Yesterday fishing was pretty tough out there, not much action for either Walleyes or Perch. But yesterday late afternoon those that went into shallow reefs, 8-10 feet caught Walleyes, and overnight I heard mixed reports. Some did well, some didn’t. It definitely is still worth the trip. There are more Jumbo Perch showing up in the Tullibee Hole, but still not very active. Hopefully a larvae hatch will get them going. There is more and more small Perch in the shallow areas and where there is small Perch there will be Walleyes, probably only biting in the dusk hours and random thru the night, but they will be there. I read in the paper last Mpls. Star-Tribune that the Bands will more than likely net this spring during the spawning despite the worries of the MN-DNR about male population drops. Mille Lacs is the only lake I know of that Walleyes are netted during spawning time. Why is it that in other parts of the country that doesn’t happen? Why does the State of Minnesota itself protect spawning areas from anglers farther up north in the spring and they allow the bands to do this here? In my opinion is the government officials in St. Paul have no guts to challenge anything. I’m not arguing “treaty rights” here, they have the right to harvest. But from everything I have read the State of Minnesota still has finally say over it’s resources. We have some of the best fisheries guys in the nation here at Mille Lacs and they aren’t the problem, it’s the people at the top and their policies of doing nothing. Is it ever going to change?
Keep a tight Line!! Eddy
Yesterday was a very slow day for fishermen. Not much for Walleye activity and also with Perch. It was foggy, hazy and temps were nice to be out there. The pressure ridge out 3 miles blew up overnight and when we checked it yesterday there was spots that it was 6-8 feet in the air and the ice had broke as far as 30 feet away from the ridge. Sunday we had crossed it with our ramps to get some fishermen off and I was hoping at the time it had pushed as much as it was going to then, but I was definitely wrong on this one. We are going to have to have snow cover before it’s going to settle down.
Yesterday we heard the news from the our DNR meetings with the Bands about “safe harvest” levels. This next year it is going to be cut in half. 250,000 lbs. The bands declared half also @ 70,000 lbs. But if you look at what they actually harvested last year (approximately 80,000lbs.) when they declared 140,000lbs, things won’t change much for them. It going to be the anglers that suffer. There very well could be a catch and release only fishery for Walleye @ Mille lacs for the first time in history. When is the State of Minnesota and our DNR stand up for it’s citizens?? What happened to Governor Dayton’s statement of everyone should be under the same rules?? For the State to even allow springtime gill netting during spawning time especially when the lake is in trouble is absurd . You can’t tell me that pulling nets out over eggs and driving up and down the shores with outboard powered jet drives in shallow water spearing doesn’t disturb the Walleyes during spawning. What the State of Minnesota has allowed to happen to its premier Walleye lake is a disgrace.
Saturday night those out there in shallower water did well with the Walleyes with the full moon. We heard of lots of reports with 4-10 Walleyes per house, mostly in the slot. Houses that had did well earlier in the weekend in the deeper water didn’t fair as well. The daytime bite was slow for almost everyone Saturday and Sunday. Most activity was at night for the majority of fishermen. There seems to be a lot more bait fish in the shallower water than what there has been lately and maybe the bite will continue in there because of that. (?) Still not much for Perch action, but out in our “Tullibee Hole” there is more and more big Perch showing up according to the fishermen out there with cameras. I would think sooner or later they will go as the mayfly larvae starts to hatch. Finally last night we received some snow on the ice and maybe it will stick and stay this time. More snow is forecasted tomorrow and if we don’t get any big winds afterwords the lake will look pretty nice and maybe, just maybe quit moving around. Ice depth on the average is 22-24 inches so things are looking up in that dept.
Keep a Tight Line!! Eddy
Friday evening’s bite was fair for most considering the front that moved through that afternoon. Saturday during the daytime fishing was slow from most reports for both Perch and Walleye. Last night with the full moon and steady to falling barometer should have been pretty good out there. We’ll see as they come off today. The next couple days the temps are going to climb and I’m expecting the ice to do it’s thing and start moving the pressure ridge again. It was just getting stable and healed up enough to bridge it safely, but now we are going to wait and see what happens. If we could only get snow snow cover out there the ice would stabilize and things would settle down.
Last night I heard some very bad news. Fishing guide Jim Hudson from Bayfield, WI. passed away. He was guiding on Lake Superior and went through the ice, was air lifted to Duluth, but didn’t make it. He was a friend of mine and had bought a boat from me last summer. Cindy’s and my prayers to Hannah and the Hudson family. I almost lost my Dad that way 35 years ago and most of us that work the ice always have that in the back of your mind. It is always tragic. Jim will be missed by many……
Yesterday with the blustery winds and high barometer fish was tough for most out there. Some people did ok, but overall it was slow. Last evening the wind died and for those out overnight fishing was pretty good. Walleyes too big to keep, but fun to catch. Perch are starting to show up in our deep mud areas some which is a good sign. Hopefully that will improve over the next few days. The winds and drifting did not affect the roads and in most areas you can get around easily. Just stay out of the drifts. They are hard enough that if you get in one, you will be stuck. With the weather changing and the Full Moon coming the next couple days fishing should be pretty good. Enjoy it while it’s nice!
