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Mississippi Near McGregor


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Has anyone done any boating on the Mississippi River near McGregor? My buddy just bought some land on the river and we were going to head up that way this weekend to work on the land and possibly do a little fishing. He's got a fairly big boat and I was wondering just how shallow that river might get.

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It was plenty deep enough to get the boat on. Actually from looking at the river level it's actually a few feet higher than what they consider high.

We threw crankbaits, topwaters, jigs, lindy riggs, minnows, leeches, crawlers and just about everything else in the tackle box. We didn't catch a single fish. I did manage to swat a few pounds of horse flys. I've never seen bugs that bad and I've been bear hunting for the past 7 years.

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Sorry to hear about the bad luck. And thanks for the warning, now I know never to try it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have been getting up to the river up there a few times every year for the last 3 years. Have had some fantastic fishing. Lots of northerns, walleyes, and small mouth. Just keep checking the river bends and deeper holes. We spend a fair amount of time trolling crankbaits. Anything with blue on it can be good. Once you locate areas that are holding fish jigs and bait can work also. It is just alot easyer to cover water trolling.

The water there does not seem to be a great trophy water for walleyes but we have taken fish so far up to 24". It is a good spot for numbers of 10" to 20" walleyes. Seems like plenty of 5# to 15# northerns to go around also. I am also suprised by how good the walleyes taste out of the river up there.

Once again start looking at the river bends, holes and any where a stream comes into the main river. These seem to hold the most walleyes for us.

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We have a place on the river near Palisade and have caught quite a few fish like Mike said. I think your guys problem was the river was still high and the fish tend to be scattered and hard to catch. Now that it's down, they're obviously more concentrated, the waters clearer, and you can actually get your bait down to the fish. I'm going up Saturday morning and will definately be wetting a line. I agree with you about the flies, although we were on Gun a couple weeks ago and they were vicious there too.. You shouldn't give up on the Miss yet..they're in there

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I definitely haven't given up! I'll be back for sure. I'm just hoping some of the bugs will be gone by then. I was about to start swatting flys off my face with an ice pick if we didn't get out of there soon.

I'm right with you guys on fishing the bends. I spend alot of time on the Rum and the Flambeau flowage in Wiscconsin. River fishing is my favorite and I usually do pretty well. I was flabbergasted at our luck, but like you say the river was extremely high and it probably didn't help that it was about 95 degrees.

Once this weather cools down a bit I'll be spending a lot of time up there camping, fishing, and hunting. Thanks for the tips!

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Not sure if I agree with you guys on the high water issue. High water can mean some great fishing. What I have found is that it consintrates the fish in lower current areas. What this means is that 95% of the river might not have much in it during the high water but when you find them it can be some great fishing.

Low water tend to make the fish spread out. I seem to do alot more trolling at this time to cover ground.

It is a interist contrast to fishing the different water levels on the river. High water might mean spend 7 hrs looking for fish and 1 hour catching them like crazy. Low water seems to bring some activity. What can be real productive in the high water is locating a few good spots and putting them together in a milk run.

Wish I had more time to fish the river up there. For now it is pool 2 in st paul will have to do. Might be up there this weekend for one of my few trips each year.

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I've never really tried trolling on a river. Most of the time I'm floating on a canoe or something so it isn't really an option. When you troll are you going with or against the current most times? With the amount of snags in the Mississippi up there I would think you would have to be trolling a floating rapala or something?

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If you dont know the area it might be best to troll up river. It is a little easyer to deal with the snags then. Once you near a area troll both ways.

Haveing the right equipment helps alot for trolling the river. I run line counters to help judge the depth the lures are running. Any level wined reel spooled up with power pro, spider wire or like line will do. These lines help to feel what is going on with the lures and help alot with being biten off by pike. Make sure the reel has a good drag. when you do snag up just let it peel out line until you get the other lines and boat under control. Then worry about the snagged line. The last thing you want to do is hit free spool and create a birds nest in the reel.

On the shallow water up there rattle traps, shad raps and similar lures work well. Lipped baits will get down to the bottom and bounce across the bottom. Some days this is the only way to catch fish. Letting out just anough line to get the lure to hit bottom is key and will help with getting it over the snags. When the lip of the lure does hit something it usualy kicks up the rear end of the lure and positions the hook away from the snags. shallower running lures with know lips seem to be more prone to snagging.

With all this keep in mind that yes you get snagged up. Yes you will loose a few lures. As you get better at trolling the river you loose less and less. I would say useing power pro line has been a big key in helping me keep alot of lures.

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There was a good bite going on over the weekend. We caught lots of walleyes and small mouth. The suprising part was that only one pike was caught. Trolling crankbaits took most of the fish except for the few caught during a short shore line break. With the muddy water look for a good bite during the middle of the day.

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Thanks for the information Mike! I'll try to put some of it to good use this weekend.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I fished up there on Tue. Had a great time, the water is really coming down now. Watch out for rocks and deadheads! Caught about 20 walleye and 15 bass and 3 northerns. Trolled #5 shad raps most of the day. Biggest walleye was 23" and bass was18".

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Sounds like the trolling bite might be hit or miss. Over last weekend the trolling bite was slow for us. Ended up catching most of our walleyes on live bait either anchored up or drifting jigs down stream. Still lots of small mouth to be trolled up.

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I'll be bear hunting up that way over Labor day so I should have some time during the day to chase the fish around. Hopefully I'll have a positive report to give when I get back.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Bloatlord
      Opener was decent on Saturday and absolutely on fire Sunday. 9 eyes, three over 25 in, one at 28.5. A bunch of largemouths, some crappie and perch and a TON of bullhead. One of those weekends where your hands start to hurt.       
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    • cm012419
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    • PSU
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    • herm
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    • SkunkedAgain
      I don't know about either of them, but welcome to the forum.
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