Lake Mille Lacs, one of Minnesota’s premier walleye lakes is finally locked up. Keep up to date on resort accesses, ice conditions, and ice roads with this post. Virtual Angling will be updating this frequently with the most up to date Mille Lacs ice fishing information.
January 29th Update:
The Red Door Resort: The Red Door access will be closed today, (Monday, 1/29/24) for the full day and will reopen Tuesday morning to snowmobile, ATV and Side by Side traffic. The ice team isn’t aware of any cracks or concerns but the closure will allow for a thorough ice check following the weekend traffic. Thank you!
Fishing has been fantastic!!! Anglers have still been having success on 1st and 2nd break near the resort. A majority of this success has come during low light hours and overnight. There has been a great daytime bite on the mudflats. Focus on points and turns in the structure and set up on the drop off. A mix of jigging spoons tipped with fatheads as well a dead stick have been producing. Also lots of fish being caught on light suckers or shiners under a tip up or bobber set up. There’s also been a decent perch bite out in the deeper water around the mudflats.
Come visit us at The Red Door Resort and let’s go catch some fish!!! We have several lodging options available at reasonable rates! Stop into the office and say Hi and feel free to ask any questions you may have. Hope everyone has a great weekend and Good Luck!
Lyback’s Resort: This weekend, especially Friday and Saturday night with the full moon and no snow cover on the ice, was some of the best fishing I have seen for awhile for the majority of anglers out there. Many rentals had a bunch of C/R Walleyes over and under and kept many in the slot.. Almost everyone had a good weekend out there. Perch were good too with many 10″-12″ in the basins.
After watching numerous 14 day forecasts, I have decided to pull the few larger house’s I had out there before it turned warm, starting tomorrow morning while things are frozen. In our areas we have too much variance of ice and alot of clear black ice with no snow. That exposed to the sun that will soften and loose it’s weight carrying abilities if the sun starts hitting it. This weekend portable anglers out as far as the Graveyard found places with as little as 10″-11″ in a few some spots and under some of our houses in the clear black ice it was only 11″. Though many places you will find 15″-16″ or more in rough ice areas, it’s not as consistent as we thought it was. The temps forecasted in most models shows it really does not get cold enough to keep it consistently freezing and the best it will do from what I see we will be lucky if it holds it own, let alone improve. Some snow cover would really help the ice to insulate it from the changes, but that’s not in the forecasts either. We have protected our access thru this by limiting excessive traffic and it will keep us going.
With all the variance in ice depths we have in areas we will keep going with our smaller-light 8’x12′ basic rentals. All will need an ATV to make it to shore in case of an emergency, but we will shuttle their gear to and from if needed. Small wheelhouses under 14 ft. pulled by ATV’s or SxS’s, along with portable fishermen with ATV’s and a small trailer is recommended to pull gear as we have lost all our snow. I encourage all permanents on shore to come up, camp in their houses and portable as it is worth the trip.
Mac’s Twin Bay Resort: With the warm weather on its way, we are closing the access again. Please drive slow as you come in off the lake. We will limit traffic this week to rentals and permanents and evaluate the lake day by day. Here is a map of our road system currently that will be available once the access opens back up.
Beachside Resort: Our roads held out really well and we had no cracks that opened up. People were able to travel out to 2nd reef and back with no issue. The fog has been our friend with keeping the sun off the ice and we are hoping that with the warm up, some of that will continue but we are taking measures by covering the access with straw and closing it down through the warmest temps this week in hopes to salvage it for the weekend. That said, a reminder, we are closed until at least Thursday, possibly Friday – weather contingent. We will post about that later in the week.
We will make a post as soon as we know when we will open and what we’ll be letting out. If you need to know, please look here for a post first and if there isn’t one, we don’t know yet. We appreciate the level of patience we have seen from our patrons. Each winter is different. This one sure is no exception.
Randy’s Rentals: (January 24th) Weekend ice roads update: All roads are open, ice is 16-18 inches in our zones. We recommend daylight arrivals. Stacked ice throughout the lake is an obstacle. DO NOT travel over stacked ice, you will get hung up. Indian Point has been the desired location lately, however good fishing is along the ice road to sections A and B and anyone out of our access is welcome to set up near our rentals. Stay on the roads as much as possible and go back the way you came, avoiding new areas for safety reasons. 10 MPH or 7 MPH on the roads if you are towing wheelhouses. This warm weather shouldn’t impact our ice much but please check in before going out!
January 22nd Update:
The Red Door Resort: The Red Door Resort is reporting 8-12 inches of solid ice from shore out to the mud flats. Their access is currently open to walking, ATV/Snowmobile, and side by side traffic. The fishing has been good on the flats and it is 4,000 ft from shore making it a fairly easy trek. They have cabins and lodging available.
Mac’s Twin Bay Resort: It was a pretty good weekend in the rental houses and the portables out fishing this weekend. Lots of nice walleye caught with a few perch, pike, and eelpout mixed in. We do have some rentals available this week and weekend. 320-676-3535. As for the road and the cracks, we will be rerouting the main road tomorrow slightly to avoid the crack that opened up. We anticipate letting wheelhouses back out by Wednesday or Thursday, but will see what the warm weather does to the lake in the next few days.
We will be pulling permanent houses early this week and will call you when it is out and ready to go. It will be a bit of a slow process and we will be pulling them only to Road I as we let Hennepin Island and out heal.
Beachside Resort: Beachside’s access is opening up our access to vehicle and wheelhouses. They have opened up more areas off of Otto’s road B and C for Dollied Single Axle’s.
