Travis Peterson holding up a smallmouth bass he caught fishing Mille Lacs.
When planning a trip to Mille Lacs Lake, consider the following tips:

Watch the weather. Because it is a large lake and much of the fishing is done on mid-lake structures, pay attention to the forecasted winds. Mille Lacs is no place to be in high winds. Play it safe and trailer to the calmer side of the lake if a moderate breeze is predicted.

GPS is a must. Lowrance depth finderMille Lacs Lake is a very large body of water with plentiful off-shore structures. Our Lowrance units guide us to the structure quickly so we can maximize our fishing time.

Consider hiring a guide. If you are unfamiliar with Mille Lacs and plan to vacation there, consider hiring a guide on the first day of your vacation. A guide will be able to show you productive techniques and areas for the season and conditions. Mille Lac’s guides are in high demand so make reservations today.

Fish the fringes. A flotilla of boats on the shoreline sand flats or mid-lake mud-flats usually indicates a hot bite. Cash in on the action but don’t jump right into the middle of a pack. Fish the edges. Less boat traffic means fish won’t be as spooky.

Spin to Win. Trolling with spinners behind bottom bouncers is a dynamite technique on Mille Lacs. Rock-Runner® Slip Bouncers are my favorite weight system for running spinners. Northland offers many options in terms of spinners. The Baitfish-Image Spinners paired with juicy crawlers are hot!

Mix it up. Dan Burrow holding up a Muskie caught on Mille Lacs.One problem with fishing Mille Lacs is deciding which fish to pursue. Our advice is to do it all! Walleyes are the primary target but be prepared to slip up on a rocky point, reef, or shoreline and cast for smallmouth. Soft plastic ringworms worked slowly over the rocks were hot last season. Might as well throw a Reed-Runner Magnum Spinnerbait around these same areas and tempt a trophy muskie or pike.


Read the Regs. Be sure to read and understand the Minnesota regulations and any that specifically apply to Mille Lacs.

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