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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 :)

    • Borch
      All batteries are impacted by cold.  But the lithium batteries are impacted less than SLA batteries.
    • Coleman
      Honestly, that narrows it down quiet a bit. There's only so many points by a sand bar. 😄
    • Knowknot
      Be careful out there on the ice, we don't need any casualties..... Make sure it's safe..  
    • Huntin&Fishin
      That is if the snow holds off
    • leech~~
      Is that the one point with a cabin on it, or the one with the Oak tree?  😏
    • Horseshoe_Don
      Okay my secret.spot is off that point by the sandbar where I set up.  Really good spot on the chain    Don
    • ozzie
      just good natured ribbing😉 not serious! but if someone wanted to give out their secret spots...🤐 
    • bassbouncer
      I think I will be working there Monday. Was there this morning and footings are being poured
    • Vitreus
      How's the performance of the lithium in the cold?
    • Coleman
      I wasn't looking for exact locations, just ideas.     I guess I don't understand the whole secrete spots thing.  I don't mind telling anyone exactly where, what and when I was fishing if I was successful.  Again, I'm not looking for that, just general ideas.  I know the lake well enough to find fish. But, I just recently, last winter, starting fishing it during winter.  I've mainly done C&R catfish, because, lets be honest they're a lot more fun to catch then walleye.