There’s good news for fans of Minnesota’s Mille Lacs Lake this week on several fronts, according to local guiding ace and Lindy pro Mike Christensen.

“In the short term, yellow perch and smallmouth bass are biting right now—and we just found out there’s going to be an ice fishing season for walleyes,” he said.

Let’s start with bass and perch.

Christensen says smallies erupted on rocky reefs over the weekend. A variety of presentations accounted for fat bronzebacks, with slip-bobbering being one of his go-to tactics for connecting clients with fish.

Perch, meanwhile, have moved shallower and set up shop on weedlines in 10 to 14 feet of water. “Look for them along the weed edge, and sometimes right in the weeds,” he advised.

Here, too, Christensen recommends targeting fish-holding areas with slip-bobber rigs. He prefers a Thill Pro Series Slip Float with a 1/32-ounce Lindy Jig tipped with a leech or minnow.

“Most keeper perch are running 10 or 11 inches long, with the occasional foot-long fish and quite a few smaller ones to keep everybody busy,” he added.

With the water temperature hovering at 52 degrees, Christensen expects more of the same for the foreseeable future.

And speaking of the future, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced today that state and tribal biologists have agreed on a 5,000-pound harvest cap for state anglers this winter.

“This decision allows anglers and businesses to look forward to some harvest opportunity during the upcoming winter angling season that begins Dec. 1,” explained Don Pereira, DNR fisheries chief. “We’ll announce a final decision about the details of the ice fishing season by the last week of October, following an Oct. 21 meeting with the Mille Lacs Fisheries Advisory Committee.”

“That’s great news,” said Christensen. “Based on all the incidental walleye catches we’ve had this fall, anglers can expect good things once the walleye season re-opens for ice fishing.”

The DNR closed the season in August after state anglers exceeded their harvest quota.

The DNR and Chippewa bands were able to reach their decision to open the winter season because September fish assessment data show that pounds of spawning-age walleye and numbers of walleye from the 2013 year class were better than expected.