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iowaboy

Mille Lacs Jan. 16th - 20th

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iowaboy

Burrrrrrrr what a cold weekend!!!

Well made my first ever trip to Mille Lacs with eight buddies this past week and weekend. Stayed with Hunters Point very nice place to stay highly reccomend it!!

The fishing was poor at best. We fished 3 Mile on Weds night with no keeper fish caught in 4 hrs fishing time. Thursday he had some of the group fish 3 Mile again the caught one 18 inch eye in six hrs. The remainder of us went out to the Boot Flat and turned it into swiss cheese with no keepers caught in 6+ hrs.

Friday and Sat. we were in a sleeper out on Banana only managed 1/2 dozen keeper perch from 9-11 inches. We had 12 rattle reels out each night with no hits.

The camera's really told the story of why the bite is off. Their are 1000's and 1000's of 3-4 inch perch everywhere so the eyes must be to full to eat what we had to offer.

It was a fun trip just to bad the fish were to busy to cooperate.

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talltines

Iowaboy, I hope that this trip doesn,t put a bad taste in your mouth. Milacs this year has been unusually slow, due to the excessive amount of forage available. I hate to say it but, should have come up last year. This is just a goofy cycle, give milly a shot next year, and I'm sure you will be impressed with the results. How many fat eyes did the camera show you? We were due for slow ice season considering the exceptional bite the past few years has given us on the frozen pond.

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Kyle Sandberg

I keep hearing about how many small perch there are swimming aroung in the lake. If they all survive the winter, are we looking at a big year class for jumbos in 3-5 years? From the sounds of things its looking promising but how many or percentage will survive?

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AceintheHole

Just have to take the good with bad.

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iowaboy

We only saw one eye when we were in the sleeper but saw a few out on the Boot Flat.

Don't get me wrong we had a good time even though the fish didn't bite. We knew going up that the bite was off but decided to go anyway.

This was the forth winter in a row a group of us have taken a trip somewhere. The first yr. we went to Devils for 4 days and ran into 65 below wind chill so only got to fish about a day and a half. The second yr. we went to the Waubay area of SD and did pretty well. Last yr. we went back to Waubay and ran smack into that Feb. snow storm and only fished about 12 hrs in 4 days. Now this yr. we run into the coldest weather of the season so far in Minnesota and tons of forage for the fish to eat.

I think someone upstairs has it in for us......

Oh well fun memories with a bunch of friends is better then working any day!!!

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Kyle Sandberg

Wow, you've guys have had some pretty bad luck picking a good time of they year. Don't worry, I'm sure you'll get a good year adn just nail the walleyes. Gald you still had a good time.

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Powerstroke

"with no keepers"

I'm not sure if this means you caught nothing or you only caught fish that were too small or in the slot.

Hopefully you were still catching fish. Its hard when you can't have something to bring home. With the every-other day cold fronts and the large forage base the fish are sitting fat and sassy without a reason to go after the lures.

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MuleShack

 Originally Posted By: K Dawg
I keep hearing about how many small perch there are swimming aroung in the lake. If they all survive the winter, are we looking at a big year class for jumbos in 3-5 years? From the sounds of things its looking promising but how many or percentage will survive?

I'm wondering how this will affect the opener and beyond. How long does it take for these perch to grow outside of the walleyes tastes? so will they still be lip locked come opener?

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AceintheHole

They must be hitting the perfect eating size for the walleyes because this summer was some of the best fishing I've had up there in a while lots of 22-30" fish. Sounds like it may be a tough spring. Lets hope not.

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iowaboy

Powerstroke.....

We only caught the one walleye.....18 1/2 incher no short fish or no large eyes were caught. We did catch a bunch of the 3-4 inch perch and a few spot taled shinners were also caught. We had 2 seven inch perch we had two keep cause there swim bladder was in there throat. The other 4-5 perch that we kept were between 9-11 inches.

Yea it will be interesting to see how the open water bite goes for you all this spring.

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delta hunter

I always heard with perch fishing is that you will have that with the swim bladder in the throat. I was also told that all you have to do is pop it and they will be fine. I pretty sure I read that in an article in a mag now that I think about it!

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late night

I hate bad fishing as much as anybody but it might be in the best intrest of the lake in the long run. Mille Lacs has been pressured pretty hard with some really good catches coming out of her, expecially last summer. If that lasted much longer the fishing might really suck.

At least the fish are there and eating well. Maybe lots of people will loose intrest in fishing Mille Lacs and move onto other lakes and when the bite comes back the lake wont be so overwhelmed with fisherman. Not the best news for local buisness but every lake runs in cycles of good and bad.

I, for one, am pretty excited about this perch report. In several years Mille Lacs might be home to the best perch bite in a long time.

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walleyecaber

I agree with LN on this one the perch out there are small and keeping the eye's well fed.This may make the next year of fishing tuff up there but hey in the long run down the road all of us that fish this great fishery will happy. Just my 2 cents I, for one, am pretty excited about this perch report. In several years Mille Lacs might be home to the best perch bite in a long time. I will second that LN cool.gif

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MuleShack

 Originally Posted By: walleyechaser
In several years Mille Lacs might be home to the best perch bite in a long time.

