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bassfshin24

Smallmouth harvest on Mille Lacs

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bassfshin24

Looks like there is talks about opening up a 6 fish limit of smallies on Mille Lacs. This scares the $hit out of me! A lot of people are putting some of the blame for Mille Lacs' walleye problem on the smallie population. I don't know about everyone else but I seriously think this would really hurt the smallie fishing on Mille Lacs. I've posted a couple comments on some topics in the Mille Lacs forum about this. The same thing happened on Lake Sharpe in South Dakota. This place was one amazing smallmouth fishery! The size and #'s of fish caught were unbelieveable. Well the walleye guys complained enough about it that the regulations on smallies were lifted.

Here is an email from a friend of mine that fishes Lake Sharpe frequently:

The limit used to be 5 but only 1 over 18” and everything between the 12” and 18” slot had to be thrown back. Later they changed the slot to 14”-18” in 2008 with only 1 over because the walleye guys were complaining. They put the slot in place in like 2003 and took it off starting in 2012. You use to catch 2-3lbers in the slot consistently but now its hard to find fish I guess since there is no size limit but still a 5 fish limit. The state said their surveys and studies show the slot was not helping the size of bass even though our opens and tourney’s out there kept increasing in terms of number of fish caught and the size brought to the scales. Joe (my uncle) said he had some tough days there last year and some where he didn’t catch anything. The walleye guys were complaining so much they took the regulation off. It took 5 years to build that fishery up to what it was and not even a year to ruin it.

IT just bugs me to think that something like this could ruin one of the best smallie fisheries in the nation. I feel like the walleye problem has a lot more to do with people then it does other species.

Please let me know what you guys think. Maybe I am way off.

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bass-o-matic

Same thing happened to Green Lake in Spicer. The smallies were protected there as well and it was an awesome fishery. The walleye guys complained enough that the C&R reg was lifted and walleye guys were openly admitting to catching and killing smallies just to get their walleyes back to the top of the food chain. Unreal that it may happen to Mille Lacs as well........

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Juan Grande

Yeah, going from no harvest to a six fish limit is ridiculous. People fishing walleye catch smallies all the time and will keep them to supplement their walleye catch since that slot/bag will be so restrictive.

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DrJuice1980

Now I can go to Mille Lacs and bring something home with me, yay!

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bassin

For those that want to contact the DNR regarding this matter you can send an email to [email protected]

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Craigums

Were did you read this was being proposed?

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RawHog

****

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TruthWalleyes

I wonder if i'll be able to go to Walleye Dundees and get a SmallMouth Sandwich! wink

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bassfshin24

Brad Hawthorne posted he was in on talks and I also emailed a guide and a resort owner on Mille Lacs who have been sitting on on the regulations talks. It sounds like it's almost a done deal that there will be a 6 fish limit for the 2014 season. From what I heard is there is going to be a slot where you can't keep anything from 17-20" but you can keep 1 fish over 20".

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MN BassFisher

That is very scary Tony! I really hope they come to their senses and don't open up a 6 fish limit on Smallies. I could totally see the walleye guys keeping their limits of smallies they accidentally catch in order to help thin out the numbers. No good.

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TurnUpTheFishing

This is just crazy. Are walleye guys so blind? They blame everything but themselves for poor fishing. Too many pike, too many musky, too many bass. These fish have coexisted just fine for years together and now they are going to try and push blame on the smallies? Couldnt be the overfishing or changing ecosystems...

I really wonder how much damage can be done to such a well established population on such a large lake, how many people are actually going to keep them? Seems like it would be far too little to make a big difference for the walleyes but maybe enough to effect the trophy bass fishery just so the DNR can appease those walleye guys. Sure the walleye population is hurting and has been but this just seems like a knee jerk reaction.

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Cecil

They are also talking about a 2 fish walleye limit, so I bet the amount of boats on the lake goes down drastically. I'm willing to bet that most of the bass caught by walleye boats are not outside of that 17-20" range. That't the average smallmouth out there.

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Juan Grande

Yeah, that slot would help a lot since most fish are in that range. I don't have a problem with anglers harvesting 2-3 fish to add to their bag. I do have a problem with anglers keeping them just to get them out of the lake to help bring the walleye population back. You know that will happen...

