Some good news for many anglers, especially Muskie fisherman, coming today from the Mn DNR. “The night ban on Lake Mille Lacs will be lifted July 21, starting at 10 p.m” This is great news for many fisherman around the lake that find themselves in a scramble to make the dock by that 10 o’clock deadline. As for the fishing it has still been pretty consistent. The lead bite has started to pick up on the deep edges of all the reefs and mud flats with some very big fish being hoisted up for some quick photos. The water temp is still hovering around 71-73 degrees meaning on cooler morning and evenings you can still catch some walleyes under a slip bobber with a leech. 29-33 feet of water has seen the most success. STAY MOBILE! There are plenty of fish out there to be caught!
Switching gears to muskie and pike, that bite has been hit or miss. We are hearing of a lot of Muskies still chasing baits over the weed beds. Look for them where you are finding the hungry Pike, and they are hungry, in that 8-12 feet of cabbage weeds. Some really nice Pike have been getting brought in with bright colored baits, dont be afraid to fish fast with some big buck tails or spinner baits, orange or green seem to be what the fish have been craving! The Muskies have not really showed up on any of the rock reefs yet but it wont be long!
The Smallies have moved into their deeper homes and have still been active as a track star. Crawfish colored crank baits and tubes are still going to be your best “go to” bait to catch the footballs of Mille Lacs. 8-12 feet of water off of the top of the rock reefs is where most of your focus should be, the water temp has not spiked too high yet so the bass fishing remains steady. As always, good luck out there and keep a tight line!
More and More keeper Walleyes are showing up on our launch/guide trips. They are scattered around the shallow rocks and mid-deep gravel bars. Anglers with the most luck are using Lindy-Rigs and Crawler-Rigs. The Mud has been heating up! Our Guests have given us positive reports fishing along the edges of the Mud Flats. Clouds of fish flies have been seen on the North-West side of the Lake. Water Temps are anywhere from 60-65 degrees. When the Weather gets Hot, So does the Fishing! Have Fun out there! Don’t forget your Bug Spray!
Small Mouth Bass
The Smallie fishing is still Slammin’! The majority of the Bass have finished their spawning and have begun migrating off the edges of their shallow rock and sand beds. A few can still be found near the shorelines and underneath the local docks. However most of them are settling into their summer homes, which consist of deeper cobble and gravel edges around the reefs. Casting tube jigs along the deeper outside edges of the shallow rock reefs is the most effective way to trigger a Bite! Lots of Trophy size Small-mouths are being caught! Good luck getting your Mounter!
Last Saturday was Muskie opener in Minnesota. This weekend the bays and shorelines were filled with anglers heaving giant Muskie lures. The Muskie population has been all the Buzz around the lake. Reports of Big Fish being caught are all over! Your best chances of Boating the fish of 10,000 casts would be to target the shallow developing weed beds adjacent to deeper water. Huge Bucktails and Spinner-Baits seem to be the lures of choice for most Muskie enthusiasts, however i would recommend using a presentation that the fish have not seen before! Slow-Medium speed retrieves seem to get the most attention. Good Luck and be Patient!
Find this week’s catch in photos: https://www.facebook.com/mcquoids/photos_stream
Extra cold water had the Walleye pretty tight lipped for the first two weekends of the season. Although, anglers that tried new things and thought outside the box found some fish that were ready to bite. Anglers come from all over to rig deep water or go bobber fish their favorite rock piles but with some fish still spawning and others in a lethargic post-spawn state, most of the fish were still in shallow water. Some Walleyes were found in water as shallow as two feet of water and others as deep as 15ft. We have very good water clarity which makes shallow water fishing more challenging. Shallow fish get spooked away, so the best way to target these fish is to get the boat in the deeper water off the edge of tight breaks and pitch light jigs tipped with a spot tail shiner into the shallow water on top of the structure. Look for areas generally containing large rock piles on top or a pre-existing weed line. Don’t forget to work your casts parallel to the break line as well, in order to target the fish that may be staging down at the bottoms of the drop off. This pattern has definitely been the most consistent so far this season and should still produce fish for the next week. The jig bite is a riot! For guides that usually have to rig or troll most of the year, we enjoy the change of pace. So come on up to McQuoid’s and let us put you on the fish.
