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Good time for tip-ups on Mille Lacs?

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Would like to hit Mille Lacs early in the year for pike. I know the South end well and would like to hit some of the bays with tip-ups. I know it’s hard to know right now when the ice will be thick enough to get out there but is the fist few weeks in Dec. a good time? How deep of water do you need? Do you hit the bay areas just like you would any other lakes at that time of year?
With 3 or 4 guys would you be able to fish for perch and have a few tip-ups out for pike?
How deep do you need to be for the perch that time of year?

Get the Net!!

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Macs Twin Bay is a good area to hit at early ice. You can get some nice perch and pike there. You don't have to go deep, you can find perch in 7-10 feet at early ice. Punch a lot of holes and keep moving, those schools of fish will move but once you get on them you will catch several fish before they move again. The big pike are chasing those perch as well.

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Matt Johnson
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Cove bay is good as well. The pike are up fairly shallow feeding on all the YOY perch stacked up in the bays. The walleyes will make shallow runs in that bay as well.

Be quiet and you might be into trophy time.

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