Author Topic: Big River today  (Read 5314 times)

Online ctom

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Big River today
« on: 09/28/12 12:58 UTC »
I made it to the Mississippi today and had some fun with a variety of fish. Bass to 16 inches, sunfish, walleyes, sheephead and, of course, crappies all made it to the boat. Where we fished the water has come down to 59 degrees now and the fall bite has shifted into high gear.

I got the day started with a couple patterns of small frys [1.75"] on 1/32 heads to no avail. I shifted to a somewhat smaller plastic and blanked. I put on a 1" Gulp minnow and that got some attention for a short while but nothing to get too excited about. Finally a Thumper Shad got strung up and the "go" lights went on. Either purple or Junebug having a chartreuse tail section was the big factor. Even the smallest fish wanted a big portion of bait to chew on. The hits were solid.

Ten of the maybe 150 fish caught made the cut for the ride home and will grace my fishing bud's table tonight. The really large crappies didn't come out to play but with the warm temps, lack of strong wind [for a change], bright sun and changing leaves I'd be a fool to wish for something more than what I got.

The real surprise came from a walleye about 6 inches that inhaled a Thumper Shad....all of it. Man that fish had to be hungry.


Offline ShaunOrtega

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Re: Big River today
« Reply #1 on: 08/15/13 10:14 UTC »
I made it to the Mississippi today and had some fun with a variety of fish. Bass to 16 inches, sunfish, walleyes, sheephead and, of course, crappies all made it to the boat. Where we fished the water has come down to 59 degrees now and the fall bite has shifted into high gear.

I got the day started with a couple patterns of small frys [1.75"] on 1/32 heads to no avail. I shifted to a somewhat smaller plastic and blanked. I put on a 1" Gulp minnow and that got some attention for a short while but nothing to get too excited about. Finally a Thumper Shad got strung up and the "go" led lighting went on. Either purple or Junebug having a chartreuse tail section was the big factor. Even the smallest fish wanted a big portion of bait to chew on. The hits were solid.

Ten of the maybe 150 fish caught made the cut for the ride home and will grace my fishing bud's table tonight. The really large crappies didn't come out to play but with the warm temps, lack of strong wind [for a change], bright sun and changing leaves I'd be a fool to wish for something more than what I got.

The real surprise came from a walleye about 6 inches that inhaled a Thumper Shad....all of it. Man that fish had to be hungry.


Ya best place to enjoy fishing.. I have been there several times and love to visit again and again
« Last Edit: 08/16/13 05:20 UTC by ShaunOrtega »

Offline TommySkarlis

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Re: Big River today
« Reply #2 on: 08/15/13 14:44 UTC »
Which pool were you on ctom?
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Online ctom

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Re: Big River today
« Reply #3 on: 08/15/13 18:39 UTC »
That was on pool 5 Tommy. Careful to read the posting date.....last year already.

Offline Jerry V

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Re: Big River today
« Reply #4 on: 08/15/13 18:48 UTC »
That was on pool 5 Tommy. Careful to read the posting date.....last year already.

wait a minute here...  you've been there fishing pool 5 for nearly a year??  I'm confused  ???
"What started as a hobby is now a way of life."  Justin9j

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Online ctom

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Re: Big River today
« Reply #5 on: 08/15/13 19:36 UTC »
The first post in this thread was made almost a year ago. 9/28/2012

To be clear, I have fished pool five for almost 50 years now. Pool 4 just as long.

Offline Jerry V

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Re: Big River today
« Reply #6 on: 08/15/13 20:31 UTC »
The first post in this thread was made almost a year ago. 9/28/2012

To be clear, I have fished pool five for almost 50 years now. Pool 4 just as long.

GOT IT !...  I'll explain it to Tommy.

You've been fishing those pools a long time Mr. Tom.  It's a wonder they're still there.  Have you seen much change up there in all those years?
"What started as a hobby is now a way of life."  Justin9j

"It's a shame I have to work, cause I really don't have time for it." Shane

"A mind is a terrible thing to waste (or) losing your memory sucks."  Denny Welch

"I wonder what the fish feel like on those days when you can't buy a bite?" pjmc

Online ctom

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Re: Big River today
« Reply #7 on: 08/15/13 21:06 UTC »
Ohhhhh, yes. A lot of the c/r mentality has gotten a foothold now and that has helped the walleyes. Sunfish size has really jumped since this pool had special regs put on it for the sunfish. Used to be they could keep 25 a day. Now they can have only 10 and those have to be 8 inches or more. The backwaters have shown the most change [about 60% negative], no thanks to the dnr thinking they can improve on what Ma Nature already made great.

Pool 4 is an outstanding fishery for all species and I can lock thru if I want to spend time on that pool. As a rule I fish either or. Going thru the lock in 14 foot jon boat has some touchy moments.

Offline Jerry V

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Re: Big River today
« Reply #8 on: 08/15/13 21:21 UTC »
I'm familiar enough with those pools Tom that I know "you've got 'er made".  It's as good as it gets on The Big Muddy.  (my two bits)

Jerry
"What started as a hobby is now a way of life."  Justin9j

"It's a shame I have to work, cause I really don't have time for it." Shane

"A mind is a terrible thing to waste (or) losing your memory sucks."  Denny Welch

"I wonder what the fish feel like on those days when you can't buy a bite?" pjmc

Online ctom

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Re: Big River today
« Reply #9 on: 08/16/13 07:49 UTC »
The Miss was a mess back in the 50's and early 60's. Laws regarding sewage discharge and requiring treatment plants to install scubbers to remove phosphates and nitogen from treated water before it gets put back in the system have done wonders but as always more needs to be done. Siltation is a major attack on the river and on pool 5 its a non-stop battle to keep the channel navigatable. The fishing though has done everything positive. We've never seen as many large walleyes or the number of walleyes as what we see today. Sauger numbers have shot upward too. Both have enjoyed stellar spring spawning conditions year after year, but the c/r and selective harvest philosophies have also played a huge part in up-swing in these fish.

