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Rick

2020 Mille Lacs Lake Fishing Reports

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Harmie343

Was up on Mille Lacs Sunday afternoon and Monday morning. Saw 16”+ ice in St. Albans bay area. Off first break but before flats. Some sketchy spots where auger would rip through like styrofoam. Found about 6” of clear ice with 12” white ice/frozen slush in that area. 16”+ good ice 30 yards away. Off road travel was ok, just keep a heads up for big drifts. Bite seemed to be getting better as we were leaving with some aggressive fish Monday mid morning. Set lines with Suckers and jigging spoons were getting attention. Smaller fish flying around the electronics-thinking tullibee

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IceHawk

Harmie Welcome to the site! Thanks for the Awesome report. Me and a few buddies are kicking around the idea of going up this weekend and shredding some ice hopefully if we go we have some success. Where did u pick up your Small suckers from?

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smalliehunter

Was up on the pond from Monday to Wednesday last week.  Slow afternoon bite.  Action was best from midnight to 4am.  Mornings were good too.  Malmo market has all your bait needs.  Shiners are hard to come by, and worked the best.  17 inches of ice on North end.  Used castaways roads.  

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Rick

Nice reports guys.! Thank you.

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Harmie343

Yes, weather looks nice for being mobile. I picked up the suckers from garrison sports

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Wanderer

Good morning for ya!  From what I’ve seen and heard few people are doing well but those who are, are doing very well.  
 

Would you be willing to comment on depth and bottom content you were fishing?

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Wanderer

We went out Barnacle’s Friday night and stayed till Sunday morning.  3 houses in our group spread out over a mud flat.  Fished depths from 23 feet to 30 feet.  Definitely more activity in 28-30 but we didn’t have much for biters.  Ran set lines in the house along with jigging.  Tip ups outside.  Large and small shiners, suckers and crappie minnows for bait.  Jigged spoons, rattle baits, blade baits and raps.  Averaged 2 walleye and 1 tullibee per house.  
 

There were other friends connected to the group that had been up since Wednesday that reported 40 & 60 fish caught; one on the south side and the other about a mile and a half from us.  Doing what we were doing.  The group closest to us was on some micro structure though we didn’t barge in on em.  
 

The road was really good once we got past the heave by the landing.  It’s a little rough and has standing water but safe.  They’re working on smoothing it out.

 

Typical Mille Lacs experience for me.  Great time partying with friends Friday night but even putting some time and effort into the fishing we were more than happy to head home this morning even though 2 or our 3 fish came at 6 & 9 am.  My biggest ( not pictured ) was 20 inches.  Set lines caught our fish.

 

F53A9941-5D67-4AEE-940F-3017498A59DC.thumb.jpeg.d4c0521cc3f9fbf5065ca2016ee3e27b.jpeg

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IceHawk

Great Detailed report thanks !

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gimruis

Seems like the guys that are willing to be more mobile in the portables do better.  The permanent houses that are planted for longer periods of time, not so much.

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Wanderer
4 hours ago, gimruis said:

Seems like the guys that are willing to be more mobile in the portables do better.  The permanent houses that are planted for longer periods of time, not so much.


For sure.  I’d agree that’s most often the case anytime but especially now.  We just hoped it wouldn’t be THAT slow.  Back at work today I’m hearing slow reports from pretty much everyone now matter where they went.  The February doldrums come early and traveling ice came late this year.  Still, gotta get out there and find those killer spots!

Edited by Wanderer

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AlwaysFishing23
2 hours ago, Wanderer said:


For sure.  I’d agree that’s most often the case anytime but especially now.  We just hoped it wouldn’t be THAT slow.  Back at work today I’m hearing slow reports from pretty much everyone now matter where they went.  The February doldrums come early and traveling ice came late this year.  Still, gotta get out there and find those killer spots!


I think the destination makes a big roll in that! Fishing was excellent for me! It pays to get off the beaten trail and go to places others aren't willing to go because it’s to much work!

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Wanderer
2 hours ago, AlwaysFishing23 said:


I think the destination makes a big roll in that! Fishing was excellent for me! It pays to get off the beaten trail and go to places others aren't willing to go because it’s to much work!


Wait till you get married and your wife wants to go. 😂

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jgrimmz

Fished the east side last week in 28fow and caught three walleye. 12", 19", and 24.5" of course they were just outside of the slot! Two were caught jigging and one on a rattle reel and we also missed one over night. Heading back up in a few weeks and hoping the bite stays consistent 

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monstermoose78
9 hours ago, Bass Thumb said:

I was on perfect rocky structure last Weds. in 19-27'. Had it all to myself. Only 1 Ice Castle within 200 yards. Fishing was decent. Caught 8 respectable walleyes, all on Slab Raps. All while hole-hopping. 

