Yup, first ice is upon us, and two renowned fisheries will be busy as open water gives way to hard water. Here, Minnesota guide Brad Hawthorne with Angling Buzz talk the early season bite windows on Lake Mille Lacs and Red Lake and offers bonus tips for whackin’ walleye on Mille Lacs. Categories: Ice Fishing Tips, Minnesota Videos, News, Walleye, Walleye Videos…
Lake Mille Lacs
Winter anglers on Mille Lacs Lake will enjoy a walleye harvest this winter for the fourth season in a row, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Anglers will not be able to target walleye when fishing on Mille Lacs, but may fish for other species and use live bait.
In recent decades, Mille Lacs’ water clarity has increased, most likely due to septic system improvements around the lake and the invasion of zebra mussels, which are filter feeders that strain out microscopic algae.
Mille Lacs anglers will be able to keep one walleye between 21 and 23 inches or one walleye over 28 inches May 11-31.
The DNR is considering allowing the walleye harvest during the cool-water periods in the spring and fall. But the exact number of keepers won’t be announced until mid-March.
DNR focuses the harvest on mature female fish, which are in abundance in the lake, and hence the new slot, the agency says.
Fish measured 43-1/2 inches and was caught by a member of the Women Anglers of Minnesota.
The survey results through the end of August indicate catch rates were still quite good this summer, but were lower than last year.
The inaugural Mille Lacs Smallmouth Alliance (MLSA) Free the Fighter Team Big Bass Challenge, presented by In Tune Marine/Vexus Boats, is scheduled Saturday, Oct. 6 on Lake Mille Lacs in central Minnesota, along with an MLSA high school event Oct. 7. The Challenge will be patterned after Classic Bass Champions Tour events – after a smallmouth bass is caught, it…
The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe hopes to test a hypothesis that warming lake temperatures are contributing to the recent walleye population decline.
ONAMIA, Minn. — Tribal authorities are investigating an abandoned gillnet found on Lake Mille Lacs that contained 67 dead walleyes. Last week’s find has revived the controversy over tribal fishing on Mille Lacs, where the walleye population has been on a long-term decline. Mille Lacs is co-managed between the state and eight Ojibwe bands that have court-affirmed treaty rights to…
Based on the number of walleye that were originally tagged and the total number of tagged fish that turn up during the recapture, the DNR said it can make an accurate estimate of the lake’s walleye population.
And a favorable forecast could make for a comfortable fishing opener after all.
A population estimate completed this year shows there are some 67,000 smallmouth bass in the 128,000-acre lake.
Big Winnie, too? Amid news that anglers and resort owners on Lake Mille Lacs will be facing a third consecutive catch-and-release-only season for walleye, another top Minnesota walleye fishery reportedly is facing struggles of its own. The Minnesota DNR said it’s investigating whether a downturn on Lake Winnibigoshish is a normal part of walleye biology on Big Winnie, or if…
Lake also saw closures last open-water season. But according to the DNR, the lake’s spawning walleye population has improved from last year, so no mid-season closures are planned.
Tom Heinrich, who most recently was the large lake specialist covering Lake of the Woods for the Minnesota DNR, will now supervise Lake Mille Lacs fisheries management. Heinrich begins as Mille Lacs fisheries supervisor on Wednesday, Jan. 24, at the office in Garrison. He will oversee the extensive field operations that happen throughout the course of the year to assess…
It’s likely that one-fish bag will include one walleye within a 20- to 22-inch slot, or a “one over” fish yet to be determined.
(Photo courtesy of Windigo Images) ONAMIA, Minn. — The Minnesota DNR is netting fish on Lake Mille Lacs as part of the agency’s annual fall assessment. The department’s work is under intense scrutiny because of tighter walleye regulations on the large central Minnesota lake in the last few years, Minnesota Public Radio reported. The survey’s data is expected to determine the harvest…
A revealing day on the water with professional bass fishermen.
Defending champ and Minnesotan Seth Feider finishes 13th; Brandon Palaniuk is Angler of the Year.
Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship: Big smallies, and lots of them, again expected on Mille Lacs
Can the central Minnesota fishery match last year’s epic smallmouth bass showing?
A second and final closure of open-water walleye fishing runs through Nov. 30 on the central Minnesota lake.
But as was the norm until the most recent closure, all walleyes caught must be released.
The Cabela’s North American Bass Circuit’s regular-season finale will be held Aug. 19 on Mille Lacs.