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BradHawthorne

Mille Lacs Lake Fishing Reports by Brad Hawthorne

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BradHawthorne

The mud and deep deep gravel are still the places to fish. Small spoons in gold or silver patterns tipped with heads or tails in 28-34ft.

If you want to get agressive and pound holes durring the day summer time rattle baits like the size #5 Rip N Raps fished over the hard spots in the basin produce fish in the 20-28+ range, this is not a slot fish pattern but makes for fun mid-day action if your getting stir crazy still in the hard houses.

Over the weekend we saw the fishing literally slow to a crawl once the the cold front hit..just in time for the weekend I know lol. The guys who did the best last weekend set tip-ups outside the hard houses with smaller shiners and plain #6 hooks, basically just down sizing and covering more ice durring the cold front put more fish on the ice.

Reports as of this AM are better than the last two days, last night after the cold front had a day + to settle in the fishing picked back up, still small spoons and set lines, less traffic on the ice helped as well.

Good Luck Fishing! thanks for reading!

full-39403-28865-d28+.jpg

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ArkansasDave

heading up Thursday, coming back Monday with 10+ people fishing portables. hopefully we can get on them I fished the west side a week ago and we did not do great. thanks for the report that gives a guy a good place to start looking for them.

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Stick in Mud

Once again, great report, Brad.

One question about finding those hard-bottom spots: Is there any way to find them if I don't have them pre-marked from summer fishing?

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BradHawthorne

Yes, but it's not an EZ task...lots of holes and lots of gas, some flats have hard spots around them that are way EZer to find durring winter but the basin ones are best found in the summer.

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iced

I will be heading out of Mac Twins Bay this coming weekend early in the morning to fish out of portables prior to heading into one of the rentals for the night. Looking for some information on getting out to the flats from this access. I heard there are roads out to Henn. Island. I am assuming there is little to no snow so travel is pretty easy. Are there any trouble spots? Is driving out to the flats (8 mile) within reason?

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ArkansasDave

sharpening the auger blade right now smile I heard good reports on some deep rocks as well any truth to that?

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jumbohog

Hi brad had couple questions I was curious about. In your opinion with tue full moon coming up next weekend and the colder weather pushing off does a guy wanna set up his night house on top the mud flat or stay to the edges. And when picking locations on the flats am I looking for the real steep drops or better off going more towards like the gradual roll offs so to speak. Thanks for any help. More than happy to pay a fee for any help and im more interested in my future trophy than eaters :-)

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BradHawthorne

In unstable weather deeper is better. Fish are still fish and they are were you find them. The question about steep vs gradual is a hard one, I dont look for structure I look for fish, fish change from day to day and week to week, so, drill, drill, drill.. find them and plant the house.

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gregg52

I think most are pretty much the same as far as drops i would look for something different on the flt turns points etc and try to get away from any traffic lots of romm out there get by yourself specially if you are looking for wall hangers

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jumbohog

Thanks for the help I'll male sure to to bring extra gas

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BradHawthorne

The Report has not changed much! The mud and deep deep gravel are still the places to fish. Small spoons in gold or silver patterns tipped with heads or tails in 29-35ft.

If you want to get agressive and pound holes durring the day you get out what you put in!, stay in the house all day and maybe grind out 5-10 fish, go out and drill and fish #'s will double.

So on the fun part, last weekend we saw the same thing happen over the weekend we had a cold front and the fishing slowed but this weekend the fishing was best on Friday and Saturday but Sunday the bite fell off the charts, The guys who did the best last weekend jigged small spoon at peek times and set tip-ups with smaller shiners and plain #6 hooks, basically just down sizing and covering more ice durring the cold front but more fish on the ice.

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Stick in Mud

Interesting....my dad and I had a fair bite on Friday and Saturday, and after I left on Sunday he ended up whackin' 'em. Go figure. crazy

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KG243

We are heading up on the 28th and may be staying through the 30th. What minnows are working the best for rattle reels?

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BradHawthorne

After trips I usually stop in ask see how the PortAvilla Rental customers doing, the ones having the most successes are the ones are running rainbows on the larger side and 2-3 inch shiners.. if you can find them, the small ones are getting real hard to find.

The best hook color has been orange, and glow.

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broman

Brad one question are the eyes suspended or on bottom? Where would you set a tip up or dead stick as far as off bottom goes. Thank You.

