Weather made for pretty difficult fishing. The first day was almost an entire rainout, and the last three were all 25-35 mph winds out of the west, which mostly took the mud flats and rock flats out of play. The temperatures were also quite low for August, pulling water temps down from 78 to 65 degrees on the lake.
We managed to work some rock reefs and mud flats somewhat closer to shore and at times marked lots of fish and had some success pulling them in 20-28 feet of water on spinners and crawlers as well as perch-colored crankbaits. There are definitely fish still in these summer patterns and activity in the mud, but with temps dropping, it can't be much longer until we're in the fall transition which will change things.
The quality of fish remains strong. Most of the walleye were over 21 inches, and the gigantic smallmouth will be a fight of a lifetime! Mille Lacs is definitely in better shape this year, and it seems the DNR wants to keep it that way as they made a surprise announcement to end the catch-and-release for walleye after the first week in September and prevent anyone from even targeting them. A bit of a downer for walleye fisherman, especially with the potential of a great fall season, but hopefully it pays dividends for next year. It's still a lake worth fishing, though, as the smallmouth, perch, pike, and muskie are all about as big as you'll find in any other lake around.