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rollin, rollin, rollin....

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Alma was a rollin along today. They have re-adjusted the gates and things were doing a pretty good clip with a substantial backwash. Joel and I fished there today, starting near the dam but quickly loosing interest because of the heavy current. We opted to snoop out some water with a less noticeable push and were immediately rewrded with walleyes.

The main channel gave up the fish today for the most part with perhaps forty fish hitting the floor of the boat and a ton of short hitters. We had some oinkers come off at the boat too.

Generally saugers, walleyes helped to round out the day on a variety of baits. Stinger jigs armed with either a 3" minnow bait or a fluke style bait of 4" did the trick for Joel while I was content to scarf up fish using a stinger/bucktail. I did the second rod today using a similar rig to what Joel was using and at times we had fish going on all three rods. Doubles were common.

As stated, the dam's gates were letting a lot of water under them and this set up a tough to fish senario when at the dam. The reverse tow was something until a guy got about 400 feet below the dam itself. We worked the water from almost at the float clear to the outside of the sipping canal and finally got tired of fighting the current. We let the boat drift out of the hard current and as soon as we hit 22 feet at main channel, bingo. We had the best luck from 22-24 feet and again at 30-33 feet. The fish really nailed it today and those missed fish often departed with a portion of the plastic. The bucktails really did it today though with fish hitting it while it was simply being dragged along and then they pounded it. Those we saw using minnows got nothing.

The day started with us yanking the outboard and warming it up enough to de-ice it so we could fish. 17 degrees was chilly after we got on the briney, but as soon as we got in in the sun we forgot about the temp and when those fish started to hit we were too busy to think about getting cold. Another boat and ourselves had this entire area to ourselves until we hit fish....then it seemed that people came out of the woodwork and several others came out to play.

All in all we had a pleasant day on the water. The overall size could have improved , but we had enough nice fish for each of us to make a fine meal without keeping a limit. Lots of male fish today and the water had dropped back to 33 degrees. The water also had picked up some color, but the current did us one favor by keeping the grass/debris swept away....very little of this was an issue whereas the last two trips saw a lot of this slop on the lines.

Good company, sunshine, fish.....= perfection.

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Great day Tom.

Anywhere near the dam was downright spooky with all of the funny things the current was doing. Eddys, back-tow, and just plain hard current didn't allow us to present our baits the way we wanted to, whether fish were there or not.

Fishing some different parts of the river proved educational, as a fellow really starts to appreciate how dynamic and complex this system truly is. With almost 15-20" of new snow 4-days prior, we were faced with some difficult currents. Nothing at the dam really set-up for us, with no clearly defined current seams from slack water to moving. The army corps of engineers seems to deal us a new hand every time down there, so switching patterns/locations until we found success was crucial. Don't give up!

The bucktail was the real winner today, though plenty of fish were taken on plastics as well. Maybe next time I'll brave the rigors of two-rodding it down the river? We only tangled twice, and they were easy. Give me another rod and I'm sure to quadruple that number!


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Tyler Holm

OK, I’m finally getting around to posting our results from fishing Alma this past Saturday 3/18. We were the first boat on the water and it was a fresh 8 degrees at 6:00am when we dipped the boat. It took us a while to find the fish. We wasted the first 1.5 hour trying this spot and that spot. Finally we found a pass that was holding some fish.

We had our best luck in the main channel. Our numbers were down from the previous trip, but we did come across more eyes that before. I’d say about 60% of our fish were eyes as opposed to saugers. We even managed a carp and a flathead catfish both in the 2-3lb range.

There was very little debris in the water which made fishing easy. The current was a bit stronger that I would have liked. It seemed that in most areas, the current was moving us too quickly for my likings. Back trolling to provide a little resistance, helped.

We saw 11 Bald Eagles perched on 1 occasion. There were also golden eagles out and about. We even saw a river otter pop up right near our boat.

We did our best on live bait (jigs & flathead minnows). I tried tons of plastics but couldn’t come up with the right combination. The Berkley Gulp just didn’t produce and I didn’t have the stuff I really wanted to be using. I gave sonors a try about every 7-8th pass and never even had a bite.

All in all we caught 20 fish and I’d have to call that a successful day at the office.

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Looking to head down there this weekend on saturday..Just wondering if you guys would give alittle info..What launch your going from.. How fast is the current is..The favorite color..What would be the ideal size for a gumball jig..I havent fished the mississippi yet down there.about to learn some new things..Thanks for any info..

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Tyler Holm

The launch is located right in the town of Alma and it's about 3/4 a mile south (downstream) of the Lock & Dam. Current isn't a problem at the launch.

I think our boat was drifting a bit too quickly in the current. The slower we went, the more strikes we had. The current wasn't dangerous, but just moving the boat 2-3+MPH or so. Bright colors worked better for us. Chartruese, lime green, pink were good.

Where we fished the depth ranged from 18-24 FOW. It took at least 1/4 to get to the bottom. If we were right at the face of the dam, a 3/8 was needed.

Good Luck

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