Fishing Report (2016)

Bass Crappie Muskie Scenery Turk Walleye

January 17, 2017

Ice thickness 10 – 14 inches on the St. Croix River’s Bayport area trucks have been driving on the ice lately.  Most anglers target crappies using crappie minnows and bobbers.

Here’s some info from the old days...I remember an angler named “Tom” from River Falls, had a home made three hole shelter.  All  holes were inline and about seven feet in length from hole one to three.  Anyway he chain smoked these cherry cigarillo’s with his three holes in front of him and he hammered fish.  He fished all the time out there and did better and anyone.  He always fished all three of his legally allowed lines using bobbers staggered in certain depths off of the bottom – He set up and stayed put.  Moved from trip to trip but not much on a given day.

January 2, 2017

St. Croix River ice thickness is 5-6 inches as of New Years Day. The St. Croix sees most anglers fishing for crappies in the Bayport area. Here it is a deepwater basin bite. Fish can suspended easily 12 feet off of the bottom. The crappies roam the entire area. Dead stick minnows is often best versus active jigging.

Crappies can be found across the whole basin and are caught best on a crappie minnow. Many of these fish are suspended up to 12 feet off the bottom and can be hard to decipher at times from the abundant shad baitfish.

NOTE- there are multiple areas of openwater on the St. Croix – only fish where safe, and driving automobiles on the ice is not safe yet.

Scott
December 2016

Now that the St. Croix River is iced up, I migrate south to fish Pool 4 of the Mississippi River, this is openwater boat fishing for walleye and sauger all winter. I launch at Everts Resort (www.evertsfishingresort.com), Everts is a walleye oasis, providing water for your boat to launch all year.

During winter much of the fishing is vertical jigging and dragging jigs.

Usually a solid bite is found both dragging jigs in 13 to 17 feet of water and vertical jigging the deepwater. Plan on fishing soft plastics. Ringworms and paddle tails work very well, as do as fathead minnows on plain jigs or buck tails, we use mono 6-pound test and medium light Limit Creek rods.

Believe it or not cranks also do well on three way set ups. Crankbait presentations are on floating Rapalas. Troll slowwww.

This bite is weather related and it is best accomplished when you have a warming trend in winter. Of the fish you catch 95% will be a walleye or a sauger, all the other species really slow down. Walleye need to be 15” minimum and saugers have no size restriction to keep.

November 30, 2016

Would you rather have crappy weather or good fishing? I know my answer. 🙂

Last Saturday Chris from Milwaukee decided to go fishing when the gals were in town visiting relatives. We had a very fun day. Here he is with his limit of fish!
Last Saturday Chris from Milwaukee decided to go fishing when “the gals” were shopping, they were in town visiting relatives. We had a very fun day. Here he is with his limit of fish!

Dress right and its not that bad.

Caleb and Randall another group from the Milwaukee area in the area on a hunting and fishing trip. They hired a goose guide the day before and called me up for last Sunday. As you can see they look warm , they dressed for success! Another fun trip - plus fish!!
Caleb and Randall another group from the Milwaukee area in this neck of the woods on a hunting and fishing trip. They hired a goose guide the day before and called me up for last Sunday. As you can see they look warm , they dressed for success! Another fun trip – plus fish!!

Some fog in the morning made a nice sunrise.

It all lasts only a little while.
It all lasts only a little while.

Light snow flurries and drizzle and a hot bite this mid week.

Nice FAT walleye full of eggs...I let her go. Let them eggs come to life in the spring with little wallies.
Nice FAT walleye full of eggs…I let her go. Let them eggs come to life in the spring as little wallies.

Saugers late fall get big.

20.5" sauger. Could not rest this bait. The strike went: WHAP!
20.5″ sauger. Could not rest this bait. The strike went: WHAP! Released.

You never know what you’ll catch.

Sturgeon. 25 minute fight. The hit was : soft a slurp.. Hooked in the mouth.
Sturgeon. 25 minute fight. The hit was soft. Hooked in the mouth.

Signed,

Charlie “Turk” Gierke

Croixsippi Guide Service

Some ways to catch them right now:

Jig and minnow, Jig and plastic, Rapala jigging Raps, Trolled stick baits with bell sinkers.

Flow rate up from last week .

St. Croix River water level is 678.25 and rising.

Water temp degrees 42 to 40.  Warm water from rains just was registered on the Stillwater graphs.

18 years professional charter experience on St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers with many repeat customers!
5x Beanie River Rat walleye tournament winner
3x Paul Koval St. Croix Classic walleye tournament winner
2001 World Walleye Association Championship winner
2009 Full Throttle Big Water Series Team of the year
USCG licensed OUPV Captain

Follow Jesus! and you’ll be led to life giving water.

November 21, 2016

Nov. 22 - St. Croix River Walleyes
Nov. 22 – St. Croix River Walleyes

I got back on the water after a vacation, and was happy to see that some walleye and white bass were still willing to cooperate.  I am using light 6 # test line so the weight of the fish makers the fight  good.  The water is cold so they do not fight as strong summer, but they can throw the hook if you apply to much pressure so the fight is more about “feel” than brute strength.

The weather is finally settling in to a more winter bite.  Water temperatures are warmer than you would think and I plan on fishing next week from the boat as well as this week and weekend for sure – Maybe longer if it warms.

 

November 7, 2016

The bite is still happening, and with unseasonably warm weather it is fair to say it should continue for a good while.

Jesse with a example of a nice walleye right now. BVery health and chunky. We let all go today an accurate estimate was between 10 - 12 keepers today (one sauger the rest eyes).
Jesse with a example of a nice walleye right now. Very health and chunky. We let all go today an accurate estimate was between 10 – 12 keepers today . Caught on a fathead minnow.

The river has finally come down, and I say finally not out of high water frustration but simply because it has been high since JULY! Actually though it is still three feet higher than normal pool level but its down.

So when you see the rod bent in half and a white belly roll under the water and green on the sides of the fish it is just that size - you'd think TEN pound walleye too!!!
So when you see the rod bent in half and after a very good bulldog fight, then a foot under the water its a white belly roll then with green on the sides… and it is just that size – you’d think TEN pound walleye too!!! You never even in November know what your going to catch on the… Jesse liked this one, trophy eye or not. Jig and minnow caught.

Water temp. well can’t say I recall a period in November when the water temperature did two clicks up.  The water increased two degrees this last week.  Some of you likely thought I was nuts talking about how November can be nice fishing and nice weather too…

Tom was on the trip with Jesse. Tom arranged the trip and we had a good time, He brought along a box of blade baits and jigging raps and gave them a whirl. He got a decent on on a gold blade bait. This one picture hit a jig and minnow though..
Tom was on the trip with Jesse. Tom arranged the trip and we had a good time. He brought along his personal box of blade baits and jigging raps and gave them a whirl. He got a decent one on a gold blade bait. This one picture hit a jig and minnow though..

I have been fishing from Stillwater down to the Kinni and in between. That is a 14 mile stretch and many spots are working but the timing is a big issue as the fish are one the move. Its hard to stay on them, but the bite is good enough that you can get some here and there..

The big fish hit in the fall. Here is Andy with a nice one - catch and release. We let the big ones go. We fished jigs with plastics, Andy knows his plastics and we had a good time switch colors to come up with what the fish wanted.
The big fish hit in the fall. Here is Andy with a nice one – catch and release. We let the big ones go. We fished jigs with plastics, Andy knows his plastics and we had a good time switching colors and models to come up with what the fish wanted.
Here is the first good one of the day a nice eater. Look at the mist rolling near shore. Nobody was around it was very peaceful.
Here is the first good one of the day a nice eater. Look at the mist rolling near shore. Nobody was around it was very peaceful. Andy brought home a limit of sauger and eyes. Plus an assortment of other flavors crappie and white bass.

The St. Croix is a real treat this time of year and great resource to fish.

Walleyes and saugers at 18 to 30 feet deep jig and fathead minnow. Crankbaits are working too, plus rigging minnows.

Flow rate steady from last week .

St. Croix River water level has dropped a foot to 678.4 and will go to 677.0 in a week

Water temp 50 – 52 ( two degrees cooler. ) But was 48 – 50 degrees and rose two degrees.

Signed,

Charlie “Turk” Gierke

Croixsippi Guide Service

18 years Pro guiding experience on St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers with many repeat customers!
5x Beanie River Rat walleye tournament winner
3x Paul Koval St. Croix Classic walleye tournament winner
2001 World Walleye Association Championship winner
2009 Full Throttle Big Water Series Team of the year
USCG licensed OUPV Captain

Follow Jesus! and you’ll be led to life giving water.

October 30, 2016

Late October has been very good for walleye and sauger on the St. Croix River.

Bob P. out with his old friend Rick K. they had a great trip and caught over two limits of walleye and sauger. This fish was out of a community spot with six boats not far away. Catch and release.
Bob P. in town from “off the grid” Alaska… out with his old friend Rick K. they had a great trip and caught over two limits of walleye and sauger – they chose to take only three keepers a piece.  This fish was out of a community spot with six boats not far away. 25″ walleye catch and release.
Here is Rick K. with his 25" eye. Jig and minnow caught! Hard to not like a big walleye caught on a jig. Nice one Rick!
Here is Rick K. with his 25″ eye. Jig and minnow caught! Hard to not like a big walleye caught on a jig. Nice one Rick!

The river has been about five feet high all year and from recent rain came up another foot this last week.  The fish react to the water change and locate in different spots.

About three minutes into the trip Rick caught this nice sauger it was close to 18". Not a thump!! hit but a slow take. Jig and minnow.
About three minutes into the trip Rick caught this nice sauger it was close to 18″. Not a thump!! hit but a slow take. Jig and minnow.

Many places are holding fish the next pictures are going to be from non community spots with no boats around. It pays dividends in relaxation to find new places.

Here is Bob U. with his big walleye about a 23" fish this shows pretty well just how thick and healthy these fish are. Catch and release ...over 20" let them go free to breed.
Here is Bob U. with his big walleye a 23″ fish this shows pretty well just how thick and healthy these fish are. Catch and release …over 20″ let them go free to breed.

With little pleasure boats on the river it is very quiet, maybe a sailboat, some fisherman, and the dock pushers on the water now.

Mike U. and Bob U. father and son. I lost track of how many of these fish we caught. This father and son trip caught some huge white bass and crappie too. they caught a pile of fish.
Mike U. and Bob U. father and son.  On this trip we caught 6 fish between 20 and 25″. This father and son trip caught some huge white bass and crappie too. They caught a pile of fish  – over two limits,

Talking about some solitude this pic shows it well.

Here is a 25" eye caught miles from another boat...
Here is a 25″ eye caught miles from another boat…

Walleyes and saugers still at 18 to 28 feet deep jig and fathead minnow.

Flow rate steady from last week .

St. Croix River water level has dropped a foot to 678.4 and will rise a foot in a week.

Water temp 52 – 54 ( two degrees cooler. )

Signed,

Charlie “Turk” Gierke

Croixsippi Guide Service

18 years Pro guiding experience on St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers
5x Beanie River Rat walleye tournament winner
3x Paul Koval St. Croix Classic walleye tournament winner
2001 World Walleye Association Championship winner
2009 Full Throttle Big Water Series Team of the year
USCG licensed OUPV Captain

Follow Jesus! and you’ll be led to life giving water.

October 24, 2016

Autumn peak color still here! Walleyes and saugers  – good bite.

Calm mornings, brightly covered leaves and a tug on the line are an anglers delight!
Calm mornings, brightly covered leaves and a tug on the line are an anglers delight!

Still having fun on jigs!  Here are some of the fish were are getting now.

Its the time of year to be on the water - Jim S. knows this very well. Another nice one for Jim. St. Croix River walleye - released.
Its the time of year to be on the water – Jim S. knows this very well. Another nice one for Jim. St. Croix River walleye – released.

The bite on the jigs is either a thump!! or a light pop…

Jim and Jim. This one was a keeper. These guys brought home a big box of keepers on a great morning trip thanks to the river.
Jim and Jim. This one was a keeper. These guys brought home a big box of keeper eyes and sauger on a great morning trip thanks to the river.

The wind is no friend in the fall…opposite of the summer when you want wind.

Mornings like this when its cold is a recipe for a good bite.
Mornings like this and when its cold ….is a recipe for a good bite.

I can’t say enough about the fall time to fish, yes we work for them and it can be slower but there are normally windows of a very hot! bite at some point of the day.

I'm here with Steve F. There was not a boat within a mile of us/ Community spots are great but there are times when you don't need to be there. Steve's crew brought home 12 keepers plus a huge pile of slab crappies. Fun trip- Whenever Steve caught a white bass (silver bass or a silver) He yelled "Silvahhhh!!!!)
I’m here with Steve F. There was not a boat within a mile of us we were far from any community spot.  Community spots are great but there are times when you don’t need to be there. Steve’s crew brought home 12 keepers plus a huge pile of slab crappies. Fun trip- Whenever Steve caught a white bass (aka silver bass or a silver) He yelled “Silvahhhh!!!!)

Walleyes and saugers still at 18 to 28 feet deep jig and fathead minnow.  Using plastic tails as well.

Flow rate steady from last week .

St. Croix River water level has dropped a foot to 678.2 and will stay there for a week.

Water temp 54 – 56 ( two degrees cooler. )

Signed,

Charlie “Turk” Gierke

Croixsippi Guide Service

18 years Pro guiding experience on St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers
5x Beanie River Rat walleye tournament winner
3x Paul Koval St. Croix Classic walleye tournament winner
2001 World Walleye Association Championship winner
2009 Full Throttle Big Water Series Team of the year
USCG licensed OUPV Captain

Follow Jesus! and you’ll be led to life giving water.

October 17, 2016

Here is Jeff " The Last Viking" with his 24" St. Croix River walleye. Jig and minnow! THUMPP!!!
Here is Jeff ” The Last Viking” with his 24″ St. Croix River walleye. Jig and minnow! THUMPP!!!

Now is the time that everybody loves a good jig bite!  Mid October is when this happens historically and true enough right now.

Lane with his best of the day. Jane was out with his father Dick, and old pal Jim. We had a good time. These guys boxed 11 saugers and walleye all on jigs and minnows.
Lane with his best of the day. Jane was out with his father Dick, and old pal Jim. We had a good time. These guys boxed 11 saugers and walleye all on jigs and minnows.
The color about five days ago... right now it is peak, but on a calm morning as you can see the St. Croix is heavenly...
The color about five days ago… right now it is peak, but on a calm morning as you can see the St. Croix is heavenly…

Many presentations are working, I am confident in trolling right now, but jigging minnows or jigging raps, or rigging crawlers yes still crawlers… I know its hard to believe but the water is still warm.  Trolling is great, but my customers like the lighter rods better.  However all presentations are just different tools to “extract” the fish out of the water.  Some days one “extraction technique” is better…

20.5" walleye shown with the bait that enticed him to bite...
20.5″ walleye shown with the bait that enticed him to bite…last week
The weather has been ALL over the board. This pic shows the temperature that morning. though in all seriousness if you dress properly the northlands outdoors are enjoyable.
The weather has been ALL over the board. This pic shows the temperature that morning. If you dress properly the northland’s great outdoors are enjoyable. Jig dressed with a plastic tail enticed this beauty!

Peak colors now. Water still warm. White bass are biting. Lots of fun right now. Getting double digit keeper totals on full day trips.

Walleyes and saugers still at 12 to 26 feet deep, we have been getting fish on Raps, minnows, and crawlers.

Flow rate steady from last week .

St. Croix River water level is steady at 679.4 and will stay there for a week.

Water temp 56 – 58 ( four degrees cooler. )

 

October 7, 2016

The bite has been good with strong flurries of fish activity and then followed by a lull in the action.  We are catching double digit keepers on full day trips and some two man limit trips.  Today I saw some very good quality fish that is a sign that good things are on the way.  It is not coincidence that this was the first real cold snap too.  The first cold snaps kicks in the good Autumn bite…

Here is a great father and son duo. Brennen (left) and Rob (right). We had a mooring filled with LOTS on pole bending! Brennen reeled in more fish than he could take !! :) These guys caught many nice keepers sized fish like this nice 17" sauger.
Here is a great father and son duo. Brennen (left) and Rob (right). We had a Saturday morning filled with LOTS on pole bending! Brennen reeled in more fish than he could take !! 🙂
These guys caught many nice keepers sized fish like this nice 17″ sauger. This trip and the morning in particular was magical.

I have been picking three baits for the last several guide trips. Rapalas, nightcrawlers, and fathead minnows. Bait rigged and now jigged.  I will try hard very soon to work in jigs, as they are everyones favorite way to catch’m. You can’t force feed – well you can but they might not hit… The high water has brought current to shoreline breaks that have allowed for some fun livebait techniques on obscure little places I rarely fish this time of year.  Rapala’s have caught their fair share of walleye as well.

