651-321-4880 • 514 Alder St E, Stillwater, MN 55082 view map
While there is normally adequate parking close to the YBC office, there are occasions where you will be asked to unload your gear and park in a nearby location.
Located between the states of Wisconsin and Minnesota, the St. Croix offers miles of pristine beauty, peaceful solitude and outstanding fishing for almost every species in the Midwest.
There are no public docking facilities in Stillwater for boaters. So, pack a lunch before you arrive. You can dock your boat at the Boomsite Recreational Area Park - which is located about one mile north of Wolf Marine. You can also pull your boat onto the shores of the Mile Long Island right in front of Boomsite Park or anchor in a protected bay behind a land point or island where the current is minimal.
There are no navigational markers on the river north of Wolf Marine so pay close attention to your depth finder to avoid the very shallow or rocky areas.
Be aware that high water levels in the spring and after high rains can produce unpredictable and swift currents and moving debris such as logs, docks, whole trees and other wayward items. Low water levels can introduce hazards such as stumps and rocks both above and below the water's surface.
The fishing season opens the first weekend in May (check DNR Fishing Regulations Handbook for dates). The fish are larger than on Minnesota lakes, and you can eat your catch.
The Lower St. Croix, beginning at Stillwater and ending about 25 miles downstream at Prescott, is considered one of the best fisheries of the entire river. The state record bowfin, flathead catfish, American eel and longnose gar were all caught on this stretch. There have been 43 species of fish identified on the St. Croix River and the fun part is that you never know which of those species you are going to catch.
Here are the seasonal patterns and locations of the most popular species found in the
Lower St. Croix River:
Walleye and Sauger:
Start the season at the Excel power station near Bayport two miles south of the Stillwater Bridge on the MN side. Warm water is discharged into the river here and walleyes move into the area to chase minnows. A jig tipped with a fathead minnow is a reliable bait.
In the summer months, fish move out into the deeper main channel. Look for the major points, the edge of the deep holes above the points, the eddies and the sandbars. There are a series of productive points starting at the Stillwater Bridge on the Wisconsin side.
Smallmouth bass are attracted to the same habitat as walleyes but usually near faster currents. The best fishing is in the early morning and evening.
There are some very good spring smallmouth bass areas above Stillwater but you can only go as far north as the High Bridge (mile 28.5), which is about four miles north of Wolf Marine. Look for shorelines covered with rocks or pebbles and cast an orange jig or shallow running crayfish lure. Don't hesitate to cast into six inches of water next to the rocks. Other good spring locations are the power plant by Bayport, Anderson Bay or the bay just north of the Highway 94 bridge on the Wisconsin side.
Most northerns are caught incidentally while fishing for other species. It is thought that an abundant food supply reduces their availability. For a good starting point, try Hiline Point, approximately 2 miles south of Stillwater across from the power plant on the Wisconsin side.
Summer northerns are attracted to the cooler water created by springs or running water. Try the mouth of Brown's Creek north of Stillwater near the Wolf Marine or the Kinnickinnic River about 6 miles north of Prescott. Troll large crankbaits or suspend a sucker minnow below a bobber.
In April and May, look for big crappies at the mouth of the power plant and in Anderson Bay just below the power plant. Stay in 3 to 5 feet of water in the bay and use a 1/16 ounce jig tipped with a crappie minnow on a bobber rig. Keep your bait about 1 to 2 feet off the bottom.
As the weather warms, move out to the point just above this bay or move across the river to the point on the Wisconsin side. Then move to Hiline Point, across from the power plant on the Wisconsin side and work all the land points up to the Stillwater Bridge. Keep moving deeper if necessary. The rocky banks and pilings at the Stillwater, Hudson, and Highway 94 bridges produce great fish all summer.
Channel catfish ranging up to 15-pounds and flathead catfish up to 40-pounds have been recorded in this area. Most of the serious catfish anglers fish the deeper holes starting in the late afternoon or after midnight in late August. A few good spots are at the power plant in Oak Park Heights and the edge of the very deep hole off Catfish Bar across from Afton. Flathead catfish prefer deeper water than channel cats and are attracted to large sucker minnows on live-bait rigs fished off the bottom. Channel cats prefer chopped-up dead bait or stink baits on a 3-way Wolf River rig.
White Bass (Silver):
Freshwater cousins to the striped bass, White Bass hunt in packs and can often be spotted by the ripple on the water created as they chase minnows to the surface. In addition, gulls will be circling overhead, attracted to an easy meal by the commotion on the water. In the spring, try the flats around the mouth of Brown's Creek just north of Stillwater near the Wolf Marine; in spring and late summer, fish below the old highway bridge in Hudson.
Four thousand muskie fingerlings are stocked in odd-numbered years. Look for them off the sandbars in deeper water.
Bluegills can often be found around the marina docks.
© Copyright 2012 Sybil Smith, All Rights Reserved.
Charlie's Restaurant and Irish Pub at the Water Street Inn
101 Water Street South, Stillwater, MN 55082
425 Nelson Street East Stillwater, MN 55082