Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Exploring With Rod and Reel

I have been spending more time fishing recently as earlier this summer I was trying to get my free flight model airplanes adjusted for the Nats Free Flight contest the last week of July in Muncie Indiana. My motives for fishing recently have been more to try to understand the current fishing environment and how I could improve my chances of catching fish. Besides the fishing around the Winona area I have also fished some in Rochester while visiting my mother. 

No Luck Fishing Zumbro River by Apache Mall

Small Dam on Zumbro

Just out of curiosity I have tried fishing with worms in a couple of the warm water streams in Rochester, Bear Creek and the Zumbro River behind Apache Mall Shopping Center.  As a kid growing up in Rochester I remember catching small rough fish such as chubs, shiners, and suckers about as fast as I could bait the hook. After several attempts of fishing those streams in Rochester I have not caught a fish. I did have a small fish on in the Zumbro below Mayowood dam. It really makes me wonder what is different, is it the water quality or predators?  Completely out of curiosity I fished the small pond that is for drainage by Apache Mall and caught tiny bluegills right away.  I have heard about how bullheads have disappeared which is a fish that can live in almost any water. This article maintains there decreased numbers are related to cleaner water - “  Bullheads Drop Off - Cleaner water has led to the decline of the celebrated fish in southern Minnesota”, could other rough fish have disappeared because the water is too clean?

Sunfish Quarry Hill Nature Center Pond

New Dock at Quarry Hill

Turtle Came After the Worm

Recently I tried fishing in the man made pond at the Quarry Hill Nature Center using worms for bait. The pond is somewhat weedy but the tiny sunfish take the worms about as fast as you can bait your hook. I also had a turtle come after the worm but made sure the turtle was not hooked. My understanding is there is also largemouth bass and northern pike in the pond.

Crappie From Cascade Lake
One of Cascade Lakes

The other area I have fished is the Cascade Lakes. These gravel pits are fairly large and have some artificial habit created. So far I have caught small largemouth bass, sunfish and a crappie. I did witness someone catch a good size bass, another time someone caught a large carp.

Northern Pike caught in Mississippi River

Walleye caught from shore of Mississippi

I have also tried fishing from the banks of the Mississippi River in Winona where I live using artificial lures.  Sometimes I had good luck but more often I caught nothing. The one spot while casting off a dock I caught a small northern pike and a walleye within about 20 minutes, two other times I caught nothing.  

Like most things in life fishing changes, sometimes for the better and other times for the worse. It is fun exploring with rod and reel trying to discover the patterns of what is under the surface of the water.

Bill Kuhl

Related Links


Eric Atherton: Bass might be top attraction at Cascade Lake


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