Top Three Best Mille Lacs Lake Ice Fishing Guides of Ice Fishing Mille Lacs

Malcolm Gladwell professed that it roughly takes 10,000 hours of experience to become an expert. That’s 417 days straight of trial and error, failure, and being pushed to the brink. Top Three Best Ice Fishing Guides on Mille Lacs would most likely have over 20,000 hours invested in the lake. With this, we can set a backdrop of what it takes when it comes to knowing Mille Lacs and how to fish it properly.

2013 Top Mille Lacs Ice Fishing Guides Contents

Top Three Reason’s Why People Vacation on Mille Lacs

  • Fish for walleyes
  • Nostalgia
  • Drive on a frozen lake

For the “out of towner” to Mille Lacs, spending quality time fishing during their vacation is usually twiddled down to only a few decent hours during their visit. It is impossible for the average new to Mille Lacs ice angler to strategize enough during these few hours to overcompensate for their lack of inexperience. A winter vacation is broken down into a hand full of quality hours spent on the lake targeting walleyes, so what can an angler do to increase their odds of catching fish during their trip? Hire a fishing guide on their vacation to Mille Lacs.


Indeed time is money, and this is no exception when it comes to planning an ice fishing trip to Mille Lacs. Fishing time is always “tight”, as most anglers only plan their trips for two or three days at a time. Between travel time, shorter hours of daylight during winter, eating, and socializing, an angler’s time can be limited when it comes to the fishing aspect of their Mille Lacs trip. Time becomes even more precious as to actual time spent actually fishing. Staring down an ice hole or over the edge of a boat with no fish to show for the time spent in such a vacation and trip downer. Any out of town Mille Lacs angler who has made the journey and has been skunked can relate to this. A trip to Mille Lacs should be fun. A trip to Mille Lacs should include catching fish.


Goal number one when heading to Mille Lacs to ice fish is to have a good time and have fun. Goal number two is to catch fish, preferably a limit of legal eater sized walleyes. Catching a trophy or two would be considered icing on the cake. Unfortunately, most anglers who travel to Mille Lacs only once a year generally catch little to no fish during their trip. On the flip side, the many out of town visitors to Mille Lacs are catching the most fish during their trips because they knew better and hired a local fishing guide service.

Vistors Who Hire a Mille Lacs Lake Fishing Guide See Higher Success 

Hiring a local fishing guide makes perfect sense because it will significantly maximize the odds of catching a limit of walleyes and drastically increase an angler’s chance of catching a trophy walleye. For the money it costs to hire a guide, the trade-off is worth it when you only have a few days to master the lake during your vacation or visit each year. In many cases, visitors spend more on beer than it would cost to hire a local Mille Lacs ice fishing guide. Nothing sheds more fishing success in the boat than having a seasoned, lifelong expert who has lived on the lake their whole lives helping to get you on the fish. If this sounds like what you would want, we highly suggest considering hiring a Mille Lacs fishing guide.


Ice Fishing Mille Lacs has assembled a list of its Top Three best Mille Lacs Lake ice fishing guides. These fishing guides will seriously increase your chances of success. When considering our Top Three Best Mille Lacs Lake ice fishing guides, we sampled areas such as local word of mouth, regional name recognition, client-customer online reviews, along with their clients’ overall success rate. This list reflects the quality and not cheapest per hour rate or lowest cost. Spending a few extra dollars will be worth it when an angler hires a fishing guide, especially during ice time on Mille Lacs Lake.

Narrowing down the Top Three Best Ice Fishing Guides on Lake Mille Lacs

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have the annual “out of towner.” The out of towner comes up on average for a single five business day vacation and once or twice during the ice season. At best, during a week-long vacation with the lovely wife and three awesome kids in tow, you would get ten full hours of on the water fishing time. Adding this up, let’s say the average “out of towner” spends 24 hours of angling time on Mille Lacs each year. Even to be on half the playing level of a “good” Mille Lacs fishing guide, it will take an “out of towner” 17 years to achieve this.


Unless you live on or around Mille Lacs, knowing the locations of actively feeding walleyes at the time of your trip is impossible. A Mille Lacs Lake Fishing guide will know where walleyes are traveling and actively feeding throughout the day.

Our Top Three Picks for the Best Ice Fishing Guides of Mille Lacs Lake

Our Top Three Mille Lacs Best Ice Fishing Guides have stood out above the rest. They provide excellent customer service and offer their clients a great experience. They also have an excellent track record with their clients catching fish during their trips.

The fishing guides which we have chosen in our Top Three Best Ice Fishing Guides of Mille Lacs Lake are not listed in any particular order.

Dick (Griz) Grzywinski | Fish with the Griz Guide Services, Garrison, MN

The Griz with two very huge bluegills caught in Minnesota ice fishing Best Ice Fishing Guides

First on our list of Best Ice Fishing Guides is Dick (Griz) Grzywinski. At first glance, Dick Grzywinski looks rough and tough but don’t let his nickname “The Griz” fool you. Dick Grzywinski is a Mille Lacs Lake fishing guide who needs no introduction. The Griz sits atop a shortlist of people who are considered to be true Mille Lacs Lake “legends.”


The Griz is an iconic figure who is synonymous with Mille Lacs and is the rich and famous fishing guide. If a celebrity wants to fish Mille Lacs, they call The Griz before anyone else. Griz’s client list includes, but is not limited to, many legendary baseball greats, including Jack Morris and Kent Hrbek. Other celebrates who routinely booked trips with the Griz included Walter Mondale and Billy Martin.

