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Went out last night (12/23/19) after hearing that guys were starting to pick up some walleye and steelhead using minnows for bait by the water filtration plant. So, the first thing I tried was to find some decent size minnows to net by stopping at several locations I've had success at in the past. I hate buying minnows anywhere because of the prices. Unfortunately, I found nothing but occasional small groups of runt minnows running along the walls, never saw any big shiners. The river water was crystal clear which probably didn't help. Then around 8:30 p.m. I decided to check success rates at the filtration plant where about 10 guys were fishing. Only ran into one fellow who actually had a walleye after being there for hours, and that was it. I was told that one other guy in that section of the wall had caught a walleye too, but I didn't see any more stringers hanging from the railing. Anyway, I gave up on the minnow thing and ended up fishing off the wall with my usual favorite body baits wiggling in the current about two feet off the bottom. After two hours of getting nothing but seaweed hung up on the hooks, I finally surrendered to the obvious and gave up a little after 11 p.m. All in all, it wasn't worth the gas. That will be my last outing until the spring. I can't imagine the fishing situation getting any better during the winter months. Just as a side note, I've noticed that there were far fewer emerald shiners running along the break walls all summer long and into the fall months than I've ever seen in past years. I wonder if the higher water levels this year had anything to do with that, or if there is some other biological reason for it. I really had good luck finding big shiners to net last spring, last part of April and early May. And I caught some good size walleyes with them too.
 

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95% of the minnows I saw this year were very small. When I did find a spot with large minnows I found walleye hanging around after dark. Next day the bigger minnows were always gone.
 
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