So the bite as stated above has been what can be described as sporadic. Hot and cold. Of this 11 keeper striver held by David with his friend Travis seven of these came in about 10 minutes.. So what does that say? it says the fish are on the move..
So the bite as stated above has been what can be described as sporadic. Hot and cold. Of this 11 keeper stringer held by David with his friend Travis – seven of these came in about 10 minutes.. So what does that say? it says the fish are on the move..Great company and sports on this trip.

The first cold snap brings in the good ones.

today it was a bit chilly mainly from the wind, but we found many quality fish. in this half day trip with Ryan and Travis (in pic) we caught one limit of 18 to 19 inch walleye. we also found several 17" fish too. All released btw..these big keepers are a sign that the bite is heating up.
Today it was a bit chilly – mainly from the wind, but we found many quality fish. In this half day trip with Ryan and Travis (in pic) we caught a one limit of 18.5 to 20 inch walleye. We also found several 17″ fish too. All released btw..These big keepers are a sign that the bite is heating up.

 

Walleyes and saugers still at 12 to 26 feet deep, we have been getting fish on Raps, minnows, and crawlers.

Flow rate steady from last week .

St. Croix River water level is steady at 681.0 and will stay there for a week.

Water temp 60 – 62 ( six degrees cooler. )

Signed,

Charlie “Turk” Gierke

Croixsippi Guide Service

18 years Pro guiding experience on St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers
5x Beanie River Rat walleye tournament winner
3x Paul Koval St. Croix Classic walleye tournament winner
2001 World Walleye Association Championship winner
2009 Full Throttle Big Water Series Team of the year
USCG licensed OUPV Captain

Follow Jesus! and you’ll be led to life giving water.

Sept 28, 2016

The leaves are taking on a red, yellow, and orange tint and about two weeks away from peak color.  The St.  Croix River Valley sure looks nice.  Last two trips have been windy and difficult to fish, but weather will be followed by low wind and blue skies for a few days.

Fishing has been over all good. We are seeing the big bonus of autumn – big walleye!

Here is Susan holding a very fine St. Croix River walleye. This fish hit a crawler on a lindy rig in 15 feet deep. Hooking big walleye in this shallow water is a great battle. Susan landed this big one very well. Catch and release.
Here is Susan holding a very fine St. Croix River walleye. This fish hit a crawler on a lindy rig 15 feet deep. Hooking big walleye in this shallow water is a great battle. Susan landed this big one very well. Catch and release.

The fall season is when big fish either come back onto the structure from being off shore or just bite better… Either way we see bigger fish every autumn.  Now until mid November is one of the best chances to get a strike from a big eye.

Here is Rhonda with a nice walleye. I had a fun trip with her crew. C & R.
Here is Rhonda with a nice walleye. I had a fun trip with her crew. C & R.

All the big eyes are not trophy of course but the size in general goes up.

Here is Jeff with a "big" eater. A good example of the fish that swim in the river.
Here is Jeff with a “big” eater. A good example of the fish that swim in the river.

You can troll or rig or soon jig walleye up this time of year. the fish will drop deeper as the water cools. The trick this season is that the water is rising and has been high since early July.  This will keep fish shallower.

Mark is happy with his rigged up eye. His buddies Jeff and Dan bought him a trip to croixsippi guide service as a retirement present. Nice friends! we had a great time and caught fish. Mark landed this on a crawler and small bladed spinner rig.
Mark is happy with his rigged up eye. His buddies Jeff and Dan bought him a trip to Croixsippi guide service as a retirement present. Nice friends! we had a great time and caught fish. Mark landed this on a crawler and small bladed spinner rig.

 

Here is an excerpt from Mark’s email to me after the trip:

” Turk,
Thanks again for your knowledge, attitude, professionalism and humor. Truly appreciated your insight into the St. Croix fishery with information on the river itself, as well as, great education on factors to consider to locate, present and catch…”

Mark S.

Numbers (aka eaters) late last week Bret and Brent got a nice two man limit of eaters.

Fish fry time! Brent (right) and Bret. All fish were rigged up on live bait. Nicely done guys!
Fish fry time! Brent (right) and Bret. All fish were rigged up on live bait. Nicely done guys!

Now back to the “you never know what you’ll catch category.”

 

Buffalo!!!!
Buffalo!!!!
Channel Cat!
Channel Cat!

Walleyes and saugers 12 to 26 feet deep, we have been getting fish on Raps and crawlers.

 

Flow rate steady from last week .

St. Croix River water level is rising and at at 680.1 and is predicated to go to 681.0 in a few days.

Water temp 66 – 68 ( two degrees cooler. )

Sept 19, 2016

The water is slowly cooling and is cooler by two degrees.  The river flow is also reduced. The river still has a late summer hold on it and the cold snap of Autumn has not kicked in.  Some tell tale signs are happening though – BIG flathead catfish are biting.

Here is my dear Uncle Kelly - the person that brought me fishing and fought me a lot about the sport. We had enough weight to win the 2016 Beanie River Rat Tournament.
Holding two of our best walleyes is my dear Uncle Kelly. He is one of my role models, and the person that brought me fishing as a boy and taught me a lot about the sport. We fished the Beanie River Rat Tournament last Saturday and we had enough weight to win!

I mentioned above that we still have summer like fishing conditions, once the weather turns cold the bite really improves. We are catching walleye and sauger right now though, so it could be great very soon.

Here is Ed with a nice eater from last week.
Here is Ed with a nice eater from last week. He invited his cousin Dan up from  Iowa and they  boated two limits of walleye and sauger of the 12 keepers – 9 were walleye and 3 sauger.  We had a ball with lots of laughs! Funny thing was we didn’t boat hardly a fish for the first two hours then they just turned on!!! trips  Ed said ” I’ve been in the area for 23 years and had no idea there were fish in here like this…”

I mentioned BIG cats well here is one:

Here is Ed the old fullback for his High School ball club getting physical and landing this HOG flathead catfish.
Here is Ed – the  old full back for his High School football team getting physical and landing this HOG flathead catfish.

I am really pleased my good customer Chip landed this next one:

Chip hooks this fish and the battle was on! We caught this fish while trolling a Rapala! and yes that is a STRIKE when these bad boys hit the lure! Great job lanind this fish!
Chip hooks this fish and the battle was on! We caught this fish while trolling a Rapala! and yes that is a serious  STRIKE when these bad boys hit the lure! Great job landing this fish!
This pic shows the fish Chip caught better.
This pic shows the fish Chip caught better.

In the River Rat Tournament my Uncle Kelly also landed a 38.7# flathead – another beast of a fish.

OK if your not a big river angler you won’t appreciate this next fish…a trophy white bass!  This is either the biggest I have ever seen of the second largest it was true giant for the specie.

Gordon Allen with a trophy white bass.
Gordon came along with is old friend Chip with a trophy white bass.  Gordon is a successful artist for 40+ years. His work is very good  -outdoors themed – cool old houses, hunting fields, landscapes, fishing boats, and more. www.gordonallenart.com

Walleyes and saugers 14 to 28 feet deep, we have been getting fish on Raps and crawlers.

White bass are in 14 to 24 feet.

Not as many smallmouth last week.

Flow rate reduced from last week –

St. Croix River water level is steady at 679.1 and is predicated to go to 679.1 in a week.

Water temp 68 – 70 ( two degrees cooler. )

Signed,

Charlie “Turk” Gierke

Croixsippi Guide Service

18 years Pro guiding experience on St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers
5x Beanie River Rat walleye tournament winner
3x Paul Koval St. Croix Classic walleye tournament winner
2001 World Walleye Association Championship winner
2009 Full Throttle Big Water Series Team of the year
USCG licensed OUPV Captain

Follow Jesus! and you’ll be led to life giving water.

Sept 12, 2016

Changes are here on the river – the leaves are starting to turn color, just a little, and the water is cooling.

Here is Lauren and Lorraine out on a fishing date! Lauren is holding a nice walleye they caught. We had a fun morning of walleye fishing all catch and release. This time of year with crawlers you will catch close to double digit species.
Here is Lauren and Lorraine out on a fishing date! Lauren is holding a nice walleye he caught. We had a fun morning of walleye fishing – all catch and release. This time of year with crawlers you will catch close to double digit species – not double digit fish , but species.

If you could only fish one livebait  on the river it would have to be crawlers, they catch many species in many conditions.  Cold water is coming and this is when I catch fish on fatheads… but day in day out crawlers excel at getting the net wet!!

Paul with a crawler caught cat. You think he had fun hauling it in? Look at that grin.
Paul with a crawler caught cat. You think he had fun hauling it in? Look at that grin… Oh this channel cat was what you would call a perfect specimen. This particular cat was notable because it was flawless  -a beauty.

The St. Croix River is a fun place to fish, there are almost always a decent chance to get a limit and it is that consistent production that makes it a great and dependable fishery. Plus there are saugers. We have seen good numbers of saugers lately and many are the 14 to 17″ eaters.

Duane with a nice 18" walleye he caught on a Rapala. Paul and Duane caught a nice stringer. He said " Thanks -had a really good time."
Duane with a nice 18″ walleye he caught on a Rapala. Paul and Duane caught a nice stringer. At the end he said ” Thanks -had a really good time.”

I talked about catching many species on the river, andf my favorite is the white bass.  you can see some nice ones in the stringer below.

White bass are caught with walleye often. White Bass are good eating. They do have some reddish colored meat that needs to be removed from the white meat, but its easy to do that. No extra bones. Good flaky white meat - excellent fresh.
White bass are caught with walleye often. White Bass are good eating. They do have some reddish colored meat that needs to be removed from the white meat, but its easy to do that. No extra bones. Good flaky white meat – excellent fresh.

Staying with a multi specie theme – the smallies are back!

Last couple trips we have seen a lot of 15 to 17" smallies and they are chunky! Great fun. Carl had a blast bringing in smallies last friday.
Last couple trips we have seen a lot of 15 to 17″ smallies and they are chunky! Great fun. Carl had a blast bringing in smallies last friday.

Walleyes and saugers 14 to 28 feet deep.

White bass are in 14 to 24 feet. I also found smallmouth deep, they have not been deep until recently.

Flow rate steady from last week –

St. Croix River water level is steady at 680.0 and is predicated to go to 678 in a week.

Water temp 70 – 72 four degrees cooler.

Signed,

Charlie “Turk” Gierke

Croixsippi Guide Service

18 years Pro guiding experience on St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers
4x Beanie River Rat walleye tournament winner
3x Paul Koval St. Croix Classic walleye tournament winner
2001 World Walleye Association Championship winner
2009 Full Throttle Big Water Series Team of the year
USCG licensed OUPV Captain

Follow Jesus! and you’ll be led to life giving water.

August 29, 2016 St. Croix River

Since last week we had some very good walleye and sauger keeper totals.

We had the following catch totals for keepers: 11, 12, and 15.  The mix is normally 75% walleye and 25% sauger, but the Saturday total was half sauger half walleye.

Most of the walleye are in the 15 to 18″ range and the saugers are the 14 to 17″ fish – though some are bigger – of course some are smaller and we catch drum, sunfish, crappie, and white bass as well.

Here is a stringer from the 11 keeper trip mentioned above. This total was on a seven am to noon trip. The St. Croix River water itself is very unique this image captures it well.
Here is a stringer from the 11 keeper trip mentioned above. This total was on a seven am to noon trip. The St. Croix River water itself is very unique this image captures it well.

The river has been high since mid July, six weeks of high water and the fish start to become very used to the conditions.  This high water is likely one reason I have not seen many Smallmouth Bass. They must be ultra shallow. I do so many walleye trips as the customer prefer walleye, that the bass fishing doesn’t happen as much.  But normally I run into smallies by accident…even a died in the wool walleye customer enjoys a good smallmouth battle. But as mentioned the aren’t in the depth I am fishing.

Here is Martin and Melissa out enjoying their company and a lovely day on the St. Croix. They caught 2 limits of fish on this trip and brought back one limit for a fish dinner.
Here is Martin and Melissa out enjoying their company and a lovely day on the St. Croix. They caught 2 limits of fish on this trip and brought back one limit for a fish dinner.

The weather has been great, cool mornings and warm days. The weather will get hot for about two weeks and then the fall part of September will arrive and the water will start to cool….Summer is just about over.

 

August 22, 2016 St. Croix River

The walleye bite is still happening but it is slowing down from when I reported last.

Here is Rahnon with a big walleye he caught to take the honors from his two uncles and father. on this trip crawlers worked best. We had a very nice morning out on the river.
Here is Rahnon with a big walleye he caught to take the honors from his two uncles and father. On this trip crawlers worked best. We had a very nice morning out on the river.

The river has been high all month long and is 5 feet high right now. The fish are not overly shallow from what I am seeing and are from 14 to 28 feet deep.

Chris with a nice walleye that was between 18 and 19", he was happy to catch this nice one - fine eating as you know. Chris was out with my longtime customer Ryan and his son Joe. Joe - ten years old entrained us with his rhyming and songs.
Chris with a nice walleye that was between 18 and 19″, he was happy to catch this nice one – fine eating as you know. Chris was out with my longtime customer Ryan and his son Joe. Joe – ten years old entertained us with his rhyming and songs.
Chris and I were upfront in the boat we had three in back - five anglers makes for lots of action. Here is a nice one I luckily fooled into biting. Released.
Chris and I were upfront in the boat we had three in back – five anglers makes for lots of action. Here is a nice one I luckily fooled into biting. Released.
Ven and his son Rishi with a one man limit of walleye and sauger mix. This was a half day trip and we caught a lot of fish, All kinds of species. Good time.
Ven and his son Rishi with a one man limit of walleye and sauger mix. This was a half day trip and we caught a lot of fish, All kinds of species. Good time.

I am not seeing the bait balls to heavy anywhere yet, but the fish are showing the signs of heavy feeding on shad – they are thick.  Even the smallies – a fish I have always felt are too thin for the river – the smallies are now not too thin but a good thickness. Not porkers but thicker than the past.  The bait should be easy to find soon as fall approaches.

We have had much father and son duos.. here we have a father daughter Chip and Robin. Hauled in a lot of fish, though we did struggle today with size, we had - action. here is a nice 17 sauger that was destined to be released into the hot grease. Thanks! nice trip.
We have had many father and son duos.. here we have a father/ daughter fishing team – Chip and Robin. She hauled in a lot of fish, though we did struggle today with size, we had – action. Here is a nice 17 sauger that was destined to be released into the hot grease. Thanks! nice trip.

 

August 11, 2016 St. Croix River

Its been a great August for walleye… Thankful to say we are still catching walleye at good rate!

Jim hoists a put back 20.5" walleye. jim loves to eat a walleye fish fried golden brown as well as the rest, but agrees with me that over 20" let them go back! Nice fish Jim!!
Jim aka the Blind Squirrel, hoists a put back 20.5″ walleye. Jim loves to eat a walleye fish fried golden brown as well as the rest, but agrees with me that over 20″ let them go back! Nice fish Jim!!

One of the reasons the fish have been  “on” is the abundance of small 2.5 to 3″ shad that continue to relate to the bottom and on structure and shorelines.

Cute couple Kurt and Lori showing their "double!" Lori's fish hit a jig and minnow. Great trip. kurt had on and landed a beast carp, plus two others that were to big to land... aka the ones that got away! :)
Cute couple Kurt and Lori showing their “double!” The big one came on a jig and minnow. Great trip. Kurt had on and landed a beast carp, plus two others that were too big to land… aka the ones that got away! Plenty got caught – 2 limits of walleye and sauger! 
Lori with a nice river walleye. Kurt caught the first ten fish then Lori came storming back they both ended up pretty even. Fun trip.
Lori with a nice river walleye. Kurt caught the first ten fish then Lori came storming back they both ended up pretty even in totals at the end of the day.

Over the years guiding I have many repeat customers such as all the people you see in this weeks report, the next pics are repeats too. Thankful for the great customers and their support.

Dan shows a good 22" walleye he recently landed from the Croix. He was on a pleasant trip with his father Bill, and son Matt, and brother Mark. This was another trip with over 2 limits of keepers.
Dan shows a good 22″ walleye he recently landed and put back from the Croix. He was on a pleasant trip with his father Bill, and son Matt, and brother Mark -” The Maestro”. This was another trip with 2 limits of keepers. The guys figured they only needed seven for a big dinner.
Mark aka Maestro was a fishing machine and conducted a sweet symphony of fish catching! In other words he "put on a clinic."
Mark aka The Maestro was a fishing machine and conducted a sweet symphony of fish catching! In other words he “put on a clinic.”

