Fishing.Report

Fishing Report

April 17, 2017

Since the last report we have done a lot of casting techniques to catch fish on Pool 4 of the Mississippi River.

My client Chad wanted to get a ten pounder. We didn't accomplish that but his son Noah had a great time bringing in fish. Here is Chad with his biggest of the day. Noah counted and said we landed "eight species" on this trip. Chad caught this nice eye on a jig and plastic.
My client Chad wanted to get a ten pounder. We didn’t accomplish that but He and his son Noah and friend Steve had a great time bringing in fish. Here is Chad with his biggest of the day. Noah counted and said we landed “eight species” on this trip. Chad caught this nice eye on a jig and plastic. C & R.

Many of the fish we are seeing still have eggs and the males are milting.  The females will be finished spawning in a few days and the post spawn drop back to Lake Pepin will start.  Males hang around long after the party is over as if they don’t know the females left!

The bite has been up and down with periods of good activity and then slow action.

Longtime client Paul B. with a nice eater taught on a cast jig and plastic. Second cast of the day, nice start Paul.
Longtime client Paul B. with a nice eater taught on a cast jig and plastic. Second cast of the day, nice start Paul.

Early in the cold water season dragging jigs is always a viable option to catch fish.  I drag jigs like I Lindy rig, I like the weight just off of the bottom. So for dragging jigs I keep the jig just off of the bottom.

Brent holds a nice female still with eggs that hit on the last spot of the day. Brent caught all the fish and had a good time with his wife Natasha. The two had a couples weekend in the Red Wing area. Good fishing Brent!
Brent holds a nice female caught dragging jigs, fish still with eggs,  that hit on the last spot of the day, our trip this day was slow, so this fish was a nice way to end. Brent was the fishing star on the trip with his wife Natasha. The two had a couples weekend in the Red Wing area. Good fishing Brent! C & R.

So casting has been the main approach as my clients look for big fish this last week.  Blade baits are a top producer of BIG fish.

Catch and release. This fish hit and missed the bait, and was hooked not in the mouth. blade bait.
Catch and release (C & R). This fish hit and missed the blade bait, and was hooked not in the mouth.

One aspect of fishing Pool 4 is the variety of presentations that work well during the early spring.  Heck even nightcrawlers start to put fish in the boat. Trolling Shad Raps catches fish too.

When casting plastics and blade baits, and you hit a lull in the action a jig and minnow can turn a fish that has seen a constant offering of artificials, just like this nice walleye here caught on a jig and minnow - cast.
When casting plastics and blade baits, and you hit a lull in the action – a jig and minnow can turn a fish that has seen a constant offering of artificials, just like this nice walleye here caught on a jig and minnow – casted.

The river has been stable for a month at about three feet high and the flow stable as well around 30,000 kfps.

River flow is cfps 33,300 and stage is 6.4 (672.4) River water temp is 47 – 50.

Signed, Charlie “Turk” Gierke

19 Year Professional Guiding experience on St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers

USCG licensed OUPV Captain

5x Beanie River Rat Tournament winner, 3x Paul Koval St. Croix Classic tournament winner

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

Follow Jesus to life giving water!

April 5, 2017

Jig fishing has been our top technique for fishing Pool 4 of the Mississippi River.

Bob with a sauger caught on jig and minnow.
Bob with a sauger caught on jig and minnow.

Crankbaits are still getting fish.  Rapala original minnows are working, but the shad style lure bodies like a shad rap will very soon be a producer as well.

Gary and Lowell on an afternoon trip these two skilled anglers landed 10 keepers on their afternoon trip.
Gary and Lowell on an afternoon trip – these two skilled anglers landed 10 keepers on their afternoon trip. We jigged and cranked.

From the “head of the lake” to the dam there are a lot of good places to fish, all spots are not within site of the dam.

Morning on Pool Four Mississippi River.
Morning on Pool Four Mississippi River.

The river is mostly debris free and not clear but not too muddy, it is colored just right.  We have done better on sunny days.

Good times on the river!
Good times on the river!
Father and son trips are always nice. Michael and dad Chris.
Father and son trips are always nice. Michael and dad Chris holding up some of there fish for the fish fry..

 

March 28, 2017

Spring is here!  Today it was 60 degrees, the fish are biting and we are having fun on the River.

This pic is from last weekend. We really clobbered the fish! Pool 4 is very good fishing when it is on! Things are shaping up nicely right now for a great April bite.
This pic is from last weekend. We really clobbered the fish! Pool 4 is very good fishing when it is on! Things are shaping up nicely right now for a great April bite.

We are getting mostly sauger but they are in the 18 to 19″ range! Huge for saugers anywhere in the nation – the Mississippi has great sauger fishing.

Walleyes should make up half of the catch soon.  We are seeing small males show up – but not a lot of big gals – yet.

Catching on jigs and plastics and original Rapala’s. 13 to 22′.

River  flow is cfps 29,000 and stage is 5.22 (671.2) River water is stained but mostly debris free.

 

March 24, 2017

Spring is about to arrive on the walleye and sauger fishing scene on Pool Four of the Mississippi River near Red Wing, MN.

Walleye fishing in the early stage of spring can be excellent on Pool 4. Some songbirds have returned to our area signaling a warm up. This warm up gets the bite started.
Walleye fishing in the early stage of spring can be excellent on Pool 4. Some songbirds have returned to our area signaling a warm up. This warm up gets the bite started.

Thursday morning on the drive down top Everts Resort http://www.evertsfishingresort.com I saw Robins back in the area.  I have also heard some songbirds singing a tune I haven’t heard for months. So spring should be here soon. This is when the river gets good, when the earth warms up and the frogs come out of the mud and the worms start to wiggle.

