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Team Otter

With nearly a month passing by since my last outing in the area, I finally made a trip to the MN River. cool.gif It always seems like every year when I think I'm really going to fish the fall bite around here hard, either work gets in the way or I end up making multiple trips to the Rainy River or Mille Lacs. wink.gif I guess a person can't have it all, but at any rate, back to business. It sure was nice to get back out on the water around here and the weather more than cooperated. And the fish did too. grin.gif

Upon my arrival at the landing in St. Peter, I knew it was going to be a day of patience and pitching. The river (and flow) was up, water clarity was down, and the skies above were very overcast. Should be a dynamite day of pitching to current seams and shallow, slack water holding baitfish, right? Well, sort of. confused.gif I fished from ~9:30 am until 5:00 pm and managed to catch 6 fish. The best parts about these 6 fish was that nobody saw me catch any of them and the smallest fish was 22.5" and the biggest was just shy of 28". grin.gifgrin.gif The worst part was that it took 7.5 hours to get those fish. mad.gif By no means, were these fish "jumping" in the boat. In fact, each fish I caught was very hesitant to bite. With the water temperature being in the high 30's, these fish aren't exactly tearing up and down the river. I caught each fish pitching a 1/16 oz. Northland FireBall jig in orange and charteuse tipped with a fat head minnow. The presentation included anchoring my boat outside of a current seam on a shoreline that included rip-rap and shale that was adjacent to a shallow 8' mud flat. I was pitching right to the bank and then bringing it back to the boat as slow as I could possibly stand. This was a mind-numbing day of trying to catch fish but I guess, ultimately, my patience paid off. It also turned out to be the wrong day to forget my camera. confused.gifmad.gif Sorry, no pics of the piggies. Each one of the 6 fish were fat and very healthy. That 28" fish was easily 8.5 pounds.

Not sure how long this "bite" may last but it is definitely worth another shot. I may be targeting the 'eyes on Madison a few more times before ice-up but that is all weather-dependent.

Good luck out there and keep your tip up!

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danj

T.O., did you go North or South from the landing?

Dan

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Team Otter

North.

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walleyes-r-us

I did the same thing a week ago (north of the landing), but the fish just weren't doing anything - that's why I headed over to Madison for the crappies - it was worth the trip!

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pikerliker

Hey danj it was nice meeting you Tuesday! Did you have any luck upriver?

~piker

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Team Otter

A fish an hour last weekend wasn't much either but the quality of fish kept me pitching. If I would have been catching 15" fish, I would not have stuck around for more than an hour. I'm glad I have more patience than most!

Also glad to hear that there are more FM'ers meeting each other. Hope you guys got on some fish.

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danj

Pikeliker, sorry it took so long to respond. It was nice to meet you.

I caught one walleye that day, but it was a tad over 28"!! I caught it about 30ft N of where you were before you left.

danj

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Team Otter

Nice fish Dan!

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pikerliker

Very nice fish Dan! I wonder if it was the same one that wacked my minnow off on that earlier cast! grin.gif Good job!

~piker

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danj

Pikerliker, why aren't you bragging about your fish? Wasn't it about 30"??

DanJ

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pikerliker

grin.gif Thanks danJ! Yes and then some I think. Too bad it was a carp! smirk.gif It was a great fight, especially since I hooked him in the dorsal fin! Oh well, it got my blood pumping for sure.

later ~piker

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Team Otter

Nothing wrong with a fiesty carp. Been there many times with all of the shallow water that I fish during the open water season.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Better Than Working!
      Thanks! I have to admit that the plan starting the day was to pitch for smallmouth but the wind where we wanted to fish pushed us to plan B! Another reason to tell my wife why I need so many rods and reels and tackle boxes!
    • Tom Sawyer
      Nice fish!
    • Better Than Working!
      Not seeing any reports from Mille Lacs so here is my 1st report! Hit the pond Saturday afternoon for a few hours of getting the rust off the boat, equipment and skills. Found the fish in cabbage in 10-12 feet of water. Trolling stick baits 2.0 - 2.3 mph. Only got 4 walleye (24", 25" and two 28") but they were very healthy! Not bad for a few hours of fishing! Good luck out there and make some memories!
    • fish_time
      Who hates when your monofilament line wants to come off your reel. Let me share some tips and tricks with you on spooling your reel and help fixing this problem. https://youtu.be/CkFtOHn9nm0
    • Wakemup
      65-66 in Norwegian yesterday and 63 in Niles.
    • Wanderer
      Ely area lakes were showing 69-71 today.  That was a warmer than expected surface temp but I doubt it goes very deep.  Very little spawn activity compared to past years for this weekend.
    • eyeguy 54
      I like the stretch upriver better but can only drift down that area.  I would wear my arms out traveling up stream!   Hopefully do a drift down soon.  
    • jhousenga
      59 crossing Daisy Bay Friday night. 67 in Big Bay this afternoon.
    • monstermoose78
      The stearms in the arrowhead are small very small I would recommend a 6 foot or short rod for most streams as you will be pitching your bait out. They are also over grown with brush wading these streams is a challenge. You will be fishing for mostly brook trout above the first posted boundary FYI it’s normally a large water fall but not always. Also the first week of June there will not be much from the lake to the first posted boundary anyways. Remember there special regs below the first posted boundary and the above the first posted boundary.  If you want to use your fly rod I would hit the small trout lakes in the area. A split shot and small chunk of crawler is my go to bait for Brookies. There are a few streams with some browns and rainbows but very few. If you are fly fishing look at Thompson lake by  devilstrack lake it’s catch and release. Mink lake, kimball lake are also good. 
    • Squirrelhawke
      Growing up in South Dakota I did quite a bit of fishing in the black hills for browns and rainbows, most of that fishing was best accomplished with a long pole and just drifting my bait down the stream if you can read the eddies and slacks in the water you should do fine.  Of course I'm assuming they bite the same up north as they do out west.  It was a kick when I went  back out there 2 years ago and on Sunday morning fished the little 6 ft wide stream running behind the campground, all the other campers were amazed that I would pull out a fish about every 20-30 ft no monsters but plenty of little beauties at 7-10 inches. If the water is clean and the fish are there you just gotta find out what they are eating at that time of year.  Hopefully this helps and if I'm wrong some of the guys with Minnesota experience will pipe up.