Fish depths have been from 16 to 30 feet deep catching them in all these depths.

Flow rate increasing from last week –

St. Croix River water level slowly fell to 675.5 and then is now rising again and is 677.0  predicated to go to 681.5

Water temp  78 – 80 steady.

Signed,

Charlie “Turk” Gierke

Croixsippi Guide Service

18 years Pro guiding experience on St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers

4x Beanie River Rat walleye tournament winner

3x  Paul Koval St. Croix Classic  walleye tournament winner

2001 World Walleye Association Championship winner
2009 Full Throttle Big Water Series Team of the year

USCG licensed OUPV Captain
 Follow Jesusand you’ll be led to life giving water.

August  3, 2016 St. Croix River

This past week the bite was very good including a 100 fish total of all species trip! We have had good family trips – hoping memories are being made.

Nate, Hunter, Dennis, and brett on a family get together down on the river. We totaled over 100 fish on this trip. Brett said "Best fishing trip of my life!" :) Fathead minnows worked best for us.
Nate, Hunter, Dennis, and Brett on a family get together down on the river. We totaled over 100 fish on this trip!! Half day -yep we had the luck. Brett said “Best fishing trip of my life!”  Fathead minnows worked best for us.

The river is falling and is now down at 678.5, the water is clean with little debris.  I am seeing a slight algae bloom, nothing too  heavy though.  Flow is down as well.  The water level appears from the monitoring sites to go all the way back to 675.5.  11 feet get lower than two weeks ago!

David and his son David, ya this was a good trip we also had Paul and his nephew along two great kids that had a ball rigging and reeling in crankbait caught walleye on Rapalas.
David and his son David, ya this was a good trip we also had Paul and his nephew along – two well behaved kids that had a fun rigging bait and reeling in crankbait caught walleye on Rapalas. We had over 10 legal keepers.

When the water was high I had a trip with Chris who wanted some smallmouth action.   His  father operates Berg Brothers Kennels

http://www.bergbrossetters.com , contact Ben when looking for a great pointing bird dog – I love their English Setters mine is very trainable, birdy, and smart.

Here is Chris with a nice smallmouth caught on Texas Rigged straight worm. Some straight worms will really fool the fish and not just smallies...
Here is Chris with a nice smallmouth caught on Texas Rigged straight worm. Some straight worms will really fool the fish and not just smallies…

The high water presents some challenges with bass as they can go extremely shallow and hard to connect with.

As I was hinting at in the last pic of Chris, here he is with a good legal walleye caught on a "bass" bait... you never know what you'll catch on the river. We ended the day successfully by finding a group of smallies and white bass. Chris connected on five straight casts and five straight fish. He caught fish straight about every third cast for the last hour of the trip too! pretty great. All I could do was keep the boat set and be "net man" happy to do it too!
As I was hinting at in the last pic of Chris, here he is with a good legal walleye caught on a “bass” bait… you never know what you’ll catch on the river. We ended the day successfully by finding a group of smallies and white bass. The whities were tubs! Chris connected on five straight casts and five straight fish – it was a fun trip. He caught fish straight about every third cast for the last hour of the trip too! pretty great. All I could do was keep the boat set and be “net man” happy to do it too!

The river is a special place loaded with many kinds of fish from crappies to cats, white bass to walleye, sauger to sturgeon.  It is a blessing to have it and be able to guide on it.

Matty with what angler come to the St. Croix River for just a nice 17" walleye. a perfect eater and fillet.
Matt caught this one, and it is what anglers come to the St. Croix River for just a nice 17″ walleye. a perfect eater and fillet. Nice catch Matt,  see you guys next time.

 

July 27, 2016 St. Croix River

It has been a period of catching good amounts of fish and quiet on the river.  The quiet came from the MN/WI State imposed slow no wake zone this happens when the river reaches 683.0 feet above sea level in Stillwater, Minnesota.  The fish came from high water places I have found over the past eighteen years of guiding.

The high water event we still have put is slowly fading away as the water levels recedes, started with finding some white bass that lead soon to a pack of walleye. Shown here is a nice river mix of eaters. White Bass and walleye.
The present high water event we have is slowly fading away as the water levels are receding. This nice period of catchin’ started with finding some white bass that led soon to a pack of walleye. Shown here is a river mix of eaters taken with Jigging Rapalas. White Bass and walleye.
Mike and Scott, best friends from youth out on the St. Croix with a high water haul. Fish came on Jigging Rapala's and Crankbaits.
Mike and Scott, Lake Elmo boys and best friends from youth – out on the St. Croix with a high water haul 16 legal fish total catch plus many throw backs, plus white bass, and drum.. Fish came on Jigging Rapala’s and Crankbaits.  This was a great day LOTS of laughs and hook setting.
Here is a big one I caught and released while out with Jim, it was a very nice and actually fast limit of 15 to 18.5" walleye that he caught on a beautiful July morning. We caught these on Rapala crankbaits.
Here is a big one I caught and released while out with Jim, it was a very nice and actually fast limit of 15 to 18.5″ walleye that he caught on a beautiful July morning. We caught these on Rapala crankbaits.

The day just before the river crested was slow, the water was very dirty, and the no wake river wide restriction was not in our favor that day. However the trips before and after were very good.

Here is John Tolo and his son, John is the director of Safe City outreach Center in St. Paul. John is an urban missionary bringing light and the Love of Christ into the world. I lam in a Mens Fishing Bible study and this group I am in gets together with our boats and takes out kids from the "Safe City" area. It was a treat to do so.
Here is John Tolo and his son, John is the director of Safe City Outreach Center in St. Paul. John is an urban missionary full of  light and the love  and is in the Frogtown area of St. Paul. This picture is from a “fishing day” conducted from the Mens Fishing Bible study group I am in and the “Safe City Outreach Center” area. It was a treat to do so!!

Godtown / Safe City Outreach Center   561 Edmund Ave. St. Paul MN 612 – 548 – 4245

If interested in being in the Fishing/Bible study group I mentioned get a hold of me. We met in Hudson, WI.

Here is a big walleye that was caught on a Jigging Rapala. It is a very fun way to fish.
Here is a big walleye that was caught on a Jigging Rapala. It is a very fun way to fish!!

The water levels will be normal summer levels in about ten days. Look for fish to then move deeper in the 20 to 30 foot range as August is here.  Right now smallies, white bass, walleye, drum have been from very shallow to about 20 fow – you need to figure it out on a daily basis!  As a rule the more current – the shallow they go.

 

July 18, 2016 St. Croix River

My last weeks report  has gotten away from me.  It has been two weeks and these last two weeks are as different as night and day.  Many of you know the St. Croix is very high right now and the flow historically fast. The week before was at normal summer levels.

Maurice with a Big walleye. This fish hit on a rigged crawler. We had a nice time with his girlfriend and told me he learned a lot about the Croix.
Maurice with a Big walleye. This fish hit on a rigged crawler. Maurice had a nice time with out his girlfriend Diane, we trolled raps and rigged livebait. 26 to 28 feet deep.

As stated the river is high and flowing fast.  Right now the river also has a “slow no wake” imposed on boat traffic from Taylors Falls to Prescott.

Here is Rick with a dandy he caught last Friday in the high water while fishing with his son Andrew. We had a good time and caught a good number of fish on this trip.
Here is Rick with a dandy he caught last Friday in the high water while fishing with his son Andrew. We had a good time and caught a good number of fish on this morning trip plus keepers.  caught in 10 to 15 fow.

Smallmouth bass are always in the forecast on the river.  They are shallow and deep and can be hard to pin down to a depth.  They relate to baitfish and move accordingly.

Clark with a nice smallie. This fish went under the boat about four times and really was a fighter.
Clark with a nice smallie. This fish went under the boat about four times and really was a good fighter. Clark took out his two grandsons for a half day trip.  They brought home seven or eight keeper eyes and saugers.

Rising waters can be hard to catch fish in, but last tuesday when the water was coming up we had good success with Mike and Kevin we caught 50 walleye total – many were the 14 to 14.75″.

Here is Mike with one of the keepers from last tuesday. Leeches started out hot then the fish showed a crawler preference.
Here is Mike with one of the keepers from last tuesday. Leeches started out hot then the fish showed a crawler preference.
Cooler of walleye keepers from last Tuesday.
Cooler of walleye keepers from last Tuesday in the rising waters.

Trolling with Rapala’s has been decent and can not be overlooked when targeting walleye.  It is true that some days they want bait more though some days cranks – its fun to figure it out…

Here is Father Jake of St. Michael's Church. Father Jake and Jim Green took home seven keepers on their trip, mostly trolling Rapala's. Always a good time with Father and Jim.
Here is Father Jake of St. Michael’s Church. Father Jake and Jim Green took home seven keepers on their trip, mostly trolling Rapala’s. Always a good time with Father and Jim.

The river is high and will be high for about two weeks with very fast flow as well.  I do enjoy the flow.

Flow rate constant from last week.

Water level 685.2  (up 9.0′!!)

Water level  falling

Water temp  72 to 74 – down from 78.

 

 

July 5, 2016 St. Croix River

The water is getting hot and the saugers and cats are much more active. Good thing eyes are still going well. Most clients want walleye when they are on.

Bob with a nice eating walleye from the st. Croix. Bob was out spending a wonderful day on the river with old pals. We always have a good time.
Bob with a nice eating walleye from the st. Croix. Bob to me is an iconic fisherman and hunter from the midwest, he was out spending a wonderful day on the river with old pals. We always have a good time.  This fish was caught on livebait.

Fishing to me should be about family and friends – this is where the best memories are made in my opinion.

Ryan, Nate, and Joe hoisting the big walleye. Joey caught this one and took it out of the rod holder for me and hauled it in. This fish was too big to keep and we released it. I keep the fish in the net - have the camera ready - have everyone in place and capture the image in a very organized way so these fish live. This was caught on a crawler.
Ryan, Nate, and Joe (Brothers and Son) hoisting the big walleye. Joey caught this one and took it out of the rod holder for me and hauled it in. This fish was too big to keep and we released it. I keep the fish in the water  in the net – have the camera ready – have everyone in place and capture the image in a very organized way so these fish live. This was caught on a crawler.

 

Joe with a keeper he set the hook on a fought well. This was caught on an orange bladed spinner.
Joe with a keeper he set the hook and landed it. This was caught on an orange bladed spinner.
Here is Joe with another big one - this was a good fish. Joe reeled it in and I netted it. Pretty fun!!
Here is Joe with another big one – this was a good fish. Joe reeled it in and I netted it. Pretty fun!!
Recent graduate Neil with a good walleye from the St. Croix. I think Neil caught more than his Dad Ken!! Caught on a spinner - gold blade.
Recent graduate Neil with a good walleye from the St. Croix. I think Neil caught more than his Dad Ken!! Caught on a spinner – gold blade.

 

Here is a pile of eaters from the Mark Miller party trip. Mark is my old high school wrestling coach. We all looked up to him on the team. Nine saugers and six eyes. When the saugers go you can do well fast - this was a six hour fishing trip.
Here is a pile of eaters from the Mark Miller party trip. Mark is my old high school wrestling coach. On the team we all looked up to him. Nine saugers and six eyes. When the saugers go you can do well fast – this was a six hour fishing trip. We fished well – four lines in the water no tangled lines – pretty coordinated group effort.

June 28, 2016 St. Croix River

Still a great time of year for wallies and smallie!!  I have had a boat load of catfish requests lately and that just shows how people find so many good kinds of fish available on the St. Croix River.  Plus Muskies!  It is really a super place to fish.

Adam with a 26.5" walleye he caught on the St. Croix River! This fish hit a nightcralwer. It stayed deep and under the boat - His Dad Alec stated in jest that he had hooked the boat and it was not a fix! Catch, Photo, and Release.
Adam with a 26.5″ walleye he caught on the St. Croix River! This fish hit a nightcralwer. It stayed deep and under the boat – His Dad Alec stated in jest that he had hooked the boat and it was not a fish! Catch, Photo, and Release.

I have heard reports of anglers doing well and catching good numbers of walleye, plus big ones.  He had a great day today.

Here is Adam again with a nice walleye this one was pretty close to 24", another good fighter and caught on livebait.
Here is Adam again with a nice walleye this one was pretty close to 24″, another good fighter and caught on livebait. Catch and release.

So we had nine different species caught on the trip with Alec and Adam.  Walleye, sauger, smallmouth bass, white bass, drum, perch, sunfish, crappie, and rock bass. My boat record is seventeen species caught in a day.  We had a lot of action.

Here is a nice load of fresh fish on ice. Adam hauled this one back to his truck.
Here is a nice load of fresh fish on ice. Adam hauled this cooler back to his truck to take home.

So we had many throw backs on the short side, plus two big ones.  It is a good feeling to not take everything you catch. Selective harvest is key imho.

 

The water is clear and is mostly debris free – some floating grass and algae in narrows.

Flow rate constant from last week.

Water level 678.2  (up 1.0′)

Water level  falling

Water temp  74 to 77 – swimming temp. for sure

Signed,

Charlie “Turk” Gierke

Croixsippi Guide Service

18 years Pro guiding experience on St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers

4x Beanie River Rat walleye tournament winner

3x  Paul Koval St. Croix Classic  walleye tournament winner

2001 World Walleye Association Championship winner
2009 Full Throttle Big Water Series Team of the year

USCG licensed OUPV Captain
 Follow Jesusand you’ll be led to life giving water.

 

June 17, 2016 St. Croix River

Smallmouth bass and walleye – The Croix has them!

Vicki with an 18" smallmouth she caught on a wacky wormed plastic. This was a fun bulldog of a fish!
Vicki with an 18″ smallmouth she caught on a wacky wormed plastic. This was a fun bulldog of a fish!

The St. Croix has good numbers of 14 to 16″ smallmouth bass. They love a wide assortment of soft plastics.

Here is a beautiful St. Croix smallie caught this week on a jig and plastic.
Here is a beautiful St. Croix smallie caught this week on a jig and plastic.

 

Here is Wally with a 16" Smallie caught on a jerk bait.
Here is Wally with a 16″ Smallie caught on a jerk bait.

Smallies are a blast!

Dan with a very nice walleye caught last Saturday on that hot day. We had a good bite for most of the morning. Caught on a crawler.
Dan with a very nice walleye caught last Saturday on that hot day. We had a good bite for most of the morning. Lots of short walleye and sheepshead in the mix, plus some very small cats. Caught on a crawler.
Here is a box of eight walleye caught from last Saturday - They also released two fish that were too big for good eating and also to help conserve the resource.
Here is a pic of the Wilkening trip “box” before they took home these eight walleye caught from last Saturday – we stopped fishing at 1pm. – They also released two fish that were too big for good eating and also to help conserve the resource.

 

Brian is happy with this nice eye his personal best. Released for the future fishery. Fun trip.
Brian is happy with this nice eye his personal bets – crawler caught. Released for the future fishery. Fun trip.

 

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June 9, 2016 – St. Croix River

Livebait is still catching fish.

Dave was out with his wife Brittany and caught this nice walleye from the St. Croix. Dave said " I wish I had no about the St. Croix sooner!" Happy you found it Dave. This was a great trip I think Dave hooked his wife on fishing after this trip and that is a wonderful thing to be a part of - to show them how fun fishing is.
Dave was out with his wife Brittany and caught this nice walleye from the St. Croix in 23 feet. Dave said ” I wish I had known about the St. Croix sooner!” Happy you found it Dave. This was a great trip I think Dave hooked his wife on fishing after this trip and that is a wonderful thing to be a part of – to show people how fun fishing is.

Our overall catch numbers are good however I will say the number of “keepers” is diminished. We are also starting to see some smallmouth bass, freshwater drum are still very active.

"Dot" holds up a keeper walleye caught recently while fishing with her dad Wayne. We caught lots of smallies too - fun half day trip.
“Dot” holds up a keeper walleye caught in eight feet recently while fishing with her dad Wayne. You can see the crawler hanging from the walleye mouth. We caught lots of smallies too – fun half day trip.

It is starting to feel a lot like summer out there. My boat has done much better when the weather has been spotty than when it has been straight sun days.  Recalling previous Junes and I believe this year I am seeing a very weather driven bite.  Not normal in my opinion, but I feel the worse the weather the better the bite, and conversely the better the weather the worse the bite.

Jim
Jim with a nice walleye caught on a bottom bouncer set up.  If I am fishing a rocky area I will use bouncers.  This fish was caught in 20 to 24 feet.

Cottonwood fluff on the water at a light to moderate level, other than that the water is debris free.

Flow rate constant from last week.

Water level 677.5  (down 0.5′)

Water temp  70 to 71 – swimming temp a bit cool but nice.

