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Describe a flat


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I'm new to fishing MilleLacs. Don't worry, I am very considerate of other boaters. Anyways, I'm wondering exactly what is a flat? And how do you fish one? On top of it, off the sides, etc.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Flats are located on the central and west parts of Mille Lacs. Generally speaking the water around them is 30 to 35 ft deep with the flats being 22 to 28 feet deep and consisting of mud. All kinds of shapes an sizes. Fish can be found on top of, on the breaks, and in the deeper water adjacent to the flats depending on the time and conditions. This year flats are producing a lot of bigger fish, not many slot fish.

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Lumpy has pretty much hit the nail on the head. Mille Lacs' mud flats are very unique... at least among the lakes I often fish. Where most lakes have soft or muddy bottoms in depressions, on Mille Lacs the mud flats rise up as if they are cubes of jello sitting on a table. The surrounding bottom is much harder. They are called "flats" because they rarely change more than a foot from one end to the other. Some are quite small - an acre or so. Others are huge, stretching several miles and covering hundreds of acres. Most people fish the breaklines where the mud rises from the bottom but fish sometimes are found on top. In recent years, guys have been seen concentrating more and more on the waters just off the flats - even hundreds of yards off the flats.

The majority of Mille Lacs' mud flats are located in the northern third of the lake. They typically are fished most heavily in the summer but walleyes are there in varying numbers all year.

Lots of lakes have sand, rock, rubble, or weedline walleye bites. Mille Lacs is no different there but the mud flats is an added feature that makes it unique.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

A flat, as it's usually referred to in fishing terms, is a shallower area adjacent to a deeper section of water, with a breakline. The depth can either remain the same or it gradually drops at the same angle for the most part until it hits a breakline (drop in the prevailing angle of the flat).

The larger flats with more irregular breaklines and diverse habitat will usually hold the largest concentrations of fish. Fishing pressure can move fish off to smaller flats with less pressure.

You will normally find fish off the flats, on the breaklines, or on the flats - duhhh grin.gif. Breaklines are current favorites to fish off. They are considered to be fish highways so to speak.

Fish will tend to congregate on points for ambush tactics or inside turns because it's a partial corral for herding baitfish.

Deeper fish off flats are usually less agressive biters, but not always. Fish on breaklines and on the flats are usually feeding again, but not always.

The presence of plenty of cover (ie. weeds) can change that scenario because neutral to negative fish will sit in the cover as well.

It is also less true for pelagic fish and the predators who follow them in open water over basins. Even they use what I refer to as temperature flats. But that's another story.

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Thanks for the great info. How about a follow up or two. How do flats differ from reefs?

Also, this weekend was my maiden voyage on MilleLacs with my own new boat. What a thrill, full moon, calm water, great weather. I had the family with so was only out there for 2 hours from 7 til 9 pm. Caught 2 fish, 20 and 21 inches. We put in at the public access near Garrison, and didn't go out too far, just to the south of the landing off the point. When I pulled the anchor up I could tell I was on rocks, so I'm guessing I was on or near a reef. Am I correct?

Thanks for putting up with these beginner questions.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

A reef is generally a hard bottom rise and then drop again. In this area it's normally rocks and boulders. They usually get shallower than 6 feet and run in a direction ridgelike, we call them spines on Mille lacs.

As an example, off Hennepin Island you'll have a reef spine that runs North-Northwest. Much of it is about 6' deep, but does get shallower. On the east side it drops off into fairly deep water down to 40'. On the west side is a faily huge rock-gravel flat that runs 10'-12' deep.

Reefs can be walleye magnets, especially at night.

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it's a woman with not breasts, right

it's when ya tires blow out

it's a bar and it's bad beer

it's someplace out in the lake that ain't as deep as other places

but it's certainly deeper than this post

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