St. Croix River walleye
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St. Croix River Fishing Information
 

November 9, 2015 - The water temperature has reached 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Walleye and sauger are biting well on crank baits and minnow rigs. Some anglers are enjoying success jigging vertically with fathead minnows. Boat control is the key to keeping the jig vertical and just off the bottom. This can be a challenge on a windy day.

The most productive depths have been 20-25 feet of water on cloudy days, and slightly deeper when the sun is shining. Many anglers are bringing home their six-fish limit after several hours on the water.

Flocks of geese fly overhead as the daylight hours wane. It's a great time of the year to enjoy quiet and solitude on the river. The warm-weather watercrafts are absent, and the heavily clothed anglers you see are usually friendly. They will often give you a wave in respect of seeing another cold-weather fishing enthusiast.

Soon the snow will fall and ice will form. Enjoy these final days on the open water!

 

 

Paul Wodziak with St. Croix River walleye

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October 15, 2015 - We've arrived at the time of the year when gamefish are actively feeding in preparation for winter. Daylight time is diminishing, which makes it difficult for many anglers to manage an outing. However, many are rewarded with six-fish limits after only a few hours on the water.

The chances of catching a large walleye (over 20 inches) increases as these fish continue to gorge themselves on shad. The girth of a large walleye will swell as they engulf several baitfish within a 24-hour period. This may be your best chance to tip the scales with an 8, 9, or even the highly elusive 10-pound trophy.

Fish larger than 20 inches are the most productive spawners, and they replenish the fishery with the best genetics each spring. Regulations allow us to keep any walleye over 15 inches. We encourage you to consider catch-and-release of any large walleye. Handle the fish carefully. Put it in your live well briefly until you are ready to take a photo. Snap the photo quickly. Lower the fish into the water and release when it can remain upright on its own. It should flip its tail out of your hand to depart. It's good to know there's a chance you could see that fish on the end of your line again next year.

 

 

Paul Earney with St. Croix River walleye

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September 10, 2015 - The walleye bite is improving as the water temperature drops (currently 75 degrees F). Gizzard shad are gathering in tight schools along breaklines, and clouds of these baitfish are easy to spot on fishing electronics. Find the forage and find the fish — white bass, smallmouth bass, sheephead, catfish, sturgeon, sauger and walleye can often be found nearby.

Savvy anglers take advantage of this predictable pattern of river biology by presenting baits with similar profile to the gamefish's forage. Rapala Shad Raps® are designed to imitate the wobble of a wounded baitfish. This equates to ringing the dinner bell for hungry walleye lurking nearby.

When trolling, adjust your speed to maximize the lure's vibration. We've found the best speeds for these baits are 2 - 2.5 mph. Watch your rod tip to monitor how the lure is running. If the tip is not vibrating, the lure may be fouled. Adjust as necessary. The fish will tell you what they want.

 

 

baitfish on graphgizzard shadShad Rap®

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St. Croix River crappie

August 15, 2015 - The walleye bite is typically slow on the St. Croix River in August. You can still bring home fish for dinner if you target other species. Crappies thrive in the St. Croix River, and catches of 10-12 inch fish are not uncommon. The ample fillets from just a few of these fish will yield enough for a fish fry. You can find crappies near fallen trees, boat docks and rock piles. Slow water areas with over 10 feet of water are good areas to target.

 

Tip a 1/16 - 1/8 ounce jig with a crappie minnow and move the bait slowly around cover. Use light gear to detect the crappie's subtle bites.

Crappies typically approach the offering from below, slurp the bait, and coast for a bit. An ultralight rod with 4 pound test line is ideal to detect the light bite or extra resistance on your line.

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July 12, 2015 - July is a great time for fishing on the St. Croix River. Water temperatures are in the high 70s and all fish are actively feeding. A typical outing will yield multiple species including walleye, crappie, and bluegill. All are fun ot catch, and excellent for eating.

 

You can also expect to catch smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, catfish, perch, and sheephead, which are less desirable for eating. Muskie and northern pike are also present. These toothy, hard-fighting fish are sought by many sport anglers.

St. Croix River fish

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July 6, 2015 - (This report provided by Croixsippi Fishing Guide Service) The smallies are fighting as good as ever guys. Even a 13 to 14″ bronze back is going to give you one heck of a good fight. Recently you won’t catch huge numbers but they make the effort worth it as they battle in the 75 to 76 degree water.

Just about every kind of plastic you like to throw will get a bite. Senkos and worms are a great choice. Tubes are always a good choice on the St. Croix. Hard body jerk baits work, soft jerk baits work, plus buzz baits – and swim jigs.

Colors – Natural is what I like best (green and black), but when you see a fish caught on a pink soft plastic, go figure that out…

Depths have been from 1 to 14′ in my boat (and also as deep as 22′ . That's just the way it is — depths are wide ranging.

 

 

Here are a couple of tips to remember when fishing for smallmouth bass:

1) Fight bass on a long leash. Never reel the hooked fish anywhere near the rod tip – that is a short leash. Always keep a rod length distance between the lure (and hooked fish) and the rod tip. So if your rod is 7′ stop reeling when the distance between your hooked fish and rod tip is 7′ (approximately). Why? Because when that fish is near the boat it will go under the boat, around the motor, near the trolling motor, and then jump. If you have it on a short leash you are much more likely to lose it.

2) Spool up with some good line. Suffix Elite 6 pound monofilament is the best bass line for river fishing. It is strong, durable, and easy to cast. You'll want to use a heavier braid when working thick weed beds or other cover.

St. Croix River smallmouth bass

Our June 6 report was provided by Charlie “Turk” Gierke.