June 1, 2016 – St. Croix River

Fishing is fishing, and it is hard to cast one big net across the water to define the bite, but I do have to call it very good fishing last week.

Here are the guys from the Wakamoto trip. These guys just spanked the walleye. All caught on livebait in the 14 to 18 foot deep range. I took home a few to fry fresh that night. John, Matt, and Mike are holding 22 legal walleye!
Here are the guys from the Wakamoto trip. These guys just spanked the walleye. All caught on livebait in the 14 to 18 foot deep range. I took home a few to fry fresh that night too. Joe, Matt, and Mike are holding 22 legal walleye!

I always use 6 pound test line monofilament when rigging livebait in medium to shallow water.  Mono stretches and you want this.

The St. Croix has come alive with Freshwater Drum if you remember I spoke about Blackened Drum last season and it is a great fish to blacken as it is very firm and can withstand the intense searing that blacken style cooking does.

So not to be left out is trolling crankbaits, this is almost always a very effective technique to both find active fish and catch them.

Here is a 19" walleye that was fooled by a Firetiger Shad Rap. When in doubt tie on a Frietiger they seem to work in sun or overcast plus dirty water.
Here is a 19″ walleye that was fooled by a Firetiger Shad Rap. When in doubt tie on a Frietiger they seem to work in sun or overcast plus dirty water.  I  call this color the original river-master.

It is time to make sure you have leeches though I am not seeing a strong preference over the almighty nightcrawler.

Matt with a super beefy 19" walleye caught on livebait.
Matt with a super beefy 19″ walleye caught on livebait.

So Smallmouth Bass opened up last Saturday and up until yesterday I have seen hardly any incidental catches at all since the river opened up for walleye fishing…   Yesterday we found a nice pod and hammered on them.

mike with a 17" smallmouth that fought like a wild horse in the 70 degree water. We had one SNAP! the line too.
Mike with a 17″ smallmouth that fought like a wild horse in the 70 degree water. We had one SNAP! the line too.

Flow rate constant from last week.

Water level 678.0  (up .8)

Water temp 68 to 70

 

May 23, 2016 – St. Croix River

Being on the St. Croix on the right place at the right time can find an abler catching some good fish. Here is Kirby showing off a nice eye from the Croix. with his friend Chris.
Being on the St. Croix on the right place at the right time can find an angler catching some good fish. Here is Kirby showing off a nice eye from the Croix. Kirby was out with his friend Chris. On this day we fished many techniques and spots to find them – it was worth it as we found them in the end. When it was slow Kirby entertained us!

As mentioned in the caption above it has been necessary to try numerous spots to find fish.  I feel right now the bite is good but it is spotty , one day is very good the next slower.

Jim and Brian a father and son duo. The day before this picture was taken crawlers was best. On their trip Rapala Shad Raps was the best. This was a fun trip along these guys was SteveO, We had lots of laughs.
Jim and Brian a father and son duo. The day before this picture was taken crawlers was best. On their trip Rapala Shad Raps was the best. This was a fun trip along with these guys was SteveO – Steve was wearing his Packer hat, T shirt and sweatshirt..He said he has a special cheesehead you flip over that he that he uses for his morning cereal.. We had lots of laughs.

The river has dropped 16″ in a week and the water has warmed six degrees. That is a big heating jump in one week.  The water warming so fast might explain why on one day the fish are hot and the next they are not.  Also its not just a water drop because then the next day the spot is on again!  So I have fished a spot that was very good, very slow, and very good again.  That is unusual… but that’s fish being fish I guess.

There are big walleye in the St. Croix but geez they are hard to come by. The good thing is I always cath them the same way as the eaters we target, the good 17" fish that people want. Here is a very nice walleye from the St. Croix River.
There are big walleye in the St. Croix, and the good thing is we always catch them the same way as the eaters we target, the good 17″ fish that people want. So it is a matter of time until you bump into them.  Here is a very nice walleye from the St. Croix River. Catch and release.
Got a last minute call from Steve and he wanted to get his son Weston on some eyes. The trip started slow as they normally do and I am happy to say that on Sunday morning we found some nice fish. Above is a 20" that was released. The guys also let a 17" go back and brought home 7 legal walleye to eat. Leeches and crawlers worked best this trip.
Got a last minute call from Steve and he wanted to get his son Weston on some eyes. The trip started slow (as they can), but I am happy to say that on Sunday morning we found some nice fish. Above is a 20″ that was released. The guys also let a 17″ go back and brought home 7 legal walleye to eat. Leeches and crawlers worked best this trip.  The trip the day before was very slow.

 

Last week we caught fish from 14 to 30 feet deep.  That is the river they are in many different depths.  Right now 14 to 20 feet is a good range in my opinion.  Here’s the catch – a buddy of mine gets his fish in 10 feet deep on a regular basis. Lakes are a set best depth range a lot of the time – but rivers are much harder to define in a neat box as to best depth…

 

May 16, 2016 – St. Croix River

Father and son fishing on the St. Croix, Tom holds his catch with Jerry by his side.
Father and son fishing on the St. Croix, Tom holds his catch with Jerry by his side.

The river has times that it will just unfold and open up its fish.  We had a day like that last week. Tom was catching a ton of fish, I was and so was Jerry.  We released five, six, maybe seven to one walleye per keeper.  It was a banner day all caught on nightcrawlers.

Tom with another nice one caught on a crawler this fish was caught in 17 feet of water on six pound test monofilament.
Tom with another nice one caught on a crawler this fish was caught in 17 feet of water on six pound test monofilament. This fish was 21″ and was released.

We also caught a ton of freshwater Drum, they can be a pain as they are prone to swallowing the hook.  The drum keep you busy for sure.

Here is the Hilla stringer. I had no fish at home so I took four home my self and had a fresh walleye dinner. Pretty great trip.
Here is the Hilla stringer. I had no fish at home so I took four home my self and had a fresh walleye dinner. Pretty great trip.

Fishing is fishing and the next morning we had rain and wind and cold, we caught fish sure but nothing like the day before.

Bob with a nice walleye this fish was 18 to 19 inches and as you can see thick! There are some nice quality walleyes in the river. On this trip a half day and after a cold front we only boxed four. We caught a lot of short walleye and drum thought to keep us going through the cold rain.
Bob with a nice walleye this fish was 18 to 19 inches and as you can see thick! There are some nice quality walleyes in the river the keepers you do get are nice. On this trip-  a half day – and after a cold front we only boxed four. We caught a lot of short walleye and drum though to keep us going through the cold rain.

The river is at a transition point to pre summer spots soon. I wouldn’t be surprised if my spots from last week completely dry up.  The whole spawn scene has run its course for 2016, time moves on and the fish go with the seasonal flow.  They’ll be somewhere different soon.

Water level 678.4

water temp 58

May 9, 2016 – St. Croix River

Here is Byron with a nice walleye caught on a Rapala crankbait.
Here is Byron with a nice walleye caught on a Rapala crankbait.

The river has cleaned up completely and there is little debris in the water. The river is also dropping in height but still high – about four feet high.

Here is a good eater that Ben caught last Saturday. The river was packed with boats as everybody wanted to get out and wet a line.
Here is a good one that Ben caught last Saturday. The river was packed with boats as everybody wanted to get out and wet a line.

We have been getting a lot of fish in the community spots.  Some days livebait is better some days crankbaits seem better, I like to let the fish tell me what they want.

Paul is pretty happy with this measured 21" walleye. Catch and released. It was a fun trip with the Saturday crew! We covered a lot of water and fished numerous techniques to find fish.
Paul is pretty happy with this measured 21″ walleye. Catch and released. It was a fun trip with the Saturday crew! We covered a lot of water and fished numerous techniques to find fish. Thanks guys.

We are catching walleye, sauger, moon eye (not my favorite- though they make great catfish bait chunked up), perch, crappie, freshwater drum, and white bass.

Troy lifts a very nice walleye we landed today. Catch and Release. We found a good grouping a walleye and lucked out and caught many fish on each trolling pass. Pretty fun!!
Troy lifts a very nice walleye we landed today. Catch and Release. We found a good grouping a walleye and lucked out and caught many fish on each trolling pass. Pretty fun!!

As mentioned before the river has a lot of differing sizes of walleye. almost every year we have strong year classes that naturally reproduce and keep the river stock up.  So anglers are catching  lots of “short” fish too.

Troy with a good example of what kind of walleye people fish the St. Croix for! A great fishery.
Troy with a good example of what people fish the St. Croix for! It is a great fishery – with scenic beauty too.

I have tried a few early summer spots with limited success – actually very limited success – nothing.  But we are getting good numbers of the 17 and 18″ walleye, I also found some nice 16 to 17″ saugers.  Livebait is always my preferred way to catch fish and it is deadly – crawlers mainly right now – leeches soon.  Best average depths from 14 to 20 fow.

Water temp is 62 up from 54 in one week.  Fish will respond to fish positively.

Water level is 679.1

 

May 3, 2016 – St. Croix River

The St. Croix has some larger walleye as well, not just eaters. This walleye was 23" and fought very tough in the current. The fish hit on a crawler. I also used a coated orange hook, as shown in the mouth before release.Catch and release over 20". Best eaters are 15 to 18".
The St. Croix has some larger walleye as well, not just eaters. This walleye was 23″ and fought very tough in the current. The fish hit on a crawler. I also used a coated orange hook, as shown in the mouth before release.
Catch and release over 20″. Best eaters are 15 to 18″.

As mentioned earlier the river is 681.42 feet above sea level. The river is scheduled to stay high for at least a week.

Here is another crawler caught fish. not sure the exact size 22 - 23" though would be my guess. Catch and release.
Here is another crawler caught large St. Croix walleye 
Catch and release.

I am hearing about some sturgeon being caught, if others are catching as many as my source they are biting well.  Odds are that would be the case, rarely is a great thing happening in only one place.

May 2, 2016 – St. Croix River is open!

St. Criox River limit walleye/sauger combo platter.
May 2, 2016 – St. Criox River limit walleye/sauger combo platter – Surf and Surf.  “Waiter, I’ll take combo #3 – deep fried!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The St. Croix River is at 681.2 and approximately six feet high. The water is actually mostly free of debris and a beautiful root beer color.

I found a few areas with keeper walleye and short under under length fish. The legal keeping size for walleye is 15″ minimum. I also ran into two pockets of sauger.  Most of the saugers were 13″ to 13.5″ but a few some were above 14″. I like saugers to be above 14″ to keep. Now note -saugers have no minimum size to keep for whatever reason.  So that’s why I can say what size I like a sauger to be to keep. 🙂

I also found an area that held white bass and freshwater drum and also with small walleye and with a decent sauger too.

I caught fish on night crawlers, fathead minnows and crankbaits.  Average best depth was 18 feet of water.

The river is such a sight and really a wonderful place to fish and relax.

 

 

April 25, 2016 – Pool Four Mississippi River

Here is a nice stringer from last Saturday morning. Michael Hutter on the left and myself. Not pictured is Eric Tvedt he was taking a nap. :) Us three got these on minnows.
Here is a nice stringer from last Saturday morning. Michael on the left and myself. Not pictured is Eric – he was taking a cat nap. 🙂 Us three got these on minnows. These fish came from 20 to 15 feet  of water (fow).

I believe most of the walleye have spawned already.  We are catching many saugers however that have not spawned and still have eggs.

Paul and Al with their stringer of saugers caught in three hours from last Thursday. We got these fish on minnows. Its nice to have the fish cooperate.
Paul and Al with their stringer of saugers caught in three hours from last Thursday. We got these fish on minnows. Its nice to have the fish cooperate. These fish came from 25 fow.

As mentioned in the images fatheads have been our best bait.  Crankbaits are now catching fish too. I have not been trolling much as we are catching fish on lighter gear.

Eric with a nice male walleye this fish was 19.5 inches from nose to tail. This fish hit thumped a jig and minnow.
Eric with a nice male walleye this fish was 19.5 inches from nose to tail. This fish hit thumped a jig and minnow in 17 fow.

Eric caught the above fish in some fast water, jigging in fast water can trigger good fish as they have no time to think about hitting the bait.  But it has to be the right fast water and not too fast.

Here is Paul's trophy walleye that turned into a sheepshead when we netted it. I though this 12 pound drum was going to be Paul's fish of a lifetime. It was still a great fight in the current. Baaaaaaa!
Here is Paul’s trophy walleye that turned into a sheepshead when we netted it. I thought this 12 pound drum was going to be Paul’s fish of a lifetime. It was still a great fight in the current. Bhaaaaaaa!

The river is expected to rise five or six feet by this Saturday. The water will be much darker and dirty.

Red Wing conditions below

25 APR 2016     tailrace feet above sea level 670.39    CFS   25200.
WTR Temp 52 to 54

 

Coming up – The St. Croix River walleye opener is this Saturday April 30th.

 

April 16, 2016 – Pool Four Mississippi River

The bite has finally picked up after a spotty and mostly tough bite.

 

 

Billy, Mike, and Bob caught these keepers in a half day recently. Mostly on minnows.
Billy, Mike, and Bob caught these keepers in a half day today. These saugers were taken on minnows.

The weather turned for the better two days ago, as I know you know – how its nice!! The flowers such as tulips and daffodils instantly responded and bloomed as did the fish to this spring weather.  The big walleye are being caught now their activity coincided exactly with the warm weather.

Ace angler Trevor Lundren shows are best fish of the day. This fish ate a blade bait that Trevor worked expertly.
Ace angler Trevor Lundren shows our best fish of the day. This fish ate a blade bait that Trevor worked expertly.

It is an exciting time now on the river.  The weather is so nice and the hope of a trophy is real right now.  Good things to come regarding big fish in my opinion.

A nice line up of eaters. Taken on jig and plastics. Ringworms. Purple and yellow is a proven color and did the job for us.
A nice line up of eaters. Taken on jig and plastics. Ringworms. Purple and yellow is a proven color and did the job for us.

 

Some notes – the water level is falling and the current slowing.

Water temperature 48.

Tailwater and Cubic Feet per Second

671.49  27600.

 

March 30, 2016 – Pool Four Mississippi River

Sometimes fish just are fish…We had a great trip followed by a slow bite.

Here is Larry with a nice sauger. This fish was caught on a minnow. This was a very fun trip with the clients Tom and Mark plus a very productive catching day with 17 keeper saugers and walleye total. Most were saugers.
Here is Larry with a nice sauger. This fish was caught on a minnow. This was a very fun trip with the clients Larry, Tom, and Mark plus a very productive catching day with 17 keeper saugers and walleye total. Most were saugers – very good action especially as the day went along.

So as I was saying above the fish are being finicky temperamental – fish.  We followed the mentioned 17 keeper day with a four keeper day – and they were on the small side.

Some notes – the water level is falling and the current slowing.

Tailwater and Cubic Feet per Second

673.58       36300. 

This is down 2.5 feet and flow slowed by about a third from just four to five days ago.April Marks when the time when historically speaking the big walleyes show up - looking forward to it!  Lots of good fish to come soon in my estimation.March 26, 2016 - Pool Four Mississippi River

We are finding good saugers right now on Pool Four.  I do expect the walleyes to show up in force soon too.

Here is jake with a huge sauger. Jake caught this on a jig and minnow. He thought for a second it was a snag becuase the fish hit the jig on the bottom. They will pin it into the sand at times. So he felt it but when lifted up was just weight! Pretty cool.
Here is Jake with a huge sauger. Jake caught this on a jig and minnow. He thought for a second it was a snag becuase the fish hit the jig on the bottom. They will pin it into the sand at times. So he felt it but when lifted up was just weight! Pretty cool.

The bite has been in waves, the fish turn on and when they do it is easy to see why Pool Four of the Mississippi River near Red Wing Minnesota is such a well known and productive fishery.  Then when the fish are more neutral its just a regular fishing place.  But as they say that is fishing…

Here is Clark with a very nice sauger. These fish will bite soft and at times destroy the bait. This came on a soft plastic. I do enjoy fishing in the current because the water resistance adds twice the power to the pole bending. I had two come off because of this so at when fighting the fish you need to stay focused. On the Clark and Jake trip we boated two limits of fish.
Here is Clark with a very nice sauger. These fish will bite soft and at times destroy the bait. This came on a soft plastic. The fish came on fire as the day went on. On this Clark and Jake trip we boated two limits of fish – 12, six per person.

I do enjoy fishing in the current because the water resistance adds twice the power to the pole bending. I had two come off because of this so when fighting the fish you need to stay focused.

