Where Should I Test Out the New Boat This Week?

  • lindyrig79
    Forest Lake / Lake Mille Lacs
    Posts: 5043

    I’m not much of a River guy but itching to test out my new boat this week, especially with the weather forecast. I am not looking to fish. And I just want it as easy as possible with little to no hazards and little current. Willing to drive a ways from the north metro to get it done.

    Any ideas of a good place to launch?

    Anoka County
    Posts: 2209

    I hear rainy is open!

    Central Mn.
    Posts: 15531

    I’ve always tried to dump a new boat or new to me boat in a river or lake, although I have seen those who drop them on the ramp for the first voyage.

    Posts: 47

    About 10 yrs ago I’m saw a guy put his brand new Ranger in the bed of his truck.

    Sorry but I did laugh!

    Posts: 2735

    About 10 yrs ago I’m saw a guy put his brand new Ranger in the bed of his truck.

    Sorry but I did laugh!


    Woodbury, MN
    Posts: 887

    Lions Levee in St. Paul Park might be an option. It has a nice double ramp and a dock. Do you know anything about boating on the Mississippi, especially with raising water that’s happening now? There will be debris floating in the water… logs, sticks, maybe even some trees. The current is typically not very strong at that ramp.

    The lower St. Croix down stream of Stillwater would be a better option but I’m guessing that’s still iced-up. Lake Pepin would have less current and less debris but a longer drive from the north metro.

    Posts: 4724

    Hidden falls park ramp on the sippi, stay between the confluence and the dam. Not much for debris in that area, water fairly low still, rising water will change things. Stick to the channel and not much else to worry about. Plenty of boats out there today.

    If we get high water this year with the amount of broken limbs we’ve seen on the river trails from heavy snow this year it’ll be pretty nasty year for debris imo. But for now you’re fairly golden, north of the MN

    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts: 483

    Hidden falls can be a tricky ramp to get your boat back on the trailer. There is an eddy there and one second your going down river and the next up and your missing your trailer. If you want open water on a lake your probably going to have to drive south a ways to possibly southern MN or even Iowa

    Forest Lake / Lake Mille Lacs
    Posts: 5043

    St Croix still iced up? Stillwater or Hudson?

    River Falls, WI
    Posts: 1451

    Mississippi south of Prescott but upstream of red wing appears to be wide open and is a decent place to run for miles on end. We did a new motor break-in there last summer that went very well. Stay away from the wing dams, use your graph to hold course on the barge route and you won’t hit a dam. Keep a decent berth between you and the buoys, sometimes logs and trees like to get hung up on them and just sit there below the water line.

    If you launch in prescott and run down to diamond bluff (or vice versa) then back you should be able to complete your entire 2 hour initial break-in easily with minimal boat traffic and no extraordinary hazards. Haven’t been out yet myself but will be in that area this saturday to get my boat wet for the first time this season.

    Forest Lake / Lake Mille Lacs
    Posts: 5043

    Thanks for the ideas guys. I called St Croix Regional Bluffs today as someone told me they had a harbor. However the ramp is still closed as the harbor is still iced. I may just hold off until one of the smaller north metro lakes open up.

    Ron F
    Rochester MN
    Posts: 55

    It’s a drive from where you are but we got out on Lake Zumbro just North of Rochester on Saturday. Some ice in bays but that’s probably gone by now.

    tim hurley
    Posts: 5390

    I would want to be close to home and away from strong current, 1st strip is to make sure everything works.

    Posts: 1652

    I wouldn’t rush this. If you’re new to baoting on rivers this is NOT the time I’d be taking my brand new boat out there to test things out. IMHO. If you decide to, absolutely wear life jackets and kill switch, and have warm, dry clothes and blankets, as well as a throwable nearby and easily accessible. Good luck

    SW Metro
    Posts: 9603

    There is too much stuff floating down the river right now, imo. Plenty of familiar lakes opening up any day now closer to home, just watch out for blocks left on the ice, much lower risk than the amount of stuff in the river yesterday.

    Woodbury, MN
    Posts: 1017

    Drop in at Prescott. Croix is wide open.

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