Last weekend I decided to take some family and hit the road to some fresh water. I went to visit some distant rellies that swim in Lake Winnibigoshish. It was a nice change of pace. Winni has very similar water clarity and also has some invasive species in it including zebra mussels. So it’s very similar to Mille Lacs – but about half the size at 67,000 acres.
The biggest difference is the limit is six walleye per person with a protected slot of 18-inch to 23-inch. Sounds really good to all you anglers that are used to having to throw everything back around here, huh? But there’s a catch. It’s very difficult to catch any eating size fish outside the slot. There’s tons of little ones, 8-inch to 11-inch, and there’s a few over 23-inch which is on the high side of what most anglers consider an eater size fish. So where does that leave it? Anglers have a limit of six but the gut pails in the cleaning shack are full of perch and the occasional walleye - including the over-23s. Figure that out. Here on Mille Lacs, anglers can go out and catch all kinds of eaters but the limit is zero.
Generally, the fishing is pretty good this time of year on Winni and the attached Cut Foot Sioux. But this year anglers were struggling. Cut Foot Sioux normally still has a good population of fish in it with the cooler water temps, and there’s no need to even fish the main lake. But this year, it was void of fish on all the usual haunts except for northerns and a few small walleye. All the better fishing was in the main lake on the sand flats with a slight break to deep water. As usual, shiners were the ticket for the best fishing, whether on a jig or lindy rig. So, again, similar to around here rigging wise.
Loose lines and tight lips,