 

Came back the next day, Thursday, the jigging bite was much slower in the same area. Caught a couple on spoons and a couple on 5" suckers under a tip-up. I spent much of the time moving around in a one-man Otter portable. Set up a large hub for my first time 'ice camping' overnight with a cot and sleeping bag. I was on the peak of a rock pile in 19' overnight. Still had it nearly all to myself, although two wheelhouses where now about 50 yards away. Caught a pair of 24" and a handful on small walleyes from the hub after dark, all on suckers. Never caught a fish jigging after dark. Ended up pulling my rattle reels overnight because they kept going off every 30 minutes, yet I was only hooking a small number of the fish on the 5" suckers. I was thinking small walleyes. 

 

Friday morning, started fishing at about 6:30am. The bite was dead on the 19-27' rocks. I had about 50 holes still open from when I first got out there on Weds. The blowing powder snow was keeping them insulated and open. I hole-hopped nearly all of them. About 11am, I packed up and tried an entirely new spot. It's a break from 30-35' about 6 blocks away from the rocky structure I was fishing the last two days. There was nobody within 5 blocks of me. I started marking scattered, fast-moving marking balls of bait that were suspended about half way down, likely Cisco minnows. The whole graph would glitter for a few seconds and they were gone. Not long after, I started marking suspended walleyes that were chasing the bait. I ended with with a very nice day, catching about 20 fish with an avg size of about 19-20". The biggest was 25" and I had 3 or 4 23-24" fish as well. Nearly all of the fish were suspended. Some were as little as 10' under the ice over that deep water. Half the fish were jigging, and half were on small suckers hung about 8' off the bottom. It paid to experiment and try a new spot.

Great report and way to think out of the box!!

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gimruis

Again, staying mobile proves to be the key to success.

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Tom Sawyer

The base of structure is always your best bet during day light hours. On Mille lacs I see it consistently. On the other hand, a local lake has been productive on a shallow flat, 8'-14' all day. Cloudy days have ruled the month of January though. 

 

Thanks for sharing Joe

 

Edited by Tom Sawyer
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fish_hunt_guy
On 1/25/2020 at 7:41 PM, Wanderer said:

Good morning for ya!  From what I’ve seen and heard few people are doing well but those who are, are doing very well.  
 

Would you be willing to comment on depth and bottom content you were fishing?

20-22’ rock/sand transition 

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Rick

Do you think Mille lacs needs more bait fish or a different management system?

 

This was caught last night.

 

Nice fish that could be so much nicer.

 

What are your thoughts...and how is the fishing for you? PICS PLEASE?

FB_IMG_1581800857741.jpg

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AlwaysFishing23

From everything I’ve heard and my experiences ML has been pretty dang good this winter. Those of us who are willing to put the miles on the sleds are rewarded with better numbers overall than the wheel houses for the most part. 

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monstermoose78

Where are the big schools of perch? I could care less about the stinking walleyes. I want the perch back 

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Tom Sawyer

From what I've noticed Rick, fish on the flats seem to be much thinner then shoreline transition and rock/gravel fish. Been especially noticeably on mid 20s and up. 

Definitely a predator prey problem. Way more perch and young cisco relating to shoreline, or just off shore structure. The biomass is normally higher in that gravel/sand it seems. That's where I've always caught my best perch, and find huge schools of younger ones. A lot more insect life there compared to just mud areas. 

The big perch are out there @monstermoose78 😉 just maybe not in bucketful numbers, get off the coach and start drilling out some good transition areas out from Hunters Pt down to Big Pt. Look for bugs with your camera and you'll find plenty of perch. 

 

 

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monstermoose78

@Tom Sawyer I have in the past shredded Mille Lacs Lake looking for a nice mess of perch but to spend days/ weeks to get two or 3 perch is not worth it to me. Let the walleyes of Mille Lacs disappear and watch The perch come back. 

Edited by monstermoose78
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Rick
12 minutes ago, monstermoose78 said:

@Tom Sawyer I have in the past shredded Mille Lacs Lake looking for a nice mess of perch but to spend days/ weeks to get two or 3 perch is not worth it to me. Let the walleyes of Mille Lacs disappear and watch The perch come back. 

I've seen what happens when a cycle like this occurs.

*Lots of skinny walleyes being caught...LOTS.

*Then the die off.

*Then a lake LOADED with small perch...LOADED.

*Many of us licking our chops at the jumbo perch bonanza coming our way...which NEVER comes in any real numbers.

WASH RINSE REPEAT

As long as they have walleye weight removal tied to measurement system...pretty sure that's how it will work. That's my anecdote for the day. 😏😎

 

I think they should target HEALTHY BALANCED year classes. Which may necessitate increasing the limit for larger walleyes when there are really too many in the system eating all available forage.

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Tom Sawyer
29 minutes ago, monstermoose78 said:

@Tom Sawyer I have in the past shredded Mille Lacs Lake looking for a nice mess of perch but to spend days/ weeks to get two or 3 perch is not worth it to me. Let the walleyes of Mille Lacs disappear and watch The perch come back. 

 

😆😅😂😂😂😄😆

Days? Weeks? for 2 or 3??? Man you better stay on the couch. Check the catch this weekend and next out of Hunter's Point, bud .....

Btw, the gravel/sand out of Portside has been decent lately. 

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