Keep a Tight Line!! Eddy
Thursday evening the Walleye bite was fair for those that stayed out overnight despite the wind and extreme temps. It warmed up overnight and the barometer dropped. Yesterday fishing was slow. I moved a couple houses out into the mud looking for Perch but instead “keepers” Walleyes were caught. It’s been hard to find any consistent Perch action this year. Once and awhile someone gets into them, but all in all it’s been tough. I’m beginning to believe that if there are any amounts of keepable Perch, they are being chased around by all the big fish we have in this lake? (Walleyes, Muskys, Northern). I think the lake is way out of balance and I hope something can change with the way things are done with our DNR and Bands at their technical meeting this week. Something needs to change pretty soon.
Remember the TWP Tournament is Feb 23rd. We are up to 90 contestants and we are going to limit it to 150, so if your are interested enter asap. It is 100% payback and the more enter the more prizes there will be. Entry fee is $40.00/person. You can call and register and send a check. When received we get a ticket for you and keep it here with your name, number in an envelope that you can pick up anytime or the day of the Tournament. We will be having prizes from Vexilar, Lowrance, Clam, Ice Armor, Ion and others. All prizes will be fishing related. We will pay back cash to the first 3 places, in Walleye, Northern, Perch and Tullibee. Any places not claimed will be given as door prizes later. Contest is Saturday only and in areas that Lyback’s Ice Fishing maintain.
Keep a Tight Line!! Eddy
Monday evening those out overnight caught Walleyes, but it was a little slower than normal. Probably due the high barometer. (?) During the day yesterday, especially afternoon, was not nice out there. North winds to 25 mph and dropping temps chase most portable people off early. We had five rentals out overnight so we will see what they did today. We did get houses moved despite the weather and will concentrate on getting everything ready for the weekend today. The “Tullibee road” developed a 4-6 inch wide crack down the middle of it in about a mile stretch. It’s already freezing good but there will be a detour to the west of the road stakes in that area for a couple days. Ice depth is 24″ so it’s not much of a concern. It would be really nice to get some snow out there that would stick. So far everytime it time it snowed, the wind would blow it clean. If we had some cover, the ice would settle down a little. Looking forward to a good weekend up here with the milder weather coming.
Keep a Tight Line! Eddy
Yesterday was pretty quiet out there on the lake. Fishermen that were out there were seeing them on cameras, but not much biting. Barometer was high and it was cold. We’ll see how they did overnight this am. We are going to start moving rentals today to some new spots for the weekend and the others that are staying we are going to get out of the snowdrifts by just moving them a little and keeping them on the spot. Looks like the weather is going to be nice this weekend compared to the last two so I would expect a lot of fishermen showing up. The weather change should help the bite I would think.
Keep a Tight Line!! Eddy
Sunday night and yesterday despite the cold the Walleye bite was still there for most, the rentals did fair. The best report was five caught and three were keepable, but everyone had some action. There were very few portable fishermen due to the cold. My grandaughter Isabel an I put her Christmas Tree out in the “Tullibee Hole”yesterday.
A tradition her great grandfather Clark Lyback started back in the early sixties. Back then there was no locaters, GPS’s. So when he would find the deepest part he would mark it with the family Christmas Tree so fishermen knew where it was when they went out there. Now it isn’t needed for sure, but we still do it for tradition and for Clark.
We are making ice now with the cold, think about putting on your auger extension soon.
Keep a Tight Line!
Today as fishermen came off the lake we got to see who caught what. Fishing was good for most Friday, Friday night and Saturday a.m. When the winds started Saturday afternoon it shut down until about midnight. Most of the rentals did fair overnight Saturday and early morning until about noon. The wind picked up along with the barometer and things slowed. All in all except for a couple houses, fishermen were happy with the fish they caught. Seen one and heard of two 30 plus inch Walleyes caught and released, a 1o and 14 pound Northern, and most Walleyes caught were too big too keep. With the 40 plus winds Saturday everyone had a story to tell when they checked out today, especially after seeing what the lake can dish with weather . All in all I would say a pretty good weekend. All the rentals stayed were warm and safe and all had a good time. We escorted a few lost fishermen from different areas that got turned around, but most fishermen stayed put through the worst of it. Today was spent clearing snow from the access and the first mile out on our roads, ( I think most of the snow on the lake ended up in front of us……) and it was like plowing cement. But we got it all cleared away and we are in good shape now. Sounds like the next couple days we are headed for the deep freeze….No more ice worries…time for the auger extensions!
Keep a tight line! Eddy