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MNHuntress

Guys need advice on owning a fish house on Mille Lacs

24 posts in this topic

I'm not sure where to post this(because there is not the stupid questions forum) but I thought I would try here...

All winter long I have been toying with the idea of owning a fish house on Mille Lacs which would be used for a winter and summer spot. This would actually be a chick fish house, because a bunch of us ladies like to fish and this would be a way to get out. I fish usually 2-3 times per week every week, so I just didn't fall out of the minnow scoop and I've fished Mille Lacs several times. I wouldn't fish the lake during the summer just smaller lakes around there. I know it can be very productive or not so much just like any lake. What I need is advice on the pitfalls of owning one, any advice you can give me on the questions below or things you wish you would do different.

Wiring 12v or 110v, which brings into play noisy generators (seen posts on here before about that topic), but then again 110 gives you more options, some generators have to be better than others

toilets (again some have to be better than others)

fish house materials (more than likely I would buy a fixer-upper and go from there)

resort owners and what to watch out for, would like a resort with a bar, shower, etc so one can take a break if needed

How would you move a house (besides on the ice) if you wanted to move to a different resort, maybe it's not possible and too expensive

Are resort owners good about putting your house on fish

Why do some houses have short wave radios

Sorry for the long post, but I'm trying to go into this with my eyes wide open. We all see the advantages of it, but with gas prices you have to be able to justify it too. Maybe it's not all what it's cracked up to be (just like a cabin alot of work). So any advice good, bad or indifferent would be great. Thanx.

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so I just didn't fall out of the minnow scoop... I like that. Mind if I use it?

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Sure you can, but I just did fall off the electrical wagon. I meant 120 v instead of 110v in my post. That's why I hire out wiring.

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most houses are wired for both 12 volt and 110, you just need to make sure the correct bulbs are in (speaking from experience here)

Toilets...you're on your own!!! I stand for #1 and drive into town for the other!!!

you can find a good house pretty reasonable this time of year. just take a road trip, drive around the entire lake and look at resorts dead storage areas for signs, and also their board in the bars. there is also a resort on the west side..rocky reef, that was selling off some of his houses pretty reasonable.

the resort is a personal preference, just check into many of them, because the prices/services/etc vary greatly. I'm on the west side and pay under 400 a year and love it.

there are a couple guys around mille lacs that move houses. I had my 10x16 moved when I bought it, cost about $175 and it made it without incident.

no matter where your house it, there is not guarentee for fish!!

hope this helps, good luck, mille lacs is a great place to fish from!!

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Thanx, great info.

Maybe somebody knows on this toilet deal because I see alot of them with bathrooms, are these like decomposing toilets or what the heck does everybody else do, cuz that aspect could be a mess.

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i have built a portable potty that sits right beside my sleeper.is 4 x 8 gotta bench in the back with a toilet seat on it and bucket goes under it.if you do buid 1 gotta get the foam seat not the hard seat.it also got a heater in it.no need to run into shore or run around the lake tring to find a potty.you dont want the potty tobe in your fish house.

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Now is a pretty good time to go house shopping....Many of the bars, restraunts, local newspapers, etc. have them posted.

The resort you choose to "call home" will take some homework. Do they offer the bar/restraunt/bathroom/shower stuff you want ? Do they even offer warmweather use ("camping") of the fishhouse? Is there electrical available during spring/summer storage? And the bottomline, what do they charge for all this "stuff".

The electrical should be no big deal... It SHOULD be wired for 120v-AC which will work for 12v-DC too.....Instead of plugging in to an outlet or generator for 120V-AC, you connect to a 12V battery..and like the previous post said, change the lite bulbs for whichever power you're using.

The bathroom setup is based on your tolerance for cold, plus how fast you can drive to the resort before "answering the knock at the back door". The best built-in bathroom I've seen is like a small closet with a bench/seat/lid. Under said lid/bench/seat is unheated space with a bucket & plastic bag...This "business end" of the operation is accessed from a small door outside. Good Luck with your quest... P.S. One of the best resorts I've used is Mac's Twin Bay...although they are spendy if you want to use the house year-round.

