Last Saturday a bunch of us went out and picked up whatever was left on the lake over winter that was hidden by the snow. The ice depth was around 29-30 inches in water over 10 feet deep. Shallower than that is varied to as little a 12. There was still a fair amount of snow around where houses had been and it was hard to get them all.
Last evening I went out to check things after two days of warm weather and a little rain and it was a lot easier to see and pick up ones that were missed on Saturday. Ice depth had changed to about 25-27 inches and was definitely honeycombed, almost all the way thru. Out in the “Tullibee Hole” it was 28 plus. The shallow reefs, Gull, Grassy, the reefs south of the Twin Islands were opening up on top, but that was in 3 feet of water or less. Now with colder weather coming again and freezing nights it will probably slow the melt somewhat the next few days. I think it is going to take some really warm days next week with rain to take it out by the Opener.
There is going to be some interesting times at Mille Lacs this spring………
Keep a Tight Line!!! Eddy
Finally spring is showing it’s face. Things are starting to melt and the “Block Party” is on for tomorrow. We will be starting about 1:00 p.m. and with the people showing up so far we will be done by 6:00 or 7:00. Only two weeks away to the fishing opener and there is still 30 plus inches of ice but thing are changing out there. In the bays the ice by the weeds is turning dark and the shallow open lake reefs are also. If the weather continues on the current trend we might make it by opener yet, but it will be close! For those that don’t know what our “block party” is . It’s a 30 plus year ritual where we go out and scour the ice and pick up anything left over from the winter’s fishermen so it doesn’t end up in the lake or on the shoreline. This will be probably the latest we’ve had it so we will be making history in our little world at Mille Lacs.
Not much to report out there for fishing. Just more snow two days ago and the ice if you look at our web cam isn’t going anywhere soon. The weather is changing though, Predictions for 60’s the next few days is going to help. The question is will it help enough. there is a lot of ice out there and nothing will happen with that until the snow is gone off the top. Maybe in the next week we will get a lot of warm rains and it will speed the process.
Even though the late ice is becoming a topic for Opener, it will be another blow to the local resorts and businesses around the lake, and think of the businesses farther north than us in the same predicament. Once opening weekend is gone it’s not replaced…The only bright spot for Mille Lacs is that is going to save some Walleyes this spring during spawning!!
Keep a Tight Line! Eddy
Yesterday I went on the ice and visited a couple friends fishing a couple miles out. There was 3-6 inches of snow on the ice and really good going. They had tried a few places before I met up with them and there was not much going on. They drilled a hole so we could measure the ice and it was about 34″ thick. (pretty thick for this time of year.) We drilled to almost the bottom and pulled it up and waited to see if water would seep in which is a sign of “honeycombed” ice but it stayed dry. What had been soft a week or so ago was not now. The weather is changing and it will probably go out before the opener, but I think its going to be a close.
It’s a shame the the Perch bite is gone. I’m almost sure that the situation of all the big fish in Mille Lacs has hurt them also. Normally this time of year with this much ice the lake would have been buzzing with activity from Perch and Tullibee Fishermen but not anymore…
Keep a Tight Line!! Eddy
Last night we received another 8-12 inches of snow with 20-30 mph winds. We are obviously not going to have the “block party” this weekend, and are going to shoot for Sat April 27th. Lots of snow out there and the ice will be thick enough to get out there. I’ll inform you later this week.
Not much to report for fishing, but some buddies are coming up tomorrow to give it a try. but they will need to bring snowmobiles instead of wheelers I’m thinking.
Just not sure now what is going to happen for the Opener. There is a good chance now we might have ice on the lake if not it going out that week just before. It is does go we are going to need a lot different weather over the next couple weeks than we’ve been having for sure. Things are so backed up at the Marine shop with no one picking up their boats that we have no room to move things around. When it does happen we are not going to be able to keep up with getting them to the customers fast enough. I’m hoping everyone has patience and some understanding of the situation this year.
Keep a Tight Line!! (and and ice auger ready just in case!!!) Eddy
Sounds like we are going to get 4- 8 inches of snow again over the next 36 hours…@#$&^$#@!!!!! It looks like the “block party” we have to clean up anything on the ice will be postponed another week until Saturday, April 27th. I will keep you informed if by chance the weather forecast is wrong.