Turk is a longtime “river rat” raised in Stillwater, Minnesota. He has guided professionally for 17 years, and he is highly committed to making each and every trip a success. He has connected clients to excellent fishing action on the St. Croix and Mississippi River waters from Stillwater, Minnesota down south to the Mississippi River town of Red Wing, Minnesota.

Croixsippi.com

 
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June 16, 2015 - The new EXTENDED SEASON for sturgeon opens today. Sturgeon numbers have increased in the St. Croix River due to improved water quality, dam removals, restorative stocking efforts and conservative regulations.

 

The extended catch-and-release season is a positive outcome related to these efforts. The St. Croix River has yielded some enormous fish over the past few years. Some fish weigh over 100 pounds and exceed six feet in length.

     
Read the article for tips on gear and handling sturgeon (September, 2014).
 
St. Croix River sturgeon season
St. Croix River Sturgeon Scott Lucia
Scott Lucia of Inver Grove Heights caught this sturgeon, measured at 77 inches and perhaps weighing more than 120 pounds, on the St. Croix River in November 2014. "I never dreamed I'd catch anything that big out there," said Lucia, who is known on the river as "Shamu." (photo courtesy of Scott Lucia)
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May 28, 2015 - The fishing season is off to a great start! The river levels were low early this month and the fish were found in their typical spring locations. Recent rains have caused river levels to rise, and walleyes are finding their way to early summer locations.

Many anglers reported catching limits of walleye during the first few weeks of May. The action has been more spotty recently, as a series of weather changes and rain has added a level of challenge in finding fish at the same locations from one day to the next.

Live bait rigs (crawlers and leeches) are producing the most fish. Trolling methods are also generating good results. However, floating debris from the recent rise in the river can make it difficult to keep the lures running clean.

As the water temperature approaches 70 degrees Fahrenheit, bluegills can be found in shallow water spawning over a gravel bottom. Once located, the action can be nonstop for these scrappy panfish. They are easy to catch with a small bobber set about a foot above a small jig and a leaf worm. Bluegills provide great fun for kids, and they taste great on the dinner table.

Bass fishing season opened on May 23. The Upper St. Croix River is known as one of the best smallmouth fisheries in the Upper Midwest.

 

Paul Earney St. Croix walleye limit

2015 bass season St. Croix River

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May 4, 2015 - The weather for the Walleye Opener on May 2 was fantastic! Sunny skies, light winds and 80 degree temperatures brought anglers out in droves.

Some anglers reported catching limits (six fish over 15 inches), while others found it difficult to locate and coax the golden fish into biting.

 

Fish were taken on a variety of live bait rigs set up with crawlers, minnows and leeches. Trolling crankbaits was also productive, with some of the largest fish taking minnow imitators like Rapala Shad Raps®.

The water level is low for this time of year. Current is manageable, but the fish are scattered.

     
Bill Coleman   Todd Mittelstaedt
Bob Coleman caught this 23 inch walleye on May 3, 2015. This fish took a leech set up on a plain hook and slip sinker.   Todd Mittelstaedt with a 26 inch walleye caught on the St. Croix River Walleye Opener. This was the largest of over 20 walleye landed.
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2015 St. Croix Walleye Opener
     
Join fellow anglers for an evening of food, fun and suds as you ramp up your enthusiasm for the 2015 walleye season on the St. Croix River.   This is a chance to catch up with old friends and make some new ones. Talk about fishing — where, when, and how.
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St. Croix River Walleye Opener 20152015 St. Croix Walleye Opener
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April 10, 2015 - Walleye anglers are counting down the days to May 2, 2015 — this year's opener on the St. Croix River.

How are you feeling about your chances for success this year? Are you looking for a good opportunity to learn more about fishing the St. Croix River? Well, the opportunity is knocking...

The St. Croix Valley Walleye League is sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Walleye Club. The league is a friendly walleye fishing league. The league operates on the CPR (Catch, Picture, Release) format. We believe this format is the best for fishery because fish are kept out of the water for minimal amoount of time which ensures the fish are returned to the fishery healthy. This ensures our local fisheries will continue to thrive in the years to come.

There will be a pre-league meeting on
Tuesday, April 14th, 6:00 p.m.
at the city boat launch in Hudson, WI.

If you plan on fishing the league in 2015 or have not fished the league in the past, we highly recommend you attend this meeting. Please visit  scvwl.com

 
St. Croix Valley Walleye League
St. Croix Valley Walleye League
Meet fellow anglers, learn new techniques, and share fishing experiences.
Improve their angling skills, and knowledge.
Encourage the observance and enforcement of fish and game laws.
Promote the preservation of our lakes and rivers
Meet fellow anglers, learn new techniques, and share fishing experiences.
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Three-Way Rigging
 
Al Lindner explains the advantages of three-way rigging for early-season river walleyes.
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Popular Boat Launch Sites / Upper St. Croix River
Interactive Maps  for the Upper St. Croix River published by the National Park Service
Lions' Park  St. Croix Falls, WI
Minnesota Interstate State Park  Taylors Falls, WI
Popular Boat Launch Sites / Lower St. Croix River
Public Access - Lower St. Croix River - published by the Minnesota DNR
William O'Brien State Park  (Marine on St. Croix, MN) - A park sticker is required
Boom Site (just north of Stillwater) - DNR public access located two miles north of downtown Stillwater. This is no fee at this access, but parking is limited.
Beanie's at Maui's Landing (Lakeland, MN) - Wide launch, but limited room for maneuvering. Minnows, crawlers, and basic gear sold in store. Launch fee is $10 weekdays, $15 on weekends.
Windmill Marina (Afton, MN) - Wide launch with ample room for maneuvering. Minnows and crawlers sold at gas dock. Launch fee is $16 weekdays, $23 on weekends.
St. Croix River Bluffs Regional Park  (Afton, MN) - A park sticker is required.
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