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Monday, 17 August 2015 00:00

Mississippi River Smallies

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

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, and I 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 also planned 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 a location that provides customers looking for a kayak to purchase the opportunity to demo that day. Also, this section of the Mississippi River is rated in the top ten 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. This section of the Mississippi is very canoe, kayak, and 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 would target the famous Mississippi smallmouth bass, but there would 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 borrowed one of my niece’s ugly combo rod & reels. I did get some ¼ oz black jig heads with painted white eyes and red pupils from Walmart. I did bring two packages of curlytail grubs: one package of 4” Got-Cha plastics in smoke/silver flakes, and a package of Gary Yamamoto 5” “Super Grubs” in green pumpkin/black flake.

My brother Bruce was a different story. He attempted to use the same setup that Marian and I were using, but partway 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 were not familiar with this section of the Mississippi River, I accepted his challenge.

I started working the shoreline, concentrating on downed trees and brush piles. After a few casts I managed to land a smallmouth bass. Bruce paddled the Coosa HD to check the fish out, then decided to fish ahead of me. I managed another smallmouth, and then a third one. 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 nice smallmouth bass.

When the three of us managed to get close to a series of islands marking the end of the fishing trip, 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 was really not that important.

The most important part of this trip was to share the kayak fishing experience with my brother. This would not have been possible without CW Outfitting 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, MN I 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 thinking about buying!

Read 5298 times Last modified on Friday, 07 August 2015 11:57
Darrell Olson

Darrell Olson an avid Fisherman enjoys bait fishing, using a spinning rod, bait caster, fly fishing, and fishing challenges that come his way. While living in England he was recognized as the 1981 Master Angler from the Rod & Gun Clubs of Europe. He has been kayak angling for a little more than five years. He is one of the founders of the South Carolina Kayak Fishing Association’s monthly Meet and Fish events. He is currently the Secretary/Treasurer of the Lowcountry Kayak Anglers. For the past three years he has been participating in the Inshore Fishing Association (IFA) Kayak Tour for the Atlantic Division. Darrell is a member of the Jackson Regional Kayak Fishing Team, an Ambassador for Power-Pole and Raymarine. Darrell is also a member of the YakAngler Pro Staff and the YakAngler Will It Fish video series.


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