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Muskiemanzan13

Mille Lacs muskie first timer- in need of help

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Muskiemanzan13

Hey guys!

Alright so we're going to take (or two) a trip up to Mille Lacs for muskie. Now I'm not asking for secret spots but I can keep a secret if someone were to PM me. I'm looking to get a bigger fish vs. a number of fish.

I would prefer casting over trolling but if trolling is the way to go, then I'll give it a shot.

Also if I were to cast what lures should I use? I have some bigger crankbaits and some BullDawgs but Thorne Bros. is quite close to my house.

Thank you for any tips/info!

-Zander

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CaptainMusky

When are you going? The next couple weeks is historically the best time for a giant out there.

Bulldawgs, medussas, double 10s. Find the rocks. And follow the peak times for activity. It will take long days and you may not see a thing but if you do it could be a giant.

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Muskiemanzan13

What depth should I fish? But it would be within the next few weeks. (1-3 weeks)

So rockpiles but is there any other areas? Also what size Bulldawgs and Medussas? I'm thinking the regular sized medussa and the pounder 'dawgs..?

Thanks a lot,

-Zander

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CaptainMusky

Focus on rocks that top out around 10 feet. There are enough of these on the se and sw side to keep you busy for days. The bigger the better.

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RumRiverRat

Mag Double Dawgs in Lemon Tails.

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Muskiemanzan13

Any other spots/depths worth a shot? Or any other lures that seem to be "preferred" as there's no magic lure..?

Thanks for the info fellas!

-Zander

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Jeff13

Garrison Reef has lots of rocks and its a huge structure to fish all day. The rocks are no secret this time of year. Hennepin island can keep you busy as well. You may fish days out there for nothing but the reward can be a lifetime memory.

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Muskiemanzan13

Thanks guys! Any other lures that you guys have had success with?

Thanks,

-Zander

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Muskiemanzan13

Alright so I'm heading to Thorne Bros. Friday to pick up a few baits...looking at the mag. double dawg TB custom "Lemon Ends", Mag. double dawg "walleye", and a chaos medussa regular sized but I haven't decided on the color I want yet.

Also just curious, is there any other areas and/or ways I could catch a nice 'skie out there? Or at least have a chance...

Thanks,

Zander

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RumRiverRat

18 to 30 inch Sucker Minnow trolled around reefs.

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Muskiemanzan13

What depth?

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CaptainMusky

Start deep and work your way in. When you contact fish apply to other similar spots. There is no magic formula for boating muskies if there was everyone would do it. Spend time on the water and fish many spots to increase your chances. Mille lacs you have about the best chance at a giant in the state but it isn't going to be easy.

Jason hammernick is probably on the lake 24 hrs a day. If you see him take notes. He has the fall slobs dialed in. Everything you've been told here are tactics that work.

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Muskiemanzan13

Thanks a lot fellas.

Now just one more question...weed beds. If there's still plenty of green weeds, are fish going to be hanging around the deep weeds?

-Zander

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CaptainMusky

Yes. Dont be afraid to go in the inside of the weed edges too. My biggest musky to date was caught late September on the inside edge of weeds.

Depending on water temp would be my determining factor as to whether I focussed on weed-related fish or just rocks.

Once it gets to 40 degrees the tullibees will be about to spawn and I would just be targeting the rocky areas because the muskies will not be far away.

Not sure what the temps are now on the big lake, but if your trip isnt for a little bit of time yet it could be real close to 40 by then depending what the weather does.

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FowlSki

I would not go with Mags. Fall is pounder time on Mille Lacs. Spots have pretty much been covered. I wouldn't be fishing much weeds once the water temp is 50 or lower.

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spst23

Thanks for offering up all the tips. What are all your thoughts on trolling this time of year? is it more casting and live bait time or would trolling points or around the same rock structures be productive. what depth do you look for when trolling in the fall? Thanks

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fish_hunt_guy

I have heard that trolling can be effective in the fall. Thats usually the time of the year that most guys troll for muskies if they do at all i believe. Ive heard big slow wobbling crank baits can be good. Could you slowly troll a large sucker minnow tied to a bobber to keep it up? Anyone else have any insight?

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MuskieKen83

Absolutely. A slip bobber is a great way to control the depth of your bait if you are working deep weedlines.

[Note From Admin: Please Read Forum Policy Before Posting Again, Thank You]

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MuskieFever

How was your trip?

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Muskiemanzan13

Well I ended up not going on account of the snow we got. I was going to go the weekend after we got snow so we just ended up winterizing the boat. I'll hit Mille Lacs for 'skies at some point next year.

