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Ice-King

Mille Lacs muskie tactics

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I am going to be heading up this fall with my son to Mille Lacs. It is going to be our first time muskie fishing this lake and I am looking for some general fishing info for muskies on this lake. We plan on going in either the end of September or I would like to go either early or late October I'm still undecided. Any recommendations on which part of the lake to fish? I have generally heard most of it goes on around the South, SW, and SE side. Is the lake more weed oriented,rocks, drop offs, etc for muskies. Are there any specific baits or colors to keep in mind? The reason I ask is because I plan on ordering some baits that will help me out. I am not asking for GPS coordinates I have my own gps and hopefully I will find some spots of my own. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

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The one thing I can say about Mille Lacs is that the wind on any given day may alter your plans on where you want to fish. So from that perspective you should have an idea of spots you may want to fish all over the lake and be prepared to move your boat around by trailer.

That time of year can be tough to predict depending upon water temps but it will probably be a good rock time and if you can find green weeds fish may still be there.

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Yeah the wind will probably dictate where you fish. There are good reefs in all quadrants of the lake and big plastics and cranks will probably be the ticket. Take your time and probe the reefs, the 12-15 foot zone is a good place to start - I'm fond of the smaller reefs that top out in this zone.

Literally every reef could hold fish so don't just follow the other boats. Find and mark the turns, points, humps, and ledges, and sometimes the small flat areas or reefs can be important too.

Mental toughness and persistence are at least as important as the spots you fish, casting at nothing all day and bobbing in the waves it's easy to lose your focus and get off track. You may get yours but ML will always kick your butt so don't give up, the rewards are worth it.

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Best advice is to follow here and see what Mille Lacs results look like during the summer, and see what the MMTT tourney results look like as well from a number of fish caught slant. Last year was tough to say the least, and a lack of summer results carried thru the Fall for the most part. It'll be interesting as last year was not in line with year's past and the expectations placed on '08 from a muskie perspective.

If Mille is like '08, you may be better off looking at the DL area or Leech Lake area and surrounding lakes come Fall.

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If you've never fished Mille Lacs don't waste your time doing it alone. Hire a guide!!! Pick his brain for different tactics to use for all times of the year. Then you will be more prepared for future trips on your own. Last year even guides started fishing other lakes because Mille Lacs was so tough. If you go up on your own having never fished it i would be surprised if you even saw one fish much less got one to bite. If your determined to give it a try your best bet for a one day trip is the north end weeds.

Good luck.

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LB, I second that. That would be my #1 recommendation to anyone new to Mille Lacs. 144,000 acres. Estimated population of muskies: 4,000-6,000. That would mean 138,000-140,000 acres without a fish. Lots of great guides on that lake.

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what do guides cost up there?

it varies, I've seen some go for $300-$400 and top guides go for $500. Most times that is price for two person and 8-10 hours on the water.

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Save you money and buy some Bulldogs and Double cowgirls. Then fish structure and you should find fish!!! You guys kind of make it sound like it impossible to find fish out there. Its just like every other lake but WAY bigger. And fish after dark.

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Brian i think your making it sound too easy. For a first timer thats never been on the lake it's just not like that. $300 to $500 might sound like alot of money but it's money well spent for info that will last you a lifetime. And especially if you go after dark. Just my opinion.

Save you money and buy some Bulldogs and Double cowgirls. Then fish structure and you should find fish!!! You guys kind of make it sound like it impossible to find fish out there. Its just like every other lake but WAY bigger. And fish after dark.

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To me, it kind of sounded like if he was going there in October that he probably already knows how to fish for muskies. With that being said, he is probably looking for a pig(which is why most people go there in October and November.) For me I would rather find fish for myself cuz thats the fun of it!! Just my 2 cents though!!

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I kinda agree with brian. Get a map of the lake, put it on the wall, step back, see what jumps out at you. There's not a ton of structure in that lake, only so many places to check. No matter what anyone here says, it's still muskie fishing and they are WELL fed in that lake. The odds are not in your favor.

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3 fish caught in the MMTT last year. 17 hours of fishing on Mille Lacs by some of the best muskie fisherman in the state...wind blowing from the south thurs and fri, north on sat, and west on Sunday..

I still remember my first time on Mille Lacs and it was the same thing with the wind and rollers. It was nothing I had experienced before. Went from a fun trip we had planned to frustrating because I had no clue.

So, if it was me, going to Cave Run or Kincaid for the first time, I would hire a guide. Learn the lake, learn something from someone that does this for a living that can make me a better fisherman, and know spots and what works for the rest of the trip, and help ensure that it is a fun trip with my son.

So just giving TK MHO. Totally up to him.

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My father in law coughed up a lot of coin to go with most likely the top dog guide on Mille Lacs, I asked if he learned anything, he said fish weeds and rocks. 10 hours saw 2 fish. Guiding can be tough and there are no guarantee's. I think the guide can speed up your learning curve, nothing can replace time on the water, but what might take you few years to figure out a good guide can help you cut the corners to learning things faster.

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3 fish caught in the MMTT last year. 17 hours of fishing on Mille Lacs by some of the best muskie fisherman in the state...wind blowing from the south thurs and fri, north on sat, and west on Sunday..

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Touche Scoot- The problem with hitting Mille Lacs the first few times is not with fishing the right way or the right stuff, but knowing you're fishing the right way and the right stuff and having the confidence to keep casting.

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Sorry IK. We got off track there from your original question.

On North End I've had luck in the sand burning bucktails and topwaters. Reef fishing on the south end is the same as any other reef fishing as far as lures. Bays on the south, east and west find the cabbage and do your thing.

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I'm not a new comer to muskies and I'm not new to mille lacs. I fish walleyes out there every year I just haven't fished muskies on the lake. I've got plenty of double ten bucktails and bulldogs from mags and will be ordering some pounders. I would rather not hire a guide because its not like I'm completely clueless on muskie fishing plus I would rather save the 300-500 dollars!!!

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It was brutal one follow a lazy follow at that, Got back tonight super slow fished barbie and webster, got a tip the day we were leaving that it was tough bite down there and it was!! you still planing on going down??

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Fish weeds in September first, and if nothing is going on, second, I would launch out of Mac Twin Bay and head to the SE rock reefs. Locate your fish during the day, gps them, and get back on them at night. If you go in October, I would fish rocks 90% of the time. Throw dawgs.

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