I went out with a buddy looking for big cats on Saturday... we ended up starting in Belle Plain and worked our way back to Shakopee. I was told to look for big cats on the river by Valley Fair but couldn't figure out how to get there, so we ended up fishing on a backwater which I thought was the main river channel (now I feel like an idiot). We started under the Highway 25 river bridge just west of Belle Plain and going SW from the bridge was a bust... I now think we should have been in the slack water full of downed timber on the NORTH side of the bridge (dur) but at the time I wasn't sure what to do or where to go. We were there for a good 2 hours with nada, zilch, zip when we took off for Shakopee to try our luck up there. I got some good strikes under the 101 bridge going north from downtown Shakopee but couldn't get anything to hook up... looking back on it, I can think of a good 4 times/places we missed opportunities and spots I want to get back to. Maybe this upcoming weekend. I have a ton of nasty dead suckers left over from last Sat, so I'll probably stick them in the freezer till next weekend. I want to catch something over 5#... my current PB is a 3.5# channel I hooked using a 4/0 circle hook and chicken liver. I wanted to hit the river back by Valley Fair's employee parking lot, but I didn't want to take a chance on getting towed by security, so we left that spot and headed back to the part that, as it turns out, is on a backwater. What I did NOT realize is that this on the east end of this same park there's a trail and a bridge out to the main channel. Live and learn, eh? Next up are the areas down by Blackdog and out to Snelling... I want some big cats so bad I can taste it. If anyone's looking for another one or two guys in their party, I can cover gas, food, bait, whatever, but I really, REALLY dyin to hook into something fabtastulistic. So far it's all been the Mississippi at 58th St. and all small. I've tried the Camden landing about a half-dozen times and never hooked a damned thing in there... so if anyone has pointers for the NW side of the metro on the river, that'd be great too. I'll keep putting up fishing reports as I get chances to head out, too, so I'll try to contribute in kind as I get tips. Thanks so much and I'm so glad to have found this resource!