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St. Croix newbie


luv2fish

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So I have lived in Oakdale now for 5 years, and have always wanted to try to river for multi species. I sold my 16 foot crestliner this spring, and have a 20 foot pontoon on White Bear lake. I guess I have 2 questions.

1. I have never been on the river before. Would my pontoon be a good choice to go out there with? Will I be totally out of place?

2. Where should I put it in, and where would be a general place to try.

I do have a co-worker who goes out to the river every year, I will make my first trip with him on his boat. But I would love to take my family out there on a fishing trip.

Thanks!!!!

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My dad and his neibor take a pontoon out there and love to fish out of it. They pretty much troll all the time with it so you dont have the issues of boat control while jigging. Where to fish??? every day is a different day. It really depends on what your are doing(jigging,rigging,trolling). Most the time you just have to get out and see whats working on that given day. Myself if I was in a pontoon I would just troll the shorelines fire up the grill and crack some cold ones grin.gif.....You will find some fish

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i fish out of a 25ft pontoon all last year and i will be soon this year if my lifetime fishing license will come in the mail. its not bad out there during the week but the weekend is totally different cabin cruisers and such, wakes get pretty big. so to answer your first question youll fit in fine. you have your choices of where to put in at, hudson public(downtown), beanies, windmill(afton), afton marine, clydes(bayport), and i think theres some up by stillwater too. it all depends on how much you want to spend. myself i do most of my fishing from the hudson swing bridge and south to the kinnic narrows. i found alot of sheepies, catfish, and one walleye that was it last year. so anyway if anyone else can help if i missed some things

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luv2fish,

You should be fine with your pontoon. I would stay closer to shore if going out on the weekend. I have a couple of places that you could anchor up and verically jig with the family. This is what I do when my family goes out and are not the trolling or lidy rig type. Post your email if interested. Good Luck

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I am another St. Croix newbie. Actually, I have not fished it yet at all. I live in Superior, WI but have a friend who lives in Hudson and is begging me to bring the boat down so we can try to find some walleyes on the St. Croix. Does anyone have any advice on landings, spots to fish, presentations, depths, etc? I know, I am asking for alot. I certainly don't expect anyone's "honey holes"...just some general info. I fish the St. Louis quite a bit up here and mostly just work channel edges with either a jig and minnow or a spinner rig. I don't know if its the same down in your neck of the woods. Thanks in advance guys, for any help. JH

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G and G,

The St. Croix is a very slow moving river, and that fact is a big surprise for many new anglers. North of Stillwater it is fast and generally shallow.

Narrows also have good current. Much of the slower areas can be worked like Mille Lacs shoreline structure.

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Turk,

Thanks, good to know. Any other info would be helpful. By the way, I did do a search for landings and other info in the Hudson area. Learned a few things. JH

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  • 3 weeks later...

I used to go to the river a lot. Here is my advice. For your first trip, or even for the heck of it, get a buddy and go out with a guide. They will show you what to look for, what to use, and some general good locations. Well worth the $$ and you will have a blast, and fish out of a nice boat and get the lay of the land. It will make every trip you take solo after that much more productive. No, I am not a guide, nor do I have guide buddies smile.gif just stating from experience.

For spots, go south from Beanies (where we always put in, under 94 bridge on MN side) until you come to the first little point. That corner will get you plenty of walleye and white bass. We have done best here with jigs and minnows, but we usually would hit it early in year mostly.

Troll upstream for us worked best, at a fairly quick pace. Put out shad raps and keep them right above bottom, put rods in holders and just enjoy the scenary until you see the rods bounce! Trolling the WI side is easier and we would get our share of walleye, with the occassional muskie or pike. We always did best in front of wings dams, right ON the wing dams, or on the long flats near shore between wingdams.

Have fun! Jigs and plastics work good for smallies too, and if you catch one, there are a ton more right in the same area.

edit - re-read your question, and see you already fish rivers. Here are my specifics - brown or chartuese shad raps, 10-18 FOW, 2.5 mph for trolling. Friend has always swore on the red and white color. We use planer boards to get a husky jerk in about 4 FOW, and shad raps right behind the boat, and Ristos or Thundersticks on the deep deep on a another board. Covering from about 4 FOW out to 20. Crayfish colors also worked well.

For jigging, heavy jigs up to 3/8 or even 1/2 with big old fatheads. My Dad has even used bigger ones with success. I always liked yellow or chart. My Dad liked white and black.. go figure...

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Quote:

Troll upstream for us worked best, at a fairly quick pace. Put out shad raps and keep them right above bottom, put rods in holders and just enjoy the scenary until you see the rods bounce! Trolling the WI side is easier and we would get our share of walleye, with the occassional muskie or pike. We always did best in front of wings dams, right ON the wing dams, or on the long flats near shore between wingdams.


BoxMN,

Very good post! You must have confused parts of the Mississippi with the St. Croix because we have maybe four wingdams in a forty mile stretch of the river...

I thought I'd point that out in case folks would go out trying to find wingies on the Croix. I wish we had them though!!

Keep Catchin'

Turk

www.croixsippi.com

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Thanks, BoxMN

Great post...Lots of information and a good place to start. Sounds like weekends get pretty hectic down there. Unfortunately, thats the only time we'll probably be able to make it out.

Good advice in terms of looking up a guide too. I'll definitely look into that!

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Hey guys, I hope some of that info is still good, but like I said, havent been down this year, or much last year.

Turk, I might be thinking wrong on what a true wing dam is... I was thinking the small "points" like right across from the power plant up by Stillwater on WI side, and then a few more on the MN side up a bit from the Hudson narrows, and then some more on the WI side in the Lakeland area. They are small, and I guess maybe not what a wing dam is. I am not a river expert, as you can tell smile.gif

If I recall, there is also a nice area out in the middle of river in LAke St. Croix (?) out from Lakeland, that is sort of raised flat with deep water all around it. We did okay there in the past.

And then down farther just upstream of Kinnikinnic narrows we have done okay, not great. Right upstream of the narrows by only like 100 or 200 yards or so as it narrows.

I got a 37" channel cat out from Afton park once, boy was that a fun fight. Let it go, cause I just could not keep that big old guy - mud was still all over his belly - thought it was a state record walleye until we saw him! ha! On a true turn worm hook and a big old sucker minnow.

Anyway, the river is a lot of fun, cause you never know what you will get! I have been a lurker, and used to go to the Mississsippi and St. Croix web forum (forget the address, but its gone now) and I know Turk is very respected guide. I'd give him a shout if you look for guides. My Dad also went out with Griz a couple times, and had a blast.

-Box

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