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BradHawthorne

Mille Lacs Lake Fishing Reports by Brad Hawthorne

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BradHawthorne

Well we have more ice, not on the main lake but the bays have a few fearless fishermen out on them, I checked yesterday and Isle bay has 2-4 inches Wahkon bay is the same near shore, I only went out 200 yards. By the weekend most of the bays should be good to go for foot traffic if the resort allow. Call ahead if you come up.

Most of the harbors are now frozen in for the season.

Here is a pic of the main lake from the east side

full-39403-26974-ice.png

Be safe if you venture out on the bays guys, we still have some thin spots.

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BradHawthorne

Ice has loosened do to the 3+ft waves we had last night, we have a NW at 15-20mph on the wind gauge blowing right at the isle bay as I type this, bays can and will crack from wave action. We also lost our shore line ice last night, I had 150 yards now we have 10ft. The most dangerous condition are right now. Will it freeze solid after tomorrows 19mph blow from the south? who knows. Weather man says Thursday it wil lay down... BTW I can drive my boat from Hawkbill point to Garrison...main lake is wide open with 2-3ft rollers @11:54 AM

Do a before and after comparison with the pictures from the previous Report, if you need sound ice report before you come up please call me, I'd rather have people ringing my phone off the hook than have people reading 2-3 day reports on the internet and falling through. Call anytime 651-271-8600.

full-39403-27189-ice12_4_12.png

Be safe guys, I don't know of any Resort that will let you out right now, it won't take long for the ice to firm up after this blow and cold front, but man! please don't risk life and limb. Call the area Resorts/Local guides first.

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BradHawthorne

The south wind has push the slag ice out clearing the way for good clear ice to form in the unfrozen areas of the SE side. Wahkon bay had ice fishermen on it this am but not to far out.

The main lake is still wide open, use caution some of these areas that froze over night, they may look safe but in reality have only had hours of coverage since the wind switch. The bays stayed in-tacked through the high winds over the last two days, the mouths of the bays did have some ice moving/cracking but are building ice and will continue to do so at night with the high day time temps...weather man says 37 for tomorrow high.

These shore line pictures are all taken from the same place Hawkbill point, 2 1/2 mile north of Isle bay on the SE side. Yes, I could still drive a boat from Hawkbill to Garrison.

full-39403-27223-12_5_12.png

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dustybaker

Do you think Isle bay would be a go for sunday? Hoping to try tip up fishing for pike for the first time(on mille lacs).

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BradHawthorne

It has 3-5 inches in close right now, but I'd still call the resorts to make sure of daily conditions.

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Renovations Man

Brad,

I trust your opinion. Thanks for the info about safe ice conditions. What do you think about Isle Bay today? Enough to drag out?

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wayzata

what are they fishing by the reeds?

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BradHawthorne

The main lake has now been frozen for a few days but still remains thin do to the snow cover of 3-6 inches on the main lake. I walked out from shore last nigh and had 4" right in close (100ft) and found as little as 1" (350ft out) in spots, average ice thickness in my area is about 2.5 inches.

I'm staying off the ice until next week at the earliest, I've had reports of people, ATV's, sleds all going through with rescue teams sent out, Don't know if they are all true, and don't know if theses are all over zealous ice tournament guys ..but I'm heading north to ice fish until next week. Cracks are forming in the usual spots just like every year, most are burping water. Check with the resorts in the bays for those ice conditions.

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Stick in Mud

Thanks for the updates, Brad. Let's hope the stories aren't true (though I wouldn't be at all surprised if they were).

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LBK

Just wondering how the ice is Off Chapmans or Hunters? I heard reports of 5+ inches. Is there any truth to that?

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BradHawthorne

Still be careful guys, some cracks are active and some are dead, tonight the ice pushed up on shore about a foot.

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BradHawthorne

Fishing had been best in 26-30 FOW, deep transitions, flat edges & tops and deep rock/ gravel , same as every year. Small spoons 1/8-1/4 oz, gold, silver or bronze with a hint of chartreuse has been best for us. Glow spoon are working great if the clouds roll in and and you are 28ft or deeper, minnow heads and red larva for tipage wink

We have 10-12 inches on most of the lake but we still have a few thinner spots so use caution. Bigger fish are common, some skinny and some are just hogs, its all about finding the hungry ones if you want #'s

full-39403-28165-12_24_12.jpg

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Renovations Man

anything in the mud Brad? Heard the mud flats were the place to be but sounds like you say rocks and gravel on South East side.

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Renovations Man

Heading out to Shermans. Let you know how I do early morning.

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Renovations Man

And hey Brad, can I get this on my smartphone?

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BradHawthorne

Today we had the guide Otters on deep gravel/rock and a few on the deep mud, it was 50/50 with fish #'s with more perch being on the rocks, If you want more #'s you need to stay mobile.

Active shore line cracks are problematic on the east side, check with your resort of choice before heading out. We are still on 10-16 inches of ice right now but we still have a few spots with less. Traditional stuff is working for the walleyes, 1/8th to 1/16th oz spoons, tipped with heads or red larva. Gold, silver, copper are are great colors. Stick with glo/gold or glow silver at night. I stopped to chat with a few PortAvilla renters on my way in form fishing most said big fish are common at night with shiners and fat heads. The best house I talked with had almost 20+ fish for the night. With the full moon and no clouds the mille Lacs walleyes will ring the rattle reels from dusk till dawn.

