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Is One Stretch Better Than Another?


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I know that an area can be better with rocks, wood, deep holes and such. But these areas are located randomly throughout the MN River, right? So my question is...is one stretch better than another for flatheads? So in other words, is say the river better around the cities or Mankato area better than Granite Falls or Redwood Falls? Do the dams have anything to do with flathead quantities?

This question got brought up last week when a friend and I were fishing our normal spot south of Renville (that's between Redwood and Granite). We've fished this spot very heavily for years(all from shore) and only managed 2 small flatheads in all that time. I wouldn't want to even try to add how many hours we put into trying to catch a nicer fish. Anyhow, I was telling him about this site and telling him that there is people that catch good sized flatheads all the time or at least a couple a year. We were wondering if it was just our spot or if we were/are doing something wrong? We just can't figure it out. I wish we had a boat. I wish I'd finally catch a fish over say 10#. I wish we had some answers to what is always turning into a disapointing night.

Thanks for any info/suggestions/tips/help/heck anything guys....LEECH

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[This message has been edited by LEECH21 (edited 08-06-2004).]

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There has been a few articles on this topic by Doug Stange from in fisherman. He frequents the MN river and if I remember correctly he stated that the numbers of flats were greater from Mankato to the Mississippi compared to Mankato to Granite falls area. But the size was greater between Mankato and Granite falls.

Back when I fished the river 3-4 days a week (gotta love the college days), I found the same to be true by looking at the logs that I used to keep.

However, this day and age I have found things to be changing. But I don't fish enough anymore to pinpoint the what and why's. Maybe I just lost the touch, but I beleive that the extremely low waters we have had the past couple years affected flats to some degree. Also fishing pressure has greatly affected them in my opinion. I catch lots of 5-8 pounders but very few 20+.

Something in your post intrigued me though. It sounded like you frequent the same shore line. In my first years of catfishing, I only had small channels and a couple 10-15 pound flats to my name until I started scouting rivers with a boat, fishing channels durring the day and coming back in a week to hit the holes that I thought would produce flatheads. It took nearly a whole summer to fish all the different holes in a small stretch of river for flatheads. But I learned a lot doing it that way.

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Just re-read your post. If you get a boat and start exploring the river, your going get more excited than the first time you "Noticed" a girl if you know what I mean smile.gif

I am pretty sure your spot sucks if that is all youve caught there after all the effort. Don't give up hope, get a boat.

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What do you other river cat pros think? Is it my spot?

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been fishing from mankato to judson the last 5 weekends using bullheads and chubs also suckers and all we've caught is 8 pounders last weekend all we caught was 1 all night. my camera is getting very lonely .

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I wish I could catch one a month, or heck one a year! Even if it was only 8 pounds.

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I think the upper portions of the MN are better for flatheads.It might just be my style of fishing but I do think there are more and bigger fish swimming those waters.
I think your fishing a good stretch.It has been slow for the past month and have only heard of a few nice flats being caught.Things should start to turn around now.But I would suggest if you have only caught a few nice flats in a few years,that you start looking for more spots to fish.A decent spot should produce at least every other time out.

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Yep this has been a learning year for me. What I thought were good spots turned out to be duds. And some of the spots I passed by early in the year actually produced. All in all though I figured to have a kitty in the 30's by now but I'm still sitting on 22 lbs as my biggest so far. So hang in there try some new water and try to find a boat. It doesn't have to be fancy, just something to get you on the water. A locator is a must in my opinion, but you can find one for about 100.00. Good luck and stay on the move, you'll find good water sooner or later. And if you find yourself wandering around the kato area give me a holler, we'll scout some spots together. smile.gif

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Good Luck & Good Fishing. Lucky

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Luckyfish,

I fished in Mankato around a month ago. I got some info from Fishn'guy to try for some shovelnose sturgeon. I tried the Judson bottom road area. Didn't catch any, but we had a fun time. I was in Mankato actually on Monday to watch the Vikes in training camp. Pretty cool stuff to watch.

This Sunday was thinking about heading down to the river south of Renville. Not to sure of the time I'll be down there but, if anyone that has a boat and wants to explore new waters around that area let me know and maybe we could hook up....heck if you even don't have a boat and want to explore new shorelines around that area let me know. I just want to catch some fish and have a good time. Well let me know....LEECH

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Sounds like a good idea. We could trade some spots. Only problem is I can't do it this weekend. I'm heading for Fall Lake by Ely for the weekend, to do a little fishing with my dad.

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Good Luck & Good Fishing. Lucky

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Luckyfish

You'll have to let me know which weekend (Sundays works the best for me) would work out for you!

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I have fished the spot you are talking about also. I have only ever caught a couple of channels around there. I think that the fishing from the bridge on CSAH 6 downstream to CSAH 17 (goldmine bridge) is pretty crappy. If I was you I would try to fish the stretch about a mile downstream from CSAH 17 all the way to Morton. There are alot of nice holes and some great cover (rocks, logs) I have been fishing around Morton mostly since it is so close, but I used to fish up from North Redwood. I have gotten a couple of 30# Flats from the bend just upstream from the Redwood River outlet.

I would say if you don't get a bite within a couple of times of trying a spot it is time to move on. Not saying that you shouldn't try that spot again under different conditions though. Try some new spots, you can't get any worse, or can you?

[This message has been edited by slayer73 (edited 08-13-2004).]

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Toad and I have been fishing the river together for about 5-6 years now. We make it a point to get down there at least once in the fall for an entire weekend.

For the limited time we have been there together (he's been there more than me on his own and with others) we've only been skunked on a big flathead once. Last year was the best landing 6 over 2 days. We have never fished 1 spot twice, although we are thinking of going back to old spots this year just to see how things have changed.

It all comes down to location. If you can find a good deep hole with wood (with rock even better) you should be able to hook up.
We usually spend an entire day driving up and down the river looking for the most ideal spots and then going back to the one that looks the best.

Bait is also an issue. What are you using? On all the trips, the flats will like only one type of bait and will leave all other bait alone. This also varies from year to year. Cut bait and stink bait is worthless for flats from my expierience.

Like others have said, time to try new holes.

[This message has been edited by Tom Herman (edited 08-16-2004).]

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Leech can you make it on Sat Aug 28th? There is a cat gathering being held at the St Peter landing. This would be a fine opportunity to learn catfishing and get some info on new waters. All the guys there have one thing in common we all like catfishing. Some of us don't know alot and others are brimming with info. If you want you can fill an empty seat in my boat.

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Good Luck & Good Fishing. Lucky

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Luckyfish

I would love to go fishing with you....the only problem is we are throwing my mom a 50th birthday party that day. frown.gif

Sundays and Mondays work the best for me because I don't work. It's too bad my mom's birthday is that day, but I guess that's the way things work out.

I would love to hook up with you or anyone else, for that matter, that has an empty seat in their boat to try for some big cats. I've fished the MN River for 15+ years now and have never fished it from a boat. So if a trip could get lined up, I would be truely greatful.

As to what bait I use? I usually fish with creek chubs or shiners. This year they have been running a little smaller than normal(6-8"). We have never tried bullheads because I don't know of anywhere around the area we fish to catch any. We fish them live, hooked right behind the dorsel fin.

We've caught a total of 2 smaller flatheads ever and both came on cutbait.

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