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Mille Lacs Lake Fishing Reports by Great Day on the Water Guide Service


Troy Smutka

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Opening weekend on Mille Lacs was mostly ice free this year! A little ice on the SW corner, otherwise much better than last year. Water was cold, and fishing was not hot and heavy, but fish could be found. Daylight fishing for eyes was tough--we caught more pike and smallies. Night fishing, especially Friday night/Saturday morning was O.K. trolling crank baits. Sand bite on the north side should get better as the water warms this week--talk to Woody at the Malmo Market for tips and bait for the sand bite. Remember, night ban is on until December. Good luck and stay safe. I will see you out there somewhere.

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  • 3 weeks later...

6/1/14

Walleyes and smallies are biting on the Big Pond. My Dad and I pre-fished Friday for a tournament on Saturday and caught several large eyes on shallow rocks, even in calm sunny conditions. We were spot-hopping, trying not to burn any spots for the next day. My brother and I fished the Minnesota Tournament Trail walleye tournament on Saturday, and won the tournament with a four-fish bag weighing 9.39 pounds. We caught sixteen eyes from 16.5 to 27.5 inches, weighing four slots from 18.5 to 19.75 inches. We caught all of the eyes, plus two large smallies, power corking with leeches on rocks from 6-12 feet deep. Conditions were perfect Saturday for shallow fish--windy and heavy rain much of the day. The fish are starting to transition from post-spawn, but many will be shallow for another week or so before the deep transition bite starts leading up to the open water bite. Contact me if you want to get in on some great walleye fishing, despite all of the press and politics surrounding the lake. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Thanks guys. No to fishing the AIM, I am very busy guiding for the next few weeks. We are planning on fishing the Full Throttle July tourney on Mille Lacs, though.

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Can't believe they allow tournaments on the lake given its current state.

MTT has 4 one day events and a 2 day event on Mille Lacs this year. Sad really.

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Can't believe you would post that comment in this thread, disrespectful.

Congratulations, my hat goes off to all of those who fished Saturday. I woke up at 5:30 to go out, I didn't even have to look out the window, just rolled over and went back to bed. Later, I hear the you guys lining up to launch and I was shaking my head in disbelief. Wow! Power corking in that stuff, I'll dream about it next time I roll over and go back to bed.

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It's disrespectful for the MTT to choose Mille Lacs for so many tournaments.

Congrats to Smuts, I'm not disrespecting him or his accomplishments at all. The MTT needs to take a good look at themselves. Plenty of other lakes to choose from.

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Tournaments kill less fish than the other people on the lake. Just about every tournament out there releases is fish back to the lake after the weigh in. Very few other people release their fish after they hit the livewell.

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It's disrespectful for the MTT to choose Mille Lacs for so many tournaments.

Congrats to Smuts, I'm not disrespecting him or his accomplishments at all. The MTT needs to take a good look at themselves. Plenty of other lakes to choose from.

BrdHunter, like I said before, its all about the money. To some...nothing else matters and everyone else is to blame.

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If tournament fishermen were to stop coming to the Lake this year and for the next several I would imagine that the resorts that cater to them would be that much more in a world of hurt than the already are. All the MTT events on Mille Lacs are done for the year, but the last one in Aug. So most were held before hooking mortality becomes much of an issue. The highest field had 38 teams and the most fish weighed in a tournament was 27 the lowest number of fish was 11. Seeing that their fish are live released all told I doubt they contributed 75lbs to the quota so far this year. Yeah, shame on those MTT guys for being part of the problem. crazy

How much money do you think they make on a field of 38 teams? My guess, not much.

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Thanks willy. It was tough weather conditions. Our rain suits held up, but our goretex shoes were starting to leak a little when we headed in. Bilge pump got a good work out. At least the weather had the fish shallow and biting.

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Well said Mike, and thank you.

I am simply trying to share information with others who fish Mille Lacs, not start a Facebook or Twitter rant to attack others. Can we leave this thread to people who want to share fishing information in a civil manner, please. Thank you.

