Did you read that? The Bassmasters organization recently named Mille Lacs Lake as the best smallmouth bass fishing lake in the United States. That is an incredible recognition considering all the great smallmouth bass fishing areas in America. What is really amazing to me is that it wasn’t that long ago that very few people even knew that smallmouth bass were in Mille Lacs. Historically, this lake was known as one of the best walleye lakes in North America.
How this lake has turned into a bass mecca is a story for another day. The fact is that Mille Lacs is loaded with trophy smallmouth bass. Anglers from all over the United States are showing up to Mille Lacs to fish smallies. The number of bass anglers fishing today certainly does not equal the number of walleye anglers during the good years on Mille Lacs, but the fishing reports of big smallmouth are attracting more and more anglers just to fish bass.
Mille Lacs Lake is Minnesota’s second largest lake after Red Lake, so how does one know where to go to look for smallies on the big lake? Smallmouth bass love rocks and gravel bars. Mille Lacs is loaded with rock and gravel structure. The south end of the lake around Isle is a very popular area for fishing smallmouth, but a good detailed map will show many areas that are prime smallmouth habitat on the big lake.