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coombia21

I have a question for anybody that would choose to respond. How many people go to mille lacs to keep fish. This is not a hit at anyone, just a general question. I know the reason I go there is to catch a large number of quality fish. I like that I can get my fill of fishing nice walleyes, and then go and catch smallmouth when I am done for walleyes. For me it is not about meat but more about the experience of catching nice fish consistently. How many guys go up there to bring back meat, or is meat just a byproduct of having fun out on the lake?

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river rat316

I can tell you with out a doubt that is the number 1 gripe in my shop about the lake, walleye guys will purposely fish smallies just to get them out of the way, alot of them are convinced this is the problem with the lake, for the most part the nets and the smallies are the number 1 blame, they pay no attention to the fact that they keep more and kill more poundage than all the nets combined

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skocsuhs

just another reason for me to have even more disdain towards a certain group of fisherman...the nauseating sense of entitlement they seem to have...

smallies blow away eye's any day as a sport fish...

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TruthWalleyes

just another reason for me to have even more disdain towards a certain group of fisherman...the nauseating sense of entitlement they seem to have...

smallies blow away eye's any day as a sport fish...

Lol, and flathead will eat them both for breakfast.

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skocsuhs

love the catfishes wink

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Juan Grande

@coombia

I would say a very large percentage of walleye fisherman on Mille Lacs (and in general) keep what they catch if it's not in the protected slot or a cigar.

I remember reading stories on this site from local bass fisherman in Spicer on Green Lake. They said they've seen walleye fisherman catch smallies, slit their throats and throw them back. Of course, this isn't typical behavior, but I'm sure there will be fish kept on Mille Lacs just to reduce their numbers.

If the first thing the DNR does to improve the walleye population is increase the smallie bag from zero to six, some fisherman might assume they're the #1 culprit and look to help eradicate them.

Sorry if I sound paranoid, but I LOVE fishing smallies on Mille Lacs.

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Jeff13

This 0 to 6 fish limit is not right. It's not the smallies, muskies, or northerns fault. Lots of walleye guys on millelacs always want to blame someone or something it's funny reading some posts in the other forum on the topic. People are so blind and quick to blame, almost seeming un-educated.

There are probably many reasons for this decline and many have been mentioned above, hopefully something will work out and keep the pond alive and all it's fisherman happy.

I'm not bashing all walleye anglers I myself fish millelacs numerous times a year for walleyes and love catching the big fish up there. I could care less if I get to keep a walleye up there.

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Bass4life

I love taking my son up their and fishing smallies a couple times a year. Looks like we better go a couple extra times this coming season. Dont even want to comment on the walleye debate.

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Nick Kuhn

This is just crazy. Are walleye guys so blind? They blame everything but themselves for poor fishing. Too many pike, too many musky, too many bass. These fish have coexisted just fine for years together and now they are going to try and push blame on the smallies? Couldnt be the overfishing or changing ecosystems...

Largemouth have been shown to take down walleye numbers. Smallmouth, not so much. Depending on the lake: either largemouth, crappies, or perch will be the primary consumers of young walleye.

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TurnUpTheFishing

Largemouth have been shown to take down walleye numbers. Smallmouth, not so much. Depending on the lake: either largemouth, crappies, or perch will be the primary consumers of young walleye.

Cool. What Im getting at is the Walleye pop. in Mille Lacs is suffering more at the hand of man (or maybe environmental changes) then by other fish in the lake that have been coexisting just fine. But Walleye guys want to point there fingers at everything but themselves. Do they ever wonder why bass and muskies thrive? Maybe its the strong C&R ethic among those groups? Walleye guys go out gunning for a limit every trip, DNR allows netting during the spawn, plus gotta dig that 25 cent hook out after it gut hooked your live bait (gotta give them a minute before setting the hook, right? smirk ) I wonder whats happening to the fish?

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Juan Grande

Exactly right TurnUptheFishing. If the bass numbers on Mille Lacs start to dip after the reg change, you know it won't be because of bass fisherman.

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Thundy

Go read the smallmouth post on the mille lacs forum, enough to make a guy sick. There already talking about fishing smallies to take limits

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