I can not say that I love windy frigid Spring rain but, it is just what the doctor ordered. That’s if you’re trying to cure a cold that contains an ice sheet 3ft thick and nearly 20 miles long. Maybe not the ideal cure for spring fever but, it is exactly what Lake Mille Lacs needs to get this fishing season on track. Hopefully damage stays at a minimum and everyone stays safe as the brittle ice sheets path of destruction invades the lake shores. Yesterday the West side of the Lake saw ice piles that made it clear across Hwy. 169. As strong Southeastern winds continue to blow, the gap in this end of the lake will grow and with all this rain and wind it is only going to be a matter of days before all we see on Mille Lacs is boats and waves. Needless to say I am feeling pretty good about being 100% ice free by the 2014 Fishing Opener. So maybe this dreary Spring weather is not ideal for doing your yard work or doing any Spring painting at least it won’t stop us from putting all the new Launch boats in the water this week. One by one on Saturday May 10, they will all be ready to shove off the dock at 8 am for the first Trip of the Year. Lets just hope that all the Spring cliches are accurate and that if Springs in like a Lion that it goes out like a lamb, because we’ve most definitely gotten the Lion’s share.
With just a small sample size of Spring like weather last week,things around the resort are feeling a little more like Winter this week. Fortunately for us at McQuoids Inn all we needed to jump start our 2014 Season was four or five nice, warm ,and sunny days. In that short lived Spring we watched some 40 inches of ice disappear right before our very eyes. Now the fun starts. Cold or not, with the Thaines River opened up behind the resort we can start getting all of our NEW launches in the water and ready to roll for the Season. The Newest boat in the fleet, the “McFish” a brand new 42′x14′ boat, will be hitting the water for the first time at Fishing Opener. The McFish will complete the newest and most beautiful trio of launch boats available on Lake Mille Lacs. Needless to say we are very excited about the 2014 Season and are looking forward to a great year of catching trophy Walleye, Northern, and Smallmouth Bass. Don’t forget to come up and see us at McQuoids Inn and Event Center on Lake Mille Lacs.
Well this will be the last snowmobile trails and fishing report until fishing opener. It was a great winter time and still is winter here in the Mille Lacs Lake area. We got 4 Inches of snow yesterday which covered any bare spots that were on the trails and has made for excellent conditions. The softness of the snow and how it packing in on the trails will make them good throughout the weekend. We only have three days left to get out and enjoy the Soo line, Red Top and Kathio Loops and we have excellent trail conditions to do it. Hopefully everybody can get out and enjoy the new snow and the warm weather that we have.
If snowmobiling is not your thing right now, you can head on down to the Northwest Sportshow and say, “hi”, to Mike and Katey. They are manning the the both for the week down there, it runs through Sunday. Its a great time to talk about the new fishing regulations and maybe dream about some time on the open water. Speaking of fishing, it has been a little slow around the lake, but I did here of some good tullibee and perch action happening in the tullibee hole and around the graveyard. Fish are hitting in the deeper water 30-33 feet of water, with jigging spoons tipped with waxies or euro larvae.
With the snowmobile trails closing on the 1st we will start to shift our focus to the upcoming fishing season, and will be busy trying to get the boats, docks, cabins etc. up to par. Hopefully everyone out there is planning to visit this summer, the walleye should be biting again. As always have a safe time on all your outdoor adventures and we hope to see you on the trail.JB
Just when we thought that winter was done, we wake up to 8 inches of snow on the ground. We got hit by an isolated snow storm, that added a couple more inches to our yearly snow fall. One that is currently on pace to be the second snowiest winter on record. It was a weird snowfall because of how narrow the band of snow was. We got a lot of snow while the twin cities, and parts to the north of us did not receive anything. The current 5 day forecast has the temps dipping down into the 20′s so the snow should not be going anywhere anytime soon, which means our trails should be in great condition for the upcoming weekend.
The owner Terry was out enjoying the Snowmobile trails yesterday, and said they were in great condition. The new powder on the trails made for fun riding. The Drift Skippers should be out in the next couple days knocking down any of the road approaches, and grooming the trails so they should be in pristine condition for the upcoming weekend. Very rarely do you get trail conditions this good, this late in March. So hopefully if you haven’t put your snowmobile away for the winter you can get it up here and enjoy the trails. We still have some rentals, and guides available for the upcoming weekend and we will continue to rent until the trails close on April 1st or until the trails can no longer be used.
