When one thinks of walleye fishing in Minnesota, Mille Lacs Lake has always been one of the state's crown jewels. Few lakes can produce
the size and quality of fish that Mille Lacs is able to and has done over a period of years. Many of today's live bait fishing techniques were pioneered on Mille Lacs. While other methods
work, Mille Lacs is truly a live bait riggers paradise. With a variety of structure that includes sand breaks, rock shorelines and reefs, and its famous midlake mud flats, Mille Lacs
has something to offer every fisherman. Mille Lacs is known for producing trophy fish, and last year was no exception as Mille Lacs experienced one of its best years ever for both size and numbers of fish. Catch and
release of these trophy fish is the prevailing attitude with most of the anglers on the lake, and this mentality has made Mille Lacs a hotspot for trophy walleyes. Special regulations are in place, so check the rules
before you go..
Mille Lacs offers anglers a variety of locations where walleyes may be found. In the spring, the sand breaks such as those on the north side of the lake hold large schools of walleyes. The sand breaks by the town of Malmo is very productive, but don't overlook the sand breaks in other areas such as Vineland, Rolands, and St. Albans Bay. Mille Lacs has many rock points and reefs which can be productive at any time of year, but are especially so in spring. The whole south side of the lake is littered with many rock spots that are good. Three Mile Rock Reef, Hennepin Island, The Graveyard, Andersons Reef, and Indian Point are just a few of the productive areas to try on this end of the lake. The mud flats used to be thought of as summer fishing spots, but in recent years anglers have proven that there are fish on the flats on opening weekend. Right after spawning, the big females will head out to these flats and fishing will remain good on them until late August when fish start to head back to shore to the rocks and sand breaks again. Seven Mile, Nine Mile, and Boot flats are all popular, but many other flats on the lake will produce as well and don't have as much fishing pressure.
Live bait rigs such as Lindy Rigs or Roach Rigs rule on Mille Lacs. The key to successful live bait rigging on Mille Lacs is to fish with a long snell of 8-10 foot in length. Lively leeches or fat nightcrawlers should be used for bait. It is important to use a heavy enough slip sinker to keep your presentation vertical so you can walk the sinker along the bottom rather than dragging it. Dragging the sinker through the mud has a tendency to spook fish. Spinner rigs and nightcrawlers fish with either bottom bouncers or three way rigs produce fish on the mud flats during the heat of the summer when live bait rigs slow down. Again, use a long leader of 8-10 feet in length. Size 2 or 3 Colorado blades in silver or chartreuse are popular. By far the most effective presentation for fishing the rocks is the slipbobber and leech combo. A small 1/32 jighead under the bobber set 6 inches to a foot off is not only snag free, but also very productive. Casting
Rapala Shad Raps to the rocks works well also at times, and may produce a big fish.