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Heading to the pond this Saturday with a buddy. Plan is to target smallies. What would be your go to presentation? Will be fishing the shallow rocks.

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Biff,

On the shallow rocks on Mille Lacs, you can't go wrong with a brown or green 4" tube. Rig a large gap hook with the hook point flush against the tube with the barb pushed back into the tube, and swim it over the rocks. This time of year, a jerkbait like an X-Rap can be very good. I like pink and white for smallies. Don't rule out slow-rolling a spinnerbait, either. Haven't fished for smallies yet, but have caught half a dozen from 18 to 20.5 inches so far while fishing for walleyes. Got two nice ones on Saturday on the rocks in 6 feet of water. Good luck.

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Well said Mike, and thank you.

I am simply trying to share information with others who fish Mille Lacs, not start a Facebook or Twitter rant to attack others. Can we leave this thread to people who want to share fishing information in a civil manner, please. Thank you.

+1 !!! I've had this issue on other threads too. I come to this forum because I LOVE to fish. Not to create drama with somebody like a bad reality tv show...

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Biff,

You could give it a try. Topwater usually works better when the water warms a little more, but you never know for sure.

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jay,

We were reading 60 to 63 degree water temp. last weekend. You can catch fish on the mudflats almost anytime, but it usually gets going good on the mud at 65 degrees. Should be there this weekend. Just one caution: it seems like more of the smaller males are still closer to shore, while the larger females have dispersed further. If you are looking for slot fish, I would work the rock to soft bottom transitions at the bottom of the first break from shore or at the base of closer off-shore rock reefs. Might be mostly larger fish on the mud, but catching big fish is a nice problem to have. Good luck. Guiding around the cities and Hutchinson this weekend and next week, but hope to get back up to Mille Lacs next weekend.

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Thanks I rarely keep anything anyway, I'd prefer a big one anyway smile any good tips for fishing the flats? Spinners or plain hook? How long of a snell? Etc etc

Thank you!

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jay,

Sorry I just got to this. A live bait rig with a long snell with a leech, crawler, or minnow should work right now. Try holding the weight just off the bottom and dropping it occasionally to keep in touch with the bottom rather than dragging it. Water temp is right at the borderline for spinners. If the fish are gobbling up rigs quickly, give a spinner a try at about .75 to 1.0 mph. If the fish are very finicky or there is a lot of fishing pressure, try power-corking. Slip bobber rig with a leech or minnow, but no anchor. In calm conditions, use the electric to move around and when you spot fish on the electronics, use the electric motor to hover on them and fish them. If windy, work either the top or bottom edge of the flat, using your electric motor or a kicker or smaller outboard to slip-drift. That is, use the motor to slow the drift of your boat to about the same speed as the wind/waves are drifting your float. You can use the motor to adjust your drift one direction or the other to stay in contact with the edge. Good luck!

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The fish were slamming topwater on Wednesday night, but the water temps were up to almost 70 degrees and the lake was glass calm. Temps today are down to 64 or thereabouts.

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Great info thanks! How long is long snell? What size hook? Any favorite colors? Now that I'm trying to steal all your secrets smile thanks again I love hearing what other guys do.

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jay,

I usually start out with a 7-8' snell on the mud, and lengthen it to as much as 10' if I am not getting bit or the fish are picking it up and dropping it. You just have to experiment with colors, but my confidence live bait rig on Mille Lacs is a red hook with a glow/white rattle bead. I always start with that, but have caught fish with plain, red, and orange hooks with white, green, and orange rattle beads as well as with no bead. #6 hook with crawlers and leeches, #4 hook with a rainbow. You can go to a #4 hook with a jumbo leech if you are missing fish.

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Hey Stick in the Mud did you catch any walleyes with the topwater or was it all smallies? Just curious. Thanks

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All smallies on top. Tonight was about the same for us...slow walleye fishing, then we switched over to topwater the last 45 minutes. We did get some 'eyes, but only one keeper. Decided that bass fishing was more fun!

