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fishing tech

Mille Lacs Lake Newbie

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fishing tech

I am looking at ice fishing Mille Lacs. It will be in a wheel house. A few questions I have are,

Does jigging work or is it more of a dead stick/ rattle reel lake?


If jigging what colors seem to be the best? Does this change at different locations on the lake?


shiner, fatheads, or suckers? I understand shiners are hard to find right now.


With the water being so clear, does an under water camera spook the fish?


How far off the bottom do you set your bait?


Thanks for the help!

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OK, to start it has been 2 years since I fished this lake.  Used to fish it a lot.  My experience was I always did well with lively minnows--fatheads or shiners.  Small hook with a tiny bobber. I like the red wire hooks.  Can't say about that are, but has been no shortage of shiners in Brainerd, but a few places ran out of bait on weekends.  Last Saturday Fleet Farm and Wild Rice Depot had plenty.

I always did well with gold or orange jigs.  Even small swedish pimples with minnow head.  Mix it up.  

I start 6-10 inches off the bottom but watch your flasher.

I usually fished Wigwam Bay or over toward Malmo.

Old info, but hope it helps.  I am sure there are many better informed than I.

Good luck.

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Shiners are hard to find right now. If you can get smaller suckers those worked good.  I fished 32ft off edge of mud flat last weekend. Everything we caught was on Bobber or rattle reel. Tried everything from tinglers to rippin raps last weekend for jigging, no luck.  The extreme cold did not help.  I usually do good jigging. I usually fish 3ft off bottom that deep.  Every fish we did catch was over 25 inches. 4 total the whole weekend. Missed a few others. Rattle reels worked well. Orange glow seemed to be a good glow Jig. 

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Fished last weekend and got 6 total - ranging from 12" - 24.5".

I got one hard strike while jigging, but missed.  All fish came off rattle reels.

5 of the 6 came off suckers - small to medium size.  The other came off a fathead.

Plain yellow hook worked well - as did glow red. #4 size.

I was in 27" - set my minnows about 1.5 - 2" off the bottom.

Hope this helps.

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Did you make it to the big pond yet fishing tech? We were up 2 weeks ago , sitting on a 23' hump, not much for a day time bite besides a few small ones but the evening and night was good. We had 2 slot fish which I dont understand cuz they were plump full of eggs. Several big pigs and lots of 19" were released.  Anything gold seemed to trigger fish on set lines where jigging they wanted it moving slow. The little suckers caught the bigger fish but the fatheads caught more. Good luck!

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fishing tech

Thanks for the info, I don't like crowds and with fear of getting stuck I didn't Ben her to far. I picked a spot on the gps that looked promising but couldn't get to the exact spot due to snow depth. Was looking at a 17-18ft flat, could only get to the 15ft depth just above where I wanted to be. Fishing was slow. I did manage a personal best 25 and then topped that with a 27. Caught on rattle reels. 25 on a sucker and the 27 on a fathead. Ended up catching 9 over the 4 days. Did manage 3 perch. 1-11 and 2-10.5. I think I will try it again in a week or so. Thanks for the info. I was really surprised that nothing was caught or even brought anything in while jigging.

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I always use a dead stick next to a jigging hole.  The water is clear so you can get pretty high off the bottom to bring them in and then lower it to them.  Red hook on the dead stick during the day and anything glow after dark if you want but I use pink.  I usually use fat heads or rainbow with good success.  My go to is a pink and blue rattle spoon or red.  Just off of structure during the day with a nice easy move of 15 feet or so to the top of the structure morning or night.  


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As expected, the bite is about as slow as its going to be all winter right now based on these reports.  Minnows are getting hard to find, the water is bitterly cold, fish metabolism has slowed way down, and there's peak activity/noise on the ice above.  With the season ending in 6 days, its time to pack it up and start preparing for open water season in May.

