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Harriet Island Public Dock Report - - - 4 messages. Showing 1 through 4.
MineralMan
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Joined 02/01/2005
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Daily Subscription Msg 1 Posted: 09:20 AM 10/04/05 (CST)
Well, a while back, I asked if anyone had any experience fishing off the big public dock at Harriet Island in St. Paul. Nobody did. So, I decided to check it out for myself.

Yesterday was my second trip to the dock. I went around noon and fished for three hours.

On my first trip there, about three weeks ago, I caught a couple of channel cats on stinkbait, with the biggest about 5 pounds. Lots of other nibbles.

Yesterday was a different story. I started out fishing for carp with corn, and caught one that went about 8 lb. (I don't carry a scale). Then I switched to nightcrawlers on a fishfinder rig. I caught half a dozen large sheepsheads....not what I was really looking for, but they fight well, and I wasn't keeping any fish from that part of the Mississipi river, anyhow.

After the sheepsheads, I switched to stinkbait on the same fishfinder rig, using one of those plastic treble-hooked stinkbait thingies. Just a half an ounce of lead sliding sinkers ahead of a swivel, with three feet of leader. It's just enough to stay on the bottom, with the bait free to move.

Less than 30 seconds after I tossed this out from the end of the dock, I had a hookup. About an 8 lb. channel cat. I shook the thing off the hook so I didn't have to bother with it. Applied another liberal coating of stinkbait to the plastic goodie and tossed it out again...straight off the end of the dock, and about 30 feet out from the dock. About 1 minute later, I had another strong bite and set the hook. This time, it was something a bit larger than the first cat. It took me a while to get the thing moving. Finally, it rolled at the top of the water. Man! That sucker looked huge. I finally got it up to the dock where I could see it, and it was about 30" or so long. I tried to lift it by holding onto the leader, and got it just out of the water. I'm just guessing by the feel of the thing, but I'd estimate that it was in the 15-18 lb. range. Nice channel cat.

I caught a few more in the next couple of hours, but nothing that size. I ended the day by going down to the lower dock and casting a crawfish crankbait near the dock and the moored boats. Caught some small smallmouths.

Here's the deal: This is a great spot for shorefishing. There wasn't a soul on the dock yesterday, nor was there the last time I went. I think most of the fishing goes on at night, since I saw signs of other fishermen. Stinkbait or shrimp for the cats. Corn for the carp, and crankbaits for the smallmouths. There are walleye and sauger there too, along with flathead cats, but you'll need live bait for all of those. I haven't tried it.

It's catch and release for walleye and sauger, by law. I also wouldn't eat any of the catfish, due to high mercury content. If you want to land the large catfish, you'll need a long-handled net if you fish from the upper dock. You might be able to just reach a fish from the lower dock, but a net's a good idea there, too.

Who'd have thought that a good day of fishing could be had on a very quiet dock on the Mississippi, right in the middle of St. Paul.

How to get there:

Cross the river on the Wabasha Bridge in downtown St. Paul, then make a left at the first possible exit. Take another left on the access road to the East Entrance of the Harriet Island park, then park in the parking lot near the Bed and Breakfast boat and walk past it down the dock to the end.

Enjoy!


MineralMan


Love to fish...Not enough time!


MineralMan

O So Minnesota Blog -- Fishing Page

Bobber Down
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Joined 10/03/2005
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Daily Subscription Msg 2 Posted: 02:04 PM 10/04/05 (CST)
Thanks for the detailed report. I would like to give it a try down there sometime. I've always wanted to try for some big cats.

I'm out Bobber Down


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WebDude
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Joined 02/26/2004
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Daily Subscription Msg 3 Posted: 02:16 PM 10/04/05 (CST)
Hey MineralMan,

Thanks for the info. Sounds like a lot of fun. Maybe your success is why you couldn't find any reports or info. I may have to give it a try sometime. I'd like to meet you someday too :-)



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MineralMan
Senior Member
Joined 02/01/2005
Posts:751

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Daily Subscription Msg 4 Posted: 02:43 PM 10/04/05 (CST)
It's pretty relaxed fishing. I got to talk to several tourists who wandered down the dock and asked how I was doing and what I was catching. I guess I was part of the local color that day in Saint Paul.

Even though I have a boat, and enjoy fishing the lakes and the river from a boat, shorefishing has always been a favorite activity of mine. You don't have to launch a boat, so you can fish for even a short time.

Since the river's open all year, I'm thinking about some Winter fishing off that same dock. Then I will really be that weird guy down at the dock.

Anyhow, as I find interesting shorefishing spots, I'll be sure to mention them. I always have a rod and small tacklbox in the car, and have been known to stop and fish for a half an hour at some of the tiny little lakes around the twin cities...ones that nobody ever fishes in. Haven't found one yet where I didn't catch something...usually small sunnies.

Maybe we'll hook up one of these days!


MineralMan


Love to fish...Not enough time!


MineralMan

O So Minnesota Blog -- Fishing Page

Harriet Island Public Dock Report - - - 4 messages. Showing 1 through 4.
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