Guests - If You want access to member only forums on FM. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on Fishing Minnesota.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
GoggleEye

Why so many 26 and 27 inchers?

70 posts in this topic

I was wondering if anyone can tell me why there are so many nice 26 and 27 inch walleyes in Mille Lacs? I have caught so many fish this size this year and I am loving it. I am assuming that it was because of a good reproduction year (whatever year that may have been??), but if anybody else can shed some light, throw your 2 cents in. I can't wait till the coming years....there are going to be so many 30+ inch trophies out there if everyone keeps doing their part in CPR'ing. Good luck all.

GoggleEye

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

28" slot......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ya, I know the slot is working well, but there seems to be more 26 and 27 inchers than 20-25 inchers. I guess it may be because I tend to target larger walleyes with the baits I use and the areas I fish too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all it was a great year class (there is another good one in the 21-22 range). Second of all the slot limit. Hopefully people will allow them to grow to 30". It will take a collective effort in the next 2-6 years to put as many of the big ones back in the lake to keep good numbers in the 30"+ range. Obviously some will make it, but let as many go as possible and there will be that much more. How fun would it be to go out and catch multiple 10lbs fish in a year or even better, a day? It's up to us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote:

there are going to be so many 30+ inch trophies out there if everyone keeps doing their part in CPR'ing. Good luck all.


I doubt it. It has been this way for quite a few years now and a 30 inch eye is just as rare now as it has ever been on Mille Lacs. For whatever reason, not very many fish in Mille Lacs grow bigger than 26-27 inches. I don't know why, but that is the way it is.

Not saying there aren't some in and around the 30" range, but they are few and far between. Best time to get them would be the fall and even then it is pretty rare to hear of many that make it past 28 inches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GoogleEye,

I know, it's a blast getting those 25-27 inchers. cool.gif For me the 28 ++ are the ones I can't catch. 27 3/4'" was the biggest for me last year during the Summer.

Does anyone have a different pattern, or do anything different during the Summer (besides going up in Fall). to catch these???

Rodmaker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Earlier in season (for this year early Jan.) I my self had

a good run of 24-27 inche walleyes. I spent most of that

time in Jan. out of Father Henn. park access. Due north

around point to left. There is a little hump due east of a

little island right their. Some ice heaves at that time blocked you in. Right in a cluster of house, just east of

the island (in about 13-15 of water) I had very good luck right at dusk for thoughs walleyes. During day caught alot

of jumbo's as well. Possibley going to try their again.

Keep fishing,

SHACKBASH

P.S.

how do you up load photo's onto this page. I have some milac

photo's I would like to show? laugh.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would have to concur with this, first 3 weeks in Janurary had 20+ fish between 24 and 26 inches. Didn't score anything 27 or over, but spent most of my time on the rocks and gravel. I was going to ask, but seen Trophy eyes call it above. I have not caught a fish in the 20-23" range all winter...I didn't know if it was me or if others were seeing the same thing. Have caught lots of fish between 15 and 19, but just curious on the gap between 20-23". How many of you are seeing fish in this range? and in what numbers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote:

how do you up load photo's onto this page. I have some milac

photo's I would like to show?
laugh.gif


You have to use a host site, check out the Muskie Photo Board thread under the Muskie Pike forum, Petrowski explains how to do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember about 7 years ago when the slot was 14"-18", then went to 14-16". There were alot of 18.5-21" fish in the lake at that time. They are now the 26-27" fish you are catching--they've been protected a long time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not a one!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can almost be sure that the males only grow to about 26-27".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had one between 20-25"es today get off at the hole, I just caught one that was 17"es so Im pretty sure on the size of this one. I think it was closer to 21-22"es though

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right on target RMS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I promise there will be a lot of fish caught over 28" in the next 3 years. These fish don't stop growing, they just begin to be taken out of the lake because someone puts them on a wall or eats them. That is why the Mille Lacs fishing pressure will never allow them to get to be 30"+. Either everyone needs to start encouraging release of these fish or the DNR should extend the limit to 30"+ to allow for true monsters. How many people would like to be sitting here in 3 years talking about catching 2 or 3 30"+ fish?

Take pictures and measurements and get a replica made, who knows you may be able to catch the fish again when its bigger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We saw quite a few 25-26" fish, only one hit the 27" mark and nothing bigger than that. This past weekend the size seemed to be either 16-17" or 22-23". In that same spot I did see 3 fish that I would say were 27"+ fish but they acted like they've seen a spoon or two before.

