The Red Door Resort Sunset

Mille Lacs Ice Report 2/23/2023

Access Open for the Last weekend of Ice Fishing

The Red Door Resort ice roads continue to be open to full traffic for the weekend of Thursday, February 23rd to Sunday, February 26th.  The ice road network covers the first and second sand breaks, and the mud flats, including Weimer, Bomback, Pantry, Barnacle, flats. To make a reservation for a weekend wheelhouse spot, please click here.  If you have a fish house rental or wheelhouse spot reserved for the weekend, the Ice Team does not expect to have any issues getting you out onto Mille Lacs.

The resort only received 5 or 6 inches of snow fall over the past few days.  The wind did gust up to 35 mph, causing some drifting and white out conditions.  That said, the ice roads have held up well and the wind is expected to calm significantly later this (Thursday) evening.  Mark Schutz provided the post-weekend fishing report below.

The Ice Team will be on the lake straight away tomorrow (Friday) morning opening up roads a bit further and plowing wheelhouse spots for guests with reservations.  With all the snow in the metro area and 2/3rds of the resorts private fish houses off the lake, the team expects a calm weekend.  As of right now, the Red Door Resort access is tentatively planned to close for the season on Tuesday, February 28th. 

Mark Schutz Fishing Report

The warmer temperatures last weekend triggered the bite all around Mille Lacs.  As the lake has more and more warm days and sunshine expect the fish to become more active.  The perch and walleye bit on the sand breaks should get better with every warm day.

Perch Tips

The perch bite has improved on Mille Lacs and we are seeing some really nice jumbos.  Once found, perch can usually be caught with a variety of presentations.  The key is to keep moving until you find them.  Usually, if they are there, perch will give themselves away on your electronics with-in the first five minutes.  Hole hopping can be key.  If you are in a permanent house you may have to use a flashy spoon at first to bring the perch in and once the perch are drawn in you may have to switch rods to something smaller.  At times perch can be triggered by resting a crappie minnow on the bottom and then slowly lifting up.  Wax worms will usually get the fish to bite.  Small tungsten jigs and plastics can also work.  If you see fish coming in to view and then leaving your bait it usually means your presentation needs some work.  Most of the time if you make your presentation more natural the fish will bite.  The fish perch or walleyes will turn away a lot of times if they can see your presentation too well or it does not look natural.   In low light conditions or cloudy conditions, they may need a presentation they can see the bait better with such as a hook, jig, or spoon those glows.  Perch are all over the lake, including on the mud flats, sand breaks, shallow sand and in the weeds.  Again, the key is to keep moving till you find them.

Walleye Tips

Walleye seem to be in very specific locations right now.  Concentrate on the tips of mudflats or turns in structure still mostly on the bottom of the flat.  Fish off the deep sides of the flats during the day and more on top of the flats at night.  Walleye action can remain decent on the deep edges of the mud flats in low light hours and after dark. 

Other Thoughts

We are seeing more tullibees off the deeper areas near the mud flats.  Use shiny flashy spoons with wax worms to attract and catch them.  Tullibees are super fun catch and will give you a decent fight.  They taste good smoked too.  You will see tullibee’s high up in the water column on your electronics and moving a lot faster than other fish in general on your screen.

The pike bite will get better as the temperatures get warmer outside along with more sunshine.

If you have any questions, I will be happy to help. 

Mark Schutz Fishing Guide Service is on Facebook or available at 763-486-7508. 



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