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BradHawthorne

The deep gravel and mud in 26-34ft seems to be the place to go for active fish during the day. Small spoons tipped with heads or tails, gold, silver, purple, blue crome are the best colors right now. I'm not fishing any spoons bigger than 1/8 oz, you can go 1/4 at night but keep to 1/8oz durring the day.

Switching #3 Jigging raps in Perch and fire-tiger will help put more fish on the ice once a school comes through, they seem to keep there attention long than spoons when you have them below you, so is you are fishing spoons and get 2-3 marks and pull a walleye up grab the rod with the rap on and send is back down to pick off the others, for feeding frenzy type bite.

Most resort are plowed out to the deep stuff, just call ahead to make sure.

We now have 12-16 inches of ice in most places I'ver been. All resorts are policing there roads do to no snow cover and brittle ice so keep the speed down.

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vman59

are you tipping the jigging raps at all?

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wally243

For those of you planning on going to mille lacs and catching fish I wouldn't hold my breath. It is slow at best for the most part keepers are very hard to find. Good Luck

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BradHawthorne

are you tipping the jigging raps at all?

Small crappie minnow heads or larva, really haven't seen a preference on tipage.

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BradHawthorne

For those of you planning on going to mille lacs and catching fish I wouldn't hold my breath. It is slow at best for the most part keepers are very hard to find. Good Luck
.

Its all in were you fish, we are averaging 30-40 per weekend in the rentals, just yesterday one of the houses checked out catching 35 with one going over 28..

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little chief

I totally agree with brad, the fish are there but you need to know where to look. Walleyes are fun but my favorite is chasing jumbos on this lake.

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wally243

How do you get your averages? It sounds like you are on the same bite as me. Good luck fishing as always!

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bassfshin24

35 fish in a weekend on Mille Lacs out of a house sounds like a pretty good bite to me!

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BradHawthorne

How do you get your averages? It sounds like you are on the same bite as me. Good luck fishing as always!

Wally243, When ever a move is made with the rentals I like to stop in several times a weekend to see when and how the fishing has been, so this I weekend I stopped in several times over the course of Fri-Sun, so, here's taste of how the conversations go for a 24hr period.

How was the AM bite?: "Good We got like 6-8 all 20-26" and lost 1-2"

Stop in a little later..How was the after noon: "kinda slow,we only picked up 2 but the were slots, lost a few smaller ones to"

Stop in after 7-8PM: How was the prime time bite? " Good, we picked up 5 really fat ones all over 23"

Stop in the next day in the AM, how was the over night?: "The fish really went at around midnight we got 6 eye's all big and lost a ton because we didn't here the Rattle reels.

I hope you can see how and why I give the averages some room to breath.

For the future, call any time, I like to keep the reports to just that. Real up-dates on ice conditions, fishing conditions, good patterns. Good Luck fishing!

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scott b

Thanks for the report Brad

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bassfshin24

Thanks for all the reports and work to keep people informed on the bite on the big pond. I'll be up there the first weekend in February!

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vman59

thanks Brad !!!!!!!!!!!

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tgruenke

Thanks Brad for the update we are staying with Portavilla in a little over 10 days. Very excited for the trip. Hope to see you while we are there.

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    • Bigfatbert
      Just curious how many people would like to see this site and this post to pass on a a public service to all during these trying times as we are all in this together !   at a time when so many businesses are pitching in and using their business to help out during these trying times wouldn’t it be nice if that could be done here as maybe a way to get the word out , give tips or ways to help out our brothers and neighbors during these trying times . I’m sure any help would be appreciated .    It would really be sad to see this post  removed by a moderator ..  
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      I know where your coming from always on the water well before sunrise and usally of by 10 or so.  My  buddies always say we know your off the lake and the boats loded as soon as we see the first jet ski or water skier. 😀 Problem so many are so inconsiderate now a days. They see I'm walleye fishing and its like a game to go right by me when they have the whole open part of the lake to tear up. 😡 
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      Poachers caught and more poachers caught by Tom Chapin. Alot of them happened within 60-70 miles of our cabin.
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      I hear ya on fishing locally. I only like big water, not for the fish but because I get tired of going round & round like a NASCAR. Also have a very low tolerance for jet ski's, water skiers, speed boats.   Fishing is just something I do while on the water, not the reason I go.
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      You should know you did it in a few threads yourself 😂 In fact we all have maybe a time or two.  Had to throw that one at you 😉 All in good fun!
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      I hit Mill Lacs once a summer but it's not a real big deal to miss it. More than likely wont even go this year. Wish I could but may not even have that option with this stuff going on now.   I have lakes near my area that always produce good results if you put in the time to figure them out. Ill fish locally as I almost always  do through the summer just way easier with my hectic work schedule. Many people would be surprised how good of fishing they have close to them if they would only put in the effort and time to learn the lakes near them. Agree with all these bad years with the regulations and now this sad but true some of the mom pop resorts just wont make it to much longer.
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