Fishing from the dock at The Red Door Resort on Lake Mille Lacs

From the Depths: Insights from the Mille Lacs Lake Fall Fishing Report

Summer’s winding down and you thought you missed your opportunity to adventure on to Mille Lacs Lake for its beloved and bountiful fishing? Set your worries aside! Fall fishing on Mille Lacs is great, too. In fact, some may even prefer it!

Fall foliage and lake view at Mille Lacs Lake

Whether you’re heading to Mille Lacs Lake for fall fishing because you chose to or because  the summer got away from you, you’ll be happy when you’ve arrived. 

With fewer boats on the water, the beautiful backdrop of transitioning foliage and cooler weather, Mille Lacs fall fishing is brimming with opportunity. 

First up? It’s not just the anglers who love the cooler weather – 

the fish do, too!

In fact, you’ll be happy to know that there are a variety of fish favorites that like the autumn transition including walleye, smallmouth bass, muskellunge, northern pike and tullibee.

But why do they like the fall? It’s the cool weather and cooling waters.
While in the summer you may spend a good deal of time searching for just the right depths and drop offs where fish congregate in cooler temps, fall brings those fish to shallower locations where they can find cooler water at 10 feet versus 25. This increases the number of locations on Mille Lacs where you can cast your line in hopes of finding a bite. 

Better yet, the cooler temperatures mean you can fish longer in the fall. In fact, make a full day of it!

For walleye fishing in particular, anglers often head out early in the summer, retreating mid-day and then returning in the dusk. Trying to match their efforts with coolest parts of the day. This is because walleye become much less active in the summer heat. The fall completely changes that. 

Cooler fall days mean you can find active walleye further into mid-day, sometimes all day through. This makes for less hustle and bustle back and forth to shore and also allows you to leisurely take in a full day of fishing.

Young boy with tackle box.

Second, the fish are following their prey. As the seasons change, so, too, does the location of food sources for fish on Mille Lacs. 

For example, smallies move in the fall because their prey, yellow perch & other small fish, migrate to the lake edges. At this time of year, you can find smallmouth bass at depths of 3 to 10 feet as they follow their prey. Knowing this migration means you can tailor your fall boating route to just the right habitat for better chances at reeling in your favorite catch.

Does Mille Lacs fall fishing allure have you reaching for your tackle and rod but you want to make sure you are truly casting in the right spot? 

Consider Mille Lacs Charter Fishing with knowledgeable guides. With years of experience fishing these lake waters, a fishing guide can help you plan the best day on the water. Even with the knowledge of the changing weather and the migrating fish, sometimes true experience is key. Our guides know week of – sometimes even day of – where the best catches have been coming in. 

Fisherman on small boat on lake with sunset.

Turns out heading to Mille Lacs in the fall is perhaps just the right time for your fishing adventure. So, reserve your room, hook up the boat or book a guide and we’ll see you for Minnesota fall fishing at its best!




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