The Fantastic Four of Lake Mille Lacs


Where else do you have the ability to catch four trophy fish of different species?

Many lakes boast one or two, but Lake Mille Lacs has the fantastic four: walleyes, muskies, smallmouths and northern pike. They have lots of room to grow because Lake Mille Lacs is more like an inland sea, covering 132,000 surface acres or slightly more than 200 square miles.

While much of the main lake falls into the 20- to 38-foot depth range, maximum depths barely exceed 40. Its diverse underwater structure also appeals to a variety of fish species. The northern half contains most of the lake’s mud flats and the southern portion offers more gravel and rock bars, with all sides offering shallow, reef-top fishing and a 9 to 10 foot weedline. Deep-water angling takes place on the southern deep gravel and rocks as well as on dozens of mud flats in the northern half of the lake. The shoreline break fishing on varied bottom types occurs all around the lake.

Walleye fever
With plenty of room to grow in this huge lake, Lake Mille Lacs walleyes have become the stuff of which legends are made, and the lunkers are a blast to catch. In spring, sand breaks, such as those on the north side, hold large schools of walleyes. Lake Mille Lacs has many rock points and reefs, which can be productive any time of year. The south side of the lake is littered with many good rock spots. The mud flats used to be considered summer fishing spots, but in recent years anglers have also found walleyes on mud flats in early May on the opening weekend. Right after spawning, the big females head out to these flats until late August when the fish head back to shore to the rocks and sand breaks again.

Muskie mayhem
The Minnesota Department of Fisheries in the 1970s first stocked muskies in Lake Mille Lacs, and it has been successful. Muskies abound, and their size is astounding. Many anglers believe the next state-record muskie will be caught on Lake Mille Lacs.

One giant muskie was recently caught on a fly rod and the 57-inch fish weighed more than 50 pounds. That same month, a 55-inch muskie with a 30-inch girth, estimated at 60 pounds, was caught. Dubbed “The Queen of Mille Lacs,” it was released rather than kept to certify its record size. “The Queen” is still out there for the next lucky fisherman to enjoy the catch of a lifetime.

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Small mouth, huge fish
Lake Mille Lacs is a world-class bass fishery that attracts bass anglers from around country. Bassmaster magazine has ranked Lake Mille Lacs sixth in their 2016 Top 10 Best Bass Lakes in the U.S. for smallmouths, up from its 10th-place ranking in 2015.

The world of professional bass fishing has also recognized Lake Mille Lacs’ claim to bass-fishing fame. The lake was chosen to host the September 2016 Toyota TM Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship, where the top 50 bass anglers tried their luck at $1 million in cash and prizes. Some consider it the Super Bowl of fishing. During and after the tournament, the pro bass fishermen raved about the good fishing they found on Lake Mille Lacs.

Big, hungry northern pike
If you are in search of a lunker that’s ready and willing to put up a fight, Lake Mille Lacs is also home to enormous northern pike that will give you a fish story you won’t soon forget. The fun part of the lake’s big northerns is that they provide an exciting experience every season. If you enjoy angling for northerns that love to grab bait in the summer, go after those that are ravenous in the cooler waters of late fall, or prefer the decoy dance of spearing in a winter darkhouse, Lake Mille Lacs’ northern pike are big, plentiful and ready for action.

Check out the latest Lake Mille Lacs fishing report with up-to-date information provided by the guides, bait shops and resorts, and then hit the water. Spend a week or two on Lake Mille Lacs and try your luck at catching the trophy-sized species of the Fantastic Four. Your fishing buddies will spend a lifetime trying to match your results.


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