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Zumbro smallies…..

  • keith schuckert
    Participant
    Posts: 39
    #1974105

    So I am looking at going down to the zumbro river to fish for smallies. Is the river as a whole wadable because I would like to wade it. I do have a sit on top kayak I could bring (vibe skipjack 12t).

    Also this will be my first trip with smallies as my main target. I’m usually a bucketmouth/musky guy. Will my normal senko’s, square bills, spinnerbaits work. I do have some white and some watermelon/red flake tubes I’m planning on bringing. I have several DNR waypoints/kayak and canoe launches saved also heard about a entry point by city rd 11. But I’m not from down there. I will be coming from river falls,wi. Any pointers and advice would be appreciated. Really excited to catch from what I hear the fish that is pound for pound one of the best fights you can catch. Also I only do CnR if that helps with a launch point.

    Coletrain27
    Participant
    Posts: 2879
    #1974157

    i would say your definelty going to want to bring your kayak. the river is shallow in areas but also has alot of deeper pools. the river is pretty low right now with pretty much no water going over the zumbro dam.

    county road 7 east of mazeppa has a nice area to park at and enter the water or else you could go up stream a little further and put in at the bottom side of the dam at macs park place campground. they will charge you a small fee to launch and park there. from there or cty road 7 you can go down to zumbro falls where there are 2 good spots to get out and park there or you can keep going to hammond and there is a nice launch to get out there.

    there is a canoe rental business at the zumbro falls sportsmans park and they start there and float down to hammond where they get picked up and drove back to the park.

    if your traveling alone and dont have a way to get back to your vehicle you could start at the sportsmans park and go to hammond and have them give you a ride back with your kayak for a fee. (im guessing about $10). if your doing this route the river can get kind of busy on the really hot weekends but i think we are past all the heavy traffic now with the weather.

    Tom Sawvell
    Inactive
    Posts: 9559
    #1974167

    From the bottom of the Lake Zumbro dam to County Road 7 is probably the best smallie water. Its also a designated c/r smallie water in this stretch. You can find all sorts of fish all the way down to the Mississippi but if you’re focused on smallies, this is the stretch.

    If the power plant in the dam is not generating electricity the river can be waded easily but there are deeper holes as mentioned so a kayak or canoe is a major benefit. If they are generating electricity the flow will be much stronger so due care should be exercised. The lake above the dam is slightly under normal pool so things below the dam are pretty much consistent. Heavy rains can get the river up so again pay attention to what the weather has offered.

    Coletrain27
    Participant
    Posts: 2879
    #1974190

    It’s not a matter of if they are generating electricity or not that changes the level of the water very much. It’s how Much electricity is being made which is controlled by the lake level. If there is no generation then minimum flow gates are opened to keep ample water flowing at all times. The DNR has a big say in what happens with the levels.

    Currently right now there is no generation And the river will not go down a lot. It’s starting to spill over the dam right now

    john23
    Participant
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts: 2484
    #1974199

    I did this a lot as a kid in skinnier sections around Oxbow park. I always did well throwing a mepps spinner when looking for fish – super easy, fast, and effective.

    keith schuckert
    Participant
    Posts: 39
    #1974207

    Thanks guys I’m probably going to go tomorrow morning. I will bring the kayak. I’m always careful in it and send the wife my gps location just incase something does happen. Any rip rap I should worry about or is it generally a smooth float?

    Coletrain27
    Participant
    Posts: 2879
    #1974227

    Nothing huge. There’s a few sections where it’s shallow but nothing a kayak can’t handle. Report back how you do waytogo

    Tom Sawvell
    Inactive
    Posts: 9559
    #1974264

    It’s not a matter of if they are generating electricity or not that changes the level of the water very much. It’s how Much electricity is being made which is controlled by the lake level. If there is no generation then minimum flow gates are opened to keep ample water flowing at all times. The DNR has a big say in what happens with the levels.

    Currently right now there is no generation And the river will not go down a lot. It’s starting to spill over the dam right now

    I’m not going to argue with anyone, but I stand by what I wrote. When those turbines are spinning there is substantially more flow. Water levels will rise somewhat but the velocity is much greater. I’ve spent my whole life in and along that river and the lake and have seen it first hand. many times.

    Stay mindful of what the water is doing Keith and you’ll be fine. If they are generating and the flow increases it will help to put those bass in eddys and seams.

    The Oxbow Park area is as John suggests can be a decent wade if you want to stay on your feet. At this time of the year with the colors coming on it is a beautiful valley to fish. The smallies are not going to be arm breakers but they are feisty. The suggested Mepps spinner and a selection of 7-9 size Rapalas should keep you in fish.

    keith schuckert
    Participant
    Posts: 39
    #1974344

    Thank you all for the advice. I am always extra careful when I wade and will be extra vigilant if the current is moving pretty good.

    Coletrain27
    Participant
    Posts: 2879
    #1974470

    Lake level has came up slightly overnight and is Spilling about 2-3” over the dam today.

    Coletrain27
    Participant
    Posts: 2879
    #1974952

    Did you end up going Keith?

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