Good luck,

-Zander

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  Ice fishing has begun!  Many resorts have fish houses out with others watching ice conditions in the area they fish for the right time.  Below zero temps this week will help.  Some ice roads are open to ATV and snowmobile traffic.  Check with your resort / outfitter prior to coming up.  Fishing has started out excellent as expected.  Most finding walleyes and saugers in 21 - 26 feet of water.  A shallow bite happening in 18-20' morning / evening.  The norm of jigging one line and dead sticking the other line working well.  Good numbers of fish being caught with some trophies mixed in as well as pout, perch, tullibees, sturgeon and an occasional pike.  Very little snow on the ice.   On the Rainy River...   Most of the river is frozen over with a few random spots still showing open water.  There is no traffic on the river at this time while ice is forming.  Extra caution is always needed with current and this year the current is stronger than most years.   Up at the NW Angle...  Some resorts have a few fish houses out and initial fishing reports for walleyes are excellent.  Some areas still need time with high current this year.  Forecast is favorable with sub zero temps this week.  The majority of ice traffic is snowmobiles thus far.  It's a must to stick to resort marked trails or know the area you are traveling.  
    • bowhuntingboy1
      Also, on the topic of zebra muscles, scientifically it may show how they are terrible for a lakes ecosystem and whatnot, but you look at mille lacs for example, which is about infested as it gets with zebra muscles, yet it's currently a world class walleye, muskie, and smallmouth fishery. Now obviously you dont want to spread zebra muscles, they are invasive and its heavily illegal,  it just seems that their impact is overstated.
    • Chill62
      The trip is a fun time and we have been blessed with warm favorable conditions the last two years I've helped set it up.  Just hope it keeps up that way because every trip prior it was -20 or worse temps.     Thanks!  We've put a lot of work into it so far.  It isn't new but its new to us and that is the only way we could get what we wanted with the features we wanted.  Having a heated cab is amazing when going across the ice we actually had to take our jackets off prior to traveling across the ice.  I we made the rack for the back for hauling gear and giving us a little more space (PVC).  Ice fishing is our favorite season and when we figured we spent last year from weekend before Thanksgiving to April 22nd area on the ice every weekend its an investment that we will use.  We also plow out 5-7 driveways at the lake for neighbors so it helps cut down on the amount of time I am spending plowing when I have a 72" blade instead of a 60" 4 wheeler blade and not enough power to push big piles.  
    • bowhuntingboy1
      I can see all arguments and their points. I just logically think that everyone in america should have to follow the same laws regardless of race or culture or history 200 years ago. Maybe statistically this may be wrong somehow, but oh well, you're all entitled your opinion. 
    • Sculpin
      Could be worse guys, way worse.  You could have a deeper fishery, and have to account for "hooking mortality"  Such as it is at Mille Lacs.  I think everyone needs to understand that the old days are gone, and liberal limits, as we all once knew them, are rapidly becoming obsolete. LOTWS just went from 8 to 6 fish, and I would not be at all surprised to see it go to 5, or less, its just a matter of time. Everyone chatters about catch and release fishing, and the DNR would tell you that the majority of surveyed anglers, particularly at Mille Lacs are good with the concept. I don't necessarily agree with their methodology, but it is what it is.  Drive less, stop at Mille Lacs, and get your one fish, (maybe). It'll never be more than a two fish lake again, because the Bands will never, ever, compromise on their end of the harvest, nor on the co-management of the lake,  at the end of the day, they have no reason to. Red lake is the same. I think they may finally have it right, impact of zebra mussels notwithstanding. Time will tell. Get used to it, if you live long enough, like Kelly, you'll see worse. 
    • CJH
      I grew up in Winona (didn't ice fish back then) but the Mississippi River  is NOT to be messed with - it will always win.  Fantastic fishing, but definitely take baby steps in getting to know it.      Might be a good idea to Post in the SE MN section and see if somebody would let you tag along.
    • Random dude
      I meant to say the tribal waters are the factory that keeps the popluation going,  we would fish out every lake we have control of if they let us.  Thank the Band and DNR for setting up a safe harvest limit and rules for everyone to follow that is building this great fishery back
    • Random dude
      Best to listen to Kelly on this one.   He has been around long enough to see the booms and busts and attended all the meetings on the rebuilding after the crash.   The way I look at it, look at the hordes of fishermen on the small non-tribal portion.   Now imagine spreading that kind of pressure on the entire upper and lower lake, it would crash in a matter of a few years.   I honestly think we owe a debt of gratitude for the low lbs/acre harvest on the vast tribal waters.   If they harvested as much per acre as we did, crash time.   The non-tribal waters are the factory that keeps healthy population going that we're seeing now.  It must be working, results speak for themselves.
    • AlwaysFishing23
      Looks like a very enjoyable weekend for you guys Chill62! Your ranger setup looks real slick! Jealous! 
    • Borch
      Sounds like a fantastic weekend!   Gotta love it when the kids are catching fish.
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