That's two questions. wink

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DaveZman14q

Hey Brad, With this "semi warm up" coming this weekend, you anticipate any changes in the fish patterns? We're gonna fish around a northwest 24 foot flat that drops off on all edges to 32-36 feet of water. I was thinking the fish will be sticking deep. Any thoughts? Looks to be semi cloud cover, high of 16 Saturday... We'll probably set the wheel house up right on the bottom edge of the break on an inside turn, what do you think?

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BradHawthorne

1-12 inches, most fish I've seen the season are related to the bottom or the first 1-2 from the bottom.

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BradHawthorne

Hey Brad, With this "semi warm up" coming this weekend, you anticipate any changes in the fish patterns? We're gonna fish around a northwest 24 foot flat that drops off on all edges to 32-36 feet of water. I was thinking the fish will be sticking deep. Any thoughts? Looks to be semi cloud cover, high of 16 Saturday... We'll probably set the wheel house up right on the bottom edge of the break on an inside turn, what do you think?

Run it, With no snow cover 28-34ft has been my best depth.

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DaveZman14q

Thanks for the reply Brad. Being late January, no ice cover, considering the weather we're having lately, would you typically prefer a point, an inside turn, or a saddle?

I know fish patterns change daily, but if you had to pick one, what is your personal preference?

I personally like Inside turns whenever we get these cold fronts rolling through... buts thats just what i usually fish.

What about everybody else?

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bassinboy3

Heading up there tomorrow morning, who has the best roads? Any heaves or cracks to know about anywhere on the lake?

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BradHawthorne

Sorry for the delay in reports, I've literally been on the ice everyday. Most ice roads are in good shape. Still, check with the resort you plan on going out of.

The fishing has been great one day and slow the next..typical for years with limited snow cover. In years past with little or no snow cover we see the bite trending deep, as we get more snow the fish will start creeping back up in the normal depth range. With the weather fronts that have been moving through I'm seeing the bite peek 1-2 days before the front hits. Still 28-34ft is the most productive depth small 1/8oz spoons in blue, green or silver.

Perch are starting to go pretty good, I'm finding them a bit shallower 26-32ft and targeting them with the same spoons we are using for walleyes, red bugs for tipage. You need to be fast with them, once you pull one out send that bait bask down asap! or the school will bail on you. Keep them on the screen and you can pull 8-15 nice jumbos out in one shot. As we get more snow cover look for the perch bite to really take off. full-39403-29600-ml13.5.jpg

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BradHawthorne

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Jarrid Houston

Hey Brad, just got back from a 4 day trip to Mille Lacs fishing was slow for us. Weather did not help, but at already we caught some dandies. Anyhow, any info you care to share about south shore Rogers on URL. My spouse and I are heading there This coming Sunday and Monday. Help is appreciated. Thanks man...

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BradHawthorne

If you are renting from PortAvilla just talk to Chris, I gave him the recipe when I left, he will get you dialed in.

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BradHawthorne

The Perch and Walleyes are still relating to the deeper sides of the structured areas even after the snow fall last week, I thought we would have seen the first break transitions turn on a bit more than it has.

We are still seeing more fish out in the 28-35ft areas, not that there aren't fish to be had on the tops of the flats and reefs it's just more of a night bite/peek times thing vs an all day bite window situation.

Tipage remains the same, red larva and waxies for perch and minnow heads/whole minnows for Walleyes. 1/16-1/8th oz spoons in silver/blue, silver/green and straight silver for perch. Walleyes during the day are liking a bit more color with the new snow, natural perch, gold/holographic, and the old reliable fire-tiger in 1/8-1/4 oz.

As always for this time of year, you get out what you put into it, if you go out and drill two holes and set up the house don't expect to martillo them all day and night.

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CC Hurl

Thanks for the tips Brad. Going to give it a whirl for a few day's up there. Hope to be setup before dark tomorrow evening.

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Tom Sawyer

So with the added snow cover the lake has recently received, have the perch been showing up in buckets with more regularity?

Have you noticed any bug hatches going on yet over those mud/sand areas?

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BradHawthorne

I've been perching for well over a month, Bugs have been crawling around all winter with the limited snow cover and that equals.. if you can find them GOOD perch fishing. Now with the new snow cover just in time for perch season the bite won't change much, we will see them group up tighter like every year at this time and we will see more people catching them just because they are now targeting them.

The dirty little secret on Mille Lacs is perch bite has been pretty good all season.

Some days you fill buckets and some day you only get a few...and thats perch fishin.

