Mille Lacs Lake: From Fishing to Fun Things to do
Mille Lacs Lake, located in central Minnesota, is renowned as one of the top fishing destinations in the state. It is a large lake with an area of over 132,000 acres and a maximum depth of 42 feet.
The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including walleye, muskie, northern pike, smallmouth bass, and more. Anglers flock to Mille Lacs Lake year-round to experience the thrill of catching trophy-sized fish in its pristine waters.
This lake holds significant importance in Minnesota’s fishing culture and history. For centuries, it has been a vital source of food, recreation, and commerce for the local communities.
The lake’s abundance of fish has attracted people from all over the world, making it a hub for fishing tournaments and competitions. Plus the lake is a significant cultural site for the Ojibwe people, who have fished its waters for generations.
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What makes Mille Lacs Lake so Special?
What sets Mille Lacs Lake apart from other lakes in the region is its unique geology and hydrology. The lake’s shoreline is dotted with rocky outcroppings and sandy beaches, providing habitat for a variety of plant and animal species.
The lake’s clear waters and rocky shallows also make it an ideal habitat for a variety of fish species, including the walleye, which is particularly prized by anglers.
Mille Lacs Lake is also known for its vibrant fishing culture. Fishing tournaments are held on the lake throughout the year, and local fishing guides are available to help visitors navigate the lake’s many fishing hotspots.
Whether you are an experienced angler or a novice, Mille Lacs Lake is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves fishing and the great outdoors.
Fishing on Mille Lacs Lake
Mille Lacs Lake is known for its outstanding fishing opportunities, and it’s a popular destination for anglers looking to catch walleye, muskie, and other game fish.
When venturing out, keep in mind Mille Lacs Lake is pretty large. If you are not comfortable with the lake, consider getting a guide or keep some navigational equipment with you.
Top Fishing Spots:
Cove Bay: Cove Bay is known for its walleye fishing and muskie fishing opportunities. Anglers can fish along the rocky shoreline or in the shallow weed beds.
Big Point: Big Point is a well-known muskie fishing spot, and it’s also a great place to catch walleye and smallmouth bass.
Hawkbill Point: Hawkbill Point is a popular spot for catching walleye, and it’s also a good spot for muskie fishing.
Mille Lacs Lake Fishing Torments
With its clear waters, plentiful fish, and charming towns, Mille Lacs Lake in Minnesota is a haven for fishing enthusiasts.
And what better way to test your skills and meet fellow anglers than by participating in one of the lake’s many fishing tournaments?
Compete for cash prizes or bragging rights, or simply enjoy the thrill of the catch. With tournaments happening throughout the year, including ice fishing, there’s no better time to visit Mille Lacs Lake and join in on the fun. Get ready to cast your line and reel in the big one!
Here are a list of the tournaments in going each year:
Justin Morneau Fishing Tournament – Held in February. Walleye, Tullibee, Northern Pike. Estimated Prize $10,000 – $24,999
Wheel House Warriors – Held in February for walleye. Estimated Prize 1,000 – $1,999
Perch and Pout – Held in February for Perch. Estimated Prise 10,000 – $24,999
Fishing for Ducks – Held in February for Walleye, Northern Pike, Perch, Tullibee, Rock Bass, Largemouth Bass, Crappie and Sunfish. Estimated Prize $50,000 – $99,999
Minnesota Tournament Trail – Held in May & June for Walleye. Estimated Prize $5,000 – $9,999
AIM Weekend Walleye Series – Held in June for Walleye. Estimated Prize 25,000 – $49,999
Midwest Best Bass Tour – Held in July for Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Bass. Estimated prizes are over $100,000
Student Angler Tournament Trail – Held in August for Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Bass. Estimated prize $2,000 – $4,999.
Camping and Lodging around Mille Lacs Lake
Camping and lodging around Mille Lacs Lake offer visitors an opportunity to experience the beauty and tranquility of the area while enjoying a comfortable stay. Here is a brief description of some of the best options:
RV Parks near Mille Lacs Lake MN:
Father Hennepin State Park
This park offers 103 drive-in campsites, 10 walk-in sites, and 2 group sites. Amenities include showers, flush toilets, and a dump station.
The park is close to the lake, and has a sandy beach. The sites are wide open, making them ideal for gatherings and larger setups.
I did a family get together here and it was perfect! Find out more about it: 6 Things to do at Father Hennepin State Park
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park
This park offers 94 drive-in campsites, 4 group camps, and 6 walk-in campsites. Amenities include showers, flush toilets, and a dump station. Mille Lacs Kathio State Park is more wooded compared to Father Hennepin, giving you more privacy. If you have a larger rig, Father Hennepin is the better state park.
Curious about the hike? Check this trial guide out: 9 Reasons to Visit Mille Lacs Kathio State Park + Fire Tower
Fiddlesticks RV Resort
Fiddlesticks RV Resort is a highly rated RV park located in Isle, Minnesota, just a short drive from Mille Lacs Lake. The resort offers spacious sites with full hookups, picnic tables, and fire rings.
