is musky water. I have caught some smaller fish around Clearwater, but they were incidental and caught pulling plugs (trolling crank baits) smile.gif

Areas that have produced fish for me, weedy flats with lots of current right next to the weeds. It seems the skis hold just out of that flow (in the weeds) and jump on anything that gets their attention. Also, some of the deeper holes close to the Sartell dam hold fish, especially in the fall.

Okay, I've opened my yap enough....I'll be on the Sartell stretch this Saturday chasing smallies with some customers. If you see a blue/white Ranger Fisherman with a 75 yami, stop and say hi! Nav

------------------
Jon Navratil
Navigator Guide Service
www.naviguides.com
Serving Central MN rivers & lakes

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Royce Aardahl

Smally action has been great for a couple weeks Navigator below the Sartell dam. I havn't been up above the dam yet this year but it should be good also. Good luck up there this weekend.

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fonz58

Well guys thanks for the input! I tried putting in at Royalton, headed north to the Blanchard dam. Fished from the dam all the way past the landing, and about 1/2 way to the Rice Bridge. No Musky follows! However, as stained as the water is (especially up near the dam) I'd have probably had a heart attack if one hit near the boat, cause I'd have never seen em'.

Suprised we couldn't even raise a smallie with our monster bucktails, rad dogs, and topwater plugs. The water is at least a foot higher than normal, maybe even closer to a foot and a half. I'd a been in trouble without the jet though, as my depth finder was at ZERO in many stretches of the river.

Even with no fish to take photo's of, it was absolutely beautiful scenery. Saw twin fawns which still had their spots on, and 4 bald eagles. Mike

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Dean Schellinger

Mike-
Just to help you out a bit, a friend of mine fishes the river pretty hard for muskies south of the Sartell dam and has done very well this year. He has caught a couple of 45" fish and a few around 40". He mainly targets the dropoffs and current breaks with muskie killer spinners and swix lures. The fish are there, you just have to manuveur through the rocks to get to them. Good Luck fishing.
FL

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Royce Aardahl

Flowage, South of the dam? where abouts? Above the new bridge or below? Or maybe below the sauk rapids bridge? thanks!

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Dean Schellinger

Im sure they can be caught anywhere between the Sartell dam and the St. Cloud dam, but he has been catching them within a mile just south of the Sartell dam. He just walks along the shore because the waters are just about boat proof because of the fast water and all the rocks. Hope this info helps you some. FlowageTamer

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fonz58

Well I finally got my Musky on the river!!! Within sight of the Sauk Rapids Bridge.

I wasn't trying for Muskies either. A 45" musky on a walley rod w/8lb. fire line and a #4 mepps spinner.

We also boated 4 northerns, and over 20 smallies with the largest @ 17.5". We managed to catch 1 duck!!! There's a story!!!! Plus, we (our dog) captured a duck that was on shore all wrapped up in monofilament! That's a good reminder for all of us to keep our mess in the boat. This poor duck was the only one that couldn't fly away when my springer went for a little chase. My son removed the hook fron it's foot and about 30ft. of line from it. It was so calm too! It rested in my sons arms like it was so greatful for being released from the entanglement. Of course he was returned to nature and flew away to be with his buddies.

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EBass

Nice fish and great story about the duck. Your son must've been thrilled to hold it. That doesn't happen everyday.

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Guest

I seen a young kid catch a 51'' muskie at blancherd damb this last week. He caught it on a beetle-spin and 4lb test fire line. the kid was probably about 12-14 years old. I think I had the same one on but it broke off 20 minnets earlier.

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fonz58

Did you notice if this happy kid returned the fish to Ye Ole Mis'? I was up there on Sunday myself......didn't get a follow. I even tried for smallies, but I think their bellies were full of mayflies. Big hatch on Saturday night.

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Guest

He kept it. For a young kid its hard to throw something that big back. If it was me I would have thrown it back. But I didn't catch it. I caught a 24.5 inch, and my uncle caught a 25 inch smallmouth on the River, and both were released. They were close, if not State records.

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Kevin Turner

While fishing a Bass Tourney last sunday, I landed a 44" Musky (my biggest). White Buzz Bait.

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Dean Schellinger

Hey Kevin,
I know it might be difficult to reveal your spots on the river, but where approximately did you catch your 44" muskie. Was it near the blanchard dam or around the Rivers Edge part of the river. I know of a few muskie spots on the river south of the Rice Bridge but haven't been able to boat any muskies. I would just be interested to hear where you landed that huge fish. FT

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Kevin Turner

I have no problem revealing locations I fish. I have however, been asked by other anglers to "tone it down" with regard to my posts.
That being said, I landed the fish closer to the Blachard Dam.

BTW-That was only the 2nd Muskie I've caught in my life.

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JJJ

Kevin,
I have never tried to fish the river. Is the river a too dagerous to run a prop boat in? Can a guy navigate it safely? If there is a safe part of the river where should I guy put his boat in to be safest?
Any info appreciated,
JJJ

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Toad

Doesn't sound like too many of you fellas fish the stretch between Ft Ripley and Brainerd. Good muskie water in certain pockets-- maybe some of the best on the river-- but the spots take a while to uncover.

October's the time; feeder creeks and deep holes with or without logjams hold the fish; and trolling upstream or casting big plugs like Bagley Bang O-Bs or Swimm Whizz's remain classic presentations for big fish-- even after all these years. Only so many fish out there, but 50-inchers certainly can happen along. If you know the spots, the fish aren't real tough-- much easier to move than muskies in lakes. Kind of like big cats-- location's fairly obvious, just gotta put in the time with one or two of your confidence lures. smile.gif

-a friend,
Cory Schmidt

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