St. Croix River walleye
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St. Croix River Fishing Information
Lower St. Croix River | Stillwater, MN to Prescott, WI
 
 

November 2, 2013 - The fall walleye bite was decent throughout October. However, a series of weather systems made it challenging for anglers who were looking for consistent results.

Boat traffic has been light as fishermen hang up their walleye rods and take to the woods in pursuit of game birds and whitetail deer. Most of the large cruisers are out of the water and shrink wrapped for the winter. It's a treat to sit back and gaze at the fall colors in quiet solitude. The sea gulls compete for wounded baitfish and geese call to each other as they fly south.

Today the water temperature was 45 degrees near Lakeland, MN. The walleye and sauger were fairly cooperative, and chomped on crankbaits and minnow rigs. Typically, we see some trophies caught by a lucky few who are dedicated enough to keep fishing when the air is cold. If you catch a big one, please post it on our Fishing Forum. You've earned bragging rights!

  St. Croix River walleye and sauger
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September 18, 2013 - Water temperature has dipped below 70 degrees and walleye are beginning to bite more aggressively as they prepare for the cold water months ahead.

If you watch your on-board electronics, you'll see bait clouds of gizzard shad appearing near breaklines up and down the river. Where you see this forage, you'll find walleyes.

Shad imitating crankbaits are top producers of our favorite golden fish. Rapala Shad Raps (#5) have the profile and action that consistently produces walleyes on the Lower St. Croix River. Of course, live bait rigs and jig-minnow combinations will continue to produce walleyes throughout the weeks ahead.

  St. Croix River walleye
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August 19, 2013 - The walleye bite remains fair to good on the Lower St. Croix River. Catfish have their appetites in high gear, and smallmouth bass have been very active on the Upper and Lower St. Croix River.

On any given day of fishing, you can count on the river to produce a variety of species. It's hard to predict which will chomp on your offering, even when you are targeting a particular species. You could catch a crappie on a night crawler or a catfish on a crappie minnow... you never know.

Fish will congregate wherever their forage in plentiful and conditions are right. Most of the time, favorable conditions draw a variety of species spanning a variety of sizes.

Case and point: Don Leurquin was casting a small jig and crappie minnow, when the jig stopped abruptly. He thought he had snagged the bottom until his line started to move slowly but steadily toward the boat. After a half-hour battle with a doubled-over rod, he finally managed to coax the fish to the boat. After a few more short runs, the fish finally yielded and Don had his catch of the season... a 33-lb. flathead catfish. Luckily, the fish was hooked in the upper lip, so the six-pound monofilament line stayed clear of the fish's gritty teeth.

  33 lb. catfish St. Croix River
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August 2, 2013 - According to Turk Gierke of Croixsippi Fishing Guide Service, walleye action "has been spotty" on the Lower St. Croix River. Smallmouth bass continue to provide the most consistent rod-bending action. Look for them on breaklines near points in 15-20 feet of water. Catfish are active and always deliver a great battle. Sauger have been biting fairly well, with a few hefty specimens being reported... some weighing up to three pounds. Panfish continue to cooperate, with 8-inch bluegills being the most common. Crappies up to 14 inches are also being caught.

The river has returned to normal summer levels. Stable conditions result in more predictable fishing results. Pleasure boaters will continue to dominate on the Lower St. Croix through the end of August. If their big wakes bother you, consider an outing on the river north of St. Croix Falls. You'll find far less noise and fishing pressure, with smallmouth bass being the main attraction.

  Adam Earney and 14-inch crappie caught in the St. Croix River
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July 15, 2013 - Walleye action is fair to good, and smallmouth bass continue to cooperate. As water temperatures climb into the upper 70's, fish have been active and eager to bite. The recent 8-day no-wake restriction has been lifted, and river levels are slowly returning to normal summertime conditions.

A common question among anglers is "When do fish bite?". The answer varies depending on the species you seek and the area of the river you are fishing. Daylight hours produce the best action for most species. On the St. Croix River, walleyes and smallmouth bass turn their eyes upward and bite throughout the day. Walleye anglers report far less success at night. On the other hand, catfish bite well at night as they use their keen sense of smell to seek out an easy meal of dead or dying critters on the river bottom.