The bite is up and down and on a half day trip earlier in the week we didn’t do as well.  As mentioned in the above picture two limits (twelve fish) is a pretty good day by all estimation, so good things are happening for sure on the river.  I do believe with the water falling now and debris clearing that the bite should only improve.  We have a good three weeks of solid fishing coming up targeting fish in the pre spawn stage.  Coming up is big fish time.

Randy with a pair of eaters. One walleye and a sauger. These fish came from 17 feet depth of water on soft plastics.
Randy with a pair of eaters. One walleye and a sauger. These fish came from 17 feet depth of water on soft plastics.

 

 1200 22MAR2016       feet  675.97     cfs  51300.        

water temp 42

Croixsippi Survey winner is Kris Karlson of River falls WI.

Thank you for all who participated we had over 120 respondents.

March 19, 2016 – Pool Four Mississippi River

River fishing with jigs is a blast – the moving water plays on the jig – hold the lure right off the bottom – feel the fast waters raise your lure and the slow water drop it. Very active fishing in the flow.

John Emmer is known far and wide in hunting and fishing circles. Here he shows off a fat sauger that ate his minnow from last tuesday.
John Emmer is known far and wide in hunting and fishing circles. Here he shows off a fat sauger that ate his minnow from last tuesday.

The bite down on the Mississippi has picked up and we are starting to see good action.

Jeff Hinchcliffe with his limit on nice eater saugers these fish were 17" all had great fillets. Jeff and I boated 11 keepers yesterday. The fish bit best when the light snow blew in!
Jeff Hinchcliffe with his limit of nice eater saugers these fish were 17″ all had great fillets. Jeff and I boated 11 keepers yesterday. The fish bit best when the light snow blew in!

So many times the fish attack and swallow the whole the soft plastic bait, but play gingerly with a minnow. That good “thump” sauger and walleye plastic bite never gets old.  that will work. Dark colors were better yesterday for us though.

Here's a big sauger, not a towboat - 22" or 23" saugzilla but a real fighter in the current - catch and release. Crushed a soft plastic bait.
Here’s a big sauger, not a towboat 22″ or 23″ saugzilla but a nice one, and a real fighter in the current – catch and release. Crushed a soft plastic bait.

Hopefully the good bite continues, as stated above we landed 11 keepers yesterday and that is a good sign that the fish are becoming more active.  The bite was dreadfully slow and the last walleye tournament on Pool Four found the winner taking first place with just three fish…that’s slow.  Yesterday was the first day in March of 2016, were I have seen other boats getting fish as well, so I would say the bite has made a turn for the better.

Water levels as of this report.

03/18 12:00 673.35ft 36.6kcfs

The river will rise another 1.75′ by Sunday.

Water temperature is still warm for mid march and is 42 degrees.

Signed,

Charlie “Turk” Gierke

Croixsippi Guide Service

18 years Pro guiding experience on St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers

4x Beanie River Rat walleye tournament winner

3x  Paul Koval St. Croix Classic  walleye tournament winner

2001 World Walleye Association Championship winner
2009 Full Throttle Big Water Series Team of the year

USCG licensed OUPV Captain
 Follow Jesusand you’ll be led to life giving water.

March 12, 2016 – Pool Four Mississippi River

Verticla jig fishing caught this nice walleye from Pool Four yesterday during this mid April like weather with sun and temperatures in the sixties.
Vertical jig fishing caught this nice walleye from Pool Four yesterday during this mid “April like” weather with sun and temperatures in the sixties.

With extreme weather changes and continually changing temperatures it does make some sense the fish are currently “off” down on Pool Four near Red Wing, Minnesota.  I would think very soon the bite will be “on!”  The weather sure is great though.

February 24, 2016

The bite on Pool Four is on the slow side. Anglers are catching fish but in a very small area and in deep water.  Many other Februarys in recent memory have allowed for anglers to spread out.

Mike with a solid 20 inch walleye that fought darn well and stayed down. This fish hit a soft plastic ringworm, in fact not only "hit" it but crushed it as Mike exclaimed more than enthusiastically! This fish looked to have the swollen belly of an egg laden female, plus being a 20" fish we released it to produce eggs this spring.
Mike with a solid 20 inch walleye hit a soft plastic ringworm.  This pic is from late February/early March from my image archives of this time frame – each year is different.

Plastics like the fish pictured above right now as early march approaches can be the ticket.

John Emmer with a jig and minnow caught March time walleye.
John Emmer with a jig and minnow caught March time walleye. This pic is from late February/early March from my image archives of this time frame – each year is different.

Once the water temps increase a few degrees the fish should spread out and we can get out where fishing is not in one boat packed area.

January 19, 2016

I have been enjoying some good ice fishing over here in Wisconsin while walking on to the lakes and fishing out of the portable shack.  Ice has ranged from 6 to 10″ on the lakes I have been on.

Find the active panfish and you should have success. Often parts of the lake will have a better bite than another so stay light and mobile.
Find the active panfish and you should have success. Often parts of the lake will have a better bite than another so stay light and mobile.

You likely know this but I will repeat it 12″ is the minimum recommended ice thickness by DNR agencies for drive on.  I have enjoyed this late forming ice because the fish are still in a December pattern and active even in mid January.  Plus the no driving on the ice is a bonus.  A bonus because it is more peaceful without all the trucks on the ice, and a bonus because I believe the fish are less spooked by the cars going across the ice.

I have been getting half my fish on little wax worms (spikes) and the other half soft plastics. Panfish plastics. They have some killer baits in the year 2016.

These fish fell to soft plastics specifically designed for panfish. The Clam company makes great soft plastics for ice fishing - top notch products
These fish fell to soft plastics specifically designed for panfish. The Clam company makes great soft plastics for ice fishing – top notch products.  I rig two rods and have a plastic ready to go.  Paul Earney and I caught these delicious fish last week.

Having two rods ready a livebait and a plastic lure is a nice mix it up combo that I feel helps keep fish near you spot and not leave. I mix up presentation quickly to keep the fish interested . I do this mix up when the slow.  If they are on and biting I stick with what is working.

Read the tip this week for what I look for in lakes for icing.

 

January 4, 2015

Too cold to guide on the Mississippi right now.

It is ice fishing season.  I believe the St. Croix is not sufficiently frozen to allow safe fishing just yet.

I am hearing good reports for panfish reports in the area.

12/14/15  Pool Four – Red Wing area Mississippi River walleye and sauger

It appears we are trending toward warm weather this winter which will allow for the open water walleye and sauger fishing to continue for my guide service down near Red Wing MN.

Here is a standard sized "nice" sauger from the river. Caught on light line and in the current is a nice fight in the winter. Jim and Tom brought home eight keepers last half day trip. We threw back twice as many small ones, so good action in our five hour trip.
Here is a standard sized “nice” sauger from the river. They hit with a thump! Caught on light line and in the current is a good fight in the winter. Jim and Tom brought home eight keepers last week on a half day trip. We threw back twice as many small ones, so good action in our five hour trip.

My last guide trip was during a week where the forecast was in the high 40’s for air temperature plus sun. The river was busy.  The next outings with still warm weather for winter…but not highs in the 40s we will see a lot less boats on the water.

Bright colored soft plastics on bright colored jig heads best.  17 to 22 fow was best

The bite is normally strong when they are hitting the plastics the minnows come in handy, very handy some days as the fish will ignore plastics based on air pressure change, wind change, moon phase, cooling waters, darkening waters, rising waters for these reasons and combinations of these reasons….

The Red Wing area is a top notch – top tier fishery.  Even on a a slow day on the river, our fish count of caught fish will total better than the best ice fishing days for walleye and sauger 9 out of 10 times.  The fishery is that good.  Also once the anglers are on the ice the Red Wing area will receive less pressure.

 

12/07/15  Pool Four – Red Wing area Mississippi River walleye and sauger

On the St. Croix late last week, the weather was grand but the bite slow – worse than slow – my buddy called it lockjaw.   I vertical jigged precisely where and how I want to, I had one huge strike and then a break off! and that was it… time to move down south.  I also heard other slow reports from the St. Croix.  I heard Prescott was good then slow (thats how Prescott goes in my opinion – spotty).

So where else does a guy go when he wants walleye and sauger? RED WING!!! 

I caught twice as many keepers as pictured here in five hours Red Wing area on the Mississippi River can be great fishing.
I caught twice as many keepers as pictured here in five hours.  The Red Wing area on the Mississippi River can be great fishing.  This limit is mine from today, and as I type they are already broiled or fried.  The fifth pictured fish is a saugeye. One walleye, and the rest saugers.  Pool Four (Red Wing) is the sauger capitol of the world! I challenge another fishery to top it.

When I first started seriously fishing, I hung around down at Beanies on the Croix – if you are a customer of mine odds are we launched there…, way back the old men down there called saugers – “sand pike”.  I call them by that name some times and people have no idea what I am saying… “sand pike”, its got a nice ring…

Pictured is a "sand pike" and the lure that fooled him, a purple flecked fluke on a plain hook. I use this rig a lot on the Dubuque rig. It is a three way rig but instead of a bell sinker you se a jig head for the weight.
Pictured is a “sand pike” and the lure that fooled him, a purple flecked fluke on a plain hook -Prescott Bait Co. a maker of top of the line plastics – great stuff. Saugers prepared properly and eaten fresh are a delicacy.

All fish today caught on jigs and rigs, and blade baits.  Top color was purple, My blade color was chartreuse.  Minnows did catch a good amount too, not sure I needed them but they are always handy.

Hopefully the weather holds because this bite fun.

Best depths from 17 to 22.

 

12/3/15 St. Croix River Walleye and Sauger

Very interesting weather patterns appearing next week. I will be out shortly to see if the walleye and or saugers want to cooperate with this soon coming warm weather.

I have been hunting in late November but to recap between now and the last report the bite was mainly good with many catches.  Most recently just before thanksgiving we had a decent day ( tues.) and followed by a tougher day (wed.).  However the majority of this fall was solid for 7 weeks! Cranks, Jigs with plastic, and minnows in 20 to 30 fow worked all Autumn.

Kevin with a solid St. Croix walleye caught just before Thanksgiving.
Kevin with a solid St. Croix walleye caught just before Thanksgiving.  The fish are so white on their underside from excessive consumption of shad (their main forage) kind of like some of us on Thanksgiving!!! The walleyes are not this white on their belly any other time of the year.

It is hard to know if the bite is over or not, I would greatly enjoy extending the season with good catches. The water temp has fallen  four to five degrees in the last week. I would expect vertical fishing to be the best minnows and plastics.

A larger walleye, a 23" fish. released caught just before Thanksgiving. With the high water this fish was shallower it came form 24 feet deep and standard summer time depth.
A larger walleye, a 23″ fish. released – caught just before Thanksgiving. With the high water this fish was shallower it came form 24 feet deep and standard summer time depth.

This fish are very chunky and as mentioned before and strongly locating in relation to the bait.

A nice late November day with sunshine. Here is just a 15.5" fish but it has fillets well beyond its length, high quality fish.
A nice late November day with sunshine. Here is just a 15.5″ fish but it has fillets well beyond its length, high quality fish.

My last date every catching eyes on the Croix was December 6th 2010 (I remember the date not year precisely though…).  I hope to break that mark here very soon, because with the El Nino weather pattern it is hard to say when ice will actually come we are forecasted for 40 degrees all next week.  Which will absolutely prolong freeze up as you would expect.  I think its time to jig. 🙂 !!

Water level 677.4

Water temp 34 to 36

11/11/15 St. Croix River Walleye and Sauger

It is still happening a good bite continues on the Croix. Water temps have moved little over nearly three weeks. Jim Green with his stringer of walleye and saugers.
It is still happening a good bite continues on the Croix. Water temps have moved little over nearly three weeks. Jim Green with his stringer of walleye and saugers from today.

quickly no changes to report form Nov. 6 report, just a quick note to say the bite is still one.

11/6/15 St. Croix River Walleye and Sauger

Nov.6 cold front hit and we boated two limits.

Dick Tollerud is a great guy and clients like him make guiding great. We got the fish pretty darn good today! Here is a nice one ice caught on a jig and soft plastic.
Dick Tollerud is a great guy and clients like him make guiding a treat. We got the fish pretty darn good today! Here is a nice one caught on a jig and soft plastic.

 

Here is a hog sauger a 19" linker that exhaled the hair jig and minnow. Those a the bites you want no need for a stinger hook with hits like that!!
Here is a hog sauger – a 19″ oinker that inhaled the hair jig and minnow. Those are the bites you want – no need for a stinger hook with hits like that!!
Dick shows his take home fish. A very nice stringer of heavy walleye. We found some good luck for sure!
Dick shows his take home fish. A very nice stringer of heavy walleye. We found some good luck for sure!
Shad Raps are getting chunks like this thick walleye. This is the blue and orange Rapala its a good color.
Shad Raps are getting chunks like this thick walleye. This is the blue and orange Rapala its a good color.

The water temperatures are 49 to 50 degrees.

Finding fish in 20 to 30 fow.

A great fighting fish - the white bass. a rare specie in Minnesota and Wisconsin. It deserves lower bag limits. each year there are less and less...
A great fighting fish – the white bass. a rare specie in Minnesota and Wisconsin. It deserves lower bag limits. each year there are less and less…

The bite is off and on during this last week, meaning they go strong and then shut down. Today Dick Tollerud and I boated over a dozen keepers and most were walleyes. There is a strong class of 19″ fish in the river biting now. Plus saugers with size.
You can find peace and quiet on the Croix right now, a few anglers, dock movers, gulls, and a couple loons.

11/2/15 St. Croix River Walleye and Sauger

Folks just a quick note to say that the walleye are still biting.

The better walleye start hitting in November. I am hearing reports of some big walleyes being caught. This fall has been great for numbers of eaters - I am guessing we will get some big ones pretty soon...
I am seeing bigger walleye in November, and am hearing reports of some big walleyes being caught. This fall has been great for numbers of eaters – I am guessing we will get some big ones pretty soon…

The extended November weather forecast is well above average! below is a link for the weather channel very nice!!

November 2015 temperature forecast

So if the weather professionals are correct the bite and open water fishing on the St. Croix River could last for another three to four weeks.

Catching walleye and sauger on:

Shad Raps

Jig and Minnow

Jig and Plastic

Best depths from 20 to 30 feet deep.

Water temps are still warm and at 51 degrees.

A "reel" good walleye caught on a Chartreuse Shad Rap! This fish hammered the bait. Catch and release. The saugers are biting well and there are good numbers of them ready to make a fish fry happen.
A “reel” good walleye caught on a Chartreuse Shad Rap! This fish hammered the bait. Catch and release. The saugers are biting well and there are good numbers of them ready to make a fish fry happen.

There are a lot less anglers and boats on the river now. We are seeing hot air-balloons in the early afternoon and bald eagles sunning in the trees on the shoreline.

10/26/15 St. Croix River Walleye and Sauger

The bite is still good.

This picture is of the Little family and during this cold and windy day they had a banner catching day! There was hardly anyone out fishing, the leaves had vivid color A wonderful family to spend time with.
This picture is of the Little family and during this cold and windy day they had a banner catching day! There was hardly anyone out fishing, the leaves had vivid color, and again the fish were biting!  A wonderful family to spend time with. Thank you.

Right now you can troll or use livebait techniques

Lisa caught this walleye on a Rapala Shad Rap. Though nothing huge many good keeper eating sized fish were.
Lisa caught this walleye on a Rapala Shad Rap. Though nothing huge many good keeper eating sized fish were.
Dress right and weather becomes a non issue. Here Mark shows another keeper walleye from the Saint Croix River.
Dress right and weather becomes a non issue. Here Mark shows another keeper walleye from the Saint Croix River.
My very good friend Scott with a nice walleye. This was a nice morning to be out the fish were biting and the air was 50 degrees - makes one feel alive!
My very good friend Scott with a walleye. This was a nice morning to be out  – the fish were biting, a touch of sun, and the air was 50 degrees – makes one feel alive! This morning the fish hit like mad, then slowed but the bite window was incredible we boated five keepers in a half hour… then it slowed and we got them at a normal pace.

The water temperature is getting closer to 50 it is I would guess today 54.  So many techniques will work right now, and there are several good places to catch fish, so you do not need to be bunched up in only the community spots.  Look for 18 to 30 feet of water with bait balls.  These places are numerous right now.  The saugers are just turning on and when they start up you see soon that the river has a very good population of saugers.  Eaten fresh saugers are fantastic.  saugers do not feeze as well as walleye by the way, so eat them fresh and you will be satisfied. They are thick fillets too.

On my last trip when I started jigging, I boated and boxed some saugers very fast. You can drag jigs or go vertical some days one is far better than the other, it is simply trial and error.  Have fun.

Water temperature 54

Water level in Stillwater is 675.8 feet above sea level.