I am curious what these fish will bring in a couple years, obviously bigger 28"+ fish, but how long that will last is the question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trophy eyes nailed the reason IMO....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish this would happen, but doubt it ever will. To get a fish in the 30" range you have to have a better food source. These fish have plenty to eat, but the nutritional value isn't high enough to get these fish over the 30" mark. Lakes that hold a good food base of oily fish like cisco, hearing, and even tulibee have a much better chance of growing fish faster and bigger. The fish just seem to platue at the 26-29" range. If the tulibee population were to come back strong it would increase the chances of that 30" fish. There sure are a ton of the 26" plus fish out there and you can get one every day in the summer. I have fished this lake every weekend in the summer for 20 years and have yet to get one over 30" Sure would like to. I totally agree that we need to release EVERY fish between 20"-30" for this to be a possibility. A fish that large is poor table fair and the replica mounts are very realistic so there is no reason to keep those fish. I would love to see the slot go to 30" on ML.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TrophyEyes,

You are 100 % correct I believe!! WE need everyone to release these bigger fish 28 ++. They are not good eating!!! If anyone catches one over 28, take a few photos and release it!!!

Anyone who has had a graphite replica done will never go back to a real fish mount. They will never fade color, they will never chip or crack!! Matt up at Artistic Anglers is the best by far!!! I have a 17 " Crappie, a 21 " Smallie, and a 42" - 26 lb Salmon from Lake Michigan. This guy knows how to paint fish!!!

For the bigger fish, 28 and above, like I posted earlier but no response yet. Do you have a different pattern, or presentation for these guys during the Summer ???

Thanks,

Rodmaker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nova, the forage base is as good as you could ever hope in ML. Just look at growth rates of muskies, walleyes, and northerns. They don't just quit growing at that magical 28" mark, its most likely fishing mortality and harvest...

By the way a tulibee IS a cisco and my spelling isn't perfect either, but I think you meant to type herring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some bodies of water have the ability to consistently grow walleyes to 30+ inches, some do not. IMHO, Mille Lacs does not. A true 30" walleye is a rarity on ML. I am not a biologist or anything, but nutrition could very well have something to do with it. The fish seem to top out around 26-28 inches or so, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, those are still really nice walleye. However in my opinion, Mille Lacs will never consistently grow 30's like some waters. You cant tell me that all of the 26-27 inch walleyes are from a year class, and there is only a few fish over 28 still in the lake? My bet is that the 26-27 inchers are from several year classes, and the majority of walleyes in ML are maxed out when they reach this size. But thats just my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gorilla, you are absolutely correct, the food base is outstanding, but it doesn't have the high protien/fat that lakes like Erie have. There is plenty of food to get these fish to the upper 20" size, but not the protien/fat base to get them over that mark IMHO. Sorry about the spelling and thanks for the correction blush.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wondering what size the gill nets target???

DO NOT get this post wrong, Im not attacking anyone.

just an honest question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love to see the limit go to 30", even if it is just an experimental thing to see what happens. If it works, great...keep it. If it doesn't start producing 30" fish after a few years, then put it back to 28" so those who maybe catch their first big walleye can keep a 28 incher, or even better...get a replica and put her back in the drink. It's worth trying to see if the limit is really what is preventing these fish from growing to 30 inches. Then you would know for sure if the forage is the problem or not....that is the only real way to find out. I have a gut feeling that if the limit were raised to 30", that a lot of the walleyes in ML would be capable of growing to that mark (especially the females). I hope I see it someday because I am going to be in heaven! For now, I guess I am going to have to wonder on over to the likes of Bay De Noc, Rainy Lake, and Chequemegon Bay for the 30 inchers. I still love Mille Lacs though....how could you not??

GoggleEye

GoggleEye

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could increase the slot to only one over 30 inches and it still wouldn't happen. There have been lots of those 25-26-27 inchers in there for quite a while now. Why? That is all the bigger most get!

Remember the year that the bite was cake out there? I will bet that most people that fish there alot caught tons of fish in that 25-26-27 inch range. Don't you think alot of those would be 30 inchers by now?

Most of the fish just don't grow past that 27-28 inch mark, that is just the way it is on Mille Lacs.

I agree with you that we everyone needs to let those big ones go, but I still will highly doubt it will increase the number of 30 inchers in the lake. Anyone that has fished there for quite a few years will tell you the same thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • knoppers
      with the current weather and the forcast for next week, we should have great ice by next weekend. be safe out there this weekend, ice just took hold on smaller lakes, the wind has kept things uneven.
    • kunzi26
      Down visiting in southern WI with family and our neighbors just watched someone go through ice and drown on a small lake near Lake Geneva. Everyone please be careful when checking ice! 
    • eyeguy 54
      these are pests. not game.  
    • Mike89
      ok, but waste not want not is how I was raised.  I also know what you mean by thinning the heard!
    • LunkerLover84
      Has anybody gotten a look at area lakes? Any of them locked up yet ? A buddy said he seen a couple guys a little ways out on Bakers Bay and a couple guys on Eagle. Seems a little crazy to me. There can't be much more than an inch or two. Maybe a little more on Eagle since its shallower.