Big River, Both Species…What Will the Champions Tour Angler’s Do…

The Mighty Mississippi, Big Muddy, Ole Miss, whatever you call it the Mississippi River is a historic cornerstone of not only the state of Minnesota, but America as well.

Winding, tumbling, and turning its way 2,348 miles from the top of Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana. On the upper end of this great waterway lies Pool 4, which is known best for a large wide spot named Lake Pepin.

Along Pepin’s shores is scenic Lake City, a scenic river town which historic Highway 61 runs through and is best known as the birthplace of water skiing. Lake City also boasts some phenomenal angling opportunities for a variety of species.

Our anglers have the tall task of breaking down this diverse and tricky fishery that provides ample opportunity for both smallmouth and largemouth. As fall approaches the focus becomes the movement of the bait fish, primarily shad. As shad begin to grow and ball up in large groups, fish will school up to follow them and that can lead to explosive action.

If an angler finds these active schools of fish, they can get right in a hurry piling on the weight which means no one is ever too far behind to catch up. In a format where every fish counts anglers should have no problem with numbers although big fish could be a different story. Three pounders are worth their weight in gold on the Mississippi so don’t expect a bevy of four-pound fish to hit the Reel LiveWell App throughout the day.

Pool 4 offers just about everything anglers could want in terms of structure. While some may choose to work the rocky shorelines and main lake points of Pepin, others may brave the risky runs to the backwaters avoiding obstacles like underwater trees, sand bars, and of course wingdams to fish for largemouth in the duckweed, lily pads, and other various types of shallow vegetation.

The wind will play a large factor in the decision making of anglers as well, it doesn’t take much to make Pepin a treacherous place and the wrong breeze could make a beautiful day on the water a nightmare of a boat ride.

Expect those with prior river knowledge to excel in this tournament, river fishing is a completely different world than lakes and many strictly lake competitors may struggle to adapt to factors like current and changing water levels. Lure selection will vary greatly, those chasing smallmouth could be throwing anything from topwaters and jerkbaits, to Ned rigs and the Alabama-rig.

While those chasing green fish could be found flipping and swimming jigs as well as throwing frogs, a bite that the backwaters are famous for.

With so much on the line in this shortened tour season, no angler can afford a bad event as they race towards the Championship and a shot at a brand-new Skeeter Boat.

Who will rise to the occasion, and who will succumb to the power of this mighty river? Follow along Friday, on the Reel LiveWell App, Classic Bass Facebook page, and the website for live updates, video, pictures, and scoring.