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Looking for advice

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Do any of you seasoned river guys do any fishing in the winter? I love river fishing but I don't get a lot of opportunity to do it until this time of year. I know ya can always go to Red Wing for the eyes and I do that but sometimes ya just don't want to travel that far or have a whole day to do it. There's lots of days Dec. thru Feb. where it's like 25 or 30 degrees, sunny with light winds and I'm really tempted to grab a couple rods and hit the river. I like ice fishing but after a while I get tired of staring down a hole and I need an open water fix. I'm not even looking for cats per say just some fun bend the rod catch and release fishing for carp, sheepshead whatever. Waste of time or worth trying?

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The carp bite on the cannon river last year was going by early march definitely, and possibly even in february (I didn't check it out that early).

It wasn't great fishing however, there was so much snowmelt and the river was pretty high and the current was too strong to do any corn-sitting-on-the-bottom so just fished with red jigheads on chartreuse squiggly tail plastics. Best day I had on the cannon with low water was a few weeks ago with 15+ carp(none huge, max probably 7 lbs) I always lose count when I'm having a good day fishing. Best day I had with high water was 2. So you can see there's a bit of a difference for carp at least.

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The only river fishing I've ever done in the winter is ice fishing on the crow river years ago near Hutchinson....

I guess I haven't checked the MN river personally in the winter other than driving over bridges, but I think the MN river from Chaska upstream is almost all frozen mid-winter. I certainly can't say there's absolutely no open water, but I know it's frozen enough that there are snowmobile tracks under the bridges. I'm sure you could find pockets of open water if you look hard enough, but my guess is that the pockets would be small and casting wouldn't be much of an option. Pretty much nothing like Redwing.

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