Mille Lacs Lake Resort Ice Fishing Reports From Around the Pond
With the cold temps and massive wind gusts this past week, fishing had come to an almost perfect halt on Mille Lacs. There are positives to this, though. The number one positive being that the fish still have to eat and any warm/mild weather could bring about a great bite and good fishing.
Even as I am writing this article, the temps are climbing into the ’20s, and the wind has all but subsided. This weekend sure has the makings to be Mille Lacs Lakes’ best weekend of the 2013/2014 ice season. Get up and take advantage of some of the late winter specials these resorts have to offer.
Good luck and great fishing,
Ice Fishing Mille Lacs Staff
Eastside of Mille Lacs Lake | Report Ice Fishing Reports
We have our roads open to Doe Island, 2 Mile, and Hennepin Island. There is 24″ of ice on our roads. Due to heavy snowfall, we will be unable to get to 7 miles this season.
We could plow Perch Parkway on Monday, but there was a rough water spot out about 27-28 feet, which we have stayed off to let it freeze down. We pulled some houses out over the questionable areas today, and it was solid. We will bring ice rental fishing houses out there, and we are past the 28-31 foot break, all the way to 34 ft. in the mud.
We have not plowed Tullibee Trail yet, mainly because we ran out of time and because of the powerful winds for tonight and Thursday. It would just blow shut. I do not think we will have time to plow it on Friday because we will be clearing the other roads, doing driveways, and putting rentals in. We will get to it as soon as possible.
We also plowed part of Walleye Drive. We had a road from Lake Street going southeast; we called Rental B. It stopped at Walleye Drive near the south end of Agate Bay Reef. We could extend Walleye Drive north from that intersection about 250 yards before the snow, and other problems stopped us. We will probably not plow that all the way north to our main road. If you go on Walleye Drive, you will have to go around via Lake Street to get there, at least for now. We will pull houses in there now. Going south from that intersection, we hit extensive water and slush area, allowing us to freeze. I believe we will be able to go south on Walleye Drive this weekend but maybe only put houses on the west side of the road. There is a lot of snow and water east of Walleye Drive, especially where we usually put Flamingo Drive. We will not be placing that road where it has been in the past. We could run a route north of where it has been about 50 yards, but we will not be getting south of that. There may be a chance for a road-going east quite a bit south of where the old road was in the past, but I am not sure because the water kept us from going south of the intersection yet.
We have decided to stop carrying bait during the winter. It was a tough decision, but our minnow tank is getting old, and we have quite a bit of loss due to dead minnows to the point of not making any money off the bait. It is costly to replace our tanks, and we do not see the cost/benefit of doing so. There are several bait shops in the area which provide excellent service. If you are coming from the south, try Rod’s Bait or Johnson’s Portside, both in Isle. If you are coming from the north, try either Malmo Market or Westerlund’s in Malmo. I know all of these people, and they will treat you right.
Sorry, I forgot to address portable and wheelhouses. We are open to any mobile and wheeled fish houses as of now. We restricted them last weekend, but we are allowing them now. Our access fee for vehicles and portables is $10 per vehicle per Calendar Day, not per 24 hour period, or $25 for Friday- Sunday.
For wheelhouses daily, we require that you leave a driver’s license with us to ensure that the house does not get left on the lake. The access fee is $15 per calendar day or $40 for Friday-Sunday. For that, we will plow you a driveway to get your house off the road, and we would strongly recommend that you stay on the paths we plow. It is not a good time to go exploring off the road.
We have portable toilets on the lake and a charming, heated shower/toilet facility onshore, which is open 24 hours per day. We also have a café on the beach with excellent meals.
Lots of plowing today and trying to get to the gravel. Yesterday’s snow and the wind pushed us out a day, so IF we can get out, we won’t be moving houses to the gravel until Saturday. We will keep you posted; we should know more late afternoon. Let us know when you are coming so, we can be sure your driveway is plowed. With all the snow, you may need to have your house moved due to the water coming up the holes.
We are pulling rentals and private houses to Shaws Reef. The current ice conditions are making it very difficult to build roads due to the snow, slush, and scattered water found across the lake. We will continue to get houses out while making roads to other areas of the lake. We had shut down any pulls due to the extreme cold and will resume pulling houses on Thursday. We are not staging any ice shacks this year; we are just bringing them directly from their stored location to your fishing spot.
I hope everyone has cleared their Feb weekend calendars, and we have some significant events this month!! This weekend is the Prevent 7 tournament to support the fight against bullying!! The tournament is 12-3 on Saturday with lots of great raffle prizes, including the grand prize, a Yetti wheelhouse. Next weekend is the Vikings Arctic Blast benefitting the Viking’s Children’s Fund. The weekend of the 15th is our Perch & Eel Pout Contest, and the 22nd is the Perch Extravaganza!!
We have another day of wind on the lake. The resorts will be burning the fuel once again to get the roads open for the weekend. Some resorts punched into some new deeper areas last week to have the wind close up the roads. There are no roads that I am aware of going to the main mud yet off the east side; please comment if you know something I don’t. Ice reports are “good to go” from the resorts.
Lots of areas on the lake have not been fished yet this winter. We had scattered reports of walleyes, both big and small, also seeing more eelpout this year, been while. Perch and some big northern pike have been reported in the bay areas of the lake.
