|"The Bait Shop"|
Walleye: Two fish 18-20 inches. One may be longer than 28 inches.
Northern Pike: Ten fish. One may be longer than 30 inches. Season closes March 29, 2015.
Bass: Six total smallmouth and largemouth combined. One smallmouth may be longer than 18 inches. Season opens Saturday, May 10. Lake is exempt from mid-September catch-and-release smallmouth regulation. Bass may be caught through Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015.
Tullibee (Northern Cisco): Possession limit is 10.
Other Species: Follow statewide regulations.
Night Closure: The night ban will be lifted at 10PM on July 21st, 2014.
... The night ban has been lifted for 2014.
You'll notice that some regs have been relaxed or even temporarily eliminated. The night ban will be lifted at 10PM on July 21st, 2014. Most of the other regulations have changed to the Mille Lacs angler's advantage - the bass season coincides with the walleye season (May-Feb.), the northern limit has been increased to 10, darkhouse spearing will open December 1st and the northern season has been extended through March 15. All changes have been labeled "experimental/temporary", meaning that some or all of them will be tweaked down the road. Some folks like the changes, some hate them, some will tolerate them and some won't. Kind of like how they make red cars and blue cars... different things are important to different people.
... The night ban has been lifted for 2014.
... (10-30) There's only a small handful of folks left fishing Mille Lacs - some muskie/northern guys, a few chasing smallmouth and a few after some late season walleye. Most of the muskie/northern action has been focused on the north end. Bucktails, Bulldogs and BIG suckers have turned most of the fish. Smallmouth action has been best around Brown's Point, Pike Point and Garrison Reef in 15-18 feet. Shiners, rainbows or small suckers have been the ticket here. Walleye action has been decent on the Graveyard, Banana Reef and the Tundra in 8-12 feet. Minnows and leeches have been best during the daylight, Scatter Raps and Smash Shads have been decent after dark. Many of these fish are in the 10-11 inch range.
Yes, we still have leeches but the end is in sight!
Surface temperature has finally dipped into the high 40's.
... (10-19) Again with the short walleyes. Mostly in the 10 inch range, mostly in 8-15 feet, mostly over the rocks, mostly on leeches, although the trolling bite after dark has been OK too. Northern action is better with suckers than trolling/casting. Smallmouth action has slowed for everyone except for the guy who got "98 smallies and 2 keeper walleye" yesterday. Some folks are just better at this than the rest of us I guess.
The hazard markers have been removed - go easy!
Yes, we still have leeches!
If you didn't read this last week, it deserves your attention this week. Here a link to the DNR'S newest 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: "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, there's a gathering/meeting hosted by the Minnesota DNR Aitkin Fisheries folks THIS WEDNESDAY. The presentation will be 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22, at the Wealthwood Gun Club, 23573 420th Place "near Aitkin" (on the north end of the lake). The meeting will begin with an overview of what makes up the diet of the different species of fish in Mille Lacs. EVERYONE IS WELCOME, QUESTIONS ARE ENCOURAGED. There is no charge to get in.
The Minnesota DNR has a new surprise for boaters statewide. By July 1st, 2015 each of us will have to take invasive species training, pass a test and pay a fee to obtain a sticker for our boat trailer. Own a second boat? No sweat - just pay a little extra and they'll issue you another sticker! Have any questions? Follow this link.
Are you unfamiliar with this whole "lead-core trolling" thing? Stop in and we can help - we've got the line, baits, rods and reels OR... you can drop off your reel and we'll spool it for you. We even have reels all spooled-up and ready to go as well as rod/reel combos ready-to-go.
As we reported on Monday , the night ban on Mille Lacs that was scheduled to run until December 1, 2014 will be cancelled at 10PM Monday, July 21, 2014.
Be sure to turn on your navigational lights before sunset: "Navigation lights must be on from sunset to sunrise" (see sunrise/sunset schedule at end of booklet).