Edited by gimruis
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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

      Who did you send it to? 
    • Bucketcastle
      @fishingstar, i forgot you could do that.  Usually if its the same exact sleeping bag, also its rectangular, you could zip them together.
    • fishingstar
      back in the day ms fishing star and I just zipped two sleeping bags together and that kept up us worm.
    • JerkinLips
      Fishing was very good today. Caught 15 eyes but most were small except for the 22" pictures. Rainbows on a plain hook were definitely better than suckers and chubs. 28 fow over mud flat. The best bite this winter has been 11-1. Somebody plowed a road out from McKinley with sidebysides and ATV to tow their house out. Had a tough time plowing. Don't know how good the road is and it will likely drift over tonight with a few inches of snow and some wind. If you use a plowed road tip the plow man to help him out. I have heard that plow people are tempted to plow the road closed for intruders. Good luck and as always be careful traveling on the lake.
    • JBMasterAngler
      I never got a response. Apparently the DNR doesn’t like me.
    • iiccee63
      Hello. I am trying to make this post strictly about these 2 lakes. Please only comment on ice thickness. Thank you.   Linwood lake from the access out is a minimum of 5" until you get out about 100 yards. Then the ice measures 4". Closest to shore froze first and is white ice. Once you get to the nice clear it's thinner. It froze later but is clear awesome ice measuring 4".    Forest Lake #1. North side of lake was 4" of clear nice ice. It froze really good over a week ago. Just got back at 5pm. 12/13. 😁😁😁😁 Iiccee
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      Currently on Forest Lake (lake one) by the downtown access, measured 9" of ice up to about the weedline, then it tapered down to 5" out in 14' of water. 
    • Wheezy Outdoors
      Ice conditions have varied extremely across the Northland. From smaller lakes laden with slush and heavy snow having roughly 6”-9” of ice, to larger lakes having scant snow cover and moderately fishable ice in upwards of 5”. Although ice conditions have room for improvement, the fishing has been rather exceptional. The early season Walleye bite, is never disappointing to say the least. We are finding them in 6’-12’ of water and also in 17’-28’ on area lakes, working edges of the breaks off of flats or shoreline points. Small Spoons tipped with a minnow head or jigging raps have been the best. Also, try using set-lines with a simple set up, plain hook and a Shiner or Sucker Minnow. Crappies and Bluegills have been good on smaller bodies of water over the basins and along the weedlines. Look to the inside turns or weed points, most productive baits have been tiny spoons or tungsten jigs tipped with Clam Maki Plastics or a Waxworm. As it always is, mobility has been key to staying on active fish. “Hole-Hopping” and moving around following the school has led to the best results. As I write this report the outside temp is currently -9° and with the continuing weather it is safe to say we are going to be making some serious ice this week. So, we are looking forward to the week ahead of us, as ice conditions will continue to improve and become more traversable. Of course, we still advise you to take all necessary precautions, and remember No Ice is Ever Safe Ice.   -Justin and Alice Wiese Wheezy Outdoors Guide Service 218-275-7525
    • Sculpin
      The water clarity is one of the challenges of getting those eyes to bite, especially in the somewhat shallow water. Keep at em Bryan, nice video.
    • yoppdk
      This is a hand-built Ice Fishing Rod Rack that can make the ideal Christmas gift for anybody who loves ice fishing or has some special ice fishing rods they want to display or protect. This rack is one-of-a-kind and will not be reproduced.   It is a Free-Standing rack which is intended for use at home or in a permanent fish house. It holds 8 ice rods, is built of solid oak and finished in "Prairie Wheat" stain and finished with glossy polyurethane. The front of the rod support pieces are embellished with scrolling for added appeal.   The rack measures 24" wide, 3.5" deep and 18" tall. It is immediately available for pick up in Grand Rapids or I can ship to you for actual shipping cost.   Only one of these is available. If you need something for your wheel house or want a different style rack, contact me and we can build one custom for your needs.   Thanks and Merry Christmas!
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