Generally speaking, fish will bite when they feel good. This means that conditions in their environment suit them. Water temperature is in the range they prefer. The amount of oxygen in the water is adequate. Water clarity is good. Barometric pressure is stable. The water level is normal and stable. In other words, fish bite best when everything in their environment is constant and not changing. An experienced angler observes these patterns and takes advantage of periods of stability to maximize their catch. Pay attention to the skies and the water, and you'll improve your rate of fishing success.

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June 16, 2013 - Walleye action has been hit or miss with the soggy weather we have been having. Six-fish limits have been hard to come by as an abundance of sub-legal walleye continue to chomp on live bait rigs and crankbaits. Many anglers report catching 10+ "short" walleye (12-14.75 inches) before a legal keeper hits their net.

Water temperatures have finally reached the high 60s. Smallmouth bass are showing
up in their typical summer locations. You'll find them along breaklines on sand points and also along rocky shorelines. These bronze bruisers are eager to take a topwater plug in calm water conditions. They will also slurp up a night crawler on any rig you offer. Sheephead are on the rampage, with many of our big blue buddies exceeding 20 inches in length. Catfish are also falling for crawlers, and will test your knots and gear when you least expect it.
 
sheephead
 

June 3, 2013 - Hellooooo, June! This is the month when walleye are cooperative and eager to chomp on a variety of offerings. Crankbaits, crawlers, and leeches produce limits for many anglers. Spinner rigs with crawlers have been especially productive. Water temperature is in the mid 60s, and multiple species are on the chomp... walleye, sauger, smallmouth bass, sheephead, crappie, and bluegill. BTW, some decent-sized bluegills are showing up this year, with many areas producing fish over eight inches in length. The Lower St. Croix River yields impressive crappie as well, with many slabs over 12 inches.

June is also a great month for fishing the Upper St. Croix River (north of St. Croix Falls). Contact Bob Bickford of St. Croix Valley Adventures fo get connected to top-notch fly-fishing from a western-style drift boat. This part of the river runs shallow, with most smallmouth found in less than three feet of water. However, they are eager to chomp on the appropriate fly offering or topwater plug.

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June 1-2, 2013 - Wisconsin offers a Free Fishing Weekend. Wisconsin residents can fish anywhere in Wisconsin without a license or trout stamp. Other fishing rules apply, such as limits on the number and size of fish you can keep and any seasons when you must release certain fish species. So, pack up the family or call your friends and head to the water for fishing fun! Visit the Wisonsin DNR website for details, or call 1-888-936-7463.
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May 22, 2013 - Water temperatures are in the low 60s, and the walleye have spawned. That means the big females are on the prowl to replenish, so they are more willing to bite. We expect the next stretch of stable weather to really turn the fish on.

Now is an excellent time to get on the river in pursuit of walleye and sauger. After Memorial Day, you can expect heavy traffic from recreational boaters, especially on weekends. This won't affect the fish, but it does add a level of challenge in detecting subtle bites as big cruisers plow by, creating large wakes.

Anglers on the St. Croix river can often achieve a multi-species day with walleye, sauger, white bass, smallmouth bass, sheephead, and catfish willing to bite on similar presentations.

Contact Croixsippi Fishing Guide Service to boost your chances of catching a trophy !

  28 inch St. Croix River walleye
Jim Wernimont shows off his trophy post spawn St. Croix River walleye caught on a nightcrawler.
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May 4, 2013 - (Walleye Opener) Daybreak yielded air temperatures near 40 degrees F accompanied by a bone-chilling north wind. Water temperature was 47 degrees, and the walleye were sluggish and tight-lipped. Few keepers were reported at Beanie's. Most fisherman muttered words of disgust about the weather aws they moved about in slow motion to rig their boats for the road home. The clouds broke up near mid-day. However, the bright sunshine did not generate a better bite. The bite has been very SLO--o-o-o-w for most anglers so far. Expect reports to change for the better as the water warms and the fish go on the chomp.
 
2013-2014 Walleye Season
The St. Croix River is a boundary water, and is under joint regulations that are slightly different from the statewide angling regulations in either Wisconsin or Minnesota.

If you are fishing from a boat, both Wisconsin and Minnesota will honor the other state's license. If you are fishing from shore, you must have a valid license from the state whose bank you are standing on.

Minnesota:
Fishing Opener List
Fishing Regulations

Wisconsin:
Fishing Opener List
Fishing Dates (PDF)
Fishing Regulations

St. Croix River Walleye Opener 2013
Walleye Opener St. Croix River
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