Mississippi River Pool 14 Getting Piggie!

Water Body

After a long hiatus from the river due to work demands, I’ve been blessed to share some time on the water with a couple of close friends in the past 10 days. My first day on the water with my friend Jerry was a recon mission for the first four hours, with high flow, mud, grass and debris everywhere, we where unable to locate fish down river. We headed for the first mile or so of water below the dam and found some very cooperative fish at last. This first picture is of Jerry with a 21″ eye from that spot.

Pitching ringworms was our choice of presentation. With the flow and water conditions, our fish where holding tight to the shore line on a 5′ to 15′ break, with sand and rock both in the area. We pulled two slot fish, two shorts, and 11 legal fish from an area about the size of my boat.! We kept a few for the fryer and released the rest.

My next trip was with fellow Staffer and good friend, Tony Apisa. We began our day near the dam, with the fish being very tight lipped. We pitched ringworms, paddletails, and Kalins with little success. Down river was no better, so after a couple hours we headed back to the dam area, just in time!
The numbers of fish where not there, but the quality was fantastic for pool 14. Our key to success was again pitching shallow, dropping deep and holding on! Some of the best saugers I’ve ever seen on this pool where waiting, as well as some very healthy ‘eyes.

While the action was not fast and furious, we found that continuously changing color and style of plastic kept bringing more fish to the boat. We ranged from chart/glitter ringies to gold Kalins, with everything producing a hit or two before fading. The topper to a fantastic fun day on the water with Tony came midday, with this 26″, near 8 pound eye taking a jig and plastic right under the boat in 8′ of water. Anyone who says walleyes don’t fight should have been there for that battle! She gave my St Croix a run for it’s money, but succumbed after 6 or 7 minutes. This was the thickest eye I’ve ever caught, at least 5″ across at the pectorals. After some time to recuperate and get a few pics, she was returned to fight another day!
Thanks Tony and Jerry for some great fishing memories!

Profile Photo


53years old, married with 2 daughters. Fish pool 14 mainly. Love IDO! Joined IDO Field Staff in 2004. Giving back to a sight which has given me so much!


  1. WOW
    Thats the way to shake off the cobbwebs on them fishing poles John .Those are some real nice fish.It sounds like you all had a great time.

  2. Thanks for a great report John, Glad to hear you and Tony got out and got into some fish ,The river has sure been a mess this fall.

  3. Nice fish John . I made it out today for a couple hours . The bite was very good for us we boated 12 fish the smallest was 18.5 the pig of the day was a super fat 25.5″. All of the fish were caught on ring worms pitched to wing dams. Purple chartruse tail was the hot color. All the fish were caught south of Albany. With the water stabilizing and cleaning up the bite is only going to get better. I’m leaving for pool 4 the 19th I hope the piggies up there will cooperate as well as there pool 14 cousins.

  4. Brian, it took quite some time for Tony to wake up and get with the program, but yeah, if I remember correctly he managed a couple fish on his own.

  5. Great report John!
    Looks like you guys finally hit pay dirt under some real tough conditions. For most people, it would have been real easy to fold up the tent and go home.

    Congratulations on some real nice fish!
    Nice to see a picture of Tony holding a good fish again!


  6. Thanks for letting me tag along John. As always,it was a blast fishing with you.

    John did a great job of holding the boat in position for fishing the spot on the spot . Pitching BFN plastics was the way to go that day.

    Hey Brian, I think I might have caught a fish or two that day. Right John? Thanks again for a great day John. Hope to do it again soon.

  7. Tony, it really was my pleasure! I can always count on having a lot of fun when we get out together. We’ll have to get out again soon. The wind really has been quite a challenge this fall, makes for lots of battery usage.

    The river has really shaped up since my first day out, with very little grass or debri coming down. The level has dropped considerably, and flow is down as well.

    One thing that has really caught my attention these last few outings is the quality of the saugers we’ve been getting. Like nothing I’ve seen in many years on this pool. I have to think the dam closing is having a favorable impact on fish quality!

    Jigfan, good luck up north! Let us know how ya do! Sounds like you had a great day Sunday! I was at work, really wishing I was fishing. Looked and felt like a great day for pitchin’!

    Joel, after a long summer and early fall with very little fishing, I think I could have kept searching for days to find those fish. Fortunately, thanks mostly to what I’ve learned over the years on this site, I was lucky enough to shorten the search pattern somewhat to find that “spot”!

  8. john i thinkin i saw u working the pocket and rock pile pretty hard tuesday. we left by 1230. talk so a couple guys who are regulars everyday there and they went home with empty livewells. we were trolling the iowa side inbetween all the boats. managed to sneak 10 very nice fat saugers in our boat. most of which all have egg sacks started. also 1 slot greenie lived to see another day. didnt’ get there till after 830, most of the boats at that time were on the IL. side along the wall. was going today again, but didn’t care for all the wind action that was coming. tuesday was a great day weather wise.

  9. Nice report John!! About time Pool 14 turned on. Figures it would happen when I was up north. Hopefully it will continue until I can get out next week.

  10. 3WAY, that was me! We did a lot of pitching and some vertical jigging, got a mess of nice saugers as well, saw a lot of puzzled looks from others in the area. I have not used a minnow or other live bait since summer, and have been doing great! BFT plastics have been my go to all fall.
    Sure are some nice saugers around this year!

  11. john we were too far away to say anything. i was with a work buddy in a small flat bottom, with no depth finder, no ruler. he is so out dated but catches fish as good as anyone trolling..he wouldn’t know what end of the rod to jig with. i still call him a number of things, he has these 15in marks on the inside of his hull. i ask him, do u realize that if ur off just a 1/8 inch, the dnr says there is no excuse for stupidity. a sure ticket and ur paying my fine. my slot fish i knew was too big to keep but had no clue how big. he makes fun of my st. crois rods and rapalas, doesn’t own a rod that cost over a $1.92 where is the justice here might make it out again friday. i never heard how they were doing on the il. side along the wall. i know they were leaving there before we left the ia. flats. i’m sure its very good over there early. has been for years next to the wall first and then they move to the iowa side. the walleys i mean.

Leave a Comment