Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Minnesota Pro Tip of the Week: Low-water tactics on the Mississippi River

By Marty Hahn

Years of experience on Pool 4: 19.

Favorite water body: Mississippi River.

Fishing on the river has been tough lately with low water and lots of bait in the system. While we’re mostly past the mayfly hatch, a lot of the fry has grown to the size of being on the menu of many fish, including walleyes. The fish seem well fed.

In the river, we’ve been pulling crankbaits or dragging bait on light jigs. In Lake Pepin, we run lead-core line to get baits down near the bottom, typically turning up saugers, while trolling planer boards has allowed us to pick off some suspended walleyes.

It’s not always this tough. When we have decent flow in the river, we can catch fish all year. But we have been so low for so long now. But these methods will pick off fish, and another option is to fish panfish right now. There’s a decent panfish bite in the main lake, and main river, especially because of the low water conditions.

Hahn runs Mississippi River Fishing Guide Service, primarily on Pool 4 of the river, though he also offers trips on pools 2 and 3. Find him at or call him at (612) 875-8848.

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