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dustin85

Mille Lacs

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Hi! I am thinking about borrowing a friends fish house to take up to Mille Lacs in January.I have never been on the lake in the winter, and only once in the summer. We would like to stay on the lake for 2-3 days. I would like to use this trip as a way to get my wife into ice fishing. She has the attention span of about a 5 year old, so I am thinking on going here in hopes of getting on a few fish. I have a few questions, and welcome any feedback or advice about what I may be getting into. Where is a good place to get onto the lake?...I understand many resorts like to charge access fees to use their plowed roads. If there is a lot of snow, are any of these resorts willing to come out and plow a spot off for us[( willing to a pay a fee, if needed)assuming we pay to use their access]. Also, it would be nice if we could find a placce for my wife to take a shower. Are there some resorts with a bath house that she could pay to use? Thanks in advance for any help!

Dustin

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This is just my input but I feel Mille Lacs isn't the best lake to try and get someone "in" to ice fishing, especially when they have a short attention span, and here is why. I have NEVER had success of Mille Lacs in the winter if I just sit in one spot all day like in a wheelhouse. The key to catching fish on Mille Lacs is being mobile. If you sit in one spot, you will have fish come thru every now and then, but it is going to be much slower action than if you were mobile.

My best thinking tells me if you have a wheelhouse, make the extra 4 more hrs driving and go to LOTW. That fishery is much better suited for sitting in one spot all day, and you are more than likely going to get on a very good bite sitting in one spot all day. Yes the resorts would most likely plow a spot for you somewhere as long as you paid their access fee. Most resort owners are very nice and try to bend over backwards for their customers to retain business. Talk to the resorts on LOTW or Mille Lacs ahead of time and tell them your situation and they will most likely be able to accommodate you both for a spot on the ice as well as a place to shower.

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Thanks jw! I am not 100 % locked into mille lacs, just figured we would have better odds than the lakes in Southern MN. I am not opposed to LOTW, leech, winnie, etc.. It just seems a little intimidating to a guy that has little/no experience up there. We will not have anyone with us that has any experience, either. Do you folks have any recommendations of resorts, etc to talk to about our trip (on any lake, really)?

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after reading some posts and talking to a few people, it sounds like Mille Lacs may not be the best option for getting my wife on the ice. I am interested in hearing about other lakes as well. Leech, LOTW, etc. Thanks!

Dustin

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If you're thinking of LOW why not rent a dayshack from one of the lodges up there. My son has taken his whole family there a couple times and they have had a ball. Meal can be included and you sleep in a warm bed every night after a dip in the pool or the hot tub. I know my wife can't turn down a meal that she does'nt have to cook or clean up after.

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Most resorts on all the big lakes will help you out, plow a spot, give advise, and get you in the right direction including here on Winnie. Best thing I can tell you is most all the big lakes are not all catching fish at the same time in the winter, i would look at different fishing reports when you get closer to your trip and go off them. Good luck

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If you want to stay on the ice and catch fish, i'd shoot for Upper Red Lake, there are a bunch of resorts that will all help you get your wheelhouse on fish. One of the things on the plus side with Red is the night bite, the fish can cooperate all night long sometimes.

Or hit LOTW for a day or two and then hit URL on the way home for a night their only like an hour away from eachother. Good luck.

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+1 on URL over LOTW. The last 3 times I've driven past URL to go to Baudette, I've kicked myself. We always catch lots of fish on LOTW, but the avg size is 12-13". We've always caught less fish on URL, but better size (17-21"). Maybe it's just me and how I fish? Not sure, but I will be on URL this year.

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I second that most all resort owners will usually do every thing possible to keep you happy in order to keep your business. I've seen this on Mille lacs, Winni, and Red, im sure most other big lake resorts are the same.

As for lakes I took the wife up to milacs for her first ice fishing trip last year and we only caught 2 walleyes in 2 days but still had a good time (probably didn't help the rattle reels did most all the fishing). Just bring beer, cards, and a radio and you can still have a good time smile

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