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Late Season Shallow Rock Bite??


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I had an interesting conversation this past weekend at a sportshow with a gentleman who said he was a Mille Lacs guide. In our conversation I mentioned that the walleye bite that I was experiencing earlier in the winter on the deep gravel has slowed way down which is typical for this time of year. He told me that late in the year when the deep water gravel/mud bite slows, to move my efforts back to the shallow rocks. He said to get in about 8 feet of water and away from the crowds. He went on to say that late in the year, the shallow rock bite is primariliy a night bite. He said these fish are very spooky, therefore he said use as little light as possible and keep noise to a minimum. He claims this bite is best right just before the season closes and you have a very good chance of getting into some bigger walleyes. I have never heard this theory about Mille Lacs before. Is this legit? Has anyone else tried this?

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Rocky: As I drove off of the lake last night I was telling my son exactly what you have just described. I remember many years ago when I first started fishing the lake with my dad I would go shallow at night and caught some nice fish. This was on the west side of the lake near Rocky Reef. I truly believe that not all of the fish in the lake go deep to either the mud or the gravel, that there are always fish that will remain on or near these shallows bars or reefs. If it does not pick up in the area that we are in I am definitley going to have Kevin pull our house shallow by mid Feb. Just my thoughts, Bill

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I know guys that never get deeper than 10' all year. They get their fish and they usually have no company. I have had this action for perch as well. I also believe that there are fish all over the lake at all times of the year. My last trip I was on some rocks in 9' of water catching decent perch during the day and there were tons of 3" perch all over the place. Nobody can convince me that if there are that many little bait fish in an area that there are not larger walleyes or even pike in those locations as well.

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I know guys that never get deeper than 10' all year. Nobody can convince me that if there are that many little bait fish in an area that there are not larger walleyes or even pike in those locations as well.


I have only caught 7 walleyes over 11 feet of water this year, which were in 13-18 feet of water over the rocks.

I have been on a shallow water bite the whole winter, but I am also in milfoil too.

Point is, there are so many fish in that lake, that you can set up basically anywhere on structure and your going to find walleyes.

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milfoil ehh - dont see to much of that on the main lake. your not fishing in Izaty's marina are u?

we have gone everywhere and now are back where we start ing about 11 feet of water. nothing last night but he had to be on the road by 7 so will have to see what next weekend brings for a night bite. there is a nice spinner rig wedged in the rocks right under my hole....

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thanks for the replies. I know it is mid january but with my permanent being five miles out and the way this winter has been going, I am more than little nervous on the ice. May have to move closer to shore this weekend

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I fish the rocks in spring and summer with great success. With all the reports of going shallower, I think I may have to try the reefs.

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whatever it takes to get away from the crowds. the reason for everyone leaving the shallow is one as the water freezes the the water at the bottom gets colder too. the deeper water will actully take longer to cool and pushes many fish out deep to the warmer water. once that process slows the fish will tend move all over again and the shallow rocks can be a good place to go. personally ihvae not moved back on the rocks but i have had no need to either. second reason for people moving out to deep water is that the people on mille lacs are like vulgers and will go where people are because they think they are catching fish. the problem with the shollow rock is what was stated earlier these fish now have a roof on their heads and can be spooked very easily. when i mean easy i mean i have dropped an empty soda can on the bottom of my shack and have seen them scatter like i threw a bomb down the whole. just my two cents.

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it is more of a low light bite not only because of the light but because of the traffic times. much more quit at night.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Wanderer
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    • Kettle
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