Thursday, July 2, 2015

Mississippi River Smallmouth Bass Fishing

It has been a couple of years since Marian and I had visited my family back in Northern Minnesota so for the 4th of July weekend we decided to make it a long weekend. Prior to flying out of Charleston, SC I contacted my Jackson Kayak Fishing Team members about a locating some Jackson Kayaks for taking my brother kayak fishing. Aaron Stiger suggested that I contacted CW Outfitting in Clearwater, Minnesota.

Calling CW Outfitting, I talked to Theresa who took my information about the requirements for this experience. By the end of the day Dan Meers the owner of the shop sent me an email so we swapped emails about my plans for the fishing trip. I explained to Dan that I was planning on doing a story about the experience for Jackson Kayaks and maybe even a short video as well. This trip I planned on also to introduce my brother, Bruce to kayak fishing.

CW Outfitting is located along the Mississippi River in central Minnesota. They say location is the key for a great company and CW Outfitting has the location. This location provides customers that are looking for a kayak to purchase the opportunity to demo that day. Also this section of the Mississippi River is rated in the top 10 in the country for smallmouth bass river fishing by some national magazines. The shop not only sells kayaks and accessories but also sells fishing equipment.  Also this section of the Mississippi is very canoe, kayak, & SUP friendly as the water depth is too shallow for motor boats.

I decided that we would fish an eight mile stretch of the river that starts at CW Outfitting and ends at Snuffies Landing. Along the paddle we will be targeting the famous Mississippi smallmouth bass but there will be the opportunity to land a walleye, pike, and catfish or maybe enjoy a battle with a monster muskie. To reach out for a line puller I will be borrowing one of my niece’s ugly combo rod & reels. I did get some ¼ oz jig heads that have black heads with painted white eyes and red pupils from Walmart. I did bring two packages of curlitail grubs; one package of 4” Got-Cha plastics in smoke/silver flakes and the other package of Gary Yamamoto of 5” super grubs in green pumpkin/black flake. Marian also will be borrowing a ugly stick combo with the same jig and plastics. 

My brother, Bruce is a different story; he attempted to use the same setup that Marian & I planned to use but part way through the fishing trip he decided to change over to a bottom bouncer starting out using crawlers and leeches. This way he could enjoy the drift and bouncing the bait along bottom as we headed to Snuffies Landing. Bruce then challenged me to see if I could out fish him with the plastics vs. him using live bait. Since the three of us are not familiar with this section of the Mississippi River I accepted his challenge.

I started working the shoreline but concentrating on downed trees and brush piles. After a few cast I managed to land a smallmouth bass. The first strike was made. Bruce paddled the Coosa HD to check the fish out. Then he decided to fish ahead of me. I managed another smallmouth, and then a third one that was a nice smallmouth and the smallies started getting bigger in size. The last fish that I caught that day was a nice pickerel. When I managed to catch up to Bruce he was in battle with a fish. He landed a nice smallmouth bass.

When the three of us managed to get close to a series of islands marking the end of the fishing trip so I called CW Outfitting to let them know we were approaching Snuffies Landing. Once at the landing, Bruce reported that he had three smallmouth bass landed. I told him that I managed four smallmouth and a pickerel in the Coosa . Marian had a great time in the Kilroy. So on this trip artificial baits 4 and live baits 3. The score is really not that important. The most important part of this trip was to share the kayak fishing experience with my brother. 

This experience would not have been possible without CW Outfitting for providing the Jackson Coosa, Coosa HD, and the Kilroy. Their location being along the Mississippi River in Clearwater also is the big part of this experience. Lastly the service of picking up the paddlers from their destination and bringing them back to their vehicles at the store completes one of the packages that they offer. If you plan on a trip to Clearwater, Minnesota I would suggest that you book your Mississippi River fishing and paddling through CW Outfitting. What a great way to check out that Jackson Kayak you are considering to purchase.


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