With the river and backwaters being an ever-changing entity, the panfish and crappies have evolved into some unreal fish. Smaller members of these parties find life in those backwaters just dandy, but as they get larger they become more current oriented. Wingdams, rock closing dams and channel edge wood offer some mind boggling fishing. Both of the pools mentioned sport crappies up to 16 and 17 inches and catching those brutes is becoming more and more common. A person can fill a pail with 11 to 13 inch fish fairly easy. Even in the dead of winter a person can track down these big guys while on the ice or in a boat by focussing on current seams and deep water breaks. The pockets of quiet water found on the down-stream, shore end of wing dams can be packed with crappies. During the heat of summer huge sunfish find idling away their time on the tops of and in the up-stream swell of water found at wingdams. In spite of the increase seen in recent years in panfish and crappies on the big river, they are not even remotely over fished as long as anglers respect the resource. Honestly, way too many anglers are hung up on backwaters and moan when the best times of the season hand them only small fish. The big pannies call for more aggressive water and a much larger thinking cap be worn when searching for them. Another irony is that small fish seem to be stuck on real food while the big boys and girls certainly have no hang-ups about chewing on plastics and some of the more notable scented products, like the 1"-3" Gulp and Power Bait minnows.

Backwaters are in a constant state of change and offer some of the most unruly bass ever bred. Ask Andrew, he fishes bass....I get them accidently. Along with the bass, or should I say hand-in-hand with the bass, come the northerns. Since the pike enjoy both the backewaters and the current, they tend to be well-exercised, well-fed denizens who can have some respectable pounds per inch of length stats found anywhere. A 32" backwater pike might require a back-hoe and steel cable to land.

Andrew sits right on the river further downstream on pool 5a and pool 6. Nonetheless, I am envious of his location. I have to drive 45 miles to see the river [38 miles if I head to Lake City on Lake Pepin on pool 4], but the drive is worth it. And if the fish don't want to come out and play, I always have the hundreds of eagles to enjoy watching. Can't beat the Big River, I don't care where you are.

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Re: Big River today
« Reply #10 on: 08/16/13 09:08 UTC »
My office backs to one of the ramps on the Mississippi...can't beat that! I brought the boat back to work at lunch time and was on the river by 5:10 last night!

Lots of small sauger and a couple of ok walleye last night, drop shotting the Dragon Tail worm in 20+ feet of water off the buoy markers (deep end of the wing dams)...but I'll be darned if I can find any decent largemouth or smallmouth the last couple weeks. You can catch a ton of little ones (< 14") on the shallow end of the wing dams ...but I can't find the big girls. LOTS of bait in the water...clouds of Emerald Shiners and Shad. It may just be too easy for the bass to eat with so much bait in the water.

The other part of the "problem" is that the water is really clear (we are NOT the "Big Muddy" here any more!). I'm going to switch to the Glider or swim grub and 6lb test mono tonight and see if that helps. Otherwise...I'm breaking out the 7 wt. fly rod and some poppers and hitting the current slots in the wing dams and along the rock levies for smallmouth.

Northern Pike seem to be anywhere there are weeds, 3 of them last night while fishing weed beds for bass (no bass though!). I landed a dandy (35") the other night...but she kind of won the contest. While I was taking the swim jig out her, she made a swipe at me an cut me up good! Shredded my thumb and the side of my hand. My boat looked like a shot gun murder scene!

It's been really cool at night the last couple weeks (low 50's in the am) and I think that has the bass a bit confused. Hotter next week (90's) so that might get a bite going on the largemouth.
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Re: Big River today
« Reply #11 on: 08/17/13 16:40 UTC »
Andrew / Tom Sounds like your having a great time when you get the chance. Hope to make a run to my favorite spot tomorrow. I have some work around the house today. mike

Offline TommySkarlis

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Re: Big River today
« Reply #12 on: 08/17/13 22:23 UTC »
My bad Tom - maybe I should have asked you about the spot since it was a year old post!  :P
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Online ctom

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Re: Big River today
« Reply #13 on: 08/17/13 22:54 UTC »
We were fishing a cut on the S'conie side of the river downstream from the new West Newton landing about 1/2 mile. Sunken wood was a good place to look according to the journal.

I'm hoping to get down that way next week some time. Got the itch for that pool again.

Offline TommySkarlis

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Re: Big River today
« Reply #14 on: 08/17/13 23:03 UTC »
Thanks for the hints Tom! Fishing "the wood" in side cuts is one of my favorites!  I like to "sniff around" in the skinny stuff - 3 to 6 FOW and I use a 3/8 to 3/4 ounce Hutch Head with a 3" Gulp! Minnow (if they are feeing on shiners) and tip it with a 2.5 inch Gulp! Minnow (if they are feeding on shad).  The reason I like to use the heavier heads is that if the jig sticks wood - the heavier head will allow me to "shake" it out - plus it seems as if the walleye can "find" the heavier head easier - especially in dirty water.  IF the shad are running big - I'll upsize the tails - if it is a cold front, I'll downsize the main tail and tip with a live minnow.
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