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JBMasterAngler

Early Ice pike

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JBMasterAngler

Never targeted pike on Mille Lacs before. What is typically the target depth?  Are there perch to catch in the shallows? Would be something to keep the kids happy in between flags.

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Sculpin

On early ice it would probably  be best to focus on the big bays,  both on the east and west sides. Cove, Isle, Wahkon, WigWam, Vineland etc.  Depths in those bays can range anywhere from a couple feet all the way to 20+. I would want a nice range of depths, over, in, and around the remnant cabbage, or on whatever breaks you can find. Otherwise main lake points, rock piles, shore breaks, etc.

 You'll find lots of perch, but don't expect to many jumbos, there are not big numbers of them out there, and the DNR fall test netting has confirmed that.

Good luck if you get out !! 

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gimruis

Sculpin's advice is pretty accurate.  The ice thickness and safety is often much better on those south/east bays like Cove, Wahkon, and Isle way before it is out on the main lake.  Isle probably gets fished more than any other bay because it has a deep trench running down the middle of it.  Forget about the perch, you'll have to catch 40 of those things before you get a jumbo that's worth keeping.

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JBMasterAngler

I’m not worried about keeping any jumbos. I’ll be perfectly fine watching 2 tip ups. Just want something to keep kids happy. Dink perch would be perfectly fine. Thanks for all the advice.

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Kettle

Be careful in Vineland bay, even though the river runs out there, there is still some current. It's very sandy there. Find vegetation along a drop off and you'll find pike. If you are going on foot you can walk out of the East access at Father Hennepin and hit a drop off pretty close to shore. Let us know how you do!

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Kettle

It looks locked up today, some very small open holes but from the West side of the lake ice as far as one can see and a huge pressure ridge running north south out of Rocky reef a few miles

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