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Team Otter

Blaze Orange 'Eyes

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Team Otter

With much of the focus on colder weather, skim ice and the '06 MN Deer Opener, it set the stage for a perfect chance to cash in on those giant Mille Lacs Lake 'eyes in shallow water. And let me tell you, the fish did not disappoint. I can honestly say I can not remember a more memorable trip in a long time. So, let me get to the details...

We hit the water Thursday evening ~5:30 pm in hopes of merely bumping into a handful of patterns so we had a few options to go off of for the remainder of the trip. With the colder temperatures on Thursday and the lack of moon-light, we decided to go against the grain and use smaller profile stick baits and shallow runnin' shad raps. We targeted the inside and outside weed edges in 3 - 6' of water and on this outing, it proved to be a game of inches and not girth. We had 2 25+" fish for the night but a solid 2 dozen 18 - 22" fish. Based on our results from Thursday and with warming weather and wind for Friday and Saturday, we decided to stay in the same area but switch back over to larger profile stick baits. Both on Friday and Saturday night, it seemed like we could do no wrong. The big fish were absolutely destroying our presentations! Again, the inside and outside weed edges proved to be the deal breaker, with 2 - 5' of water being the best depths for the larger fish. Throughout the course of Friday and Saturday night, we boated in excess of 30 fish that were 24" and bigger along with several pan-size models in that 18 - 22" range. There were 4 key components that I believe made all the difference in the world, especially considering conversations that I had with several people in the area that said the bite was "slow".

1) Monitoring and following the seagull activity. These birds were constantly telling me where the bait fish were. Also, when the seagulls were circling hard and diving into the water, the 'eyes were not far behind.

2) Boat speed was critical. We did not get bit unless we were going <1.0 mph. Our typical speed was 0.4 - 0.6 mph. A mere crawl from just a few weeks ago.

3) Lure color and size had a very noticeable pattern. When the moon was out, black/gold and Tennesse Shad in #10 HJ's was the ticket and when the moon was hid, Glass Perch in #12 HJ's absolutely ruled the roost.

4) Avoiding boat traffic. Although the boat traffic was not heavy, we avoided any. We saw one boat in the area we were fishing otherwise Thursday and Friday we had a good 2 mile stretch all to ourselves.

I will post (or get) some pictures posted soon that will be attached to this report. I will also have more photos available for you to view on my website which you are free to view as well at your leisure.

The bite is anything but slow if you do your homework and I think there may be some opportunity, according to Mother Nature, for some more of this unbelievable fall action.

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Dhenry

Great post, and I second what you're saying. Fished last night with quite a bit of boat activity and the fish bit and bit hard. We ran into Mykal early on the water and he made me a litte nervous by saying he had lost a couple fish and was getting his bites on the pause. We used the electric all night, but didn't have to pause much. A great night to be on the water without much wind. We fished from 5'-8' and caught all of our fish on #12 HJ's with our best color on the night being orange craw at speeds of less than 1 mph although at times fish hit baits on the outside turn. We caught (sorry TRZ) in excess of 30 last night with a two man crew with 4 fish topping 27" (nothing over 28") and at least another 6 over 25". The fish are as fat as I've seen them all year. I think this bite should last another couple weeks especially with the warmer temperatures this week. I was surprised to see the water temp at 37 degrees after hearing the reports about skim ice on Friday. One last comment would be that our bite was very slow after 12:00. I think we caught 3 fish between 12- and 1:30.

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Mykal

Great posts and great night indeed. We also went over the 27+ inch mark several times last night!

