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bdubs78

New to Mille Lacs

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bdubs78

Good morning to you all! I recently moved to the Mille Lacs area and I would like to do some fishing on the lake. I am a seasoned vet of Lake of the Woods, but have not fished Mille Lacs other than through a resort charter.

My first question would be what resorts are good for going out of on your own? Plowed roads, decent access, etc. I have no problem paying for the use of the access as I am used to that up north.

As far as knowing where to find the fish, ie rocks, transitions, flats, etc. I am not concerned but just wondering which part of the lake has the best access to those areas.

From what I have read on other posts in this forum, I get the impression that some of the folks on here would prefer not to have new people fish "their" lake so I really don't expect much of a response but I would like to thank any of you decent folks willing to share some advice in advance.

Happy fishing and as always, safety first!

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Redlineracer12

There are multiple resorts that go out to the flats. Terry's on the West side, Red Door on the North end, and Hunter's Point on the East side are some of the bigger ones. Since the majority of the flats are spread out in the middle of the lake it doesn't matter much which resort you go out of it's about the same distance.

If you are wanting to fish other structure it's probably best to find the structure you're after on a map and check which resorts are nearby as there are so many out there. For example sand = North end, gravel bars = South end, weeds = one of the South bays, rocks = East or West sides.

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pushbutton

Redlineracer gave a good run down. This lake fishes like completey different lakes depending on where you are at and what type of structure you are fishing. Depths, transition lines,where they hold, what they hold to can be completely different on one end versus the other. If i were you would start to familiarize yourself where the particular resorts are located...as reference points.....and go back and read the past posts in the archives. One thing is for sure....this lake fishes nothing like the big bowl you are use to.

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Fowlmouth

I would suggest going out of the Red Door resort. They always have a great road system to where you want to go.

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Iceboy

So no one wants to tell him there aren't any fish left there? smile

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chris63

Ice,I hope your kidding.Just look at the resorts/facebook fishing reports around the lake since walkable ice this season and tell us there are no more fish.I do admit the jumbo perch have been hard to come by.(Daily limits,anyway).The best thing for me is the catch rate of 9to12 inch Eyes the past two seasons..Good fishing don't fall in!c63

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bdubs78

Thanks for the suggestions. I got out in the fog Saturday morning and fished most of the day. Not a lot of success, but I did catch fish. Good thing I had no intention of keeping anything because I didn't have a tape to measure with anyway. I fished in about 21-24 fow on some gravel/rocks. I had steady action on the Marcum all morning but went to hell once a group of 9 guys decided they wanted to drill a million holes within 30 yards of me. One of which I stepped off at 16 paces!!! Its a big lake man, no need to be that close in my opinion.

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monstermoose78

Welcome to Mille Lacs!!

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elusivecrappiecatcher

Thanks for the suggestions. I got out in the fog Saturday morning and fished most of the day. Not a lot of success, but I did catch fish. Good thing I had no intention of keeping anything because I didn't have a tape to measure with anyway. I fished in about 21-24 fow on some gravel/rocks. I had steady action on the Marcum all morning but went to hell once a group of 9 guys decided they wanted to drill a million holes within 30 yards of me. One of which I stepped off at 16 paces!!! Its a big lake man, no need to be that close in my opinion.

It does suck when someone gets that close, but I don't blame them for drilling a bunch of holes. Thats how I role when I fish. I don't like waiting for the fish to come to me. I drill a lot of holes and I go in search for the fish, up and down breaks and around points. I NEVER try to get to close.

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bdubs78

No problem whatsoever with drilling a bunch of spots to find one that will produce. I do the same thing myself. I do however take into consideration the location I am drilling when I am in an area with other people. I do know that the area I was fishing has a small hump with some pretty aggressive depth changes so close quarters is inevitable, but 16 steps out the door of my portable is just inconsiderate in my opinion.

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Iceboy

Ice,I hope your kidding.Just look at the resorts/facebook fishing reports around the lake since walkable ice this season and tell us there are no more fish.I do admit the jumbo perch have been hard to come by.(Daily limits,anyway).The best thing for me is the catch rate of 9to12 inch Eyes the past two seasons..Good fishing don't fall in!c63

Yeah - I'm kidding of course, but lots of people talk about the demise of Mille Lacs as if the fish are all gone.

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bdubs78

Went out on the west side Saturday morning and set up in about 31 fow out on the flats. Immediately after setting up I was marking fish on the Marcum. They would come up off the bottom, give it a look and then go back down. Occasionally I would get a school of what I am guessing is crappie or perch about 6-10 feet off the bottom that would lite up the flasher. All day long they would come up off the bottom and look, but not a single bite. I threw everything in my tackle box at them and not a single bite. I am confused! Is it a case of extremely finicky walleye or was it something else? I moved 4 different times, different depths, etc and the same result everywhere I went. Any of you have any ideas?? Thanks in advance!

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Stick in Mud

My guess is you were seeing fairly small perch. They are pretty curious little buggers. The best thing about them is that they're an awesome fish indicator--when they disappear, there's usually a big fish in the vicinity.

Were you fishing sunrise and sunset? The bite can be pretty tough out there mid-day.

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leech~~

Went out on the west side Saturday morning and set up in about 31 fow out on the flats. Immediately after setting up I was marking fish on the Marcum. They would come up off the bottom, give it a look and then go back down. Occasionally I would get a school of what I am guessing is crappie or perch about 6-10 feet off the bottom that would lite up the flasher. All day long they would come up off the bottom and look, but not a single bite. I threw everything in my tackle box at them and not a single bite. I am confused! Is it a case of extremely finicky walleye or was it something else? I moved 4 different times, different depths, etc and the same result everywhere I went. Any of you have any ideas?? Thanks in advance!

Like Stick in Mud said may have been small Perch. But, if you start nailing Crappie's out on the flats. Please post ASAP so I can get up there! wink

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gogophers

Very well could have been schools of Tulibees out on the mud as well (the ones higher up)

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BlackArrow1

They're most likely Tulibee. I've been catching em out on the flats. They will chase the spoon but tough to get em to commit. If in doubt if they're tulibee try getting them to chase the spoon up. They will follow it up all the way. I've been jigging them up to 5 ft below the hole. You can look down and see them easy. The water is so clear you can see a ways down.

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broman

Yep, I agree, probably Tullibees. It takes a certain technique to work them. Like BlackArrow1 said, get them to chase your jig up and down. Get them up high and jig the heck out of it until they bite. If they don't take it, drop it back down and repeat.

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tfin

I've been in a tulibee hot zone before. Nothing to do at that point but go a long ways and try again. Either that or pull your gear up for 15 minutes and hope they go away. They will stay all day otherwise.

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Brian Peterson

Downsize and to a small spoon and use some spikes.

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fivebelow

curious if anyone is actually catching any tulibees out there?

in years past; the ones that flash by quick like that were tullies and you'd had to get your jig to them quick and work it to get them to hit.

small jigs with extra flash seem to be the ticket for them or small spoon tipped with waxies/euros or minnow heads.

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BlackArrow1

I've fished mid lake mud flats and closer mud on the north end this year. There are tulibee on every spot I fish on the mud. The ones I've caught aren't very big. Seems when they disappear the walleyes aren't far behind. Even got a few pike on the mud. Got a few small pout as well at night, which is a nice sign.

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leech~~

Tulibee's are kind of fun to play with. It's good practice for Laker fishing with the way they run up at the lure! smile

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bdubs78

Thanks for the info. It was probably tulibee that were teasing me all day. I haven't had a lot of success with the walleye yet but I don't give up that easy. Headed up to Red tonight but planning on trying Mille Lacs again next weekend.

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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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