Anglers await fall feeding frenzy

By John Weiss

Fall fishing is reported generally slow on the Mississippi River, smaller rivers and Rochester area reservoirs, though there is one upbeat note.

Due to recent rains, local rivers have been muddy and that means the reservoirs are rather dirty. The Mississippi is up and dirty. At the same time, temperatures in September and October have been significantly higher than average, so the water isn’t cooling down to trigger heavy pre-winter feeding.

The best news is that when temperatures do drop, walleyes and sauger should turn on along the Mississippi, according to the report from Four Seasons in Red Wing. The river at Red Wing Tuesday was about 8 degrees higher than the temperature that tends to get fish feeding.


When waters around Rochester improve, panfish fishing should also get better, said Mike Smith of Hooked on Fishing in Rochester. The few crappies caught on Lake Zumbro, which is a slow no-wake zone, have hit smaller presentations, he said.

In Mississippi backwaters around Kellogg, water is high and fast, most like spring and it could take another week without rain to settle down, said Shorty Larson of Prairie Bait. When it improves, he expects a lot of sunfish and perch will be caught.

Dave Koopman of Dave’s Baits ‘N Bullets in Wabasha, however, had a more upbeat report that walleyes are being caught at the base of Lake Pepin, and panfish fishing has been super. It’s been especially great for perch. "I think this is the best year we’ve had for perch in 20 years," he said.

GET DEER LICENSES NOW: The Department of Natural Resources is encouraging firearms deer hunters to buy licenses now and avoid the usual rush just before hunting opens Nov. 3.

You can get them at 1,800 ELS agents statewide or by calling 1-888-665-4236; if you call, it will take three to five days to get your tags by mail. Phone lines will be open until 6:30 p.m. Nov. 2.

OUTDOOR TV PROGRAM: The DNR and Twin Cities Public Television have combined to produce a program about the overall decline in people going outdoors to hunt, fish, camp, hike or just enjoy nature.

It’s happening in Minnesota and throughout the country.

The program on what’s happening and what can be done will air at 8 p.m. Saturday on TPT 17.


In addition, the DNR has a draft State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan devoted to increasing participation in outdoor recreation. This document also provides guidance to outdoor recreation decision makers and managers on policy and investment matters.

To see the report and comment on it (you need to comment by Nov. 9), go to and click on the SCORP icon.

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