Outdoor News reports that Minnesota iceman Dan Hanson landed a rare blue-phase yellow perch on Mille Lacs Lake last Saturday, February 21.

Hanson, who was competing in the Johnson’s Portside Perch Extravaganza at the time, said the fish weighed a whopping 1.12 pounds and had no yellow in its coloration. “It almost looked like a black-and-white fish with a blue tinge,” he said.

Though not a prize winner, the catch was definitely unique. DNR biologists credit the strange coloration to a genetic mutation that causes an abundance of blue pigment and a lack of normal yellow and orange hues. For the full story, click here.

Mille Lacs’ Mix Stays Strong

Rare catches aside, Mille Lacs is still giving up decent numbers of normally-colored yellow perch, according to Lindy pro staffer Mike Christensen of Hunter Winfield’s Resort. He reports that 29- to 34-foot depths on the northwest side of the lake, as well as deeper holes on the south end, are producing fish on Lindy Frostee Jigging Spoons tipped with waxworms or a minnow head. “Tullibees are common catches as well, especially in deeper water,” Christensen adds. 

Walleye season has closed, but angling opportunities for northern pike continue on Mille Lacs to March 29, he noted. As has been the case all winter, weedy bays and weedbeds are proven pike locations, though the tops of main-lake reefs are sleepers for super-size pike. Tip-ups with live sucker minnows are great options, especially in conjunction with actively jigging a large Lindy Darter or Rattl’n Flyer Spoon.

Christensen also reports than crappie action remains solid on smaller local lakes in the Mille Lacs area, with fish suspended over 30 or more feet of water. He favors small Rattl’n Flyer Spoons, Frostee Jigging Spoons and Tungsten Toads for putting slabs on ice.