Yearly recaps are, simply put, the past year in a few short paragraphs. I try to hit the highpoints that stuck out above and beyond what we typically think as normal. It has been a long time that I have written a recap about normal, at least speaking about water levels. 2019 was all about high water as levels jumped up in mid March and other than a few weeks late in the summer, were way above normal throughout the year.
High water is always a good thing and this year really validated that. We were able to catch fish in the river stretches most all year. The only exceptions were when the water got too dirty. For those short stretches we went to Lake Pepin itself where water was a little cleaner and were always able to put together a bite of some kind generally pulling crankbaits.
There was normalcy in the fact fish were predictable by season as usual. Vertically jigging and Dubuque Rigs were our go to methods pre-spawn through the spawn. Post spawn found us pulling bait or crankbaits on three way rigs. We pulled cranks through most of the warm water period and drug jigs and bait when conditions allowed. We spent a lot of time pitching jigs in the fall and went back to Dubuque Rigging when the water temps fell back below 50 degrees.
We caught fish from the Twin Cities stretches of the river down through all of Pool 3 and the upper 40 miles of Pool 4. I sound like a broken record every year but the consistency at which this 70 mile stretch of river that I fish produces is mind boggling. Year in and year out, day in and day out, if there is a piece of water anywhere that kicks out fish throughout the year that is completely natural with no aid from stocking, I haven't heard about it. I will post some monthly numbers below as I have for the last couple years. One thing to remember when looking at these is that it is all based on water conditions. People regularly ask me what the best time of year to fish is. My best answer is the month that has the best water conditions. That varies from year to year and is the biggest variable we face. It is really all about the level and flow. Those are the biggest determining factors on where and if we'll catch fish.
The numbers below will represent Month.....Total legal fish in that month....avg. number of legal fish/full day trip .
As we get going this spring I will start my 16th year of guiding on this stretch. At some point during every day I fish I look around and think about what a truly unique place it is that I get to spend my time.
Thank you to everyone that joined me last year on the river and if you haven't, give me a call and line up a trip. I think you would enjoy the experience.