I had the pleasure of taking out George, a friend of mine who is new to night fishing Mille, so I hoped I would not disappoint. The weather was beautiful and water temps hovering at 37.1 for the start of our night. We launched out of the NW bay that has taken a pounding for the last few weeks. The boat traffic was heavy as expected and after losing our first 2 fish like D said, at 6:30pm, I pulled in our first dandy, a very plump 25. Dodging boats for another hour or so was not going so well for us this night so we headed farther north to another popular rock weed transition area. Boat traffic was light and we managed 3 walleyes between 21.5 and 24 inches, with another one coming undone on the way in. Again, after switching up baits several times and little to show for it, another move was in order as the numbers and size were not up to par. Great night to run and gun and the night was young, so I made a decision to head over to the rocks. From my previous logs, I knew they had to turn on sometime out there, persistence paid off and we finally hit the goldmine. Switching our baits, line diameter, and even our trolling passes, to 1.1 and under, we finally dialed in on the one pattern that worked, and for a 2.5 hour stretch we boated an additional 14 of some of the finest, fattest Walleyes I have seen this year so far. 2 fish at 24, and the rest went 25 to a whopper sumo at 29, 3/4 of the fish at the upper end of the scale, including a double and 2 coming undone on the way in. We put a tape around one 26.5 that had a 14 girth. Big baits were in order and #14 Husky Jerks were the ticket. Our bite also slowed just after Midnight with only 2 fish, a 24 and a 25.5 coming in. Not only did George break his personal best Walleye of 26, but he did it 4 times this night, which now stands at 28.5. Way to go George!

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Team Otter

Great work guys! I know the joy you're feeling. I'm still a bit speechless from being able to partake in 3 straight nights of that.

One thing I did forget to mention was that I just had to smile yesterday when we were catching monster 'eyes and hearing rifle shots in the distance. Too sweet! smirk.gif

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18 inch Crappie

All is I can say is holy s##t. With only 2 fish to take home, 34 fish over 25" with to many 26's and 27's to count. A double. 2 that hit the tape at 28 something. 4 slimmers with one just under 20lbs and 2 break offs with 14lb fire line. Is WHAT A NIGHT............. IP was a zoo, kinda like driving in rush hour. After plucking a couple nice fish there, I had to get out. The dill rods that think they own the point was driving me mad. Tried the weeds with only one eater and a couple slimmers. I found a little rock pile that put out 20+ 26 and 27 inch fish with one 28 1/2. It was to the point that I left to try something different. Came back and got 2 more on the pass in to the landing.

IMG_0012.jpg First double of the night

100_0227.jpg one of the many fat fish

100_0225.jpg Jeffs 28"

100_0196.jpg a 27 or 28

100_0197.jpg Can not forget my dad

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Team Otter

Right on! Those "models" look awfully familiar.

I have some pics up on my website and am working on getting some more attached to this report as well.

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PerchJerker

Good reports.

I made an unexpected 4-5 hour trip to Mille Lacs on Saturday night.

We got on the water quite a bit later than I wanted and got on fish right away. We knew some guys on the water and they had close to 10 fish in the boat when we got there (ouch). I sure would have liked to have put those 10 fish in my boat!

We fished the NW side and caught just under 20 fish there in 3-4 hours, about half eaters and half overs. Most of the overs were 25-26 inchers, nothing was over 26".

For the last hour or two we ran to the north end to a spot that is usually dynamite late in the year. Unfortunately we didn't even get a bite there, and the guys that stayed where we had been picked up another 3-4 fish while we were up north (another ouch).

But I'm not complaining -- it was a gorgeous night, we had decent action, and it was a last minute trip so all in all it was a bonus.

It's interesting that you guys got your fish going so slow. Most of our fish came from 1.0 to 1.3 mph, with a few on pauses or inside turns, but we also got a couple fish when we kicked it up 1.5 or 1.6. We went as slow as .6 but did better over 1.0 than under it.

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TundraKing

Wow! Excellent! I was out there Friday night for a few hours and caught several. Not the numbers the you guys have been pullin' in, but I had to post to at least mention the size. We had 3 that were very nice: 26", 28", and yes 29.5". They were absolute pigs. I've got pics of the 28 and 29.5. Will try to post them soon.

Going back today. Can't handle working when I can be catching those whales!

Good Fishing Guys!

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Mykal

Tundra, I'll take Quality over Qauntity anytime my friend. Now, I have to go back out and try and top your 29.5. wink.gif

Nice job!!

