Believe it or not, there is great open water fishing available right now in Minnesota. While most fishermen in the region are firing up their ice augers, anglers on Pool 4 of the Mississippi River are still fishing out of their boats.
Hands down one of the best ways to catch wintertime walleyes on this stretch of the river is the Dubuque Rig. It can be extremely effective in many different river fishing situation, but be wary of the local regulations where you fish because it’s a multi-hook rig, which is outlawed in some areas of the Midwest.
In this video, Travis Sorokie does an excellent job breaking down what the Dubuque Rig is and how he uses it. He also shares some of the jigs and soft plastics he likes to use with this presentation.
If you fish for river walleyes and you haven’t tried the Dubuque Rig yet, you’re going to want to give it a try. It can be a real game changer!
“Hi my name is Travis Sorokie. I’m here today to explain to you a fantastic way to fish down in Pool 4 in Red Wing, Minnesota. It’s the Dubuque Rig. Right now there are open-water opportunities here in Minnesota.
“A Dubuque Rig is a three-way rigged with two lures on it. It’s a border water down on Red Wing, so you’re allowed to fish with two lines or with two hooks.
“The Dubuque Rig is a simple three-way swivel with a heavier jig on the bottom that’s typically rigged with a minnow or plastic (I like plastics personally) and a lighter jig, or if the current is really light, we will even go to a straight Aberdeen hook and a 4-inch Ringworm
“Now these will work both pulling upstream and downstream. If you’re pulling downstream with the current, you can get away with a lighter jig on the bottom. So if I’m going upstream with a 3/8 oz jig on the bottom, as i go downstream I’ll switch to different rod that maybe has one that’s 5/16 oz on the bottom.
“You work this rig exactly like you would a bottom bouncer in the summertime. The jig is going to be hitting the bottom and you’re going to drag it, lift it, and hold it, and the lighter jig is following around back behind it mimicking the opposite of what the lure up front is.
“The plastics that I like to use are the B Fishin’ Tackle paddle tails, as well as the Impulse swim lures here that are new in 2017. For the ringworms, I like to use the 4-inch Berkley PowerBait Ringworms, as well as the Northland Tackle Impulse Ringworms. The extra scent gives the fish something to key in on in that muddy river bottom.
“Running a paddle tail on the bottom gives you a ton of vibration, and running a bigger ringworm on top gives you a bigger profile. If fish don’t hit the bait in-front, they’ll see the bigger profile coming.
“What I like to do when I’m fishing the Dubuque Rig is my main line is 10 pound test, and being the river can sometimes be snaggy, I will put my leaders at either 6 or 8 pound test. I never want to go too much lighter than that because there are some big fish down in Red Wing, and then there is the bonus chance that you might hook a sturgeon or a paddlefish or even a big flathead catfish.
“This is a great rig to fish down in the river, and I think you should give it a try!”
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