August Topwater Smallmouths in the Minnesota Mississippi: St. Cloud to Anoka
River fishing for smallmouth bass is all about fast action on medium or light tackle, and the Mississippi between St....
River fishing for smallmouth bass is all about fast action on medium or light tackle, and the Mississippi between St. Cloud and Anoka, Minn., is a great place to find it. Slot limits (12- to 20-inchers must be released) protect aggressive smallies that charge topwater baits with gusto. Boat access is plentiful, and you can wade-fish some areas. And bring a fly rod–casting gaudy surface patterns at bronzebacks with an 8-weight is a highly underrated flyfishing experience. Here’s the per-angler cost for a party of two, for a three-day, two-night trip, from Minneapolis.
TRANSPORT: Plan on gas for 90 miles roundtrip, and another 50 local miles scouting. $14
FOOD: Get groceries at Coborn’s Superstore in Elk River ($40). For dinner, hit VFW Post 8731 in Monticello. $35
LODGING: Try the Best Western Chelsea in Monticello (763-271-8880). $100
GUIDE FEES: Rates are $300-$350 for a full-day, two-person float through Thorne Bros. Custom Rod & Tackle (763-572-3782; thornebros.com). $175
LICENSES: For nonresidents, the best option is seven days for $25. A resident annual license is $18. Buy them through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (888-646-6367; dnr.state.mn.us). $25
TOTAL PER ANGLER: $349