The Walleye bite is picking up pretty good now with the warmer water temps, especially on the north end. Fishermen are catching Walleyes in the harvest slot along with bigger ones also. From what pictures I’ve seen so far, the Walleyes look healthy which is a good sign. The Bass Opener was today also and there were reports of some pretty good catches too.
People around the lake are still putting in docks and in the last week, and finally people are starting to pick up their boats from winter storage. The gas prices have dropped 10 cents a gallon in the last week. I hope they keep dropping. I think this whole gas price hike just before the tourist season is a set up by the oil companies and refinery owners to take advantage of the consumer at a time when they want to get away for the holidays and summer vacations…Right now we have enough to deal with up here to have that piled on us too.
Keep a Tight Line!! Eddy
Finally things are starting to look like we might see summer. Trees are starting to bud, ice is starting to melt on the shorelines where it piled up two weeks ago, and the grass is green! Since opening weekend on May 11th, it has been pretty quiet up here compared to Openers of the past. Now with Memorial weekend approaching it feels more like the Opener, especially at my marine shop. Now finally, people are picking up their boats and getting ready. Unfortunately, somebody, ( the refinery owners?) decided that they needed to raise the price of gas in the upper Midwest while all of us are planning to travel and enjoy things after a long winter, how ironic…sounds like greed to me…. Anyways, with the imbalance of bait fish to predators the Walleyes are hungry. Guides that I’ve have talked to average about 30 Walleyes a trip and despite the narrow harvest slot they are keeping about a 10 percent ratio. Which is good. A couple 18-20 inch Walleyes make a pretty good meal.
There are some major conflicts on the horizon with Mille Lacs despite all it has went through already. Now there are fishermen out there that are starting a “Save Mille Lacs Smallmouth Alliance”. Why don’t fishermen look at a lake and see what was in it before and take care of it for what it was before any of you showed up, and “decided” to make it better for their own enjoyment? What happens to all the fishermen that didn’t go to Mille Lacs this winter after the ice fishing season to fish for Perch for a day or two in March. (because there wasn’t any here to catch) Finally…. the MN DNR has realized how important Mille Lacs is for what is for the “average” fishermen, and the economy around this lake that has been here for over a century. Times are not changing so fast that we need to forget and abandon the Walleyes and the Perch! Why doesn’t anybody get that when you mess with things you shouldn’t,and change it for your own liking, it will screw things up. Most of us that have been here for years already know that, and the proof is in the pudding… apparently greed will screw it up again….Wake up people!
Keep a tight Line!!
Well we are finally into some normality up here at Mille Lacs with open water, people putting docks in, fishermen on the lake and the grass turning green. It has been long awaited for those of us up here. So far fishing has been pretty good even with the cold water temps. I’m hearing some pretty good reports from anglers and they are actually catching Walleyes in the 2 inch harvest slot we have this year. That is good news. It also sounds like the Walleyes are hungry but from what pictures I’ve seen so far they are not looking starved as some of us expected. We will see how it all plays out this season. One thing for sure so far, whether it is because of the reg changes, late ice-out, or high gas prices, (probably a combination of all), it is definitely a lot quieter up here than normal so far.
We had some major ice events last weekend and there is still signs of it on the shoreline despite the warm weather. It is eerie seeing ice on the shore and green grass and trees budding with leaves. Strange times I guess..
Keep a tight Line!!
Well I think it is finally going to happen….Ice Out! I’m predicting it will be over by this coming weekend. There will be ice on the shores, ice on the islands, and just about anyplace we don’t want to see it but there will at least be water on the main lake……. Since last weekend Mille Lacs has went “viral” with videos of ice pushing and piles on the south shore, and last night and today until the wind switched it hit the N-NW side by Myr Mar and areas towards Garrison. But the old lake is finally giving up it’s ice. It’s getting softer and thinner and it is my hope that when it reaches the shore tonight on our end is will be so soft it will just “mush-up”.
It’s been quite a ice season up here and one I hopefully will not see again, both in the “treaty mismanagement” I call it now. And the MN DNR’s ignoring for the past 10 years that this is a “Walleye” Lake, not a “Trophy everything else” Lake. Plus I’m just getting sick and tired of seeing ice!! (Especially hard when I also own a Marine Business…) Just remember, June 21st the days start getting shorter….
Hopefully it all will work out, and don’t forget….12-17 inch Smallmouth Bass taste good when caught in cold water….lol
Keep a tight Line!
Today another record was set at Mille Lacs. Ice on the main lake on opening day. The other was I believe in 1950. Right now the NW winds are blowing 25-40 mph and the ice coming our way. I’m hoping and praying that it doesn’t take out our house on the lakeshore, as it is only 50 feet away. We have big rocks in front and there is a reef a quarter mile out in front that hopefully will stop the most of it. You will see some of it on our web cam. It’s going to be a scary next few hours for us here.
It is finally looking like things are going to break up out there on the lake over the next few days. We will probably not have a “opener” this year as we would all know it. With the weather forecasted and the winds, there will most likely be some open water on the north end, but for us on the south end we will be seeing a lot of ice. Crazy times…….I guess it will be something to tell our grandchildren about. The good thing is Mother Nature is getting back at all of us for not taking care of the lake’s resources as as we should have. ( MN DNR, and the BANDS). Sometimes I just don’t get it. Mille Lacs Lake and it’s resource cannot be managed two different ways and survive…. history has shown all of us that now. Maybe the State and the Bands should wake up and realize that instead of playing games with “treaty rights” and management. Mille Lacs Lake doesn’t care whose “right”‘ is right and just because we have the “right” doesn’t mean it’s ok.! It’s just trying to survive. It’s time both sides realize that and work together for the good of the lake!! Just remember…….what comes around goes around….
Keep a tight Line! Eddy
Last evening I went out on the ice for the last time, picking up whatever was leftover that was missed when we had our clean-up day (“block party”) last Saturday. I drilled the ice in all depths of water, and I found that anything over 10 feet to almost 40 feet had 24 to 27 inches of ice. Anything 4 feet or less,(on the shallow reefs) had little ice or was open. The ice I drilled was honeycombed almost all the way thru. If we do get some warm weather next week and some rains, it might be close to going out by the Opener on May 11th. I’m not counting on it. Tonight when I got home from the marine shop the ice on the main lake in front of us had turned”white”, which means the next time it changes and goes “black” it will be waterlogged, and ready to finally melt. Normally it takes about a week depending on normal weather in my years seeing it the ice go. But who has seen “normal” lately….?. Anyways, it was good to know it was over for me out there, and start concentrating on boats!
I was 3 miles out when I was done, and on the way in to shore there was time to think about all the changes coming for us at Mille Lacs and it’s future. And also time to reflect on the 40 plus years I’ve always made it home off the ice, during and after a long season. Sadly, my thoughts were turned to a friend in Bayfield, WI. that didn’t make it home off the ice this year. Jim Hudson……may you God be with you and Rest in Peace…… I’ll always think about you when I go out there again……
Keep a tight line!! Eddy