Mississippi River, MN
Today was a great day! My long time pal Matt and I headed up to the Mississippi River for some good ol’ smallmouth bass fishing. I have to say this stretch of river is some of the most beautiful area I have ever been around and it is where I cut my teeth learning how to fish for smallies. For those of you that think Mississippi River and associate barges, wing dams, murky water, need to think again. I’m talking north of the Twin Cities area, where the river is only 300 yards wide, shallow, lined with rocks and boulders, and loaded with giant smallmouths. I’m generally way to busy to fish this area during the summer because of my tournament schedule, but when everybody heads up north to do some hunting, I head up with my 6’6″ medium action spinning rod and some 8 lb. line. Over the last couple weeks I have been heading up there and fishing has been o.k. I have caught good numbers but no real big ones to boost my self esteem. Today was not one of those days.
Matt frequently joins me on these particular trips and we always have a good old fashioned gentleman’s bet going on for who catches the most bass. The first few times this year it had been close, but I just keep barely edging him out. Today, I am happy to say was no different. We were only able to fish for about 3 1/2 hours. I ended the day with 34 and Matt with 20. The awesome thing was at least 20 of mine were over 3 lbs. We generally use all sorts of lures, jerkbaits, tubes, jigs, drop shot worms, and more. Although I have to say, most fish today definitely came on tubes. I was testing out some tubes I haven’t used before, the new Strike King Coffee Tube (green pumpkin). It seemed to work great. At first when I heard of the Coffee Tube I wasn’t impressed. Coffee scented?? I mean come on. Really?? But hey, I have to admit, it had great action and the fish obviously were in the mood for some caffeine. I also have to admit I prefer the smell of coffee over garlic crawfish any day. We would just cast out into the current and slowly bounce the tube of the rocks. Light line is the way to go, it really makes a 4 pound fish a challenge to land. Once on a school it was easy to activate them into biting one after another, however the second one broke you off, the game was over. Then we would just move along to the next eddy and start setting some hooks.
All said and done it was a fantastic day. These are the kind of days that got me hooked on bass fishing, and they are the kind that keep me hooked. Tournaments are great but there is something special about hanging with a good friend, talking some trash, and fighting some bull smallmouths! Well, at least until he beats me