Jump to content

    If You  want access  to member only forums on FM, You will need to Sign-in or  Sign-Up now .

    This box will disappear once you are signed in as a member.

Trolling Cranks


Recommended Posts

I'm a rookie to the big pond. I just moved to the area this year and have only fished it 3 times so far. My Dads coming up this weekend and would like to get him on a couple nice eyes. I'm only familiar with the 7 mile/busters flat area and surrounding. I also have the lake masters gps chip, so I can find most of the polular areas. It sounds like right now the best chance to catch some eyes is to pull #11 Taildancers. Is this still the best bet in this area or can I go back to rigging?

My question is, how do I know where to start trolling out in this area? Do I troll on top of the flats, on the edge of them, or off them a few 100 yards and troll in no mans land. It sounds like a lot of guys go in no mans land and fish for suspended walleyes. My question is where? Is any one willing to point me in the right direction. I'm not looking for your gps cordinate, but maybe a general area where you've caught a few before trolling. When fishing in no mans land, do you just put the boards and start trolling, or do you actually drive around and look for suspended fish or bait fish.

Or am I better putting some spinners on and just fishing around the flats?

Any help would be great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Use your electronics to locate fish in the areas your talking about, If your not marking fish chances are your not going to catch any. grin.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Come on guys, I'm not looking for your gps spots. Just wondering where to start looking for suspended fish. Any one want to share where the've had luck in the past..Any direction at all would be great. IE looking around 3 mile, 7 mile, 8 miles, Busters, Shermans, where should be a good starting point to start looking for suspended fish, or where have people had luck in the past?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could always try trolling after dark (shallow on the rocks). Agate Reef or maybe in front of Fischer's. Use Shallow running shad raps size 5, 7, or 9, depending on the depth. Colors clown , firetiger, crawfish, gold, chart.

Maybe too early though, but who knows. Water temps are still around 70 according to some other posts a few days ago.

Or try throwing out lighted bobbers on the reefs with small glow jigs and leeches.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are a rookie on Mille Lacs I would be very careful trolling the reefs at night. If you have a GPS unit I would go out in the day and chart a course and save it. I am not sure about Agate but most of the milk run reefs on the south end don't have enough water to float a boat. These shallow reefs are going to eat more than one lower unit this fall. Just have to be very careful and think ahead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i was on three mile yesterday morining. tried crankbaits for short while with no luck... we then anchored with good old slip bobbers and leeches.. caught 11 walleys largest being 23"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's nasty for sure on the South End. I would get out to any reef you are going to fish a couple hours early, and map it out.(GPS ). Hopefully this will avoid the "hungry rock" bite!!

I've been fishing Mille Lacs for 20 years, but it's a whole new game when your'e dealing with shallow conditions, and when fishing after dark.

Is the water level at a record low with the lack of rain over the last two seasons???