I commend Dennis Anderson, ( Mpls.Star-Tribune) for his excellent article on March 29th, (look it up and read it online), and Ron Schara and Rob Dreislen , (MN Outdoor News, contributing writer and it’s editor) for their comments about Mille Lacs Lake and the condition it is in. It is a breath of fresh air to see people like that speak up for what most of us up here has been talking about and “living” the last 10 plus years. Please tell the angling public more!!! There is a lot on the “line” for the future of Mille Lacs Lake and it’s fishery, fishermen, (and it’s people that live and make their living) on the “Premier Lake” of Minnesota and as Ron Schara put, ” The Viking’s Stadium of Minnesota’s Walleyes” . The more all of us, (which means you!) speak up the better chance for change……….Everyone……PLEASE do all you can to inform your elected officials at the State and Federal level that you want to have them change this situation that “Treaty Management” and MN DNR’s and State’s lack of standing up for it’s citizens has done to Mille Lacs and it’s resources….. It’s about time………….and the future!! Spread the Word!! Please forward this to all of your friends if you care……….
Keep a Tight Line!
As you can tell if you looked at our webcam the ice is not going anywhere too soon. As of this a.m. there is 2-4 inches of snow on it after yesterday’s sun, but there is 2-4 inches more forecasted tonight and tomorrow with below freezing temps at night for most of this next week. What melting that might happen during the day will be froze again at night. It’s going to be a late ice-out this year folks!
With all that has happened with the MN DNR poor management plans in reaction to “treaty management” that was put into place years ago after the Court Decision, and the Bands netting Walleyes during their spawning time has totally messed up Mille Lacs Lakes. The one time “Premier” Walleye Lake of this State and the Upper Midwest is now one of the lowest on the MN DNR list for Walleyes. How could they (the State of Minnesota and it’s DNR) let that happen? It should be a crime! With the millions of dollars spent on this lake in “monitoring” you would think they would have seen this coming 5 years ago when the Zebra Mussel “alarm” went off, if not earlier. Always reactive, not proactive they are……….
The changes in regs they made now aren’t going to make any difference for 3-5 years in my opinion and won’t at all if the State doesn’t stop the Bands from netting the same Walleyes we are trying to protect by regulations during the spawning time in the spring. The Bands have to work with the MN DNR to solve this problem, as they were as much a part problem with the drop in population numbers as anyone else. It all started to decline since they started netting in the spring. Cutting their allocation’s on paper isn’t enough. Harvest numbers is what counts, not ink on paper!
Maybe this year Mother Nature is stepping in to do here part to help Mille Lacs by leaving the ice on it thru the Walleye spawning time!!
Keep a Tight Line!!
One month to the day before the season opener and so far we have received about 4- 6 inches of heavy snow and that is going to force us to postpone the “Block Party” until Saturday, April 20th. Start time around 9:00am. It’s going to take a few days again to get rid of the snow out there to get to the ice. Next week’s weather that is forecasted isn’t going to be any too warm to do much damage to the ice as there is still a lot of it out there (almost 30 inches…), so we will still be able to get things done out there.
Customers that want to attend remember ATV or snowmobile – Sled of some type – 50 feet of rope – safety gear, etc. We will have the shop set-up with food and refreshments for afterwords. Let us know if you want to come up and plan on staying over in your fish house if you want to Saturday night. We have a lot of fun
No fishing to report, no one has been out since last Saturday and they did not have any luck at all for the Perch or Tullibees. If this weather keeps up we will be walking out on ice to fish for Opening on May 11th!!
Keep a tight line!!
Over the weekend we a few fishermen out , but the had no luck in getting Perch or Tullibees. It’s over in my mind. We are pulling the planks off the access and waiting for the foot of snow they are forecasting. Depending on how much we get we might be postponing the “Block Party” this Saturday, but I’m going to wait ans see what we get the next couple days. I’ll let you know Thursday……….
Keep a Tight Line!! Eddy
With the rain coming tonight I’m not expecting fishermen to show tomorrow. If you plan on coming it’s ATV or Snowmobile only. No one has been out most of the week so I can’t tell you if anything is going or not, so you are on your own out there. The water has gone down now and the ice is starting to honeycomb, but there is a least 30 inches out there yet. Old roads banks and areas where houses were would be the problem spots to watch out for and stay away from. Otherwise it would be great with an ATV.
Next Saturday April 13th we will be having our “Block Party”. It is a annual ritual we have had for many years where we go out and pick up whatever was left out there on the ice. Blocks, cans, etc. whatever was missed when we pulled house is no exposed and easy pickings, and the timing will be just right this year. It has made a big difference in what ends up on the shorelines at ice-out and has been appreciated by many, and is the right thing to do. As much as things has improved over the years there is always seems to be something left out there and to get it before it ends up in the lake or on it’s shores is a positive. Customers planning on attending need a ATV, a good sled to pull behind to put stuff in (like an Otter Sled,etc), a 50 foot rope, and a set of ice picks (for safety purposes). We provide food and refreshments in our maintenance shop after we get in the afternoon. Start time will be about 9:00 a.m. It has always turned out to be a lot of fun. Customers planning on coming, please call ahead this coming week so we can plan for food, beer, pop, etc.
Keep a Tight Line!! Eddy