Sunday, January 29th, 2023
Sunday, January 29th, 2023

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Tough Mille Lacs bite requires subtle tweaks

By Brad Hawthorne

Mille Lacs has been slow lately. I tell people to rely on set lines and not try to chase the world right now.

Subtle changes can make a difference. One thing we have been suggesting is the Forage Minnow, which is heavier than other spoon jigs and does a better job of holding a minnow into place. With Mille Lacs apparently choked with plenty of bait in the water, you don’t want a walleye to have to work harder with a minnow so lively that is is moving your presentation several feet in different directions.

Walleyes aren’t necessarily lethargic, but they are feeding like there is a lot of food in the system. This is typical of the lake when there is a lot of food.

I’m fishing no shallower than 26 feet right now because clarity is super high. We can see the botton on sunny days. I’ve in the past suggested that rattle wheel lines have at least 15 feet of leader on them and on a year like this, 20 feet of fluorocarbon is even better.

These little tricks make a difference.

Hawthorne is a fishing guide on Lake Mille Lacs and surrounding waters. He can be reached at or (651) 271-8600.

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