Minnesota’s rivers are often viewed as fishing destinations because there are so many lakes.
However, rivers offer spectacular fishing opportunities. You literally take these waters with you, and many enjoy them especially because natural landscapes are more common and docks, boat lifts and the like less common.
Perhaps the most fun type of river is the black bass. The “smallie” is a true fighter and is known for his bulldog strength, his acrobatic jumps and his stick bend dives. Smallmouth bass are common in many rivers, and that makes them a great way to look for them.
Where to fish in Minnesota
That’s up to you. Many stretches of the major rivers – for example, the Mississippi and St. Croix – are suitable for large boats, but these and other rivers, especially at low tide, are also full of stretches that are best fished by canoe, kayak, or driftboat Flat bottom boat with short shaft outboard motor. Wading can also be a great option. In fact, one technique for wading small bass that can be effective is for one angler to cast a surface bait while the following angler casts a bait that fishes deeper, such as a fishing boat B. a spinner or a light template. This way, even if a fish misses the surface bait, it will show its position and allow the second angler to try a different approach.
While not a fishing website, you can get a real feel for Minnesota rivers on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’s State Water Trail pages. These paddler sites have helpful maps, water level information, and even video and snapshot tours of the places you will experience. A River Fishing Chart for the Twin Cities area is also available on the DNR website, which lists the relative abundance of small bass and other species in the Cannon, Minnesota, Mississippi, Rum, and St. Croix Rivers.
High quality black bass water includes:
- The Cloquet River in St. Louis County, specifically the 10 miles between Highway 53 and the St. Louis River.
- The Big Fork River in Koochiching County, especially the 80 km below Grand Falls in the city of Big Falls to the Rainy River.
- The northern arm of the Root River in southeast Minnesota.
- The lower Mississippi, from Hastings to Iowa, is a large body of water full of dams and backwaters. Also the upper Mississippi in the Brainerd, Little Falls, St. Cloud and Monticello areas.
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CB Bylander is a longtime Minnesota angler with extensive angling experience throughout the state. He is a former field editor for outdoor magazines, outdoor editor for daily newspapers, and communications specialist for the Ministry of Natural Resources.