It is always a very sad time of year for Minnesota bass anglers when it comes time to winterize and store the boat. The fishing slows down, the air and water temperatures fall and before you know it, the lakes start to freeze. So what is a Minnesota bass angler to do? Head to the river to do some shore fishing!
This past weekend my friend from Viking Bassmasters and his brother joined me for a trip to Monticello, Minnesota to do a little river fishing from shore. We pulled up to our first “secret” spot made a few casts each and only yielded only one small 11 or 12 inch smallmouth. The current at this spot was moving pretty fast and the eddies weren’t as noticeable as they normally are so we decided to move on. We only stayed there for 30 minutes which isn’t giving much of a try but the days are short and the fishing time was limited.
We got to our next spot which had a couple of anglers on it already but they were nice enough to let us cast in the same area. We immediately started pounding smallies ranging from 1 to two pounds. We were using FlaMinn lures 1/8th oz Jigworm Jig heads and Gene Larew’s 4” Salty Ring Tail worms in the watermelon pepper color. They key to getting them to bite was to make a long cast out (with 8lb Berkeley Vanish), allow the current to get the jig hung up in structure and let it sit there for a minute. If there were no takers, I would softly pop it out and let it sit again. The area we were fishing had quite a bit of structure including; Milfoil, rocks and “floating” tree limbs and as long as you were in the structure, a smallie would come along and snatch it out.
Overall it was a great fishing trip and if the fishing continues to be that good up there, it might not be such a long winter after all.