It is 1st come 1st served on dollied traffic (no reservations). Cost is $40 RT Dolly in Bay and $60 RT Dolly to Otto’s. Stay by our staked roads and don’t fish on them!
See restrictions below:
IN THE BAY: (AVERAGE OF 13-15″ OF ICE)
* 1/2 ton trucks or less pulling single axel wheelhouses.
* 24′ or less Tandem dollied out (We provide dolly for $40 RT in bay)
* No Diessel Trucks or Real Big Gas trucks
OUTSIDE OF BAY TO TUNDRA AND OTTOS RD A ONLY (12-14″)
* Single Axel dollied by SxS or ATV
*1/2 Ton or Less sized vehicle
OUT TO THE GRAVEL PAST OTTOS ETC. (6 MILES OUT) (8+” of Ice)
* SxS, ATV or Snowmobile traffic
Lyback’s Resort: The bite today was slower than the weekend. When the wind switched to the south it changed some but there was still some pretty good action. I started pulling some more permanents out and will continue on the list tomorrow. Permanent customers NEED TO CALL THE OFFICE TOMORROW! Whether you think you are on the list or not! I know my regular customers read this along with many others but this is a must for my permanents.
The ice has quit moving. A pretty good sized pressure ridge formed out by Hennepin Island headed NW from from there to the SE from it towards Hawk Bill Point which stabilized the ice where we run. But today pulling houses that I did the clear “windowpane” type ice was still shatter cracking horizontally instead of a normal vertical crack that water can seep up thru and freeze. Tomorrow afternoon we will be flooding areas like that on the roads I have established as a precautionary measure.
We are sticking to vehicles with a curb weight of under 6500 lbs. for everyone, privates, and rentals. Rentals we will shuttle gear if needed and need a ATV or something to get to shore if an emergency. Single axle wheelhouses must be pulled by SxS’s or ATV’s with a dolly, but no trucks pulling them. Right now with all the clear ice we have that is “shatter” cracking from the cold until it warms up some and starts “bending” a little that’s the way it will be.
Still hoping the weather forecasted for the first weekend of February starts changing from high 40’s and rain to more seasonable temps. Warm weather and rain could make for some scary times out there with the amount of ice we have currently especially with no snow to absorb the rain if it comes..
Keep a Tight Line!
Nitti’s Hunters Point Resort: Hunters Point is reporting that their access is currently closed to do multiple cracks opening up. They will be closed until further notice and want to ensure the safety of their customers. There will be no sort of driving out until further notice. They will continue to monitor the ice conditions and update the status of their access.
Prior to the cracks, the access was open to walking, snowmobile/ATV, and side by side traffic only. The interior roads are staked and go out to the mud from Lakeside, Flamingo and 3-mile. They were pulling out houses but only allowing snowmobile/atv access to those houses. They will not pull any houses out after dark.
January 10th Update:
Beachside Resort: “With the colder temps, we saw 1″ to 3” of ice growth from Wednesday to Friday morning. The thinner ice grew the most, which is to be expected. We don’t expect to see much more growth until Saturday night. As of now, we will be allowing out SxS/ATV/Snowmobile and walkout traffic. SxS’s will be allowed out to the south side of Half Moon Island where we are seeing 9″ of ice. We have signage that states no SxS’s past this point. As of today, we have all our Ice Castles and most of our skid houses on the lake and they will be ready for rent for this weekend. We did a lot of prep work to have these houses ready to go!
We just had a cancellation for 2 Ice Castles this weekend, from Friday to Sunday. Go to beachsidemn.com to book your stay!
As far as fishing, we had some decent reports on Perch and slot Walleye being caught. We are still finding a lot of action in the 8-14 FOW range and some action in the 20 FOW range. Since we have been closed for almost two weeks, our bay hasn’t seen much pressure, and we are expecting a great weekend bite in Wahkon Bay!
A dead stick with a pink/red hook and shiner or small sucker has been king. We have also had reports on rainbows working well on a set line too. Nice sized pods of larger Perch have been found in 10-14 FOW, with all sized Perch being found everywhere. Larvae and waxies have been the best bait. The majority of Northern are being caught/speared in 5-8 FOW. A medium sucker on a Quickset has been doing well. People are also finding northern around the Gator hole, which is around 20 FOW.”
Red Door Resort: Is reporting that their access is open to foot traffic out to the first break. They have rooms and parking available. Please stop in to the resort before heading out on the lake. They are reported 4+ inches of ice everywhere they have checked out to the first break.
Lyback’s: is reporting 5-9 inches of ice out from their resort. The access is still closed however, they have staked the Graveyard Road, the road to the NE side of Pope’s Reef, and the North Pope’s Rd. They are reporting they are hopeful to open the office and access to foot traffic, ATV, and snowmobiles with portables on Thursday, January 10th, barring additional snowfall.
Randy’s Rentals: Access is open to foot traffic and ATVs with boundaries. Chunky ice has been knocked down and there is a nice trail leading to nice, flat fishable ice. Lots of areas to fish and we are finding a minimum of 5 inches of ice with very few thin spots. We have stakes and boundaries up so it’s very easy to see where to go and not go. On ice parking will not be available yet, but with that said parking along our service road is. We ask that anglers stay within our marked boundaries and check in with the resort before you head out for the most current conditions.
Mac’s Twin Bay Resort: We’ve got enough ice to open up walking, snowmobiles, and ATVs. We are finding a pretty consistent 5 to 7 inches. We have staked out to the gravel. Small side by sides will be allowed out to a certain point now but we will continue to evaluate the ice. As always be careful on the ice, keep spread out, park your machines on the thicker ice. $10 walk on $15 vehicle. Guests of McQuoids Inn free.