Walleye while you can

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July 4, 2018 - 11:00 PM

Mike Giefer, left, of Woodbury, prepares to net a walleye on Mille Lacs. Dennis Anderson/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

MILLE LACS, Minn. — It still takes getting used to, the lack of boats on this big lake. Years ago on a late June evening, you could put in near Garrison or Isle or Wealthwood or Malmo, and watercraft on the lake bobbed like corks as far as the eye could see. Not so any more: The other evening when Robbie Robinson, Mike Giefer and I motored out of the harbor at Fisher’s Resort, we saw nary another boat between us and the horizon.

Our intent was to catch walleyes. Fishing on Mille Lacs has been good this summer since the May 12 opener, though not as crazy-good as it was last year at this time.

As evidence, consider that the record for walleyes caught in 2017 from a Fisher’s launch — or large charter boat capable of handling as many as 20 anglers — was 170 during a four-hour evening cruise.

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