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Mississippi River is soon going to give up some fish.

posted on 04/06/2009
If you have been around the forum for awhile you probably know that I like to spend April and May lurking the banks of Pool 2 on the Mississippi River.

As the snow begins to melt bringing the water levels up we start to see some great shore fishing opportunities present themseleves. When you start to see water temps rise into the 40's you know the time is near.

The fishing changes year to year based on water levels, water temp, winds, fishing pressure, and a variety of other factors. Although even a bad year will yeild some good fishing.

The best presentations I have found are a simple chartruese jig with some sort of plastic swim bait. I like to use cheaper jigs and cheaper swim baits because the river is snag heaven. In a good day you'll only lose a few, other days you'll lose a jig on every other cast. Last year I used a bulk pack of 3/8 and 1/4 oz jigs I got at Joe's Sporting Goods. The jigs were the Joe's brand. They were ok jigs for being inexpensive although they would lose their paint quicker then the northland jigs so you would need to change them more often. For swim baits I stuck with the Mr. Twister Sassy Shad in white or Black Pearl colors. The white far out produced any other color though. The white seems to show up very nicely in the brown milky water which seemed to be the key. I also tried Gulp baits but they didn't produce nearly as well and were twice the price.

If the water is still a little cold or the fish are finicky you may also want to try a fat head or better yet a shiner on your jig. Fish it slow... maybe even dead still. You may be able to pick up something that is a little sluggish.

In the area that I fish you can expect walleye, smallmouth, white bass, carp, quillback suckers, crappie (if you time it right), and just about anything else that swims.

I hope to keep regular updates coming through Arpil and May but I'm not sure if I'll be fishing as much this spring with our new puppy coming home in just 2 short weeks. I might find myself on puppy patrol most nights instead.

Remember Pool 2 is catch and release for most game fish including Walleye and Bass so be sure to throw them back. But I encourage you to get out and fish the shorelines. There is alot of easy access and alot of spots that put out fish, and trophy fish at that.

Last years 24 incher, caught Mid April.

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Posted By Logan on 04/06/2009

nofish.. bring your puppy down there and I'll bring mine. they can chill and we can catch fish. Of course a puppy near the river might not be a great idea. I guess it depends what kind of pup you got? Anyhow.. good post man! I'll be hitting the pool a couple times this spring. maybe we'll bump into each other.
Posted By nofishfisherman on 04/06/2009

I'll be bringing home a Vizsla pup, he'll only be 8 weeks old when I get him so I don't think bringing him down this year will be a great idea. He'll be my regular fishing buddy once he gets a little older and more well trained however.
Posted By FishCat on 04/06/2009

I'm brand new to the river but plan to try out Pool 2 for some, pre-largemouth season, smallmouth. Could you give me a suggestion as to where I should start out? Because I have no idea. I've been scouting, but with the water so high, it’s hard to tell what's underneath.
Posted By nofishfisherman on 04/06/2009

Fishcat, I haven't been able to check out the typical spots yet this year but with the high water I'm sure there will be some trusted spots that are inaccesible and some new hot spots created. I would start by fishing any and all current breaks. With the water moving as fast as it is fish will be looking for a little slack water. You'll be able to see these areas pretty easily on the surface. Typically I have had my best luck where the minnehaha creek enters the river. Thats where this picture came from. Fish tend to come on the edge of the fast main channel water and the slow slack water. If you look at the surface of the water in the upper left of the picture you can see the ripples on the water next to the flat calm water this is the current edge I am talking about. With the high water you can catch fish all the way up the creek as well. That would be a starting point but you can also fish the Hidden Falls area, the Crosby Park area you can also fish from Fort Snelling State Park right across from the Marnia in Crosby Park. If you are looking for smallies you'll probably find them once the water warms up a little more. Usually the walleye and white bass start biting first and then you'll see more smallies as the water keeps warming. Largemouth are few and far between but there are a few of them around.
Posted By PierBridge on 04/07/2009

I finally journeyed down the infamous steps, all 132 of them, to check out our Favorite creek NoFish. I was encouraged by the high water but extremely disappointed to see the construction Containment Boom blocking the Creek thus limiting the amount fish that can get up the Creek after dark when I like to go fishing. I know its a must and needed during the rehab project but it is going hamper my after dark activities up stream anyway. The good news with the higher water is the Crappie fishing should be very good here shortly and the Containment Boom will give us another area to hold Crappies and other specie's. It looks like some decent weather is coming and hopefully some good action down at the Creek! Good Luck everyone!
Posted By FishCat on 04/07/2009

I was checking the spot out on Google maps last night. It looked like a little hike. Thank you for the open and honest advice NFF. I really appreciate that! I will check back in, as I’m pretty interested about your April/May outings. But after May 23, I hope to be spending a lot less time on the computer!
Posted By nofishfisherman on 04/07/2009

FishCat, The hike down takes a little stamina. With the construction this year we will also likely be limited to the routes we take to get down there. You'll likely have to hike down the 132 stairs like PB did. By the time opener rolls around I'm usually in pretty good shape but in years past I was going down there 3-4 days a week. Thanks for the update PB. I am making plans to get down there sometime soon. I'm guessing the water is still pretty cold. The sunshine this week should help things out. With the bright sun and dark water the temps should start coming up any time now.