If you want to catch walleye on Mille Lacs, try fishing at night! Sometimes they don’t bite during the day because they have been foraging at night.
The walleye fishing season’s not over up here. Not by a long shot. The walleye bite is not as hot as it was this summer, but walleye fishing still good, according to Bill Lundeen of Lundeen’s Tackle Castle. Not discouraged by a low net count reported by the DNR, Bill is still pulling them out.
What is working for him right now? Bill is using leeches during the day and early evening. But when the action slows down, he switches to crankbaits. Minnow-style crank baits will be more effective than shad style crankbaits. This time of year, walleyes will be found in less than ten feet of water, generally within the first two miles out, anywhere between the surface and the bottom. MnOutdoors.org reported pulling out a 26 incher at about 10pm. Other fishermen reported a good catch of smaller ones.
The walleye populations in Mille Lacs cycle up and down just like healthy fish populations in other lakes. The numbers are not what they were in other years. The DNR has restricted walleye keepers to a narrow slot between 14-16 inches, with no more than one allowed over 28 inches. But the Twin Cities media, ever ready to sensationalize anything that looks even slightly negative, pounced on this, and made it sound like the walleyes have become extinct! Sure, the DNR count was down a bit, but most biologists state that the data has not been fully processed to make any conclusions, and certainly not any dire ones. The numbers of any healthy fish population will ebb and flow from year to year. Veteran Mille Lacs fishermen know this. They have seen this phenomenon before. Aggressive management measures by the DNR will help to ensure that Mille Lacs will continue to be known as the premiere Minnesota walleye lake. Walleye fishing in Mille Lacs has always been a favorite spot for walleye, and always will be.
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