Another fantastic week of fishing complete with the weekend fast approaching. Here are a few tips that have been working in my boat!
The Smallies are still a bit spread out. Some fish are up on the beds, some are roaming the shallows, and some have moved out to the shallow rocky areas. I wouldn't expect huge catch numbers this weekend yet but there are plenty of fish to be caught. Seems like every area we go try we pickup one or two.. The shallow bedded fish have been hit hard and have become extremely boat shy. Best approach i have found has been marking the beds with waypoints and coming back later to catch the fish. Long bomb casts to your waypoint will get the best results. Tubes in darker colors have been my best bait as of late for the beds. The roamers are a little less boat shy but you will catch most of these fish towards the end of your cast. Swimbaits and xraps in bright colors. The reef fish have been the most willing to bite for me. Any of the normal shallower reefs will be holding fish. Tubes or a stand up jig head have been killer. The swimbaits have been ok on the reefs but not what they were weeks past.. Hard to pick areas the entire shoreline is good! Just keep in mind you will catch them in the pencil grass and you will catch them on off shore rocks.
The Walleyes have for the most part transitioned deeper. Yes you will still catch plenty of walleye on the shallow rock reefs. But my biggest numbers are coming from the deep gravel and flats. Slip bobber and a leech being the top bait of choice out there. Chartreuse, pink and white have been excellent color choices but the bite is on! You want to use your favorite red hook or have a tackle box full of of a certain color... Have at it you will still catch plenty of walleyes. I have been running my bobbers up off the bottom at least 3 feet. Trust your sonar! If your in 29 feet of water and keep seeing fish 20 feet down move the rigs up.. Most of the guys i have talked to that are struggling are fishing to tight to the bottom... Remember walleyes feed up - so if your bait is below the fish things get a bit slower. No sonar or gps? No problem! Find a group of boats. Respectfully pull up near them. Use your depth bomb and set your bait 3-4 feet up off the bottom.. You will do just fine! Couple key spots - sloppy joes, 4 & 5 mile, 8 mile, shermans (both point and flat), July bar... Respect the fish - handle with care - take your picture - and release gently. If the Dnr wants a lake so choked full of walleye like they are on Mille Lacs Lake now.. Well lets keep it that way.. Its not the fishes fault, so dont take it out on them!
Well well well... Muskie season is finally here! And to be totally upfront on honest i have to admit i have a total of about 3 hours actually chasing them on Mille Lacs. But here is what i have been seeing. If you cant see the bottom where your casting for muskies your too deep. The bulk of the fish are still cruising the shallows (yes some are on deep weeds - yes i saw like 5 of them the last few days up sunning over open water). The sand bite on the warm sunny mornings has been nothing short of legendary. Lots of guys reporting multiple fish days. All the fish we caught while bass fishing came from 5 feet or less. In the 3 hrs of time i have chasing them i saw 5 fish and had 1 eat. All but 1 came from less then 5 feet.. Now this will change any day now as our water warms. These fish will slid deeper. But as of the moment i type this go shallow. The fish i saw were all on blades. I have talked to guys that have boated fish on basically every shallow running bait you can imagine. So get out and start chucking!