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rosspj59

I couldn't have asked for better conditions on saturday night. I caught some nice fish and lost a few too. Glad to hear others did well also! I could not top 28 inches, but my neighbor did 3 times. Almost had a boat run over one of my fish while I was pulling it in and saw a guy casting cranks toss his lure into a boat bobber fishing and hit a guy. crazy.gif Other than the boat traffic the lake was perfect saturday night. I had good luck with husky jerks in 3-5 feet of water too.

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rodmaker

Team Otter.

AWESOME report!!!!! Are you heading up anytime this week??

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Team Otter

No, I'm switching gears for a bit and chasing deer now.

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TUMBLEWEED

I am leaving for the pond at noon. Combo hunt and fish

trip. What are the current slots now?

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Wookiee

everything back in the water 22" to 28".

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Matt Johnson

Here are some of Jamison's pics...

Full_Moon_002.jpg

Full_Moon_009.jpg

Full_Moon_010.jpg

Full_Moon_014.jpg

Full_Moon_012.jpg

Full_Moon_013.jpg

Full_Moon_020.jpg

Full_Moon_022.jpg

Nice fish guys!

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Team Otter

Thanks for putting those up Matt!

These photos are a nice sample of what we experienced while targeting "blaze orange 'eyes" last week. smirk.gif

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Sifty

Nice fish guy's sounds like fun.

Sifty

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Team Otter

Thanks Sifty! Fun...indeed it was!

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • HunterFisher11
      So have had this small lake on my radar seance last spring, was out there and got some really nice crappies a buddy and his dad got some nice northerns, so like I said small lake max death of 5-6 ft and that is pretty much in one spot but does kind of get close to shore where there is trees in the lake. So my thought is to sit on the edge and fish for crappies and toss out a tip up closer to shore??
    • side_laker
      Thinking about bring my wheelhouse up there tomorrow far a day of fishing and spend the night any new reports 
    • tview
      Was on green Thurs night was able to find a few fish in 24ft between 4:30 and 7:00  bite was OK we ending up keeping about 10 nice eaters. heading back out today 
    • Rube
      Was on Green Thursday , fished from 3:30 to 8:30. Caught 3 nice crappies and some small perch. Funny thing the crappies were caught between 4 and 5. Not a bite after dark,  they  ( or something) was there but would not bite on anything I put in front of them. Caught the 3 in deep water with a frostee and minnow. Good Luck Moose.  I may try Little Elk this afternoon
    • monstermoose78
      The wing bolt on my auger sheared off yesterday. So I spent some time getting the bolt out. Then I was off looking for the strongest bolts I could find. The auger is good to go again. Seeing I have about 5000 holes drilled with it upgrading the bolts is worth it. There is a lot of ice this year and I am not having any issue powering through it with dcd985 and the clam plate. I am getting some of the ice chips out of the hole before busting through, but I did that with the lazer mag too.  I think I am going to hit green lake after dark for some crappies with my father in law. 
    • Cliff Wagenbach
      Mielkez, I thought that the area you are now targeting was supposed to get the most snow from the coming storm. Cliff
    • AlwaysFishing23
      That’s exactly what finding right now nothing shallow. 20 seems key.
    • james_walleye
      I'd concentrate on the buffalo/annandale area just northwest of the metro. There's a ton of good lakes. Clearwater, Pulaski, pleasant. The list is long. 
    • Mielkez
      Alright guys. Change of plans. My group is concerned about lake travel. After consulting a snowfall map we've decided to stay south of the line that runs from basically Duluth to Lake Winnie area. Were coming from Wisconsin and don't know anything about MN lakes. Rather not do Mille Lacs. Looking for something a little smaller. Not asking for spots. Is there a lake within and hour or two to the north or east of the cities that fishes strong? Looking for panfish mostly with some walleye mixed in. Thanks. 
    • Rick G
      Pretty sure you DON'T know where this one is.... I see you creeping around, looking for my spots...lol
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