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There was a recent move by the county board regarding the use of fish house facilities during the summer months. They are looking to license resorts who allow this to happen and also place criteria on how they can operate. A meeting was held last month and a lot of the resort owners were in attendance. I believe at this time a committe was set up to study this issue. There are definitley some hard feelings between the two factions, so I would certainly discuss this with the resort of your choosing to see how it may effect your plans. Good luck and hang on. Bill

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 Originally Posted By: bturck
There was a recent move by the county board regarding the use of fish house facilities during the summer months. They are looking to license resorts who allow this to happen and also place criteria on how they can operate. A meeting was held last month and a lot of the resort owners were in attendance. I believe at this time a committe was set up to study this issue. There are definitley some hard feelings between the two factions, so I would certainly discuss this with the resort of your choosing to see how it may effect your plans. Good luck and hang on. Bill

that's why I'm on the west side, not in Mille Lacs County!!! not an issue for us, can use it anytime.

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Ryan, lets hope it stays like that. Unfortunatley once the door is open just a crack everyone wants to open it wider. Bill

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the other counties don't have as much real estate as Mille Lacs county does on the lake, so I don't think it'll be an issue. where I go out of is also a small operation. I love it there, hope it doesn't change!!

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Ryan_V

I have a couple questions for you about ice houses, if you have a chance could you shoot me an email please...

diezal00 at gmail dot com

thanks!

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I have seen sevral houses for sale from 500.00 to 5500.00. I personaly would check out the west side. I grew up in the area and the service of the resorts for the most part is great. Lots of the resorts have porta pottys on the lakes. There are some smaller resorts that have showers and bars and are much cheeper. I went to a resort last thurs they wanted 30.00 Just to drive out with a wheel house for the day any other resort charges from 8.00 to 10.00. Like some others said take a road trip. Good luck finding the right one.

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Ryan V,

Where are you on the west side? I am looking to move my 10x16 house to dead storage or year around use.

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BW... e-mail sent.......

Lindy...I'm out of Garrison Sports

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When your choosing a resort, go in and kind of interveiw them. There are a very small few that don,t like that people own their own fish house, or sometimes worse, a wheel house.

But in general, most are freindly and have excepted that some people would rather own than rent. (A touchy subject on millacs)

As for toilets, sometimes works good to put up a small portable with 5 gal. buckit inside with double bag inside. Also if you can get a piece of 4" styrofoam, trace out a toilet seat cut out and use a palm sander to form into a toilet seat. Amazing when you set down on it is'nt cold!

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Advise:

Get several partners and share expense. State rules.

SW corner near Cove has some excellant Ice Fishing businesses. We love B----t's.

Save GAS stay close to home.

House should be comfy not pricey. SHop and find one around $ 2000????

Needs a bunk for each,,,,cots are messy...

cook stove a must a coleman camp stove works fine. Also need auger with extension, batteries, TV ? etc It is fun and way cheaper than owning a summer lakefront cabin!

Watch for any new rules regarding summer lodging [PoorWordUsage]...

This concept works GREAT for our 4 person partner/club.

MANY houses are for sale around Mille Lacs...MUST be a reason!!!!!! Article stated only about 2500 shacks were out this year usually 5000 plus!!! Check For Sale forum, Craigs List and all the Bar - Resorts- Bait stores also....Good Luck

Its an ADVENTURE.

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EJW...that's why I'd recommend staying out of Mille Lacs County, at least until all the ............ you know what.......... is setteled with the rules they want to impose. I'm on the west side, pay under 4 hondo a year, can use my house year round and am less than 100 yards from shore. that's not to say that other counties won't follow what Mille Lacs County is doing, but it hasn't even been discussed yet.

