Mille lacs in the fall

Fall patterns are kicking in on Mille lacs!

The Fall color of the leaves this year are incredible in the area, many trees starting to turn a brilliant orange, it will be peaking out in the next week or 2 so get up here and enjoy! #Dotheleaves

Water temps have been falling until this weeks warm-up, temps in the low 60’s and upper 50’s were common. That magical range of 50 to 55 is not far off.

The shallow reefs will be where the action is this fall,
Walleyes will be stacking up near the reefs to take advantage of the baitfish swarms, trolling cranks in the 5′-12′ range in the evening can get even the novice angler some action.

Smallmouth are easy pickings during the day on the reefs, fan cast cranks or sight fish the boulders and tossing rubber baits will both produce some action.

Muskie hunters will be moving closer to the reefs as the fall progresses, the silver monsters will be looking for the tullibees to move in so they can put on the feed bags.

The Mille lacs area is a great place to spend some time outside in the fall weather, and by the looks of the forecast this week and weekend it will be AWESOME!!

Posted in Fishing Reports

Does Mille lacs have a Genetics Issue?

Does Mille lacs have a genetically inferior male population?


I have a theory about the walleye population (or lack thereof) in Mille lacs. What if through tribal harvest management, we have created a population of inferior males?   After sitting through another meeting about the state of the Mille lacs fishery, listening to the same old data presentation, I have come to the conclusion that “there is no plan”. It’s a wait and see what mother nature hands us next year.  For the past two years, due to late ice-out and low harvest numbers, there has been a dramatic decrease in pressure on Mille lacs. Mother Nature, so far, has been catching up and restoring the forage base to normal conditions. There are some good numbers of the 2013 year class and the 2014 has a good chance.  The DNR has no new data to share or ideas to implement.  I will throw my theory out there. Some facts I base my theory on:

-On average anglers have taken 72% of the harvest, Tribal harvest is about 28% -The anglers harvest takes about 10 months, the Tribal harvest is 2 weeks. – Anglers pressure many areas of the lake during two seasons; Tribal harvest concentrates almost 100% to the shallow rocky spawning grounds. -Tribal catch is as high as 60% male walleyes off theses small areas.

– Number one rule in nature…..the strong survive.

As I compare the situation to other species, Deer, Elk, Salmon, and probably germs, doesn’t it make sense that taking all the aggressive males out of their intended spawning grounds over and over, year after year, will leave us with the leftovers? Male walleyes will come into the spawning grounds in waves for up to 2 weeks. The strongest males will come in first as the weaker ones wait. These aggressive, genetically superior males are in the nets first. The second wave of male walleye comes in and they are harvested second, ETC. Eventually we will be left with either a depleted male population or one that is GENETICALLY INFERIOR.   Solutions? Ideas? How about these

-Create “no fishing” sanctuaries, safe zones for these males. – Netting another time of year, or spread out through the year – increase the mesh size of the nets to allow some males to swim through. – Do not net the same areas every year, how about every three to four. – Implement my Walleye Replacement Program for the Tribes, this keeps all rights to harvest intact, but removes the conflict and labor. It would deliver Walleye to any Elder at least once a month throughout the year.

The first step to fixing Mille lacs will be the DNR acknowledging that netting and disturbing spawning grounds is a factor in this mess(I won’t hold my breath). Steve Johnson

Posted in Fishing Reports

6-27-14 Fishing Report


The mud flats and deeper rocks are producing some fish in about 20-32 ft of water. Fishing in the morning and afternoon using leeches and crawlers on Lindy rigs or spinners. Evening bite move in over shallow rocks and gravel using a slip bobber and a leech.


Fish about 6-10 ft of water along the shoreline in the weeds or rocks using leeches and plastic grubs.


Fishing in the bays along the weeds at 12 ft or less using a sucker minnow.


Posted in Fishing Reports

Mille lacs report 5/30/14

The last week or so the weather has been great, sunny and warm. The water temps have improved a lot. I saw temps from 51 to 64 degrees in a two mile area of the lake!
The day time bite is in the sand, deeper rocks, transition areas and it has been improving with the progressing season. Lindy rigs raised off the bottom targeting feeding fish with a leech, minnow or crawler. Reports of some really shallow walleyes coming while fishing smallmouth.
Spinners should take off soon as well as the temps warm up the water.
No consistent mud action has been reported, but not a lot of activity in that area to help confirm.
Evening bite has been steady. Traditional presentations, 6 to 12 foot of water, in traditional evening haunts.
Fishing for smallmouth has been fantastic! People are having a blast catching smallies during the day everywhere. Huge numbers coming from water depths of 3 to 8 foot of water. Plastics, live bait, spinners, jigs, rocks, docks, weed lines, bays and main lake areas have all been producing. Take advantage of this bite while it lasts!
The sunny and crappie bite is in full swing on area lakes. Fish 2 to 6 foot of water on the weedy shorelines. Using plastic or live bait under a bobber. Fish the northern bays were the bottom is dark and warmer. Right in the weeds… and sharpen your filet knife and enjoy!
Hope to see you all this weekend … be safe!

