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Hey guys.

I decided to give Wisconsin some time this year for smallmouth. I've only fished for musky before across the border but really have been refocusing on bass the last few years.

I was thinking about trying Shell or the lakes north of there for opener but was wondering if any lakes closer have good smallmouth in them.

After I seen the videos from Torry Rhodes I figured it would be fun to try some bass fishing earlier than I have before.

Thanks for any help, Joe

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The St. Croix River up that way is full of them. Not so much in the lakes around the area.

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i second the st croix but you need canoe or kayake north of 48.clear water,lots of boulders and wood to play in.dont forget live bail on lindy rigs along with crankbaits and topwater.good luck

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St Croix, I have caught smallies in Yellow too. You could go a little north up past minong and get to some "GREAT" smallie lakes. PM me if you want, and I could help point ya in a good direction....

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After some research I think we settled on Shell or one of those lake north of rice lake. We'll probably go to the lake with the least boat traffic.

This opening trip is initially to get a feel for what mood the smallies are in and get the rust off before I make a long weekend trip to Lake Vermillion.

I will be on Mille lacs this year, but the smallie season will be three weeks old at that point.

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plus MillLacs you need a good size boat for I mainly fish out of small 12 footer and would love to find some lakes with in an hour of Hudson to fish. Caught a lot of smaller smallmouth on the croix but then never fished it farther north either

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Is it non-motorized only north of 48 on the Croix? Or is it just extremely shallow?

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Pipe Lake in Polk County has smallmouths. Its is a very clear lake and is very fun to fish if you like fishing deeper structure and breaks.

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Is it non-motorized only north of 48 on the Croix? Or is it just extremely shallow?

I believe you mean HWY 70. No laws against motors, but yes it is very shallow and rocky.

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How far north does one need to get on the Croix to hit the prime small mouth bite? We own a small hunting shack west of Cushing and are thinking about staying up there for the opener. Is the walleye fishing any good that far up? If not the Croix, anything else worth fishing that wouldn't be too much of a haul from the Cushing barrens?

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The entire upper St. Croix in that area is prime smallie water. Some walleye, but don't count on it. The only real problem with fishing the river on the opener is usually high water, which doesn't look like it should be an issue this year.

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