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Last year they found a way too tax my camper (Park model) that I have parked at a resort as property tax. As they did everybody elses. They are seeing a lot of nice campers at this place and wanted a peice of the action.

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Guys, since I posted this original question my plans have changed slightly to a wheelhouse. Building from the ground up. My biz partner in this deal, has access to alot of German plywood (which is awesome stuff), we have access to a great carpenter if we can keep him away from the beermeister, and it would give us the option to move it easier for camping and fall bow hunting.

It sounds like Resort Owners don't like this option, I don't mind paying a reasonable amount to a resort that would help out on the plowing, etc. Anybody had the experience of keeping a big wheelhouse on Mille lacs during the winter or know of resorts that will accomodate something like this? Or is this bad idea for Mille Lacs?

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MnHuntress,

We cater to Wheelhouses and have several packages available. You can contact us for package details and pricing.

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A Wheel house is the way to go for Hopping around. Me, I cant sit in one spot. I would figure out what aria of the lake you most want to fish. Pick up a map and a phone book and do some homework. I dont think you will have a problem. Appledooms is on a good side of the lake to fish. I would not have a problem going with paul. He is a good guy

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I don't think it's that Resorts don't like the wheelhouses. They just seem to get singled out because of a few that don't feel they need to pay like everyone else. Then they have access to the world wide web and say they got the shaft by X resort owner because I accessed at the public access and happened on the road that the resort maintains and they don't own the lake.

Well, if that's the case, and the way wheelhouse people think. Then I have to be under the impression that wheelhouse owners just don't have alot upstairs between the ears.

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 Originally Posted By: MNHuntress
Guys, since I posted this original question my plans have changed slightly to a wheelhouse. Building from the ground up.

It sounds like Resort Owners don't like this option,

look at alot of houses and decide what you want, what you need, what you like and don't like. layout is everything...

i don't think the resorts have a problem with wheelhouses. i think the resorts have a problem with [PoorWordUsage].... the few times i've had my house up, i've never had a problem. last weekend, the resort even let us stay in their parking lot for the night.

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  • Posts

    • BringAnExtension

      Posted

      11 hours ago, ZachD said:

      I am sure Johnny P is all booked up on weekends by now and for some reason some of the guys don't like sleeper houses all though I may push for it this year last year was such a hassle packing everything up for the night loading the trucks having to bring sleds and wheelers. I much rather bring my flasher couple rods and lots of beer. I go fishing enough running and gunning its nice to have a break where you just show up and fish.

      Yes, he probably is.  I book with him early.  I think that he offers guide service in December up until he opens the sleepers up.  Might align with your portables.

    • I was on Namakan yesterday and kept 4 eyes 14" to 15" caught in under 20' of water. Water temp is 60. I was rigging with a half crawler. However, I had friends out using jigs and minnows in 40+ ft and they did well. He said he found a school and using his I Pilot just hovered over the top of them. So it seems the fish are scattered and all methods are working.

      1 person likes this
    • monstermoose78

      Posted

      I hope this weekend is better than last!!  I know there is a  lot of ducks around but they have so many places to hide.

    • If you want to stay away from the crowd I would suggest Beacon Harbor I think after jan 1st they don't allow day passes its only beacon harbor and outdoor authority who have houses there. Then they allow only a limited amount of yearly passes.

      Now they don't have all the bells and whistles like a bar and food ect but John and Ann are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Not to mention I personally think it is some of the best.

       

      Now if you needed a bar and food and all that my choices would be Rogers or Westwind

    • fins_n'_feathers

      Posted

      Today was the complete opposite of yesterday. The current coming out of light house gap made a pocket of clear water out in the lake overnight, fished right on the edge of the muddy water in 14 feet of water and went through 3 bags of frozen shiners and caught a bunch on plastics after the minnows were gone. Nothing fantastic for size, only 3 in the slot but nice limits of 14-17 inchers and a ton of smaller fish. Once that muddy water gets blown out or clears up the bite is going to be crazy good!

