Against reports of a tough late season bite and fully knowing I'd be staring down the barrel of a 5-10 fish weekend at a max I headed up to the Big Pond this past weekend to target a large trophy caliber walleye with my girlfriend who's only stipulation about going fishing was that we try our best to put a monster walleye on the ice.
While the ice roads got us out to the general areas I wanted to target, I had to do a considerable amount of off-roading through quite a bit of snow to get to the key locations I wanted to set up on. Travel on the lake was more difficult than I had anticipated and being miles out from shore on ice in your truck is no place to get stuck or run into trouble. Needless to say, our mobility was limited and we made 2-3 moves throughout the day until we landed on an area where we saw enough life that I felt confident in riding out our sunset bite.
The bite was extremely tough, and while we landed some nice perch and tulibees during the day the walleyes we were occasionally marking were hesitant biters.
At around 5:30 Saturday night during an awesome sunset a stroke of luck came our way and the fish that we came for finally slid up onto our dinner table and chowed the 3/8 oz Ultra Minnow and double hooked shiner combo my girlfriend was jigging.
This 29.5" x 16.5" walleye was the largest walleye I've seen come out of Mille Lacs. I've been fishing Mille Lacs since as long as I can remember and I've never caught one out of this lake through the ice nor open water that large. A 28" fish is a rare fish out of this lake but a 29.5" is an extreme rarity. We snapped a few photos and released her back to the depths.
A few pressure ridges that had popped during the day and drifting snow made for an adventure back to shore that took us a little over 2 hours. Safe and back on land I could finally breathe a sigh of relief and we went to the Lonesome Pine to celebrate her big accomplishment.
With blowing snow in the forecast for Sunday morning we decided to play it safe, count our blessings and head to the diner for breakfast instead of the mudflats.
Couple photos of our adventure below!