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MinnesnowtaWild

Need ideas for a fishing trip

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So me and my buddy are starting to plan a fun little fishing expedition for the spring time (probably spring break even though neither of us are in college anymore anyways). We will either borrow my parents pop up camper or more likely we will just use a tent. Would prefer somewhere where alcohol is allowed as we are both of age.

So, we need some ideas of places to fish for Cats or Sturgeon where we can fish from shore and also camp out overnight. It must be within a few hundred miles of Mankato for cost reasons, and I have a few ideas:

-Lockport...Obviously one of the best Channel Catfish fisheries in the world. Also would love to visit Canada.

-St. Croix River...I believe there is a campground on the river in Taylors Falls, but am totally unsure if the fishing there is decent. We want to mainly target Flatheads, but are open to any large fish species. I have also always wanted to catch a Sturgeon so this option is probably my number 1.

-Rainy River...Obviously would be for Sturgeon strictly, but am unsure of the open seasons and also do not have a boat or knowledge of the hot spots.

-Mississippi...Again another river I have never fished and have no clue as to where to start looking.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. The only river fishing I have done is just a tiny section of the Minnesota and the Blue Earth River. We are hooked and want to get out and do something a little different. Looking for some big fish potential obviously. Thanks.

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If you are looking for something to do in the spring for "big fish potential", I think you'll be limited to the Rainy River for Sturgeon of the options you set forth. The entire month of April would be good for sturgeon up there. You'll probably want a boat, but you don't need a big one. 14 footer with a 15hp would be just fine which would allow you to fish most anywhere on the river.

Just an FYI, the Catfish Opener at Lockport is typically the same weekend as "our" Walleye Opener if you are considering a trip up there.

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You might want to consider heading south if your going to be tenting it. Spring break can still be snowy and cool, little on the early side for anything in the northern states.

I did a trip down to West Va. years ago, spring break time. It was a great time and the weather wasn't too bad. Pretty good fishing as well. (trout and cats)

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Didn't think about that as far as camping up north in April. It's either borrow my parents camper or one of my dads old classic boats, but definitely not both as we will take one vehicle.

Any places we could rent a boat on the Rainy? I wouldn't want to put my dads boats in harms way, as I have never navigated a river before and they hold great value to him. We just need something basic.

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Noticed that in Taylors Falls there is a big park that I always see on the way to our old Cabin in the Siren area. I looked it up and I believe it's the Interstate State Park, which has camping and fishing available.

Do you guys know how the shore fishing is from this location?

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LOL well I need somewhere where we can rent a boat and also camp out a few days. My buddy doesn't have his van anymore because he got an Accord so we probably won't be able to tow anything up there.

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I'll give you a couple places to start looking...

* Royal Dutchman- is located on the Rainy River, east of Baudette, MN. They have rooms. From Royal Dutchman, you wouldn't have to go very far to find sturgeon at all, they should be all over the river in that area. This area of the river is probably 30' deep in its deepest parts with a good majority of the river in the 10-20' range. Its really pretty hazard free, pretty much a long long lake with a bit of current.

* Schusters Resort - Schusters is located near 4 mile bay, which is where the Rainy River empties into Lake of the Woods. This is where we stay every year for the Sturgeon Excursion. They definitely have cabin rental but am unsure about boats, might want to check their HSOforum. The last couple years, the ice has gone off 4 mile bay the weekend of the Sturgeon Excursion (3rd weekend in April). So anytime earlier than this and you can't fish because of the ice, but the river upstream is always open.

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and don't worry about not knowing where to go to find fish. Just motor out in the channel and drop anchor.

The fish will find you wink

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Sounds like that's what we will do. I have wanted to fish for Sturgeon for about 15 years, and have only tried once on Yellow Lake but they aren't very abundant there. It's also a large lake and we had no clue where to start looking.

But gettin' out on the river shouldn't be much of a problem as long as I bring my depth finder. I will aim for the end of April or early May.

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this was my second year up to the river in april and the dtro is not leading you astray, it is truly a blast , ok a little chilly sometimes, but the smell of the water is great after being locked up all winter. i know river bend, royal dutchman, clemenston all rent small boats. go to explore mn lodging and do anvanced search , as well as google lake of the woods; the main HSOforum for low will have everything you need to know about the area even campsites, in fact i know there is one up by birchdale, have also thought of shore fishing there, it is a prime area, but would probably try to save a little extra coin and rent a boat! have fun!

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That other link was the buildup from last year, and here'e the recap:

http://www.fishingminnesota.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/1366572#Post1366572

Older guys.......smirkgrin

Haha I'm only 21 so a 30 year old is "older" to me. I am very excited for the trip and we both agree that this would be our best option for a fun fishing trip. Be nice to meet you YOUNG guys ha.

Question though - Do I need a passport since it is a border water?

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Question though - Do I need a passport since it is a border water?

No Passport.

MN Fishing License only.

STAY on the US half of the river though, Canadian enforcement loves to tag US anglers for crossing the imaginary line. And from what I hear... its NOT cheap.

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Pretty sure it is. I booked 4/16-4/20. The front desk guy at Schuesters said Rick already nailed down that date for next year.

Speaking of Excursion... was there a weekend set yet?

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Last year there were three of us that car pooled from Rochester, I think that the whole weekend was like $200. That was a thursday through sunday. The price of gas was a lot higher last year too.

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Last year there were three of us that car pooled from Rochester, I think that the whole weekend was like $200. That was a thursday through sunday. The price of gas was a lot higher last year too.

$200.00 Thats pretty cheap.... you guys must be living on water and crackers.

I've spent closer to 350-500 per trip. The more you have in your group the better saving on gas, which got to be pretty spendy last year.

Lodging 25 per night. 3 nights for $75

Gas split 2-3 ways 40-80 depending on car and boat. (current prices)

Food, bring or buy. 25 at a min more up to 75 if you want to eat out.

drinks if your legal. 20-50 for moderates. whistle

bait, tackle and fishing supplies.

I consider this a vacation so I'm not afraid to get the fishhooks out of my pocket for some fun.

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