Ice Highways on Mille Lacs Lake

Mille Lacs Ice Report 1/18/2023

Access is Open to Reserved Public Vehicle and Wheelhouse Traffic

The Red Door Resort access will open to 30 public wheelhouses for the weekend of January 20th.  Season pass holders and Red Door Members will also continue to be allowed out.  Vehicle weight will be limited to 1 ton gas trucks; no diesels will be allowed.  Dual or tandem axle wheelhouses up to 21′ are a go; guests with wheelhouses larger than 21′ in length should contact the resort directly to see if their house will be able to get out. 

The Red Door Resort access will close to weekend wheelhouse traffic once 30 wheelhouse spots have been reserved.  Guests can secure their wheelhouse sport for the weekend by registering and paying here:  If the registration is closed, then the 30 spots are all taken for the weekend.

Unless otherwise announced, the access will also be open to vehicle traffic (no reservation needed for day use), side by sides, ATVs, snowmobiles and walkout traffic.

Ice Roads

The Red Door Resort ice roads currently cover the first and second sand breaks and provide access to Wiemer, Pantry and Resort mudflats.  The cover photo to this post shows the current road layout.  The roads are in good condition given the amount of snow and warm weather.  That said, driving slow (i.e., under 10 mph and, preferably, under 5 mph) is very important.

End of ice fishing daylight near The Red Door Resort

Fishing Report

The walleye and perch bite has been good on Mille Lacs so far this season.  Though fishing on the sand breaks is still productive, walleyes will be moving deeper, especially during the day.  Fishing the mud flats or deeper transition areas will likely allow catching some nice, healthy fish. 

The perch are also biting well now on deeper vegetation and on particular sand areas.  Pods of perch all are over in varying depths.  The perch are growing larger this year and anglers are starting to see more jumbos.

Northern Pike have also been biting really well in shallower areas out front of The Red Door Resort.  

The Red Door Resort fish house rentals have reported success catching nice walleyes, pike, perch, and even the occasional burbot.  Individuals hole hopping or fishing in portables have also reported good success (see picture above).

The best recommended techniques for walleyes are on 1/16 – 1/4 ounce clam small spoons tipped with a minnow head.  If the bite is tough go small.  The best jigging spoon colors are UV high vis colors, especially during cloudy / low light hours or after dark.  On high pressure sunny days try more natural colors and go smaller.  Dead sticking with a simple 1/4 ounce split shot, bobber, and chartreuse, purple, or red hook should help catch walleyes as well.

For perch use the same spoons with a minnow head or wax worm.  The wax worms should help with catching if bite seems tough.  
Shiners – if you can find them – are a good option for walleyes, pike, and perch alike.  That said, shiners can be difficult to find right now.   Fatheads are a good alternative for walleyes and perch.  Pike can be caught on suckers or shiners.

Be sure to check The Red Door Resort blog for current ice reports and road conditions, and be sure to check in with the office before heading out onto the big pond.  I look forward to seeing you on the lake!
This fishing report is from Mark Schutz Guide Service.  The Red Door Resort highly recommends Mark for winter, or summer, guide trips.  Mark can be reached at 763-486-7508 and his Facebook page can be viewed here.

Please visit the main page of The Red Door Resort blog to find the most recent Mille Lacs Ice Report:



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