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Crankbaiting on Mille Lacs fall in three categories: 1-Leadcore and smaller 2-4 inch cranks which cannot reach the 23-30 foot level on there own. I usually use 18 lb leadcore (usually 3-6 colors)and start working areas where I observe bait pods and fish arches. Leadcore is an experience thing which is very speed dependant(1.8-2.7 mph). Common areas are seven mile to nine mile, the entire length of 8 mile ect. Do not be afraid to venture way off the flats as the Big fish often do. Work 23-32 feet zones of water where you see bait and fish. 2- Longlining No-Stretch lines like Fireline. This works with larger deeper diving cranks such as the aforementioned Deep tail Dancer, Reef Runners, Hot and Tots ect. Speed is a factor here as well but does not affect depth like leadcore. This time of year 2.0-3.5 mph is common. Purchase the dive curve book (Precision Trolling) and go to town. 3- Longlining shad raps and minnow baits over structure such as rock reefs, flats, and weedbeds. This works great on Mille Lacs, expecially at night. Daytime trolling on the reef edges 8-12 feet can be good also. laugh.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have also had success using clip on weights 1 oz. - 2 1/2 oz. sizes to get my crank baits in the strike zone of deeper water. Let out 35-50 feet of line, clip on a weight and let out another 75-100 feet line. Just like with everything else there are variables to take into consideration - so trial and error.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • smurfy
      ???? little early for that isnt it????   nice fish though!!!!!!1
    • Rick G
      Made it out for while on Monday.  Bite was crazy good, had fish suspended right below the ice.  
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end... Lake of the Woods ice fishing is still going strong.  Ice trails and ice roads are doing well.  Some anglers report slush when going off of the roads and creating their own trails.  Good idea to work through your favorite resort and outfitter this time of year.  Ice fishing is still readily available if you want to get out. Both day houses and sleeper houses are out and can be through March 31st.  The forecast ahead has high 30's during the day and teens at night.  Work through a resort or outfitter as they monitor conditions closely on their ice roads. The walleye and sauger season extends through April 14 and the pike season never closes.  Perch, eelpout, tullibees and crappies are also in season. A good week of fishing for some, mixed for others.  Walleyes seem to be moving this time of year.  If you are on them, it is normally good.  The combo of the jigging line and deadstick is working well.  One day they want it moving, the other, the deadstick is the ticket.   Huge pike continue to be active with good reports this week.  Setting up in 5 - 15 feet of water is the depth most anglers are targeting. On the Rainy River...   The morning / evening bite has been best for walleye anglers.  This time of year, extra caution is needed if fishing around moving water.     No open water fishing to report as of yet.  On the Rainy River, ice can go out quickly, only Mother Nature knows.  We will keep you posted. Remember, on Four Mile Bay and the Rainy River, catch and release only for walleyes and saugers through April 14th.  The big lake is still open for harvesting walleyes and saugers through April 14th.  Up at the NW Angle... Good walleye and pike reports by anglers this week up at the Angle.   Like the south end, a plain hook or small glow jig with a live minnow has been working well.  Walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch, big pike and eelpout in the mix. Crappies continue being caught on the Ontario side of the lake amongst the islands.  We recommend using a guide as ice conditions amongst the islands with current and neck down areas, etc.   For those looking to access the NW Angle while avoiding customs, snowmobiling across the lake on the marked trails are in good shape or utilizing the Lake of the Woods Passenger (bombardier) Service keeps you in Minnesota.  During the open water months, boating across or charter boat service is available keeps you out of Canada.  
    • Hookmaster
      Drove out again on Tonka yesterday late afternoon and fished sundown. Six other vehicles on the bay. Ice in great shape. Lost a lot of snow since last Wednesday. Snow melt starting to drain down the access so that'll go first. My hot spot was  still hot but not as many bigger crappie. Had to coax them a little to bite. Still got a 12 (inhaled the jigging spoon), a couple 11s and several 9-10. They were 80-90 feet away from where I caught them last week in 20-22' instead of 18-20' maybe because of the bright sun. Gotta love LiveScope for helping to find them. At 4:24 pm (spring solstice) I thought the fish might start jumping out of the holes or at least go on a ravenous bite, but nothing changed. When all that bit were little bluegill I went looking for the crappie and didn't find them. I did find 2 schools of sunfish. One in 15' that had 7" fish and one in 18' on a ridge between shoreline and a hump that separates 2 deeper holes. Those were 8" average.
    • Wanderer
      I rarely buy live bait in the summer also, with the exception of leeches.  But all of it needs to be kept cool and oxygenated so the bait coolers do prove their value.   You might want to shop around for bait prices though.  Maybe out of the 7 county metro you could call ahead.  I found decoy suckers for $3 each over the winter.
    • gimruis
      Part of my issue with live bait is that it generally results in a higher hooking mortality than artificial does, especially in the heat of summer.  95% of what I catch is intended to be released, so in order to maximize that, it helps to avoid using live bait.  I'm not saying you can't accidentally kill a fish with artificial that is deep hooked, because you certainly can.  But as a general rule, they are more often hooked in the mouth with artificial.   The cost is also ridiculous for some live bait too.  Crappie minnows and waxies aren't bad, but when you start talking shiners, jumbo leeches, and decoy suckers...it gets out of hand quickly.  The last time I bought a big decoy sucker for muskie fishing years ago, they were $14 each.  15 bucks for a dozen shiners and half of them are dead by the time you get to the lake?  Take my left arm too why don't ya.
    • Bloatlord
      End of April is my guess for lakes along the I90 corridor.
    • Rick
      A weekly list of news briefs about fish, wildlife, and habitat management.Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • leech~~
      Great.  Have to swing by soon to see what they have, then over to Petti Bros for some jerky and sticks!  
    • Dash 1
      Great news. They opened last Wednesday. Sounds like it’s about twice as big. Looking forward to checking it out soon. 
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.