Mississippi River (Pool 4) Report!!!
Well this will be my first report for the 2020 season. First off I want to say my thoughts and prayers are with everyone that this virus has affected. I know as an American we will come together and prosper in the end once this is all over! Now one good way to socially distance yourself from groups is by fishing, not to mention it takes your mind away from all the media and lets you enjoy the beauty of nature. Now the last three weeks I have been making the weekend runs down to Pool 4 on the Mississippi to do some open water fish! To note: I DO NOT guide on the waters of the Mississippi River however I love going down there for some personal fishing time! I’m by no means a “river rat” when it comes to the mighty Mississippi River however I’ve made it down there the last few years for the early season walleye run being the season stays open year round! I have used Everts Resort 90% of the times I’ve been down there to launch and must say it’s a very well run resort with a good bait shop and bait on site. They have workers there to direct traffic and direct where to park being there is generally a lot of boats fishing on the Mississippi because it’s one of the few places with open water in Minnesota this time of year. They keep the line moving smoothly it’s a well-oiled machine.
Now let’s get to the fishing talk! So the last 3 weeks I have been down there running the Tyee in search of some nice pre-spawn walleyes. I’ve seen the water change a lot in these weeks going from a decent amount of ice in backwaters and pretty clear 32 degree water temps to the level rising and it getting a little more muddy and mid to high 30 degree temps. This is what I have seen over these weeks and what I have found to help me get a few bites. The bite started off very slow for me when the river was low and clear, mostly caught a lot of small saugers and the pike were feeding heavy. This weekend while I was down there the river came up a few feet and flow seemed a lot better and water getting nice and murky. The bite has seemed to pick-up a lot from past weeks. I have seen more and more walleyes being caught in the upper parts of Pool 4 with some real giants coming as of late. However I did not put any of the big ones topside in my boat when it came to walleyes. I did manage some decent saugers this last weekend. All fish were caught and released to go back and spawn.
Now to the techniques I used to catch the fish that I did come across. Well it’s no secret to folks who fish down on Pool 4, early spring when the fish are still not feeding heavy there may not a better technique to dial bait in then the “Dubuque rig”. For those who do not know what this is to keep things short it’s where you run a 3-way swivel off your main line generally I use 8lb-10lb Suffix 832 braid when fishing the river. From that I run my line in the middle using a 15lb Mono leader about 18” long to a plain hook, below that line I run a 18” mono leader with a jig on the bottom of that. Now the Mississippi Pool 4 you are allowed 2 lines and this counts as both your lines in one set-up! I figured out bye using this technique that plastics were getting a lot more bites for me then fatheads. The best ones for myself were the white Bfishin tackle Pulse-R’s or Moxis! The key.was to find the current seams and work upriver against the current at .3-.5 mph the slower seemed to get more bites for myself but I did see a few boats running faster and catching fish as well. Biggest thing was to maintain bottom contact and jig as little as possible. I would simply find the bottom and lift up a half of foot or so and just let it sit letting the current and boat movement dictate the action of the bait. I caught a few nice Saugers the last weekend down here and plan to spend the next couple weeks trying to unlock the secrets of this body of water.
Thanks to all read my reports and the support you have given me to follow my dreams. With this world seen things we have never before try to be kind to others and show as much support to those who will need it in the coming weeks. With all the closures go out and enjoy the outdoors it’s good for the soul rather than being cooped up in the house. The great thing about the river is you don’t even need a boat to fish it, there are a ton of great shore spots along the Mississippi. Even if the bite ends up not being great for you a day fishing beats a day working! My thoughts are with everyone during these tough times.