Signed,

Charlie “Turk” Gierke

Croixsippi Guide Service

17 years Pro guiding experience on St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers

4x Beanie River Rat walleye tournament winner

3x  Paul Koval St. Croix Classic  walleye tournament winner

2001 World Walleye Association Championship winner
2009 Full Throttle Big Water Series Team of the year

USCG licensed OUPV Captain
 Follow Jesusand you’ll be led to life giving water.

10/14/15 St. Croix River Walleye and Sauger

The bite is still good.

Dick Edstrom with a nice st. croix River walleye! Dick was out with son Lane and Friend Jim. It is groups like this that make guiding great! Some fish, some conversation, a great lunch! Thanks Jim!! Good times.
Dick Edstrom with a nice St. Croix River walleye! Dick was out with son Lane and Friend Jim. It is groups like this that make guiding great! Some fish, some conversation, a great lunch! Thanks Hoy!! Good times.

I am very encouraged that we have had good catches without the water being in the prime range of 45 to 60 water temperature.  I hope for a better bite to come. Thankful for the catches now, for sure, but again hoping for this to continue. We have not seen any big ones.  That can change and  historically that does, the big ones hit better as it cools.

Lane with a nice keeper. Lane caught this on Rapala Shad Rap crankbait Purpledescent. color.
Lane with a nice keeper. Lane caught this on Rapala Shad Rap crankbait purpledescent color.

Some groups are lucky, These guys seem to always get a good batch of fish.

A dozen keepers is a big haul from the St. Croix. When you are on the river and catching fish it is easy to forget this is a metro area fishery. With the wonderful landscape it is easy to drift away when you are on the water and imagine you are "Up North." This was a very good bite this day and I will say that we threw back about six 13 to 14" saugers too.
A dozen keepers is a big haul from the St. Croix. When you are on the river and catching fish it is easy to forget this is a metro area fishery. With the wonderful landscape it is easy to drift away when you are on the water and imagine you are “Up North.” This was a very good bite this day and I will say that we threw back about six 13 to 14″ saugers too. These fish were caught on Rapalas and jig and plastics in 20 to 30 feet of water.

Take a kid fishing.

Hank with a nice Croix eye.
Hank with a nice Croix eye.

10/05/15 St. Croix River Walleye and Sauger

Recent catches have been good.

Steve with a very nice eye caught on a quiet morning out on the St. Croix this fish was caught on a Shad Rap. The eyes are looking very healthy.
Steve with a very nice eye caught on a quiet morning out on the St. Croix this fish was caught on a Shad Rap. The eyes are looking very healthy.

Last week we had numerous days of east wind day after day and despite that we managed to get some fish.

Father Jake of St. Michaels Parish in Stillwater and Jim show their total keeper catch. These ten keepers came from four different locations so there was no one place to be. Both livebait and trolling Rapalas landed these keepers.
Father Jake of St. Michaels Parish in Stillwater and Jim show their total keeper catch. These ten keepers came from four different locations so there was no one place to be. Both livebait and trolling Rapalas landed these keepers.

The east wind was not a total killer as shown in the next two pictures.

Doug shows a fat white bass caught on a SnapRap lure. Very fun fish to catch as they will miss the lure a couple times and them strike solidly. We did not get into a large school of these "silver bass", the large schools traditionally will show up and become highly active as Fall progresses.
Doug shows a fat white bass caught on a SnapRap lure. Very fun fish to catch as they will miss the lure a couple times and then strike solidly. We did not get into a large school of these “silver bass”, the large schools traditionally will show up and become highly active as Fall progresses.

If one fishing area gets crowded this time of year you can leave and find active fish in other areas.

Doug shows his take home catch we caught these six keepers in about five hours. Of the six they came from three places. We landed fish this day on plastics, jigging raps, and trolled crankbaits and livebait with spinners all caught walleye and sauger.
Doug shows his take home catch. We caught these six keepers in about five hours. Of the six they came from three places. We landed fish this day on plastics, jigging raps, and trolled crankbaits and livebait with spinners too! All caught walleye and sauger.

The east wind did finally catch up as last Saturdays trip with Craig and Sam was slow we had about 20 total fish and only 2 keepers, Sam did boat several walleye and his first walleye so that part was great!  We worked hard, but fishing is a challenge many times.

 

09/22/15 St. Croix River Walleye

Walleye fishing for my boat has much improved since the last posting.

Addie holds a nice sauger she caught on a fathead minnow on a spinner rig. She brought this fish in after a nice battle.
Addie holds a nice sauger she caught on a fathead minnow on a spinner rig. She brought this fish in after a nice battle.  Very nice morning of fishing with her Father and brother.

As of late we have seen the walleye and sauger turn on.

Gus holds up a "double" of walleye keepers. These two fish hit simultaneously. Fun when that happens!
Gus holds up a “double” of walleye keepers. These two fish hit simultaneously. Fun when that happens!

Livebait has been producing. My tip of the week from last week talked about fatheads both those and crawlers are catching fish.

Here is the LaFave Stringer from last friday, the walleye are minimum 15". Goooood eating. This was a great trip!
Here is the LaFave Stringer from last friday, the walleye are minimum 15″. Goooood eating. Mike, Gus, and Addie putting them in the boat. This was a great trip!

Walleye are a fish that can be caught several ways, some days one is better than the other so it is paying in caught fish to be a flexible and tactical angler.

A common face on this website, Mike seems to find a way to hook the big ones. This fish hit a soft plastic. Nice one Mike.
A common face on this website, Mike seems to find a way to hook the big ones. This fish hit a soft plastic. Nice one Mike.
Nick was not to be out done and got this nice walleye. This fish hit a trolled crankbait.
Nick was not to be out done and got this nice walleye. This fish hit a trolled crankbait.
When they are hitting a good pile of fish can be assembled quicker than you would think. All caught while trolling.
When they are hitting a good pile of fish can be assembled quicker than you would think. All caught while trolling.

 

 

09/14/15  St. Croix River Mixed bag fishing

This period of late September fishing when the weather is in the day time temp of 80 degrees is the period I like to think of as the calm before the storm.  The storm of great fall fishing!

Michael and Mike double hook set walleyes. One a keeper plus 15"s and the other a short throw back. Keepers are still hard to com by right now.
Michael and Mike work associates show a double hook set walleye pair. One a keeper plus 15″s and the other a short throw back. Fun trip and weather a “10.”

With the water temperature still in the 70s the fall good bite will have to wait. We are finding a few saugers now at keeper size, though they will also heat up when the water cools.

There are some nice walleye in the river. People that don't fish the St. Croix are always surprised when they hear about the good population of gamefish in the river.
There are some nice walleye in the river. People that don’t fish the St. Croix are always surprised when they hear about the good population of gamefish in the river.

 

Here is Mike with a very nice flathead catfish that hit a crawler. This is a great and memorable battle on six pound monofilament line.
Here is Mike with a very nice flathead catfish that hit a crawler. This was a great and memorable battle on six pound monofilament line.

Catfish are just a part of what make the river a great mixed bag fishery. With smallmouth and white bass plus crappie the diversity keeps an angler on his toes.

lauren with another six pound test line landed flathead catfish. This fish also hhit a crawler!
Lauren with another six pound test line landed flathead catfish. This fish also hit a crawler!

Its been a mix of trolling and livebait and depending on the day one is better than the other.  Fish have been in the 15 to 30 foot depth range.

Water temperature 72

Water level in Stillwater is 675.8 feet above sea level.

08/26/15  St. Croix River Mixed bag fishing

At the time of this report, in my guide boat we are starting to see more keepers come to the nets. not a strong bite, but decent. The last morning guide outing we caught seven keeper total combo of walleye sauger – so not bad especially for late August.

Nancy and gave with one of their keeper walleyes. This couple brought home seven: 3 eyes and 4 saugers. Plus a good channel cat for a seasoned corn meal fry. Fun trip!
Nancy and Gabe with one of their keeper walleyes. This nice couple brought home seven: 3 eyes and 4 saugers. Plus a good channel cat for a seasoned corn meal fry. Fun trip! Walleye are 15″ minimum to keep.

The fish are eating well and gorging on shad.

Here is a limit from ten days ago. the fish are very well feed on shad. Fast growing fish in the river.
Here is a one man half day limit from ten days ago. The fish are very well fed on shad. Fast growing fish in the river. A few of these were very nice keepers. lately the keeper walleye have been the 15+ to 16″ers. Nice to see some of the older year class fish in the 18″ range.

The river does hold big walleye too, but they are hard to come by.

Kip landed this lunker then catch , photo, and release! The walleye hit like a truck, very good fighter. Nice job Kip!!
Kip, Rick and I were out on an evening mens group Bible study fishing trip, when our solitude and great discussions about Jesus were abruptly interrupted by this fish.  Kip landed this lunker then catch , photo, and release! The walleye hit like a truck. Nice job Kip!!

Smallies are a lot harder to find lately, but there are a few good ones willing to bite.

Pete with a tub of a smallie! It goes with out saying that it was a great battle. Great trip with Pete and his buddy Hans as always.
Pete with a tub of a smallie! It goes with out saying that it was a great battle. Great trip with Pete and his buddy Hans as always.

Mixed bag means cats too.

 

Mark with a nice pole bender!
Class act Mark Montgomery with a nice pole bender!
A little flathead.
A little flathead. Tougher fighter non the less.

All and all, the river is putting out many more small fish than keepers, the action has been good though for the most part.  The river is cooling and actually the bite was better before the temperature drop.  However when the water cools in the fall the bite can be very good to great for many species – so a temperature drop does not signal the end of the bite. Crankbaits are now turning many fish for my boat over live bait. Depths are still all over the board from 15 to 30 feet deep, on the river it is hard to have a magic fish catching depth like you will find on lakes – all fish shown above came from this wide range of depths. Certain spots just hold fish at different locations and depths. Have fun on the river.

Signed,

Charlie “Turk” Gierke

Croixsippi Guide Service

17 years Pro guiding experience on St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers

4x Beanie River Rat walleye tournament winner

3x  Paul Koval St. Croix Classic  walleye tournament winner

2001 World Walleye Association Championship winner
2009 Full Throttle Big Water Series Team of the year

USCG licensed OUPV Captain

Trust Jesusand you’ll be led to life giving water.

 

08/04/15  St. Croix River Mixed bag fishing

Right now we are getting lots of action but the size is hard to come by for walleye and smallies.  Starting to get a fair among of saugers. Of course sheepshead too!  I need to get a bald eagle picture they are all over and the river, the have learned that released fish sometimes float to the top, because it is common to see them watch the anglers and come SWOOPING in for the fish.

Lana with a very nice keeper from the end of July. Lana was out with her dad Richard on a nice father and daughter outing. We had a good time and they brought home six keepers total.
Lana with a very nice keeper from the end of July. Lana was out with her dad Richard on a nice father and daughter outing. We had a good time and they brought home six keepers total.

My boat has been livebait fishing all season, we have trolled very little.  Crawlers are good and always have leeches on hand.

Lana with another keeper! We seemed to have a better bite a few days prior to this last full "blue" moon.
Lana with another keeper! We seemed to have a better bite a few days prior to this last full “blue” moon.  Richard caught some nice ones as well.

Very little channel cat activity to report, not sure what the situation is but I used to get good numbers this time of summer while angling for walleye.  White bass, Hmmmm…. we did catch ONE in the last three weeks, unfortunatley they are very down in numbers.

Mia, "the birthday girl" told her parents she wanted to go fish in for her birthday! Got to love that! The freshman did a great job catching fish.
Mia, “the birthday girl” told her parents she wanted to go fishing for her birthday! Got to love that! The freshman did a great job catching fish.  It was a nice trip Mom and Dad battled to catch the most… I think Dad won!

Smallies are located deep and relating to the bait pods just like the walleye are.  We did see a single Muskie follow today, nice to see a some of them on the move.

To keep with the summer them we have another father son trip. This time with three generations of Flumbaum's from Maryland over here visiting relatives. David (Dad0 shows off a 18 " smallie" while Siidney hams it up!
To keep with the summer theme – we have another family trip. This time with three generations of Flumbaum’s from Maryland over here visiting relatives. David (Dad ) shows off a 18 ” smallie” while Siidney hams it up! It was great to meet Dave (grand-dad).

Well its August and the nights are already nice and cool… Summers here and then gone.

 

07/20/15  St. Croix River Mixed bag fishing

We are starting to see the summer time mixed bag of fish coming to the nets. Walleye, cats, and bass.  It is getting far more difficult to get “numbers” of keepers though.

Matt with a tough tough fighter - the Channel Cat. Far from a critter that purrs the channel cat is THE best fighter in freshwater. Matt had a banner day out with his dad Darrell.
Matt with a tough tough fighter – the Channel Cat. Far from a critter that purrs quietly – the channel cat is THE best fighter in freshwater. Matt had a banner day out with his dad Darrell.

Walleyes are there, they are in the river and I am convinced I see them on the graphs , but it is getting harder to bring them up.

Matt Salmi with his first keeper of the day. This fish was caught on a crawler from 22 feet deep. Matt had the touch on this day!
Matt Salmi with the first keeper walter of the day. This fish was caught on a crawler from 22 feet deep. Matt had the touch on this day!
Father and son, what's not to like about these trips. dad doesn't really even mind when the boy gets misty of the fish. Nice job Matt!!
Father and son, what’s not to like about these trips. Dad doesn’t really even mind when the boy gets most of the fish – right Darrell? Nice job Matt!!

The drum have been biting well, We have had some big ones lately.

We also landed an enormous  sturgeon that took 40 minutes to bring up. It was a good 35 pounds…I felt in the hot water that keeping the fish out of the water for a picture would kill it, so I skipped the photo.  BIG FISH – it was a ball!  My client Bob said “what do I do now?” after the fight just started and he felt the power of that Sturg, I said “Keep up what your doing , this will be a while , and I’m getting a sandwich.”

Mike up from Northern Illinois with a good fighting cat. The eyes were slow and I wanted to put his crew on some nice fighters, the cats were slow too this mooring, but we got this nice one at least.
Mike up from Northern Illinois with a good fighting cat. The eyes were slow and I wanted to put his crew on some nice fighters, so we picked cats for a couple hours of targeting. The cats were slow too this morning, but we got this nice one at least…

You need to be well versed in species to get the most out of a day in the height of summer. Bass, crappies, sunfish, perch, white bass, saugers, drum. These fish can and will entertain if found. Of course nothing is a guarantee but switching gears as in switching species can make the day.

Mike with a dandy walleye this fish measured 24" and was released back into the river to populate her kind. The bite is tricky we had four other short little fish and this good one.. Mike got all the good ones this day!!
Mike with a dandy walleye this fish measured 24″ and was released back into the river to populate her kind. The bite is tricky we had four other short little walleyes and this good one.. Mike got all the good ones this day!! Caught on a crawler.
Here is a nice walleye from the Croix. kept for the frying pan. Caught on a crawler or a leech.. I do believe crawler. Good point, leeches are taking fish still too.
Here is a nice walleye from the Croix. Kept for the frying pan. Caught on a crawler or a leech.. I do believe crawler. Good point, leeches are taking fish still too.

The river is 677.5 , two feet high, and might stay this way for a while.  Warm water, great for swimming.

Summer is here.

 

07/06/15 St. Croix River Walleye and Smallmouth Bass

Todays rains is going to make the river rise two feet. The river was almost at the designated pool height of 675.5.   The prediction is to be the 678 foot mark by Friday. Two weeks have went by since my last report  the further back week was good walleye fishing – the following week was ok.

Jim and Dennis with a very nice keeper from the St. Croix River. This walleye hit a nightcrawler. If believe it was caught in 22 feet. This was a fun trip, the guys had a ball catching or not catching.
Jim and Dennis with a very nice keeper from the St. Croix River. This walleye hit a nightcrawler. This white tip was caught in 22 feet. This was a fun trip, the guys had a ball catching or not catching.

Saugers are a sure sign that the height of summer is here.  Saugers are now coming to the nets.  Big saugers are in the 19 to 20″ range. Huge saugers are 21,22, and 23″ fish.  The really BIG saugers are caught in the early spring down on pool four of the Mississippi when its cold water. Recently we have seen some 18″ and nearly 19″ saugers.