There's nothing better than watching a bass come up and smack a topwater. smile

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Great info, how heavy a sinker? Is it best to go as light as possible depending on wind and drift speed? Or heavy and keep it almost vertical straight down? I use 8# mono usually flourocarbon, having second thoughts thinking braid might be better?

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      Travel via vehicle through Canada to the Angle is open.  Boating into Canadian waters is now open.  Contact a NW Angle resort for details.
      Charter boat transport and float planes are still available through the LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air.  
      A complete list of lodging and fishing packages around LOW, the NW Angle, Baudette and the Rainy River at www.fishingminnesota.com/Lodging.  


  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Troy Smutka
      Hi everyone. It has been a slow start to the 2021 waterfowl season in MN. A combination of a bunch of factors including very low water conditions and fewer wetlands, much warmer than normal temperatures, and a lot of shooting on MN lakes and wetlands in September has led to not a lot of resident ducks left around, those that are around not moving much, and a delay in the migration of ducks and geese from the north. The saving grace for this season for me has been watching my nine year old son graduate from coming with and watching, to fully participating. Practice shooting and calling this summer has him calling and harvesting birds with a 20 gauge, and a pair of waders has him helping with decoy set up and take down. He has shot his first duck of multiple species already, and his Dad and Grandpa have managed a few ducks while letting Parker take the singles that have come in. This past weekend, we finally saw some migrating flocks of canvasbacks and gadwalls, so the calendar migration is starting, albeit a couple weeks late. Should be some good pushes of ducks into MN the next couple weeks, so good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.
    • Wanderer
      You sound a little conflicted. 😉   It took me a long time to be content with not having the freedom of my early 20’s; fishing and hunting as much as I wanted and at a moment’s notice.  But don’t regret a single day you have on this earth.  There’s something great about every day.  It’ll come back to you while you make the most of everything else in life.  
    • leech~~
      Welcome to the forum.  Are you Amish or live off grid or something?  🤔   EZ Freeze brand LP Propane Refrigerators are made in the U.S.A. by a small Amish company committed to the highest performance and highest quality in the industry.
    • murphyrobbert
      I'd like to learn more about refrigerators. Please share your thoughts with me and let me know which gas your refrigerator uses.
    • Mike89
      he sure doesn't explain it very well then...  I read it the same as smurfy.... 
    • SkunkedAgain
      I took Gimruis to mean that he regrets working full time....me too! 🤣   On my next lake trip, I am hoping to figure out where the mice are getting into my sauna. I also am planning to fish at least one solid day on Vermilion this fall. I don't seem to have great luck this late but I feel compelled to make the effort when the opportunity arises.
    • smurfy
      🤔 so gimruis, I read this as you regret getting married and having kids???
    • gimruis
      I went fishing for the final time this season yesterday.  It was not very good.  Its the latest I've fished in a season for many years though because its been so warm out.   I decided not to duck hunt again this season based on the lack of success I've had in recent years.  By the reports I've heard locally, I made the right decision.   Between a full time job, yard work, going to the gym, and being a responsible Father/Husband, I don't get as much time to do what I want to anymore.  That's just the reality of it.  Sometimes I regret the decisions I've made on that, but now I'm stuck with it and its a necessary evil.  Retirement is still 20+ years away.  But I did go fishing 31 times this past season and I'm taking the whole week off to deer hunt.  After deer hunting I'll be pheasant hunting until the end of the year.   I'm grateful for my health and my mental ability that allow me to continue to do the things I enjoy, albeit not as much as I used to.   I try to post on here when I have successful days of fishing or hunting.  Sometimes it seems like the only fishing updates for weeks on end come from Vermilion.
    • smurfy
      🤣 neighbors don't bow hunt and they might just get a deer iffin a deer happens to run over them.😉   Thanks!!👍
    • Wanderer
      Is that that little guy at the feeder with the cr*ppy rack?    Your neighbor got the ‘tirdy pointer last weekend with his bow. 😉😝   Good luck Smurfy!
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