The Griz has not been selfish when sharing his wealth of knowledge and wisdom of fishing. When the Twin Cities Metro Area wants the official word on how Mille Lacs is doing, they turn to The Griz. Religiously, The Griz called in weekly to former KSTP’s “Bear Facts and Fish” show on am 1500, now broadcasting on BOB Total Country 106.1,  every Sunday to share his weekly report. Millions of anglers tuned in over the years to specifically hear him.


At the time this article was written, Dick Grzywinski is the only angler in our Top Three Best Mille Lacs Fishing Guides to be inducted into Minnesota’s Fishing Hall of Fame (2007) and the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame (2008). The Griz spends roughly 275-300 days per calendar year fishing, with most of those days spent on Mille Lacs. That’s approximately 1500-1600 hours a year fishing.

Hall of Fame Angler, The Griz Shares His Life of Fishing

The Griz exclusively guides out of and meets all of his clients at Terry’s Boat Harbor. Terry’s Boat Harbor is considered a premiere Mille Lacs ice fishing resort. Best sure to check out Fishing with The Griz Guide Service and schedule a fishing trip with The Griz.


When you feel like getting the latest from The Griz on Ice Fishing and anything Mille Lacs, check out Griz’s Guide Service Facebook Webpage. The Griz’s is one of the best Mille Lacs Lake fishing guides ever to live.

Tony Roach | Roach’s Guide Service, Malmo, MN

Second, on our list of Best Mille Lacs Ice Fishing Guides is Tony Roach. Tony Roach owns Roach’s Guide Service and is the best current Mille Lace Lake fishing guide. He has spent most of his life physically on Mille Lacs Lake and is considered the “Face of Mille Lacs.”


Tony is an angler who is revered around the lake as the best Mille Lacs Lake fishing guides. His guiding service features the lake’s premier guides, and his clients leave significant and positive reviews. He provides such a high level of service, and his clients return to him year after year. Even generations of new and old Mille Lacs anglers have used Tony and his team’s services.

Tony Roach of Roachs Guide Service holds a nice winter ice walleye

Tony’s father is one of the masters, Mille Lacs lake legend Gary Roach A.K.A Mr. Walleye, and from a young age, he was taught the secrets of the lake. His knowledge and given approach to fishing and ice fishing will surpass that of his father’s. Even today, Tony’s recognition and stature as a Mille Lacs lake icon are equal to his father’s. Anyone who hires Tony or one of his guides will not only have a great time, but they will catch fish.


Roach’s Mille Lacs ice fishing guide service is the best year-round, multi-species guide service on Mille Lacs Lake. Tony and his crew taking fishing for Mille Lacs walleyes seriously, but they also churn out satisfied customers day in and day out. Roach’s Guide Service Facebook Page (@RoachsGuideService) also provides another contact point to connect with Tony Roach and his fishing guide crew. Rumor has it; Tony is also known to give out a good Mille Lacs smallmouth fishing report every once in and while. Be sure to stop by and give them a “like” if you have already.

Tony Roach, The Spoon Man, Shares How to Use Jigging Spoons to Catch Walleyes on Lake Mille Lacs

One day, Tony Roach will go down as the best angler and fishing guide to ever fish Mille Lacs Lake. He is genuinely a Mille Lacs legend and is well on his way to surpassing even his father’s notoriety. He has earned the title of “King of Mille Lacs.”

Brad Hawthorne | Hawthorne’s Guide Service, Isle, MN

Winter Time Ice Fishing Walleye Caught on Lake Mille Lacs by Fishing Guide Brad Hawthorn

Third, on our list of Best Mille Lacs Ice Fishing Guides is Brad Hawthorn. To many, Brad may seem relatively new at the time of this article, but this is far from the case. Brad has been fishing and learning the Pond most of his life. In the last decade, he has been offering guided trips on Mille Lacs Lake and has earned himself the title of one of the most knowledgeable anglers on the lake.


Brad’s ability to catch fish and get his clients on fish has gotten him noticed over the recent years. Not only knowledgeable, but he is also one of the guides who are on top of the technological advancements within the Ice Fishing Industry. He holds many Pro-Staff and Pro-Staffer titles with notable companies such as Yetti Ice Fishing Houses, Marcum Technologies Ice Fishing flashers, and Otter Outdoors.

Mille Lacs 101 with Mille Lacs Lake fishing Guide Brad Hawthorne

Brad can also be found at all the major ice fishing shows from around Minnesota, providing his product support and knowledge. He also goes the extra mile by sharing his knowledge and reports on all the top online social media venues such as, YouTube, and Facebook.


Not only is Brad a great Mille Lacs Fisherman, but he is also a very nice person who gets his clients on fish while providing them one of the best experiences possible on the lake. His services provide clients the latest ice fishing technology with a high level of comfort during their trip, providing memories that last a lifetime. Brad Hawthorne is one of the best Mille Lacs Lake ice fishing guides has seen to date. His team at Hawthrone Guide Services has excellent insight and knowledge to ensure a great Mille Lacs ice fishing trip.


Do you have a favorite fishing guide on Mille Lacs? Please share your thoughts in our comment section below or on our Facebook Page and Group @icefishingmillelacs