Kerry Harvey (formally known as Hawger) has been telling me most of the summer he was going to take me out for the sauger bite. Today was the day and as an added bonus, we where riding in his (still has the new boat smell) Skeeter MX 1825. What a smooth 50+ mph ride up to the dam area.
This report actually starts out around 40 years ago when I was growing up in Hutchinson, MN. Over the years we would hear reports of this place called Red Wing that had great fishing. I remember thinking “Red Wing, that’s a long drive from here. Wonder what so special about that area?”
Then about 20 years ago, we moved to the St Croix River Valley. A friend asked if I wanted to go fishing in Red Wing. I though I was going to find the answer to my question.
It was March and I was amazed at the number of boats fishing. My friend and I started fishing just like everyone else. A jig and a plastic and drifting down stream slowly.
At the end of six hours, we were both tired of watching everyone else catch fish, and we had ZERO to show for our time. We loaded the boat at the DNR ramp right after dinging up his prop on the closing dam.
Ok, there’s a trick to the Red Wing thing, got it.
The first thing we did wrong was we didn’t stop at Everts Resort or 4 Seasons Sports in Red Wing. Just a little update on the bite and what’s working and how to use it would have helped.
I’m sure they would have set us up with the tools needed.
So what’s the big secret??…It’s not vertical jigging, it’s VERTICAL HOLDING!
Let me explain.
Kerry set me up in the back of his boat with 5/16 oz jig and a Super Doo from BfishN Tackle. He explained that he was using the same set up but because he was right above the trolling motor, he would be using 1/4 oz jig heads.
“Now Brian” Kerry said, “I want you to drop the jig down until it hits bottom. You’re line will go slack and you’ll know your on the bottom. Then reel in just enough line to be 2 to 4 inches off the bottom.” Kerry looked at me real serious and said “now hold it as still as you can, this is the most important part!”
What’s happening is the Super Doo’s tentacles are undulating in the current of the river on the hold. The angler needs to do nothing except ensuring the lure is near the bottom where the saugers are. All of the experts say the same thing, the most common mistake anglers make on the river is over working their baits.
I’ll say it again, let the river do the work
In 2.5 hours the fish counter said 38 saugers with a few walleyes mixed in all released and we put 7 saugers in the box.
If you are new to fishing the Red Wing area or just tired of watching people pulling in fish around you, give the over looked simplicity of the Super Doo a shot this time of year. Other plastics work of course, but “doing the Doo” is not rocket science will put fish in your boat!