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Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Dennis Anderson Column

July 23, 2008

By Dennis Anderson, Star Tribune, Minneapolis

Jul. 23–Lake fishing across much of Minnesota can become more challenging in midsummer. Walleyes sulk, frequently suspending themselves out of easy reach of many anglers. Bass fishing remains a good option on many lakes. But perhaps the most fun that can be had these latter days of July is on rivers, fishing for warm-water species such as smallmouth bass and walleyes.

Minnesota is blessed with many rivers to choose from. Obvious choices include the Mississippi upriver from the Twin Cities. Floating or paddling between Monticello and Elk River is popular for smallies. Bigger specimens are farther north, near Royalton. And the stretch of the Mississippi below Brainerd is generally accessible, with good smallie action usually the rule. Meanwhile, farther north, above Brainerd, is largemouth bass country.

River fun is also available on the Snake, which is generally a wading river. Find an accessible piece and start casting and walking upriver, wearing jeans or shorts and a pair of sneakers. Walleyes are available here, as are feisty northern and bass. Like the Snake, the Zumbro and Rum often are overlooked rivers that can offer plenty of fishing fun.

Finally, the Upper St. Croix, above and below Grantsburg, Wis., is great for summer smallmouth bass action, with the occasional walleye and northern thrown in. Experienced anglers know muskies also lurk there.

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