This saturday, my wife and I celebrated our anniversary by renting some kayaks from Clearwater Outfitters, a local outfitter in central Minnesota, and we had a great time. I had never kayaked before, and my wife hadn’t done it since she was a child.
We opted for the shorter trip, which was about 8 miles and lasts between 2-3 hours. Even though this was part of our date, I had to bring a fishing pole along. The stretch of river we took was between Clearwater, MN and Becker, MN and my research told me this was supposed to be good smallmouth fishing.
We headed out the latest the outfitter would let us go, so we mostly had to paddle, but I did hit a few good looking spots to make some casts. I wish I would’ve had more time to fish, because the spots that looked good, had fish in them! The water was very low, so most of the shoreline trees, that are usually submerged, were out of the water. Other areas that had trees in the water definately held bass and pike. A couple different times, I made one or two casts and had fish on in the predictable spots. Fighting the fish in a kayak was a new thrill for me and landing the fish proved to be a little challenging.
Since most of the trip was paddling through slow moving water, I just trolled a J-11 clown colored Rapala behind me. By dumb luck I caught several fish this way, including a 14 inch walleye. I passed the rod over to my wife so she could troll, and she had one little smallmouth on for a little bit before it broke the line. After we lost that bait, we didn’t catch anything else.
We saw a few other people in canoes and kayaks and they were catching some fish as well. Overall it was a fun trip and I’m glad we decided to do it. I have been eyeing up this stretch of the Mississippi for a while now and taking it in a kayak was a great experience. I would not hesitate to take a canoe and fish this river more thoroughly next time out there. Clearwater Outfitters offers different styles of kayaks and canoes to rent, as well as stand up paddle boards and a Huck Finn style raft for small groups. I recommend you go through them if you are interested in floating the Mississippi in central Minnesota.
Good luck fish’n
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My name is Brad Bolton, a husband and father of four. I live in Minnesota and I enjoy spending time in the outdoors and also spending time with my family. If there is water nearby, I want to fish it.