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@bassfshin24 and I snuck up to Mille Lacs for 2 days of fishing recently. We were targeting Walleye near shallow structure in the low light hours and bumping out a bit deeper during mid-day. The first day was slow for us but we found more action on Day 2 including my 2nd biggest Walleye through the ice. I also caught my first tagged Walleye! Pay attention for my slip and fall...
My buddy Tony (@bassfshin24) and I hit the road after Christmas to go and chase some Walleyes on Mille Lacs Lake. We had plans to fish shallow structure during the low light hours and then head out to deeper structure during the day using an ATV. Day 1 the temps had warmed up some from the recent negative temps but we were surprised to find a very slow bite. The slow day was topped off by some ATV problems which left us scratching our heads on what to do for Day 2. As it turned out our options were minimal so we decided to pull out on the lake by hand to some shallow structure. It was -15 when we hit the lake but we were greeted by a bunch of hungry Walleye!
My first foray into tv land. Grant invited me to co-host an early ice episode on Mille Lacs last week. We showed up like any weekend warrior with no intel and proceeded to try to figure the lake out.
This is just the teaser. The full episode will air in January and then be available on Superior Angling's YouTube channel.
Give it a share/like if you enjoy it. Thanks in advance!
Got on the west side yesterday from 10 till 3. Smallmouth were snapping in 15 - 17 FOW on green tubes with red flakes. Three 20 inch plus footballs. 20 fish total. Two came up barfing out crawfish. Had two incidental google eyes 14 and 15 inches. All the fish were extremely fat and well fed. Great day on the water, very few boats. Shout out to Terry's, great place to launch and close to the action!
It's shaping up to be a very good year on the Big Pond....Lots of people are catching lots of fish. Let's start a new thread to share some tips, tricks, and photos.
The talk I'm hearing is that there are lots of fish out deep, but most of them are shorties. Fewer fish up shallow, but a better chance at catching some bigger ones. So shallow I went. Plus, pulling a 100 lb. sled and auger made the decision a little easier, too.
I set up Stick in Mud the Elder in Secret Spot #3 in about 7 ft of water. I hole hopped outside in depths ranging from 7 to 14 ft. It took us maybe 10 minutes to get our first fish, and throughout the next two hours we ended up catching six more. Nothing crazy like the reports/photos I'm seeing/hearing from others, but we got two keepers and one big girl. My buddy caught 16 last night--and sent me a photo of every single one of them--but only one of them was over 18''. Of our seven, two were about 19'' and the big one was about 25'', give or take a bit.
It's time to get out on the ice.
The DNR has announced quotas for the ice fishing season, regulations coming forth soon.
Governor Dayton is not going to wait for the fall surveys before declaring that the walleye ice fishing season will go on.
The DNR announced today that it has begun implementing several concrete steps aimed at improving the Mille Lacs Lake walleye population, while building a closer working relationship with the Mille Lacs community. “Mille Lacs is an incredibly important fishery for … Full Story
Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
Stayed on the west side last week. Perfect weather for most of the week. Light winds, cool mornings and 70-80 during the day. Plenty of sunshine - no rain to speak of.
Of the ~20 Walleye we caught, 60% of them were in the 10" to 14" range. Everything else was 22" to 26". Trolled plugs but mostly fished spinners slow w/ Crawler and Leeches.
Fished mostly deep reefs all over the main basins. Kept moving. Biggest take away was a large scale bug hatch going on (not mayflies) and the largest small perch population I've ever witnessed. Both of these lit of the electronics with pure clouds... 4-6" perch literally everywhere. Pretty amazing to be honest.
Every fish was very healthy...stuffed full. Gonna be fun in a few years. Also caught several nice Bluegill, Small and Largemouth Bass and a few Pike. All larger than past years. 1 50" musky stopped by to say high in calm weather middle of the day.
Did make it to the East side a few days with little success but the timing of the day didn't help. Definitely marked plenty of fish off deep reefs in 16-30 mainly in Big Bag. No bug hatch there and not near the bait fish population.
If I was there this week, I would fish reefs near deepest water adjacent to defined points. That's my 2 cents.
The most interesting thing I've seen on the lake is loons flocking up to fly south. Saw this on Norwegian Bay October 9, 2018. There had to be at least 200 of them, including some clearly too young to make the trip.
I've been having good luck with lead core as well. I use Suffix 832, with line counter reels. Each color is 30 feet of line. As a rule of thumb, every 1 foot of depth requires 5 feet of line, so if you are fishing at 30' FOW you would let out 150' of line, or 5 colors. Trolling speed affects how deep your crank is running as well (slower is deeper). I usually run between 2.2 and 2.5 mph. As a check, you can keep letting out line until your crank starts bumping bottom and then reel up 10' of line.
I hear ya on the difficulties fishing any lobe of Whitefish on the weekends! Just have to get up and be done before 10am or go back out after 6pm and the lake settles a little. We trolled "lower" WF on Thursday evening and only caught 1 northern. Didn't appear to have as thick of a gathering of fish...
We went back out on Saturday morning to try our luck on Whitefish for Whitefish and in 2 hours caught 1 3.5lb'er and missed a few bites. Wow can they be fun to pull out of 50-70 ft of water. We use jigging raps but wow do whitefish bit lightly but put up a good fight...and there are plenty of them on the big lakes!!! Good fish on the smoker too!!