(courtesy Hunters Point resort 320-676-3227)

Posted in Fishing Reports

Opener 2014

Mille lacs Opener 2014
The lake will be ready to go for the anglers this weekend. Ice is harder to find every day and will be gone by the weekend (maybe some shore piles left over).
We open this year with some new direction and liberal regulations on Smallmouth and Northern pike. Some of us agree with the plan to “downsize” the predator population to promote the survival of YOY walleye.
You can fish all night during the opening weekend and then the night-ban is in effect until Dec.1st. (fiscal year end for Mille lacs regs)
There is a population of “keeper” walleyes, 18″-20″ in the lake, the forage population is very high and that will keep some tight lips on the walleyes. Look to the shallower water that will be  warmer, it’s been a looooong winter and the water temps are still chilly.
Shiners may be a good bet this opener but are extremely hard to come by every year (another DNR thank you), so if you can find some buy some, I’m sure our supply will dwindle very quickly.
Everyone is looking forward to some good weather and great times on Mille lacs this year.

Posted in Fishing Reports

Report for March 10, 2014

The thaw has begun with our warm temps.  The lake roads are starting to show signs of water and slush from all the narrow roads with high berms but there is still plenty of ice.  The warms temps and melting snow could help ignite a perch and panfish bite.  Received a few reports of crappies and bluegills in Isle Bay after the NAIFC qualifying tournament this past Sunday with the winning team keeping 14 fish.  Have heard some panfish reports from Cove Bay as well.  Off-road  travel is still difficult with vehicles and ATV so sleds are recommended if you want to get out to no-man’s land.  Some of the other resorts still have roads open for you to give perch fishing a try and the Isle Bay resorts have minimal roads for the crappie/bluegills.

Snowmobile trails are still in good shape and the clubs are still grooming so get up here and enjoy the last of the snowmobile season, you won’t be sorry!

Posted in Fishing Reports


2014 Perch Extravaganza Top Ten Perch
10. Mark 1.07
9. Nate 1.085
8. Erik 1.14
7. Autum 1.15
6. Andy 1.15
5. Tom 1.16
4. Sara 1.16
3. Dan  1.17
2. Chad 1.22…
1st  Rob. 1.34#
A great crowd this year at the PE, despite the cold and consequences of the massive dumping of snow and hurricane wind drifts. The entire Mille lacs community appreciates all of the people that come up and help “celebrate” the Extravaganza. I want to thank my great friends and employees that help make this event happen. Nittis Hunters Point Resort is a first class kick ass resort that hosts the event every year and does a fantastic job. Thanks to all. 2015 PE is sat 2/21/15. It has and always will be the last weekend of the walleye season. Heres to #32 Thank you all. Steve
Posted in Fishing Reports


The wind and snow put a damper on lake travel yesterday, the resorts are getting roads open as fast as they can this morning. The party tent is up and we will be selling buttons until 2pm so if you cant make it for the fishing come up for the drawings.

Posted in Fishing Reports

Perch Extravaganza is a GO!!

Perch Extravaganza is a GO!!
We are digging out from the wonderful winter dumping.
The resorts will be working to get roads open and Hunters Point will be clearing as much as possible for wheelers and parking.  This last snow blast will make lake travel tuff.
The Friday night party is on too!!
Cmon up for the big one! you don’t have to fish, you can come for the entertainment and the drawing.
Drawing starts at 3 p.m.
Mad Hatter contest at 2:30 p.m.
Weigh in cutoff at 2pm
Lakewide contest, no need to check in, get your button at portside and Hunters point and Prince Bait

Posted in Fishing Reports

Perch Extravaganza Lodging

Here is an update on lodging and fish house rentals open for the weekend of the 22nd. These fill quick after we post them.


Macs twin bay 320-676-8709
6 rentals open

Mcquoids inn 320-676-3535
4 Condos
2 Cabins
Very few hotel rooms

Hunters point 320-676-3227
Booked solid

Lybacks ice fishing 320-676-8740
3 Rentals open

Fishermans Wharf 320-676-3693
1 Hotel room
6 Rentals open

Hunter Winfields 320-676-1100
1 Rental open

Brandts ice fishing 320-532-3674
10 Rentals open

Appledorns resort 320-676-8834
2 cabins 1br
1 cabin sleeps 8
2 lakeview suites

Agate bay resort 320-684-2233
No lodging
5 Rentals open

Hunters point has areas cleared for wheelhouses and the road to the mud is open. The forecast is looking good….almost shorts weather. CMON UP AND PERCH IT!!
Buttons on sale at Portside and Hunters Point, and the new hoodies are in.

Posted in Fishing Reports
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  • Nitti's Hunters Point - SE side of the lake
  • Chapman's Mille Lacs Resort - Isle Bay on the SE corner of the lake
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  • Hunter Winfields Resort - Isle Bay on SE corner of lake
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  • Contact Us

    Portside Bait & Liquor
    1 mile North of Isle on Highway 47
    (320) 676-3811

    Bait & Convenience Store Hours
    7am-9pm SUN-THUR
    6am-10pm FRI-SAT Mean Walleye