Mille Lacs Fishing Season 2016
Unfortunately the lake received some somber news this afternoon regarding this upcoming season’s fishing regulations. Walleye will be catch in release only when the season re-opens in May. Bait will be restricted to artificial only, or sucker minnows over eight inches for anglers targeting Pike or Muskie. The lake will carry the 10:00pm night closure from May 16th, 2016 through December 1, 2016. We can still confidently say that we know without a doubt this fishing season will be phenomenal for action and catching. We had a great ice season and anticipate this spring and summer to be the same.
We will still be sending launches and guide trips as usual. Even with the live bait restrictions we know the large population will still be hungry, active and biting. So rest assured, we will have no problem catching fish and lots of them. While we aren’t worried on the artificial bait restrictions (we are going to catch fish either way), we will also be applying for a permit with the DNR collecting data, thus giving us some exemptions for launch trips with the live bait exemption. Our guides had great success using artificial bait last year and even this ice season so we are not expecting a change in our catch rates with a switch to artificial baits.
Anglers shouldn’t forget about the opportunities Mille Lacs offers aside from Walleye fishing. We are one of the best lakes in the world for trophy Smallmouth Bass. Not only is the bass population booming but, the number of trophy sized fish in unrivaled by other fisheries. We have great Pike fishing and the fall will bring angling opportunities for monster Muskie.
We’d also like to share this link via Eddy Lyback. Please take the time to read this attachment. It is very well researched and accurate from Hamline University School of Law. Eddy makes a good point that if the Walleye population is to recover in Mille Lacs, all parties involved need to make sure what happened here over the last 15 years does not happen again. Please read it, share it and pass it along, and talk about it. Public pressure and telling our government how important it is to all of us will be the only way to stop it.
Implications for the Mille Lacs Lake Fishery with Continued Enforcement pdf