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DaveZman14q

Hey Brad,with one last weekend upon us would it be safe to say the walleye are still out in the 28-35 feet of water? Have you seen any new patterns develop lately? Planning to go fish the break of some deep mud... good idea?

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maros91

Haven't heard a report from ya or any other guide on the lake in awhile. Been at least a couple weeks. Has the perch fishing been that good?

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Graham Smith
      I’ve fished this lake one week a year, at the end of July, for the last 8 years.  We stay at Timber Bay Lodge and I have fished the SE part of the lake, all the way up to the Stony River. I almost solely target walleye.  I say almost because I will fish bass or northern at times for fun.  I’ve yet to target crappie on this lake and this year will be the first. I’ve caught a handful of big crappie by accident on this lake.  I’ve heard they are in there.  For walleye, I’ve typically used Lindy Rig with crawler or leech, and Jighead with a minnow. I typically tie a 3-5 ft leader, red hook, gold bead, 1/4 oz weight. If the wind and waves kick up I’ll use 1/2 ounce weight.   I’ve often used a worm harness with gold or silver spinner too.  Sometime I’ll throw crankbaits and that can the ticket. If I’m covering a flat I’ll use lindys or harnesses, if I’m hitting specific points and structures I’ll use a jighead.  I’ve had the best luck in 8ft to 14ft but every year is different.  For the record, I’ve never caught a huge walleye on this lake.  I’ve caught countless eaters.  But I’ve yet to connect with many big ones.  I know they are in there.  It seems like each year the fish are hot in June to mid July.  Since we go at the end of July, we can be in the doldrums of Summer, so perhaps this is why Ive missed many big ones.  There’s also a chance I’m targeting the wrong areas.  Who knows.  As for areas, I’ll typically target shorelines that have been hit by the wind for the day, or previous day.  If I work an area for 15-20 min with little results, move on.  I’ve experienced the fish stacking up on very specific points before too.  If a point is holding fish, don’t be afraid to drift a small area and use your motor to return to the starting point, over and over.  I’ve done this many times and limited out in an hour.  One thing I have noticed is that the walleyes don’t seem to be active in the early morning.  In fact, the best action I’ve seen has been 10am to 1pm, and 6pm to 9pm.  I’ve never fished after dark. I have fished as early as 6 am on this lake and do not connect with the walleyes.  I’m guessing it’s due to the dark water and low visibility.  I hope this has been helpful and welcome other advice.  If anyone would like to add or refute, feel free.  This has been my experience on this lake and I’m welcome to hear other tactics,  I’d also love some advice on the crappie.  Where and what time of day?  Best of luck on your trip.
    • Poutwhacker
      We're heading to the East side of Rainy, boat camping next week. Just curious if the walleyes are on the reefs and what baits are being used? Any updates would be appreciated.
    • Trump 2020
      Muskies-  Any advice on a good place to stay on Rainy? Was supposed to stay on Canadian side this week and obviously didn’t go. So now I am trying to put together a quick trip with my Dad on MN side maybe later this month instead...
    • james_walleye
      It was in about 12 feet of water I estimated. 100 feet or so I'd say off shore. I kick myself....I wanted to get the pic so bad I didn't hit a waypoint. But it would be easy to find again. 
    • Laker218
      How close to comet island was it?  If I remember the story correctly comet island was named after one of Aronsons early motor boats named “comet” hit the island and sank.  I think the story was in one of the lake vermilion history books the timberjay published about 15 years ago.
    • james_walleye
      Just off the west side of comet 
    • gimruis
      I was able to talk to my Father about his days at LOTW.  He and my Mother caught 12 walleyes in 3 days over 27 inches, plus numerous other smaller ones.  Didn't catch a single sauger.  They caught them jigging, spinner rigs, and on lead core.  Lead core seemed to catch the bigger fish as they use bigger crank baits that weed out the smaller fish.  It was calm all 5 days so they could get to and fish just about anywhere they wanted to without any difficulty.
    • mbeyer
      Vermilion is a "no brainer" when it comes to smallmouth. You'll be fine in early August. What is your favorite way ti catch bass? Start with that and work from there. One of my favorites is a white/pearl fluke...they eat those things up.  
    • jkrash
      is that out front of Mckinley park?
    • HunterFisher11
      So looking at some property on long lake right by Ottertail lake and wondering how the fishing is on it and the depths on it? Thanks for any information!!!!
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