|"The Bait Shop"|
...(8-28)We've had a perfect week of fishing conditions so far on Mille Lacs - light to moderate winds and mild temperatures have been a welcome change. The northern bite is pretty soft right now, with merely a fish here and one there. Most of these fish have been taken by drifting/slow trolling sucker minnows along the deep weed lines. Smallmouth action is a little above average for this time of the year - most of the fish have moved deep (10-18 feet) and are holding in the BIG rocks. Drop-shot rigs have been effective as have leech/slip bobbers and minnow/jig combos. This is a new page for a lot of Mille Lacs anglers. It's a great time to add a couple new techniques to your arsenal while the bite is decent. It's always more fun to try something new and be successful with it than it is to wonder if you're doing something wrong because you aren't converting any fish!
Yes, we stil have big leeches! (8-28-15)
... (8-20)We had a lot of changes in the weather this week - we saw everything from heat to breezy to LOTS of rain, to HUGE wind to cold to today... a "picture-perfect October day"! Folks joke about "if you don't like the weather, wait an hour". This week we had something for everyone. The bite was decent up until the rain - since then, only a VERY FEW people have been out and they haven't had much to report. Most of the smallmouth we found this week were in 7 to 12 feet of water over some pretty big rocks. Leeches were the best live bait followed by small sucker minnows run on a drop-shot rig. 4 inch tubes and whackys were the best for aritficials. The big wind allowed us to spend a good deal of time in the shallower water - when it lays down, I'd be deeper (10-15) rather than shallower. Northern action is pretty average for this time of year. Big suckers fished along the weed edges have turned most of the fish. Start in Wahkon Bay.
Yes, we still have leeches! (8-20-15)
Each year (usually in mid-July) leeches get tough to come by. This year is no exception. Does this mean that there are none? Not at all - however the size and quantity will suffer as we get further into summer. We still have a modest supply of bigger leeches that we sell by the dozen, and some smaller stuff that we can sell by the dozen or the 1/2 pound. Several years ago, I wrote an article about the lifecycle of a leech and why they get hard to come by as the summer goes on. You can find that article HERE if you would like to brush up on your "leechology".
The "night ban" is now in effect.
The "trailer sticker" that we were all supposed to have this spring has been put "on hold".
If you didn't read this last fall, it deserves your attention this week. Here a link to the DNR'S Hooked on Mille Lacs fall newsletter. You can check out some of the results of the 2014 fall netting survey. Of particular interest is the summary on page 4: "There is nothing in this data that suggests tribal fishing is affecting reproduction". If you're left with a shred of doubt after this compelling analysis, PLEASE contact the Aitkin Fisheries Office of the Minnesota DNR.