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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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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • JBMasterAngler
      Trout/Wabana were really nice lakes, the one and only time I got to fish them 2 years ago. Would love to make it back up there some day. Too many places, too little time!
    • Rick
      Thank you for the report.
    • Wanderer
      I’ve never just canoed the river so I guess I can’t really debate that time estimate.  It’s always been a float/fish trip but casting only, not stopping to really work a deeper hole or anything.   I used to live on the river along that stretch.  About midway between Isanti and St. Francis.
    • Kettle
      Cambridge to St Francis is definitely a long float, Isanti to St Francis not fishing just canoeing takes me about 5-6 hours. If your going solo check out the central park in Andover. You can float solo for about 3 hours and you end up within a 5 minute walk of your vehicle since it twists and turns so much in that stretch. I have not caught many walleye that far south but definitely will get a bass or two 
    • Tominator692
      My soft water season ended Saturday. Landed the boat and need to give it some TLC. I fished everyday in October and boated 304 walleye. Primarily fished my 5 favorite fall spots. Strictly used a jig/minnow.  Lots of nice stuff with a fair amount of smaller fish. To be clear I am a catch and release guy. I probably kept 8 fish. This is a picture of a nice one from my last day out..
    • Wanderer
      We got one gadwall yesterday.  Today duck motivation is low.  Clear sky and zero wind right now.  Going back to bed for a couple hours and then off looking for roosters or grouse.  Whatever works.
    • JerkinLips
      Fished Thursday-Saturday this week and caught only 12 walleyes in 2½ days, half as many as I caught two weeks ago.  Fishing was quite slow for me, and the walleyes were biting very light.  At least this week there were some decent meal size fish as only 2 were dinks along with 3 slot fish.  Caught another 26" walleye pictured, and this one weighed 5#-11oz, 1oz more than the one I caught two weeks ago.  Maybe it was the same fish and added another ounce.  Weather was nice today and it brought out a lot of boats as shown in the second photo.  Fishing wasn't good enough to deal with this crowd so I quit early.  Good luck fishing, and enjoy the fall.
    • monstermoose78
      Had one of those days where I swear those ducks had bullet proof vests on!! Finn laid down after a bit and well my dad sucks!!
    • Wanderer
      Floating those sections of the Rum will take you much longer than you’ll originally think it will.  Be aware of that when you plan your trip.  I’m assuming the water is high right now as most rivers in MN are, so it could go a little quicker.   For example, Isanti to St. Francis will be like 10 hours without slowing down much to fish.  Figure about 1 river mile per hour to be a steady pace for a fishing trip.
    • gunner55
      🤔 He wanted to teach Toto how to catch fish too?