Mississippi River Pool 2, St. Paul Park, MN
Pool 2 of the Mississippi River is easily becoming one of my favorite bodies of water, which is nice considering the boat ramp isn’t but 15 minutes from my front door. This stretch of river is chucked full of gorgeous largemouth and smallmouth bass, not to mention I haven’t had an outing out there yet this year where I didn’t catch at least one nice walleye or sauger, on accident of course, I mean I do have a reputation to uphold, I don’t want anyone to get it twisted.
I set aside a couple practice days for this tournament, first day I spent checking areas that produced well last year and found success right away. The second trip I spent searching for new water and anyone who understands river systems especially upper pools of the Mississippi know that you spend more time searching than fishing. Generally everything looks so good on the river, but finding the key fish holding spots can be tough mainly because it’s such a challenge to navigate backwater areas. In fact I spent over an hour idling a shallow flat trying to get to a deep rocky area, after I got a mile back I got stuck on a sand bar and spent even more time pushing myself off just to idle my way back and try a different route. However once you find that sweet spot you usually have something special.
After a long day I did manage to find a couple more spots, one was a beautiful shell bed in a backwater area that held an awesome school of smallmouth and also found a new cut that was loaded with rock and laydowns that had some nice fat largemouth. The shell bed was really something special, it lays off a rock point that has current and then slack water on both sides. My first cast with a Biovex 3/8 oz. Stangun Spinnerbait produced a 17″ smallie and my second cast coughed up a gorgeous 21 1/2″ rogue smallmouth.
Tournament morning started great, and my first cast produced a nice 18″ smallmouth. After catching a few more I headed to my shell bed and just like clockwork the Biovex Spinnerbait was suckering smallmouth after smallmouth on cast after cast. I was upgrading my limit within the first hour.
Through out the day, whenever the bite would die down I could run to another and start catching fish. I spent all 8 hours in 4 different areas, recycling each spot and every time I returned back they would be biting again. In fact the fishing was so good that I must have caught nearly 60 bass by the end of the day. The only down side was that I only caught 2 over 17″ and since this is a paper tourney I knew that was going to cost me. I weighed in at 16.14 lbs. only good enough for 4th place. I really thought I had the areas that could produce a winning bag, but just never got the big bites that I needed. With the exception of two break offs, I fished perfectly and made really good decisions on the water. I may not have won the tournament but I got a trophy, two ripped apart hands from all the bass I caught! That’s what it’s all about.