Fishing pressure has been almost non existent on the lake. You could go out there and have the whole lake to yourself. Some people have been fishing in the bay going for the big panfish. I have heard a few limited reports coming out of the bay with some nice crappies but that’s about it. The Perch should hopefully pick up if we get some warmer weather and some snow melt on the lake. If you are looking at coming up make sure you have the snowmobile to travel around the lake as well as a extension on your auger.
The official start of spring is tomorrow, which for me gets me in the mood to get all the summer fishing stuff together. I know that the snow is here still, but I can’t help that think that fishing opener is a month and half away! For all the snowmobilers, it marks the end of the season, but you can still ride and find some great trail conditions in the area. As always be safe on all your outdoor adventures, and for more up to date conditions feel free to call our desk. We hope to see you on the trails this weekend.JB
We had a little relapse in the weather yesterday, with the cold coming back, but if you were in the sun it still felt fairly warm. It is always nice to look at the weather and see the first day of spring on the calender. It looks like it will be nice that day with a high of 36, we would cringe if that was in September, but after a long winter 36 degrees is almost short weather. This weekend we will be welcoming Bethel Church in for their annual retreat. Along with our regular resort guests and this retreat it will be a fun busy weekend up here. If you haven’t made any plans yet we will still have some last second rooms available for you.
Terry has been having fun all week on the Snowmobile trails, in fact he is out there right now leading a snowmobile guided trip. The trails are in excellent condition, and should be done and groomed in time for the upcoming weekend. We still have a good base of snow on the trails especially in the wooded areas, which should last till next barring any big rain falls. The Soo-Line trail does have some spots that are starting to bare up, and with the warmer weather I am sure we will see some more. The Red Top and Kathio loops are still in very good condition, and the 2 and 7 trails should continue to be good as well. We are still in March and could see more snow which would almost guarantee that we will have snow all the way up until the trails close April 1st. We still have plenty of snowmobiles and Guides for rent, so get out while the trails are in good condition.
Fishing pressure is still very minimal on the lake. There have been some okay reports of Crappies and Sunfish on the bays, but not much pressure on them. Smaller is better when you are chasing these panfish, small gold, silver or perch colored jigs, tipped with euro larvae have been working the best. During the low-light hours a small crappie minnow under a slipbobber has caught a few fish.I have heard very limited Perch Reports coming in, but the couple I have heard, its been slow out there. Hopefully some people start to head out and enjoy the nice weather out there. If you are choosing to come up and fish the lake, there are roads plowed into Isle Bay, into the crappie beds. If you choose to go beyond those roads, you will need a snowmobile to travel.
March is always a 50/50 month, you could have wonderful weather one year, and the other you would think we sunk into another ice age. This year seems to be latter, its been awesome weather, and it looks like we will be into spring in no time. Hopefully the ice is off early so those walleyes start biting right away on this years opener. I know that a lot of the trails around the state have started to close, but ours are still open and ready for your sled to ride on them. Hopefully everybody can get up and enjoy these last few days of winter, and as always be safe on all your outdoor adventures and we hope to see you on the trails.JB
I think we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel for this winter. It was a fairly busy winter up here on Lake Mille Lacs, not only in terms of the outdoor activities, but the snow removal, and keeping busy with the cold temps. Yesterday’s weather was a sight for sore eyes, and it looks like it is going to stick around, although we have some nice weather being forecast, we are still in March, the snowiest time of the year. If you are looking to still do some winter activities, this would be the week to do that with some highs reaching the low- mid 40′s. I will be busy this week doing some spring cleaning, going through the summer fishing gear, and for sure taking some walks around the State Park to cure some of my Cabin Fever. I love spring time and cannot wait to be back in the boat fishing some walleye, just like I am sure many of you are.
Snowmobiling in the area was very busy this past weekend, with everybody getting out and enjoying the excellent weather and trail conditions. The trails are settling nicely and freezing hard at night, making them like a snowy highway through the woods. We still have plenty of a base on the trails, and one week of warm weather will not remove the snow on the trails. I do not see any rain in the forecast so it looks like we should have good snow through the weekend. We will continue to rent snowmobiles and provided guide snowmobile trips until we can no longer ride on the trails. We still have plenty of snowmobiles available for this week so that you can enjoy the trails a few more times before the snow is gone. Hopefully everybody will get out and enjoy the trails, they don’t get any better then this.
