Ice Fishing Mille Lacs Made Simple • Ice Fishing Mille Lacs

Easy Tactics to Make Your Mille Lacs Ice Fishing Trip Successful

Ice Fishing Lake Mille Lacs can be looked at as simple or complex. Most that make the journey during the cold Minnesota winter months to the Pond do so with enthusiasm and once they hit the shore line and head out on the ice this enthusiasm can become frustration on just where to start and what to do.

Two of the biggest aspects that anglers face include where to fish on the lake and what bait should they be using. Let’s break these two questions into to topics and go over them on what will bring you the best chances at bringing home a limit or trophy.


The best over presentation on Mille Lake during the ice season is a simple horizontal lead jig and a fathead minnow under a slip bobber. This type of presentation will attract almost any game fish which swims in Mille Lacs. Drop it down the hole and set it 1-2’ off the bottom and wait. If there hungry and feeding fish within the area it will not take long until your bobber is gone. Bright colors or glow in the dark jigs have always produced both day and night.

Arguably the best presentation on Mille Lacs would be the single colored hook under two split shot weights. Do the same as you would with the lead jig explained above and you do have a great presentation that will get you fish.

If you are looking to target walleye or perch then you can get a little more specific and change to a jig & spoon presentation. You can either use a whole minnow or parts of it. Using parts of a minnow, such as the head, are commonly used because with a jig & spoon presentation you would not use a bobber as you would with the regular lead jig setup. Most do not even use a bobber because a jig & spoon requires the angler to jig the presentation and bounce it off the bottom to attract fish. Bouncing on the bottom will create two scenarios, noise and commotion. Bouncing of the bottom mimics a fish in distress and you bring up bottom debris and the jig being struck on the bottom creates noise and vibration, all these signal to fish that there could be an easy meal for them waiting. Adding in parts of a minnow just add sent to the area which is certainly a bonus to bring in hungry fish.


Location is actually easy based on the population of walleye and perch in Mille Lacs. Most area on the lake can be and will be producing and asking the resort or local bait store does have its advantages finding just where the current bite is producing.

The areas which we consider the best during winter ice is shallow rocky areas (10-15’ deep) and mid lake sand, gravel and mud flats (20-35’ deep). The best areas to locate would be the southern west corner and middle of the east side. Appeldoorns Sunset Bay Resort is a great location to access the lake and Paul will offer true and honest reports as you stop in to pay for the lake road pass. Doe Island reef is an exceptional starting point as this area has produced some of the largest walleye we have seen from Mille Lacs. Big Point is also a great destination and will hold more limits but also render trophies.

If you want to get out to the mud flats you are best calling or stopping by Terry’s on the west side. Just ask Terry and you will get on the latest and hottest fish action. 

The above will help eliminate some of the frustration many might have when planning or visiting Mille Lacs for the first time.

Remember, if you are renting a permanent fish house and you go a couple prime hours without any bites or fish, just ask the resort if you could be move to another house. They might say “No” but in most cases they will want to make you happy so you come back and stay longer.

Good Luck!