Here is Jeff again with his friend and co worker Wes. Jeff caught this 19.5" sauger on a fathead minnow.
Here is Jeff again with his friend and co worker Wes. Jeff caught this 19.5″ sauger on a fathead minnow.

On the half day trip with Jeff and Wes last Thursday we started fishing at 12:30 pm and stopped at 5:30.  We caught many small ones and these two kept ten total: 4 – 14″, 2- 16″, and 4 from 19 – 20″.  Nine of the ten were saugers.  Walleyes must be 15″ minimum.

Minnows and plastics caught 70% of the keepers.  Our biggest did come from an orange/chartreuse colored soft plastic.  Trolling Rapala Original minnows caught  three keepers, but I stopped that technique as it was too scattered and we rigged with the flow instead. Fish are deep we caught almost all keepers from 20 to 28 feet of water. Walleyes are generally shallower but we got a nice one in 30 fow!

River level is scheduled to rise 2′.  cfps 30,000 and stage is 5.3 (671.2) River water is stained but mostly debris free.

Mid March Report,  2017

Walleye and sauger fishing on Pool Four of the Mississippi River near Red Wing, MN.

The river is seeing no influx of new water and the level is dropping, plus the weather had chilled and the water temp rise we saw weeks ago has slowed.  This mid March stage will hang around until the weather warms.

Eaters
We boated over 2 limits of eater saugers most where these chunky 16″ fish.  Johnny had the hot hand in the afternoon.  Saugers eaten from 38 degree water are outstanding!

We found over two limits of keeper saugers today caught all on Rapala original minnows. Most fish were 15 to 16″. The bites were incredibly light and really just a “tick.”

It was absolutely necessary to hold the fishing rod vs. rod holders to help catch and trigger fish.

Not a lot big ones yet, looking forward to a nice walleye and sumo sauger bite just around the corner.

Jigging techniques have and will be good again, The Rapalas excel when the fish spread out  as the flow drops.

 

March 1, 2017

Walleye and sauger fishing on Pool Four of the Mississippi River.  Today out best luck was with minnows.

It is true, walleye love fathead minnows. When cold fronts come minnows are often best. Catch and release.
It is true, walleye love fathead minnows. When cold fronts come minnows are often best. Catch and release.

My boat and trailer was covered with snirt (snow and dirt) when I reached Everts Resort this morning.  A couple inches of snow on the road quickly covers your boat like sprayed stucco on a house the further you drive the thicker it piles on the boat.  I will say this nobody and I mean nobody was on the river today. Jeff and I were the only ones dumb enough to fish, but it wasn’t that cold at all. Especially when the fish bite!

Jeff with a 19" sauger caught on a jig and plastic, looks like a firecracker paddle tail and popular bait to use. Second most popular bait behind the ringworm.
Jeff with a 19″ sauger caught on a jig and plastic, looks like a firecracker paddle tail a popular soft plastic bait to use – the second most popular bait behind the ringworm. C & R.

Jeff said “I will take some wind and cold and NO boats any day, especially when we are getting fish!”

Jeff with another nice one on a fathead. This fish was just under 20" Catch and release.
Jeff with another nice one on a fathead. This fish was just under 20″ Catch and release.

The weather soon will be downright great! 50 degree high and the river will be packed with boats all looking for a tug on the line.  Over all our best action was on minnows as a cold front hit us this week.  We did get some on plastics.

We released four bigger fish today and kept these 6. We had many other small fish as well. Not a bad total for a 7 hour trip.
We released four bigger fish today than these pictured and kept these 6 for the fryer. We had numerous small fish as well. Not a bad total for a 7 hour trip.

 

February 16,  2017 —

Catching walleye and sauger on Pool Four of the Mississippi River.  Today our best luck was using ringworm soft plastic baits.

Here is Paul Earney with a nice chunk of a walleye that hit a ringworm. Paul said the bite was very light. This fish fought well in the current.
Here is Paul with a nice chunk of a walleye that hit a ringworm. Paul said the bite was very light. This fish fought well in the current.

This time of year it is often necessary to tempt the walleye and sauger with minnows, though the plastic baits work well too.  Hard to generalize but often bigger fish come on plastics.

The wonder of Pool Fouir is the encyclopedia of techniques that catch fish. The venerable old man the jig and minnow vertical caught this eye. Nothing big but an example go the good healthy eaters in the river.
The wonder of Pool Four is the encyclopedia of techniques that catch fish. The venerable old man the jig and minnow presented vertically caught this eye. Nothing big but an example the good healthy eaters in the river.

THUMP!

The other fish hit light... Paul said this one crushed it. The whole jig and plastic worm deep in the mouth.
The other fish hit light… Paul said this one crushed it. The whole jig and plastic worm deep in the mouth. Nice job Paul!

The weather should warm, look for more good fishing soon.  Actually mid 30’s is great when you dress right, the wind well not so fun, but when the fish hit, the weather doesn’t matter.

A 16" walleye a perfect fish. Close up on baits that work.
A 16″ walleye a perfect fish. Close up on baits that work.

 

January 24, 2017

I am hearing good reports on the St. Croix River Bayport area fishery this season.  One of the surprising and often reported catches are nice sized saugers.

The St. Croix ice bite is one where the majority of the anglers are targeting the very nice sized crappies on the Croix.  Saugers and walleyes are a lucky bonus catch.  I have heard that the saugers in the two pound range are showing up. Not in huge numbers but a couple here and there – enough to add to the enjoyment for sure. Fish with fatheads under a bobber just off of the bottom.

January 17, 2017 —

Ice thickness is 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 than 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.

BE CAREFUL! There are multiple areas of openwater on the St. Croix – only fish where safe, and driving automobiles on the ice is not safe yet.

 

2017.King.Plant.2