It looks like the word is out, the crappie have started to show up in the shallows in Isle Bay. Fishing pressure will look to increase with the report of these big crappies being caught in the bay. The best reports for the dinner plates have been during the evening hours using slip bobbers and crappie minnows. If you are fishing during the day, you will want to use the smallest jig in your tackle box and sight fish them if you can. Gold tungsten jigs tipped with a single spike or small plastic are working best, and if you can find some weeds even better. Perch fishing has been a little slow but that should pick up with the warm sunny weather and the same goes with the Tullibee. If you are planning on coming up to fish I know that Chapman’s and Hunter Windfield’s do have roads built about 100 yards into Isle Bay, but if you choose to leave from here snowmobiles would highly be suggested. Along with having snowmobiles make sure you add an extension to your auger.
Its getting to be that time of year and hopefully this gets everybody in the mood of planning their summer vacations. We are eagerly looking forward to this summer too, and can’t wait to put the boats in the water. In the meantime as we think about the open water we will still be ice fishing and snowmobiling because like everyone else we will be missing winter time when the highs this summer are 90+ degrees. I would still plan on there being enough snow this weekend to snowmobile, and would highly recommend that every tries to get up one more time before its to late. We will be monitoring the trails all week and will give an update later this week so stay tuned. Like always be safe on all your outdoor adventures and we hope to see you on the trails.JB
The last fishing ice fishing tournament of the year, and last chance to qualify for next years National Championship. It will for sure be the nicest weather all the NAIFC contestants will see all year, I know I am looking forward to the sweatshirt weather on Sunday. Its the time of year where everybody can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel for winter, and start to really plan for the summer. It seems like our phones ring better when it is sunny outside and the temps are warmer, we will for sure welcome the warmer temps after this long winter. The DNR did hold it town hall meeting yesterday and should be coming up with some new regulations for this upcoming summer early next week. Early reports right now sound like it will be the same size restrictions on walleye as last year, and that they will for sure open the slots on Smallies and Northerns. They taste just as good deep fried as a walleye does, but we will post the new regs as soon as we see them. Hopefully it doesn’t turn off to many people from Mille Lacs, its still fun to go out and catch some big fish even if you can’t keep them.
On a fun note the Snowmobile trails are in excellent condition, the warmer air temps and good grooming has made for miles of great flat trails to ride on. We will not be losing all of our snow anytime soon and hopefully it should last into late March. The only way we are not going to be able to snowmobile is if we get some of those heavy spring rains and that doesn’t look like that will be happening anytime soon. The off chute trails such as the Red Top, 2 and 7 trails and Kathio loops are in great condition as well, and being hidden in the woods will keep them in great condition. Sunday looks like it will be the warmest day of the weekend to ride, and we still have plenty of sleds to rent that day, as well as guides to show you the best riding areas. Hopefully everybody has not looked to put their sleds away to focus on summer yet, we have plenty of snow, and should have the rest of the month to ride.
This weekend as I said earlier is the NAIFC qualifier, so it could be a little busy in Isle Bay. Fishing pressure around the lake has been very minimal, almost to the point where you could have the lake to yourself or feel like you have it to yourself. If you are going to venture out on the lake the best method for travel will be traveling by snowmobiles or tracked vehicles. Be careful on cloudy days because there are some big drifts left over from where an ice house was and it will be a bumpy ride going across the lake so make sure that you have everything strapped down tight. Perch and Tullibee continue to be hit or miss around the lake with some limited good reports coming in. If you are coming up to chase them look at the deeper basins around the lake, as well as the deep edges of the mud flats and gravel bars. Euro larvae seem to be the bait right now paired with a spoon and a dropper rig. For the NAIFC contestants crappies and sunfish seem to be in their magical 2 spots in Isle bay. Many anglers are seeing the fish, just not having to much success catching, which can be very frustrating. Hopefully the warmer temps on game day will make them bite. Smaller is better in my opinion when it comes to turning lookers into biters.
Hopefully everybody is safe this weekend, and hopefully the fish bite. For all the snowmobilers the time is running out, we only have the trails open for about 3 more weeks, then it might be time to put them away for another summer. If you come up to visit the Mille Lacs area this weekend, be safe on all your outdoor adventures and we hope to see you on the trails.JB