My Dad and I decided to hit the Mille Lacs today. On the drive up we were reminiscing about trips of past. I remember as a kid dreaming about ice fishing the night before we would go to Mille Lacs. I would dream about jigging a bobber and watching a fish hit it, pulling the bobber down the hole and that is when I usually woke up usually unable to go back to sleep. Today was no exception about my excitement to get out ice fishing, I woke up about 15 minutes before my alarm was suppose to go off. As a kid we use to catch a lot of perch and we did it without todays fishing technology. If the fish weren’t bitting my siblings and I would play hockey on the ice or pull each other around behind the old Suzuki Snowmobile. I often wonder how many miles my siblings and I put on the Snowmobile going around and around our backyard hour after hour until the gas was gone.
Well today we didn’t exactly get an early start and drilled our first holes around 11am through 18 inches of clear ice. We were out from Hunter’s Resort in about 29 ft of water. Dad caught the first fish a short walleye that we let go. Not too long after that I got pounded by a fish moved him about two feet and it came unbuttoned. Not even a second later Dad hooked into a 23 inch walleye, the biggest he has ever caught through the ice. After a quick photo the fish was released.
The fish had tangled our lines so I helped Dad get reset. Shortly after my vexilar lit up with a big mark right on my bait. Gave it a couple jigs and Thump my Thorne Bros Walleye Sweetheart doubles over. I can tell it is a big fish and it is fighting in big circles. I asked dad to grab the dead stick and reel it in but it was too late my fish wrapped around it. Then it swam back towards my hole bypassing it. My vexilar was hanging a little low in an adjacent hole and the big fish wraps itself around the vexilar. So, I opened the bail on my rod as dad pulled the vex’s ducer cord in and the fish. I felt pretty lucky to have landed the fish with all the tangles. I also was pretty excited as this was the first walleye I can remember catching through the ice on Mille Lacs and it was a very nice 26 inch Walleye, my personal best. After a quick pic we released her. She barely fit in the 8 inch hole.
We were pretty excited, I caught a short walleye and a keeper perch before things quieted down around 12:30 or so. I went to the truck and got the homemade beef stew I made earlier in the week for a very fulfilling lunch. The wind was blowing pretty good decided to go drill some holes around the surrounding area. Didn’t mark a fish so I decided if I was going to wait for the fish to move through again that I might as well do it in the warmth of the ice house. Right around 4pm the fish came through in a flurry were we iced our 4 walleyes (13, 15, 16,&17), lost a couple others, then around 5:45 or so the fish seemed to be sniffers. Slowly rise up look at the bait and drift back down. Definitely not the activity displayed earlier. Today’s trip was the best I have ever done for Walleyes through the ice.