Here is the haul from the morning trip. A bonafide fish fry in the making there.
Here is the haul from the morning trip of Jim’s group. A bonafide fish fry in the making there. Six of the 11 keepers are saugers.  All caught on livebait.
Tim with a keeper. This was a slow keeper morning . Tim and his Dad landed four for the box in about 25 minutes to end the day on a high note. thanks Tim!
Tim with a keeper. This was a slow keeper morning with lots of little sub 15″ being caught . Tim and his Dad though did land four keepers for the box in about 25 minutes to end the day on a high note. thanks Tim!
A 25" walleye on the UMTP - Godtown youth event! wow and this fish fought. We took out six boys and five had not fished before. The boys had a good time.
A 25″ walleye on the UMTP – Godtown youth event! Wow and this fish fought. We took out six boys and five had not fished before. The boys had a good time!! I hope they got the fishing bug, 🙂

Three men from my Bible study group and I participated in a kids fishing day with UMTP  – www.Godtown.org –

About UMTP…..they are committed to providing a visible evidence of TRANSFORMATION in the Community.  UMTP is an Outreach & Ministry Training Program that engages participants in daily prayer, active mission work and instruction.  They function as a Community (Koinonia), see Acts 2:42-47.   We operate in the ministry model Jesus used in Luke 9, 10: 1-24.  The UMTP mission is to focus and harness the gifts of young people, groups and leaders that are excited about how they can impact their peers, family & community while learning about Christian Ministry & Missions.

David Tolo of UMTP with a 26" walleye he caught on Godtown youth fishing day. Even the big boys had some fun!!!
David Tolo of UMTP with a 26″ walleye he caught on Godtown youth fishing day. Even the big boys had some fun!!!  This dandy Walleye caught on a crawler.
This walleye from mid June 2015. Caught on a leech.
This walleye from mid June 2015. Caught on a leech.

Smallmouth

The bass are fighting on the line like mad mean even a 13 to 14″ fish is going to not come in easy!!  Wow are they fighting tough.  I wish I could say they have been easy pickings but they have required high skill to find and land.  Once you do the battle is on!

Bass caught on tubes, senkos, finesse worms, you name it they will hit, but they have been hard to find.  You can get about a dozen a day.  Maybe its because we just had a big tourney and they have seen many lures…

Bass grow slow – let them go – to fight again.

Water level is 676.0 and water temperature is 74 to 76 degrees.

 

06/22/15 St. Croix River Walleye

The St. Croix River is at 677.00 feet and will rise about an inch for the next week. Mid June marks the start of the summer bite.

Will Williams up from Texas visiting his family holds the big one from the day a dandy 24" walleye. Will and his brother in law Kary brought home eight large keepers for the fry. Including some channel cats.
Will Williams up from Texas visiting his family holds the big one from the day a dandy 24″ walleye. Will and his brother in law Kary brought home eight large keepers for the fry. Including some channel cats.

In June when you start to keep the AC unit on thats about the time crankbaits and spinners work well. Trolling on days with light wind is normally in 15 to 25 fow. High winds drive fish shallower.  I will troll spinners in the 12 to 22 foot range – similar to depths i like to rig.

Kary Taylor with the thumbs up on a very nice walleye. These river fish fight very well. If you don't think walleye fight - you likely never caught a big one! :)
My old pal Kary Taylor with a thumbs up on his very nice walleye. These river fish fight very well. If you don’t think walleye fight – you likely never caught a big one! 🙂 Great time with Kary and Will.

Leeches are hard to beat in June. They tend to roll and be ineffective when trolled or drifted too fast – hook them on a jig and you tame them, read “Turk’s Column” for much more details on “rigging jigs.”

Walleyes love leeches! St. Croix River walleye.
Walleyes love leeches! St. Croix River walleye.

The heat of the summer will get the eyes more active, there are still days though that you need to present the baits slow and feed the walleyes line.

 

Bob holds his stringer of fish - his six fish limit. All above 15" mark. These fish bite soooo light we feed them line and brought them to the net. Fun trip with Bob.
Bob holds his stringer of fish – his six fish limit. All above 15″ mark. These fish bite soooo light we feed them line and brought them to the net. Fun trip with Bob.

 

 

06/08/15 St. Croix River Walleye and Smallmouth Bass

The St. Croix River is slowly falling in water levels from five feet high to three and a half feet high.  Recent rains are not showing up on the projected water levels to raise the river.

Three generations of Wilkenings out on the Croix.Mark, Bill, Matt, and Dan. This was a trip were we caught many short walleye at one point in the trip we had forty walleyes caught and released and only two in the box! We ended up with eight in the box at the end of the day. very fulfilling to me to guide three generations!!!
Three generations of Wilkenings out on the Croix.
Mark, Bill, Matt, and Dan. This was a trip where we caught many short walleye. In fact at one point in the trip we had forty walleyes caught and released with only two in the box! We ended up with eight in the box at the end of the day (one was a sauger). Very fulfilling to me to guide three generations!!! Thank you.

As listed above in the caption box we are seeing many many short walleyes in the 12 to 14″ range.  This is the mark of a good fishery , because every year these “recruits” are in the river and ready to bolster the ranks of the walleye population.  The freshwater drum are also very active – so if you are bait fishing as I have been – plan on bringing a lot of bait. 🙂

Dan Wilkening here with a nice walleye keeper. The fish are biting light. Six pound test maximum is needed to catch'm.
Dan Wilkening here with a nice walleye keeper. The fish are biting light. Six pound test maximum is needed to catch’m.

Leeches and crawlers are working, and oddly from hour to hour it seems to change, and also from spot to spot. On one fishing “spot” they want one bait over the other.

Smallmouth Bass – bronze back bashers.

Mike Zelinski has been on my website many times over the years. Here he is again with a very nice smallmouth bass. The Croix is full of smallies. Happy to say they also are thicker/fatter this year.
Mike Zelinski has been on Croixsippi.com many times over the years. Here he is again with a very nice smallmouth bass. The Croix is full of smallies. Happy to say they also are thicker/fatter this year. Nice fish Bud!

These bronze back bashers offer very nice action when you get into them.  Then its a matter of giving them what they want. More info bout this on Tip Page.

Curtis landed this good bronze back near the trips end and made the day! Nice one Curtis.
Curtis landed this good bronze back near the trips end and made the day! Nice one Curtis!!!

05/26/15 St. Croix River Walleye and Smallmouth Bass

The St. Croix is running five feet high and we have some moderate flow, the debris in the water from last week is clearing fast, but now we are getting more rain…

Jeffrey and Carol Dadd display their fine catch of St. Croix River walleye. The happy couple reported that their walleye tasted great! I bet they did! nice eaters...
Jeffrey and Carol Dadd display their fine catch of St. Croix River walleye. The happy couple reported that their walleye fry tasted great! I bet they did! Nice eaters…

The “bronze bashers” – the smallmouth bass opened last Saturday on the St. Croix River.

With the water high you can plan on finding smallies shallow.

Carol " Bass Masters here I come" Dadd holding a 18" smallmouth bass that was soon released. Carol caught two fish this size on their trip, and was then looking into Bass Master tourney entry information! :)
Carol ” Bass Masters here I come” Dadd holding a 18″ smallmouth bass that was soon released. Carol caught two fish this size on their trip, and was then looking into Bass Master tourney entry information saying something about easy money… ?

Bass will be tight to the rocks and mixed in with flooded shore in the high water.  Fun fish to catch and fun fishing.

I caught this big smallmouth from the river last weekend. Look at the beautiful stripes and markings. This is an old fish too - released to be caught again.
I caught this big smallmouth from the river last weekend. Look at the beautiful stripes and markings. This is an old fish too – released to be caught again.

Walleye is still the headline fish for the guide service and the fish most customers request to angle for.

Here is Brigham Knott showing off two of the biggest eaters we got over the memorial day weekend. The fishing has been heavy with action and many shorts. They caught seven total keepers - chunky fish.
Here is Brigham Knott showing off two of the biggest eaters we got over their Memorial Day weekend trip. The fishing has been heavy with action but many short walleye in the 14″ range – keepers must be 15″ minimum. They caught seven total keepers – chunky fish.
Another happy couple Zach and Claire enjoying the St. Croix together. Zach with a good eater.
Another happy couple Zach and Claire enjoying the St. Croix together. Zach with a good eater.

Best depth:  8 to 14 foot range.  Note we got some good keepers from the Knott trip deep in 25 to 30 (there is never just one depth).

Best bait : Crawlers and leeches on live bait rigs.

 

 05/20/2015 St. Croix River walleye

Walleyes are on the move from the spawning grounds to the early summer spots.

Bob "banana boat" Russek with a legal keeping sized walleye destined for the fryer. This trip mid week last week was the starting point , or the beginning of the end of the walleyes sticking around the spawning grounds. There will always be some fish in spots, but the shear mass of spawning fish that frequent the spawning grounds are gone...
Bob “banana boat” Russek with a legal keeping sized walleye destined for the fryer. This trip mid week last week was the beginning of the end of the walleyes sticking around the spawning grounds. There will always be some fish in spots, but the shear mass of spawning fish that frequent the spawning grounds are gone…

A couple cold days last week and early this week have stabilized the water temperature at 57 to 59 degrees.  We had mid 60’s about a week ago.

Also we are having a nice push of water come through – the river will be up 4.5 feet from the 675.5 mark. The river is going to 680.0 . The St. Croix has been at 675.5 or close to it all season and all March and April.  This is fun we we get some flow!!

Scott Hale holds our two best fish from the Paul Koval St. Croix Classic. Scott and I took third out of 36 teams. We had some very nice walleye to put on the scales for this tournament.
Scott Hale holds our two best fish from the Paul Koval St. Croix Classic walleye tournament. Scott and I took third out of 36 teams. We had some very nice walleye to put on the scales for this tournament.  Scott is a beyond an excellent angler – though is choice of lunch, such as a cold can of chili or can of non diluted cream of mushroom soup is poor.

Tournament insights:  It is always interesting in post tournament talk amongst teams, as anglers will share good knowledge, but not spill the beans..  One thing i have noticed over the years is how one team, and a team that places high mind you catches fish in 8 to 12 feet of water, and another high placing team catches them in 20 to 30 fow.  This fact that I am well aware of makes reporting on depths hard to do.  I try to find a depth range that is generally “the best”, but certainly not the only depth you should check out.

Best depth: Still about that 14 to 20 foot range.

Best bait : Crawlers and leeches on live bait rigs.

05/11/2015 St. Croix River walleye

Aaron Bloomquist with a real dandy from the river. This fish was caught on a leech. Aaron was out with his two brothers and his nephew. These guys caught a lot of fish! They caught 19 legal fish (keepers) on their trip. Great job guys.
Aaron Bloomquist with a real dandy from the river. This fish was caught on a leech. Aaron was out with his two brothers and his nephew. These guys caught a lot of fish! They caught 19 legal fish (keepers) on their trip. Great job guys.
Aidan with a good one caught on a nightcrawler. He fished hard all day and got lots of bites and his share of the keepers for sure.
Aidan with a good one caught on a nightcrawler. He fished hard all day and got lots of bites and his share of the keepers for sure.
Here is a 22" walleye that was released after this photo. This one was caught on a leech. You can see a boat in the picture. A lot of times the best spots are "the community holes" and well known, you just have to figure out how to get them and stay focused amongst other anglers.
Here is a 22″ walleye that was released after this photo. This one was caught on a leech. You can see a boat in the picture. A lot of times the best spots are “the community holes” and well known, you just have to figure out how to get them and stay focused among other anglers.
Adam Bloomquist with a nice one. Adam caught this on a nightcrawler. Adam was a second half angler and did all his damage in the fourth quarter of the game. His brothers gave him an inspirational half time speech and his eyes lit up and started bending the pole!
Adam Bloomquist with a nice one. Adam caught this on a nightcrawler. Adam was a second half angler and did all his damage in the fourth quarter of the game. His brothers gave him an inspirational half time speech and his eyes lit up and started bending the pole!

I am starting to hear about some bigger fish being caught in the 5 to 7 pound range, so that is good.   Hopefully I will have a couple HOGS come in.  However I am not complaining as a 19 fish total for keepers is very good for the river. 🙂

Brian Dickman, Lee Melby, and Jim Dickman show their haul! Sixteen legal walleyes from 15 to 18.5 " - just perfect eaters. This was a fun trip we caught 5 throw backs to every keeper shown here. some cats, lots of drum, small walleyes, and some little saugers. Lots of recruits are in the ranks for up coming years to catch.
Brian Dickman, Lee Melby, and Jim Dickman show their haul! Sixteen legal walleyes from 15 to 18.5 ” – just perfect eaters. This was a fun trip we caught 4 to 5 throw backs to every keeper shown here. some cats, lots of drum, small walleyes, and some little saugers. Lots of recruits are in the ranks for up coming years to catch.

Best depths: 12 to 16 feet of water

Best presentation:  No doubt it is live bait — leeches and crawlers. However, (and there always is one) I heard of a 7.5 pound walleye caught on a crank bait last Saturday. A buddy who calls himself “Earn-dog” caught a limit on crank baits last Friday as well.

Water level is 675.5 feet above sea level and water temp 59 degrees.

 

05/05/15 St. Croix River walleye season is open.

With no snow and little rain the river is as low as the Army Corps of Engineers will allow it to go. The Corps manages the water levels via the Lock and Dam #3 down on the Mississippi River, the exact lock area that I just spent over two months guiding at fishing walleye and sauger…

With the low flow I am finding the fish scattered.  There are nice 15″ to 19″ walleyes to be caught.

Paul Anderson shows his stringer, a limit of walleye from 15 to 19". These fish came on night crawlers and leeches. Paul and I fished with two poles a piece and it was heavy action with numerous throw back "short" walleyes, drum, catfish, and even two smallmouth buffalo fish!!
Paul Anderson shows his stringer- a limit of walleye from 15 to 18″. These fish came on night crawlers and leeches. Paul and I fished with two poles a piece and it was heavy action with numerous throw back “short” walleyes, drum, catfish, and even two smallmouth buffalo fish!! Very fun.

I have not seen or heard of many big fish being caught, There will be some bigger ones caught though in the next two weeks.   May is a very good month for big fish.  The St. Croix is still though a numbers vs. big fish resource in my opinion.

Paul hold a 21" walleye he caught on a leech. This fish was released. Nice one Paul!
Paul hold a 21″ walleye he caught on a leech. This fish was released. Nice one Paul!

The season is still early and there is a lot to figure out with the low water and how soon fish will show up in the post spawn locations, and the early summer locations.

We had best luck in the 12 to 18 foot range and livebait has been best.

Water level is 675.3 feet above sea level and water temp 62 degrees.

 

 

04/29/15 St. Croix walleye season opens on May 2 (Smallmouth May 23) – Its time to fish the Croix!

Pool Four was very good to my boat this year, and many trips we found good fish – with numerous double digit total keeper days.  What I appreciate about Pool four is even on a slow day you are still catching nice walleyes and saugers.

Bill shows the best of the day , we caught some nice males this day, as they were milting. Bill caught this on a shad rap.
Bill shows the best of the morning trip, a 19″er , we caught some nice males this day, and ended with a nice little bag o’ fish. Bill caught this on a shad rap in 19 fow.

White bass always make a strong showing on Pool Four, after the peak of the walleye spawn. White bass are some of my favorite species in the river.

White bass - a river specie that is native. They fight hard grow fast and are good eating. fillet of any red meat from their meat till it is just white, and I'm telling you it is fine eating. On of the best grilled fish too!
White bass  – with inhaled jig and plastic ringworm in mouth – a river specie that is native. They fight hard grow fast and are good eating. To best prepare – fillet/shave  the red meat off till it is just white meat, and I’m telling you it is fine pan fried eating. One of the best grilled fish too!

Walleye though is tops on most peoples minds when it comes to fishing and eating.

Not only do river walleyes fight strongly they also taste good! Its always a thrill to pull up and perfect eater such as this walleye shown.
Not only do river walleyes fight strongly they also taste good! Its always a thrill to pull up and perfect eater such as this walleye shown. The St. Croix is known for having a good population of eating sized fish. I release walleyes 20″ and over to help conserve the walleye population.

Looking forward to what the St. Croix 2015 walleye season will hold in store.

This year there is low flow and low water.  Each year on opener fatheads, night crawlers, a crankbaits all catch fish.

 

04/21/15 Pool Four – Mississippi River Saugers and walleye bite well for most of the  last week.

Paul starts off the day right last Friday on a big male walleye. Paul caught this fish on a blade bait in 19 fow.
Paul starts off the day right last Friday on a big male walleye. Paul caught this fish on a blade bait in 19 fow. The rest of the half day guide trip till noon was slower, luckily the morning was nice weather.  The group had fun – we fished many spots and tried numerous techniques.

Females have been caught both spawned out and not spawned.  During this brief stage of  where some fish have laid eggs and others not, the bite can be good one day and slow the next.  What happens in my estimation is there is a large instinctive  pull for the males to run all over the place looking for the spawning females (who often hold their eggs for two weeks after some already drop eggs…). When some of the females have spawned and some have not this creates a situation where the males continously chase for when the eggs are being laid.  Thus the fish are on a spot one hour and gone the next.