That and there will be rather large Muskies and FAT walleyes. When you pull up a 27"er it will be 8 lbs instead of the 5 lb 27'ers that were seen this last spring. (wish full thinking grin.gif)

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Wanderer
      My recollection of Sylvia is it being a nice, clean looking lake that would have nice views.  Bass were plentiful when I last fished it but ran pretty small on the weedlines.  You had to fish the slop to get better sized bass.  Couldn’t tell you a thing about walleyes there. I agree with Tom, Clearwater is a more dynamic fishery.
    • Wanderer
      We had to cut the hooks on one of my fish this year.  Caught on a Cisco Kid, 2 of 3 sets of trebles in the fish.  Just by how they were twisted, the leverage made removal by pulling very difficult and the fish would thrash when I attempted to work them out.  Made the decision pretty easy to cut the hooks. I’m honestly considering going barbless on everything.  Half the time the lure shakes free in the net anyway so the pressure is what keeps them buttoned until netted.  The plus is if one of us gets one in the hand when working on a netted fish, it won’t hurt so bad getting it out!
    • Wanderer
      Thanks for the feedback.   We have the time from hookset to release pretty short I think.  I read earlier this spring the average fight these days lasts 90 seconds or less.  I’ll admit I was amazed to hear that but after a half dozen muskies that have come to net this year, that’s no bull.  We usually have em netted on the first pass by the boat.  My 48 inch net allows one to do all the handling in the water while the other gets the bump board laid out and phone ready for a pic. A quick measure and quick pics and back in the water they go. Thats about as much as we can do.  70 degrees is lower than I expected to hear.  We were seeing those temps on opening weekend in Ontario.  We didn’t like seeing 80 last Friday on Leech.
    • delcecchi
      What do you think of the "cut the hooks" method of dealing with Muskies?   Small bolt cutters to make the process fast.   Just wondering.  
    • guideman
      Typically temps over 70 degrees are considered dangerous for handling Muskies. The length of the fight and the time you take handling the fish will make a difference. That is one of the reasons we use heavy line and big rods, you don't want to battle the fish to the death. Skip photos on smaller fish and remove the hooks with the fish in the net, in the water, not on the bottom of the boat. "Ace"   "It's just fishing man"  
    • Tom Sawyer
      Sylvia would have been my 1st choice, until it recently was discovered to have Stary Stonewart. Pretty devastating invasive. I'd bet Clearwater holds a state record large mouth bass. It also has strong walleye year classes.
    • Wanderer
      I was able to get back out on Leech last Friday the 13th.  Had to take a day off work to get some fishin’ in! This time was strictly for muskies but bass and pike showed themselves anyway. 🙂  The morning waves were still rolling from either the night or Thursday and the lake was rougher  than expected at 6 am.  The forecast said 0-5 and eventually the wind did calm from the northwest, switch, and then proceed from the southwest.  The effect for us was basically almost a 180 degree switch while we were out there and we didn’t see any fish of any size after that.  I think the switch was complete by roughly 1 pm. The other thing that raised our eyebrows was the surface water temps.  We started seeing high 76’s right away on the main lake but climbed pretty quickly to 78-79 mid day and was topping out at 81 by the afternoon/evening.  This made us really want to focus on deeper weeds but weren’t having much luck locating them.  We just weren’t in the right part of the lake.  But that’s how you learn - by doing. Total muskie count for the day = 2; 1 follow (mid 40 class) and one boated (41.5).  The day went SUPER fast for 10 hours of fishing.  Black bucktails raised the two for us.  I had the follow, my partner caught the fish. The temps had us concerned about the fish but my monster 48 inch net enables us to keep the fish completely in the water until it’s time for a quick measure and pic. Still trying to come to grips on what’s too warm for fishing muskies.  This one was on the line for no more than 2 minutes, including the net time before the hooks were out.  Maybe another minute to get the phone and board out and glove on for grabbing it up.  Less than 1 minute to measure and photo, then back in the drink for an easy resuscitation.  
    • Jeff Thill
      Looking for walleye  and bass fishing mostly.   I did hear good things about Clearwater Lake.   My wife has been looking at houses and her focus landed on West Sylvia.  She could care less about the fishing. Have any of you heard good or bad things about Sylvia Lake?    
    • FishinCT
      I looked up the Mille lacs hooking mortality study on walleyes and it started to dramatically increase around 65 degrees. About 5% mortality at 65 degrees but about 25% at 75 degrees. I have to imagine the numbers are higher for muskies given an extended fight with a large fish, having to take more care to not get cut up or hooked yourself while unhooking the fish, temptation to take lots of pictures, etc.  Here's the study if you're interested http://mnmuskie.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Reeves-and-Bruesewitz-2007_factors-influencing-hooking-mortality-of-walleyes-Mille-Lacs.pdf
    • DLD24
      Went out the last couple days on Mille lacs, we had no problem finding fish, but the big fish eluded us... We got all sorts of year classes from 11" eyes on up to 24", which is a good sign... That big storm they got must have dirtied the water up, all the fish we found were on the top edge of the flats no matter how bright it was... Rigging leeches and crawlers were the best until we got some waves then the jigging rap was taking all the fish. The fish were stacked up on points of flats and narrow ridges on the flats... We tried pulling lead for a little while, but I've never done it so I had zero confidence in it haha.