      1 person likes this
    • eyeguy 54

      Posted

      212 wondering the same thing maybe?? ;)   

       

    • Agronomist_at_IA

      Posted

    • CigarGuy

      Posted

      I got 4 nice ones last Friday in about 8' to 9' of water in a channel off Wakemup Bay .  It was the last hour of daylight.  Tried a couple times during the day Saturday and right before dark and struck out.

    • 11 hours ago, BringAnExtension said:

      Zach-

      I have been making annual ice fishing trips with friends for about 12 years ago.  We have tried LOTW, Mille Lacs, Red and one other lake that happened to be where we could use a free cabin for a weekend.  With that one exception for the free cabin, we have also rented sleepers.

      We have never made it to Devils Lake, but it is on my personal bucket list just because of the possibility of those monster perch.

      Six years ago, we ended up back on Red and no longer consider any other option.  Here's why:

      • This fishing is good.
      • The Petrowske family are wonderful hosts.
      • No other resort that we have used has come close to being wonderful hosts.  They just didn't put any effort into it.

      Now, I don't know how that you translate to your running portables, but I have never been disappointed with our trips to URL.

      Hope that helps.

      You should definitely try Devils lake I went 3 years ago and had a blast. Not only did we get put on a good perch bite but they put us on an Insane walleye bite the guy said it was about an hour window from when the sun starting setting and boy was he right in that hour I caught walleye after walleye after walleye. As soon as I would start reeling one up another mark would take its place on my graph and I couldn't get my lure down fast enough.

      I am sure Johnny P is all booked up on weekends by now and for some reason some of the guys don't like sleeper houses all though I may push for it this year last year was such a hassle packing everything up for the night loading the trucks having to bring sleds and wheelers. I much rather bring my flasher couple rods and lots of beer. I go fishing enough running and gunning its nice to have a break where you just show up and fish.

       

      I usually go to red 3-4 times a year and last year we did go to red for our work trip as well. Just weighing the options.

       

      Has anyone ever rented house from Arties bait on big stone?

    • DRAGFOOT

      Posted

      I don't know what to say, we crushed em jigging in 30 feet last Friday while getting knocked around in the waves. Anchored up and never moved. Lots of boats on the river already then and not good reports at that point. I was going to go back up for Saturday and if I did I would go straight out to 30 feet again. 



  • Posts

    • BringAnExtension
      Yes, he probably is.  I book with him early.  I think that he offers guide service in December up until he opens the sleepers up.  Might align with your portables.
    • Dusty
      I was on Namakan yesterday and kept 4 eyes 14" to 15" caught in under 20' of water. Water temp is 60. I was rigging with a half crawler. However, I had friends out using jigs and minnows in 40+ ft and they did well. He said he found a school and using his I Pilot just hovered over the top of them. So it seems the fish are scattered and all methods are working.
    • monstermoose78
      I hope this weekend is better than last!!  I know there is a  lot of ducks around but they have so many places to hide.
    • ZachD
      If you want to stay away from the crowd I would suggest Beacon Harbor I think after jan 1st they don't allow day passes its only beacon harbor and outdoor authority who have houses there. Then they allow only a limited amount of yearly passes. Now they don't have all the bells and whistles like a bar and food ect but John and Ann are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Not to mention I personally think it is some of the best.   Now if you needed a bar and food and all that my choices would be Rogers or Westwind
    • fins_n'_feathers
      Today was the complete opposite of yesterday. The current coming out of light house gap made a pocket of clear water out in the lake overnight, fished right on the edge of the muddy water in 14 feet of water and went through 3 bags of frozen shiners and caught a bunch on plastics after the minnows were gone. Nothing fantastic for size, only 3 in the slot but nice limits of 14-17 inchers and a ton of smaller fish. Once that muddy water gets blown out or clears up the bite is going to be crazy good!