Al shows a 20" sauger that had her belly full of eggs. We put this one back into the river. Al caught this on a plain hook and minnow or jig and minnow - sorry hard to remember exactly, I do know a fathead minnow was part of the equation. Al was out with his good buddy Paul and these guys caught a nice stringer early last week. It was a mostly keeper walleye day.
Al shows a 20″ sauger that had her belly full of eggs. We put this one back into the river. Al caught this on a plain hook and minnow or jig and minnow – sorry hard to remember exactly, I do know a fathead minnow was part of the equation. 🙂 Al was out with his good buddy Paul and these guys caught a nice stringer early last week, on a sunscreen day in the 70s .

Trolling crankbait has been a solid producer last week.

Here is the stringer of mostly walleye that Paul and Al caught. Trolled original Rapalae landed half of these nice keeper eyes.
Here is the stringer of mostly walleye that Paul and Al caught. Trolled original Rapala landed half of these nice keeper eyes.  Al did a productive hop technique (The “Halverson Hop”)with his three way rig that triggered the bites.

Thursdays guide trip with Pete and his son Terrance was a steady bite, no real feeding frenzies but good enough to total 11 keeper walleye and sauger combo.  Pete, Terrance, and I caught fish on blade baits, jig and minnow, and trolled Rapala stickbaits.  They also brought home five white bass.

Stage: 669.04 ft

Flow: 15.8 kcfs   *thousand cubic feet per second

Water temp 48 to 51 (as of last week)  after todays cold and snow it is likely three degrees cooler.

This is a fun time of year to fish with the trees budding, plus there are always eagles soaring.  The songbirds on the Mississippi River lowlands and islands are as vocal and abundant as anyplace in the upper midwest.  The cold and wind dampens their spirit but it never puts it out, you can always hear a few singing away.

04/13/15 Pool Four – Mississippi River Saugers and walleye are biting well at the end of last week.

Johnny Emmer is one of a kind! One this day the fish bit well and we were lucky enough to boat what John thought was 20 keepers. John shows a nice sauger caught on a hair jig and minnow.
Johnny Emmer is one of a kind! One this day the fish bit well and we were lucky enough to boat what John thought was 20 keepers – it was a good day to be one the water… John shows a nice sauger caught on a hair jig and minnow.

The river is seeing an enormous amount of pressure on the weekends especially when the forecast is nice.  I am amazed that the fish still bite under these conditions.

Sharon did a great good fishing and shows her prowess by proof of this nice sauger. This fish hit on a jig and minnow. It was a very nice day on the water with the group and despite the heavy boat pressure the fish bit well enough for the group to take home 16 keepers.
Sharon did a solid job fishing and shows her nice sauger. This fish hit on a jig and minnow. It was a very nice day on the water with the group and despite the heavy boat pressure the fish bit well enough for the group to take home 16 keepers- Thanks guys!

75 percent of the take home catch have been saugers.  Lots of the walleye are “too big” to eat and need to spawn.

Here is an example of what you should throw back in my opinion. Tis fish is going to spawn and is over the 20" mark and has several good years to breed.
Here is an example of what you should throw back in my opinion. This fish is going to spawn and is over or near the 20″ mark and has several good years to breed. Over 20″ let them go…

Over the last two trips we had just about 3 limits and over three limits, many of these fish were caught vertical. Casting is also working.

Here is a very nice walleye caught on a blade bait on the cast.
Here is a very nice walleye caught on a blade bait on the cast.
John Emmer caught this one on the cast. This walleye hit a jig and a minnow. Nice work John!
John Emmer caught this one on the cast. This walleye hit a jig and a minnow. Nice work John!

The river is as you would guess low as we had little snow last winter, so the flow is low in relative terms for Pool Four.  Clarity despite rains is clear relatively speaking.

Stage:

669 ft

Flow:

15 kcfs

*thousand cubic feet per second

Water temp 42 to 46

 

04/06/15 Pool Four – Mississippi River Saugers and walleye cooperated at the end of last week.

Larry with a good walleye he caught on the cast last Friday using a ringworm.
Larry with a good walleye he caught on the cast last Friday using a ringworm.

Walleye and saugers like “spots” or set places where they orient themselves too.  However I do not believe a particular fish will sit in one place all day long or even for any extended period. These spots are places where fish are much more apt to swim through and be in the area as opposed to sitting there.  So what happens in the spring is you can find locations where the fish will keep coming through and you can work the same spots all day long.

This stringer came from a tough day where just watching the boat it was clear not a lot of boats were catching fish. We had a nice spot and we stayed there and put this stringer together. White bass, three pike (five to eight pounders), and a big perch, plus smaller eyes kept us occupied.
This stringer came from a tough day where simply watching the boat action it was clear not a lot of boats were catching many fish. We had a nice spot and we stayed put, and compiled this stringer. White bass, three pike (five to eight pounders), and a big perch, plus smaller eyes kept us occupied.  These fish all came on the cast using jig and minnow or plastic ringworms while using the cast and sweep method.

On a Saturday in early April  with good weather forecasted, you can count on a sea of boats to be on the water looking to catch ol’ marble eye.  On these days it is tough to get the spots you want, or to fish spots where there is a workable amount of fisherman in the same area.

A different day a completely different way to catch fish. The day before when we were casting the fish clearly wanted plastics. On this day with the stringer shown it was plain jig and minnow. I am still surprised how the fish absolutely prefer on air over the other on most days.
A different day a completely different way to catch fish. The day before when we were casting and the better fish clearly wanted plastics. On this day with the stringer shown it was plain jig and minnow. I am still surprised how the fish absolutely prefer one technique over the other on most days. eight of these eleven keepers came without another boat working the same spot – on a Saturday this made the catches even more enjoyable.

We are catching male fish that are milting and females laden with eggs.  I am guessing they will spawn anytime soon.

This week will have a lot less boats on the water with the light rain forecasted. Thanks for reading.

Pool Four

Stage:

668.82 ft

Flow:

15 kcfs

*thousand cubic feet per second

Water temp 42 to 46

03/30/15 Pool Four – Mississippi River Saugers and walleye cooperated well last friday.

John posing with the groups fish. We caught a three man limit last friday all vertical jigging. We had four total anglers. The morning was cold about 18 degrees but there was no wind and a clear sky the sun was warm.
John posing with the groups fish. We caught a three man limit last friday all vertical jigging. We had four total anglers on board from the Mens Fishing Bible study group I attend. The morning was cold about 18 degrees but there was no wind and a clear sky letting the sun warm us up, the day was fantastic all around.  BTW in the photo the fish look bigger than they actually were, all under 20″, so we weren’t eating the big ones. 🙂

Its been all hair jigs except for catching fish on fuzzy grubs too.  Depths have been from 20 to 40 feet deep to catch fish, but mainly 24 to 28 feet deep.  As mentioned before vertical jig fishing.

John with a nice sauger measuring 19", a personal best. Saugers make very fine eating and are hard to tell apart from their cousin the walleye.
John with a nice sauger measuring 19″, a personal best. Saugers make very fine eating and are hard to tell apart from their cousin the walleye at the dinner table. Caught on chartreuse hair jig.

The river is dropping, the flow is falling. I am guessing the fish will be locating in a different spot this week. It is not usual to have this little flow this time of year.

Give me cool temperatures and no wind any day of the week. We had this bit of paradise on Pool Four all to ourselves. It was one of the most relaxing times on the river.

Give me cool temperatures and no wind any day of the week.
We had this bit of paradise on Pool 4 all to ourselves. It was one of the most relaxing times on the river.

 

03/30/15 Stage 668.40 Flow 13.7 kcfs*

*thousand cubic feet per second

Water temp 38 to 40

03/24/15 Pool Four – Mississippi River Saugers have moved into the Red Wing River system up from Lake Pepin.

There are always some walleye and sauger in the "river system" of Red Wing, but in the spring they make their run up from the fertile fish factory called Lake Pepin. This is when the fishing is best in the spring. The fish have come up already.
There are always some walleye and sauger in the “river system” of Red Wing, but in the spring they make their run up from the fertile fish factory called Lake Pepin. This is when the fishing is best in the spring. The fish have come up already. Pic from last Friday.

We have been catching them for over a week exclusively on hair jig and minnows. Hair jigs are dressed with buck tail hair and painted numerous colors.  The hair adds a little bulk and color seems to trigger bites better than a plain jig and a minnow.  A plain jig will out catch on some days over a hair jig so it pays to try several options.

Bob Russek with a stringer of saugers and one walleye. Bob told me he wanted a stringer of saugers to eat. Those are marching orders I like. We had a great morning, talking fishing and fishing, today was slower but the cold front did not kill the bite as you see. Thanks Bob!
Bob Russek with a stringer of saugers and one walleye. Bob told me he wanted a stringer of saugers to eat. Those are marching orders I like. We had a great morning, talking fishing and history from ancient times to modern day. Today was slower but the cold front did not kill the bite as you see. Thanks Bob!

Better fish for sure have been shallower in the 20 to 25 foot range, smaller saugers though some are eating size are in the 30 to 40 foot depth.

The river has dropped a foot since Saturday. That is really unheard of this time of year.  It looks like it will be a low water spring this year.  Water temp down 2 degrees to 38  degrees in main channel.

 

Jon Mutschler - He's one of the best! Longtime friend with a very nice walleye. C & R.
Jon Mutschler – He’s one of the best! Longtime friend with a very nice walleye. C & R.

River data:

              Flood  7 AM   7 AM  24  HR  7 AM   24 HR   Flow
Location          Stage  Pool   Tail  Change  Stage  Change  CFS
--------------------------------------------------------------------

Mississippi River
 Dam 3 Red Wing MN      673.94  669.57 -0.31                18100

Follow Jesus to life Giving waters - Peace.

03/13/15 Pool Four – Mississippi River The good news as stated a few days ago that the fish are there, they just need more coaxing on some days…Pool 4 has lots of good quality walleye right now in the river system and they are not all down in Lake Pepin.

Lowell with a very big walleye he caught this week. The bite was off on this trip and he and his buddy Gary didn't slay the fish, but this fish is one I will remember and I bet Lowell too! This fish hit a fathead minnow. Lowell's buddy Gary said " Makes you wonder why something so big would eat something so small.." Gary and Lowell are experienced anglers placing very high in the popular MN Teen Challenge.
Lowell with a very big walleye he caught this week. The bite was off on this trip and he and his buddy Gary didn’t slay the fish, but this fish is one I will remember and I bet Lowell too! This fish hit a fathead minnow. Lowell’s buddy Gary said ” Makes you wonder why something so big would eat something so small..” Gary and Lowell are experienced anglers placing very high in the popular MN Teen Challenge bass division.

Funny no wind and bright sunshine sparked a nice bite for my boat today.

James with a nice walleye he caught on a fathead minnow. The bite today was so soft and so finicky that when the fish felt you and you pulled to soon they dropped the minnow.
James with a nice walleye he caught on a fathead minnow. The bite today was so soft and so finicky that when the fish felt you and you pulled to soon they dropped the minnow.

Almost all walleye a few saugers only.

A couple smallmouth showed up today. 🙂

This fish just took the whole minnow and stopped. i thought I was hung up and then I set the hook. it came up easy compared to the summer. Very beautiful small. fun fish.
This fish just took the whole minnow and stopped. i thought I was hung up and then I set the hook, it came up easy in the ice cold water compared to the summer when it would have battled. Very beautiful smallie, fun fish.

It has been a blessing to get out this week,  (and to get over a cold), plus spring is in the air for early March… and it might be a while for real spring, and April may be cold and snowy, but today was a good day.

Jeff on the right was the third wheel in the party and he's a great guy always happy to see him. A good dad looking to take his little guy out ice fishing one more time. Most of these fish came from 945 am to 12 15pm and then our half day trip was over. Thank - you guys.
Jeff on the right was the third wheel in the party and he’s a great guy always happy to see him. He is a good Dad looking to take his little guy out ice fishing one more time this upcoming weekend. Most of these fish came from 9:45 am to 12:15pm and then our half day trip was over. Thank – you guys.

our best depths were from 20 to 18 feet, still very light line and a fathead.  Plastics??? what are those?  There are times you can not beat a minnow and that was this week.

River data:

My observations.  Water is darker, not a lot but some.  That might be why the sun helps the bite, it would be a fair guess to imagine the fish take some time adjusting to the first dirty water they have seen for about six months…?

Water temp 36 to 37 in main channel.

                Flood  7 AM   7 AM  24  HR  7 AM   24 HR   Flow
Location          Stage  Pool   Tail  Change  Stage  Change  CFS
--------------------------------------------------------------------

Mississippi River
 Dam 3 Red Wing MN      674.80  668.37  0.03                10400

 

03/10/15 Pool Four – Mississippi River

With the weather finally giving way to allow some nice boat fishing, I headed down to the river today get in touch with the bite for my upcoming trips.

some very nice and about as big as I keep them keepers. All fish under 20". All caught on minnows. They were very beautiful fish, I had no time to get a better pic, so the image is poor, these fish were very nice and colorful - perfect green and gold.
Some very nice and about as big as I keep them keepers. All fish under 20″. All caught on minnows. They were very beautiful fish, I had no time to get a better pic, so the image is poor, these fish were very nice and colorful – perfect green and gold with bright white bellies. Fried one up an hour ago so I can say…delicious

Based on recent warm weather and thawing snow, the river is at a point where it is going to go up and also darken.

Today there were not a lot of bites and in fact the bites were extremely light, however the fish were quality keepers and all from 18 – 19.5.  I had on about as many as I kept. The fish were just not hitting hard – some came unbuttoned and some never took the hook well.  Plus there were many pick ups and drops.

The fact remains that the fish are there, when they turn on it is go time!  A little change in wind or a quick cloud cover can start a bite.  This is the pre high flow -pre dark water stage that actually starts mid February, but this year of course the below ZERO temps made this fun bite not happen.

I already see the flow rate is up to 8200, not sure how high it will go how soon, because we really have little snow to melt.

Today was light line fishing extremely light weights with a plain hook.  My heavy jigs/Dubuque rigs will come out soon enough when the currents get flowing fast.

River data:

                  Flood  7 AM   7 AM  24  HR  7 AM   24 HR   Flow
Location          Stage  Pool   Tail  Change  Stage  Change  CFS
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Mississippi River
 Dam 3 Red Wing MN      675.06  668.02  0.13                8200
01/25/15 Pool Four - Mississippi River

 

Kelly Massie lands a nice eater sized walleye from the Mississippi River.

Kelly Massie lands a nice eater sized walleye from the Mississippi River.  We drifted this spot and all three of use got a hit at the same time.  This fish ht a minnow on a Dubuque Rig.

Mississippi River Pool Four action starts to heat up as the days grow longer. It is still chilly in the air, but starting mid February we should have some nice weather to get out and enjoy the bite.  As the days grow longer more and more fish arrive below the dam area.  My guide service targets this area.

We did best drifting Dubuque rigs downstream, but most fish were on the minnow.  The bite is best when the walleye and saugers are hitting the plastics.

Mississippi River Pool Four water temp 33 and flow 9,000 cfs.

12/18/14

Scouted and guided down on Pool Four last weekend.  I found one good, but little area that had a lot of saugers in it.  Move to far off of it and no bites.  There was plenty of sorting through runt sized fish, but every third to fourth hooked fish was a keeper sized sauger up to 17.5″.  Then spend enough time there and you would have more than enough sauger to serve a very very fine holiday dinner.

I did try numerous times to find that second consistent spot, but all “my” other spots were slow, and though I did think there were walleye there, it was hard going through and fishing it heavily enough to produce the bites.

Walleyes can be had right now at night. It is not uncommon to find the walleyes with a daytime lock jaw to bite strong at night.

The weather now has hit hard and winter was returned, I need the temperatures to be in the low 30s to make the open water walleye and sauger bite fun for all participating in the fishing trip.  So these trips are weather forecast dependent.

We did best on jigs and minnow and plain hook and minnows.  Plastics were absolutely being refused.

Merry Christmas All!

Un wrap the best present of all and discover Jesus Christ. Peace.

11/25/14

The 2014 fishing season ended fast. October was great warm weather, but for guiding and catching fish the water never cooled enough when the weather was nice, then winter crashed into Minnesota and Wisconsin, the cold and wind of November made attempts at open water fishing futile.

I will now look for openings in the winter weather to allow for open water fishing down on Pool Four of the Mississippi River where it can be excellent walleye and sauger fishing, The season for walleye and sauger does not close on the Mississippi River south of Prescott, WI.

I do not guide on the St. Croix in the winter for ice fishing, though I will fish some and put a few posts about it up here.