Westside of Mille Lacs Lake | Resort Ice Fishing Reports
The wind and snowfall this season is starting to get old. You can not plow a road wide enough to sustain all of the weight of the drifts. I have moved access roads and the main road four times this season for one reason or another. They start at 100 ft wide, and within two wind storms and snowfall, they are gone. There is a bright spot in all of this though, we are still on the lake, and the bite has loosened up a little bit with some stable weather, and there were some nice walleyes caught out in 27 and 29 ft of water on small sucker minnows and large golden shiners. The walleyes were in the 24 to 27-inch range but still fun to catch, and they were pretty fat.
The Perch is down there too. You have to sort thru the smaller ones to get a meal. The northern pike is starting to cruise the deeper water also, just put down a large sucker minnow and wait; there were two over 39 inches taken last weekend. So that is a good thing after such a slow bite to start. I think that the fish are beginning to make a dent in the large young of the year perch that hatched so late in the spring. It is nice to see that there is an abundance of them down there.
There are just four weeks left to the season, and I hope that Mother Nature is just a little bit nicer for the last part of the season. We have few houses available for this weekend for 25 percent off the regular price, so give us a call at 1-320-532-3431, and we can get one set up for you.
North End of Mille Lacs Lake | Resort Ice Fishing Reports
We are on Barnacles and East Flats. The ice is only suitable for ice houses on ice that is over 18 inches. Don’t bother picking a spot that has less or a lot of snow because you will flood. We went to the middle or so of barnacles, and there is more fishable ice there and the southern half of the sliver off barnacles. The northern end of Barnacles has pretty good ice too. We are pulling to these areas 20 + inches of ice and are not having any water issues. The fishing has been slow. I have been catching a lot of tullibee on the horseshoe part of East Flat and have heard many reports of tullibee. I have gotten a few walleyes and 1 34 inch northern. Deeper flats should be better.
What winter so far! We are continuing to deal with snow and strong winds. It’s been a challenge, but we have been managing the task so far. We have roads plowed to the shoreline break both east and west of the resort. We also have routes to Bombeck, Weimer, and the northern tips of Resort flats. The southern part of the Resort flat has cracks and is wet. Some excellent perch reports have been coming. While… the walleye action has been spotty to on the slow side. There is just an ample supply of young perch in the lake currently feeding the fish.
On a side note from the fishing report, we want to report how beautiful the trails are in the lakes area. Call and schedule an over nite at The Red Door Resort. The Waypoint Café is on-site and offers excellent food, and it’s just a short run up the road to hit the trail. Great time to head north for a fishing stay or bring the sled and hit the trails.
South End of Mille Lacs Lake | Resort Ice Fishing Reports
We were out again today drilling, and this is what we found. The average ice thickness in the bay is 10″-12″ depending on the snow cover. There are several spots of heavy slush and water at the beginning of the bay. As you work out through the bay, there are a couple more heavy slush spots. Ice remains 10″-12″ through the channel. We drilled past the channel to just shy of the Beard and the Horse Shoe. The ice was 10″-12″ with a couple of spots of 13″ when there was little to no snow cover.
The ice to the west of our road (approx. 300 yards) dropped to 8″ and heavy slush. We staked the road just short of the Beard and the Horse Shoe. Past our last stake, there is a massive and extensive slush layer heading to the west. We did not plow the road at this time as we will wait for the slush to freeze up. We are only advising ATV and snowmobile travel. If you have an ATV and are pulling sleds, using chains is a must.
It will take some time for the slush to freeze up, so proceed with caution and drill your way off the road. PLEASE stay at least 100′ off the stakes when drilling holes or traveling to not flood or create ruts where the road will be (these will freeze and be hard to plow).
It’s quite the windstorm today… But the guys are still going strong, pulling houses down to the staging area, so they’re ready to pull out tomorrow! Ice is in excellent condition, has 16-20 inches on average. The roads have pretty much blown shut, but the guys will be up early to get them all re-opened! Fish-ON for the weekend!!
The guys cut a road to the 4-mile gravel today! Lots of snow and a couple of slush pockets, but they got it done, and the blower will be heading out there. Happy Happy Happy!
Big Daddy says, “that will be as far as it goes this year.”
Today we cleaned up the roads and tomorrow moving houses for the weekend. We will place some ice houses out on some shallower reefs as we have had better action there over the last few days. This year is hard to predict. Where you would usually think they should go, they don’t. Seems to be more minnows in the shallow beside small Perch (which seem to be everywhere). Twenty years ago, we traditionally went shallow for a better bite for some years. So we’ll see.
It always amazes me how some people are. We had two customers here in the first week of January that rented a deluxe house for a few days. We moved them to a different house halfway thru their stay, so they could try another spot and did everything we could to help them. They got caught with too many CO lines, which was their problem as they knew the rules. So what did they do? Stop payment on their check to us… Too bad for them, though, because it was $600.00 plus dollars, which is a felony, and I’m making sure they get charged if they don’t make it right soon. I don’t have any time for that kind of guy…
We are looking forward to some moderate weather. Even though it will still be below average, they say, Anything above zero is a treat these days……maybe the fish will like it too!
Hey Isle Area Facebook Friends – we are starting a new Trivia Night at The Good Life at Liberty Beach Wednesday at 7 PM – it’s hosted by Geoff Gesell and should be a blast! The winner gets a $25 gift card plus a chance for more with bonus questions. We will play weekly, and undefeated champs qualify for more prizes! Free to play, come on in for happy hour from 4-6 and dinner before the game!
Amazing the mess a little bit of snow with lots of wind can make. Drifts are hard as a rock, so I recommend you stay clear, or you will most likely end up stuck. Seeing every fish species that live in Mille Lacs in the shallow water, but they are pretty tight-lipped. Maybe we should try bacon for bait!