They also have a variety of amenities, including a heated swimming pool, hot tub, playground, volleyball court, and horseshoe pits. In addition, Fiddlesticks RV Resort has a clubhouse with a game room, laundry facilities, and a community kitchen.
The resort is known for its friendly staff, clean facilities, and peaceful atmosphere, making it a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
Rutters Bay Lake Lodge
The Resort has full-service RV park with modern amenities. Plus it has access to the lodges main activities including golf, boating and dinning.
Resorts near Mille Lacs Lake MN:
This resort offers a variety of accommodations including lodge rooms, cabins, and villas. Amenities include a marina, boat rentals, and a restaurant.
Appeldoorn’s Sunset Bay Resort:
This resort offers a variety of accommodations including lodge rooms, suites, and cabins. Amenities include a marina, boat rentals, and a restaurant.
This resort offers a variety of accommodations including lodge rooms, townhomes, and villas. Amenities include a marina, boat rentals, and a golf course.
Can you swim in Mille Lacs Lake?
Yes, you can swim in Mille Lacs Lake. The lake is a popular destination for swimming, as well as fishing, boating, and other water sports.
However, it’s important to note that the water temperature in Mille Lacs Lake can be quite cold, especially in the early and late parts of the summer season.
Is Mille Lacs Lake clean?
Yes, Mille Lacs has been making huge strides towards increasing the water quality, especially since it’s a great local resource to the community. Mille Lacs Lake water clarity has increased from about 2-3 meters in 1975 to 2-4-plus meters in 2020.
How long does it take to drive around Lake Mille Lacs?
Driving around Lake Mille Lacs can take around 90 minutes to 2 hours depending on traffic, speed limits, and road conditions. The lake is approximately 20 miles in diameter, so the distance around it is roughly 62.8 miles.
What are some other things to do around Lake Mille Lacs besides fishing?
While Mille Lacs Lake may be known for it’s fishing, there is plenty of other fun things to do for you land lovers, like myself.
There are some great golf courses around the lake. Most popular is probably Izatys Golf Resort.
Izatys Golf Course is a beautiful golf course located on the southern shore of Lake Mille Lacs. It offers 18 holes of golf with picturesque views of the lake, lush greens, and challenging holes for golfers of all skill levels.
The course is known for its signature hole, the 17th, which is a par-3 that requires a shot over a portion of the lake.
In addition to the course, Izatys Golf Course also offers a driving range, putting green, and lessons from experienced golf instructors.
After a round of golf, you can enjoy a meal or drinks at the on-site restaurant and bar overlooking the lake. Overall, it’s a great spot for golf enthusiasts and a wonderful way to enjoy the beauty of Lake Mille Lacs.
Get the best prices by staying on site. Resvations over the summer fill up fast.
With two state parks nearby, there is some great opportunities for hiking. Of the two parks, I recommend Mille Lacs Kathio State Park. The fire tower trail is great for the kids. The Landmark Trail is amazing because you can walk on the site of an Ojibwe civilization and find out how they used the land.
If you are looking for a flatter hike, check out Father Hennepin State Park. The trail starts and ends at the beach, making it a great one for people looking to ease into things. Or just as a motivation to keep the kids hiking!
The Mill Lacs Lake is part of a huge Native American Reservation, including the Grand Casino Mille Lacs casino. You’ll find entertainment, slot machines tables games and live music.
Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post
The Museum showcases the history, culture, and traditions of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. The museum features exhibits on the tribe’s language, music, art, and spirituality, as well as displays on its modern-day life and challenges.
The adjacent Trading Post offers a variety of handcrafted items, including traditional Ojibwe beadwork and birch bark baskets.
Small Town Shopping
First up is Garrison, which is located on the southern shore of the lake. Here you’ll find a variety of shops and boutiques, as well as several restaurants and bars.
Next is Isle, which is located on the eastern shore of the lake. Isle has a charming downtown area with shops and cafes, and it’s also home to Father Hennepin State Park, where you can hike, swim, and fish.
On the western shore of the lake, you’ll find the town of Onamia. Onamia is a great place to shop for antiques, as there are several antique shops in the area.
You can also visit the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post, which offers a fascinating look into the history and culture of the region’s Native American tribes.
Finally, there’s the town of Wahkon, which is located on the southeastern shore of the lake. Wahkon has a handful of shops and restaurants, as well as a public beach and boat launch.
Ready to plan your adventure?
Still on the fence about Mille Lacs Lake in Minnesota? It’s seriously awesome for fishing, outdoor activities, and even exploring the local culture.
The lake’s geology is one-of-a-kind, and the fishing scene is top-notch.
Plus, there’s so much wildlife to see! It’s definitely a spot you don’t want to miss if you’re looking to get in touch with nature and experience the beauty of the Midwest.
Whether you’re an experienced angler or a newbie, Mille Lacs Lake has something for everyone. So, what are you waiting for?
Pack your bags, grab your fishing gear, and let’s go have some fun!