Mille Lacs Lake fishing tournaments

Due to concerns with excessive mortality during warm water periods, no walleye tournaments will be permitted in July and August.

Smallmouth bass primarily spawn in June. To prevent excessive targeting of nest guarding bass, bass tournaments will not be permitted from June 1 to June 21.

Weigh-in tournaments are popular for anglers competing in bass tournaments; however, the size restrictions on bass in Mille Lacs Lake make this format difficult for organizers. Catch-photo-release tournaments are the preferred format but there are criteria for organizers who wish to have a weigh-in format tournament that would permit the size restrictions to be waived.

For a tournament to be eligible for a waiver from the size restrictions usually in place for bass fishing on Mille Lacs Lake, a tournament must:

  • Have 26 or more participating boats;
  • Have two days of activity (for example, one overnight stay) and have 15 or more room nights at Mille Lacs area resorts or motels;
  • Organizers must submit the standard tournament application form PDF along with a request for a waiver from the standard regulations; and
  • Possession is limited to three bass per angler or five per boat, whichever is less.

The DNR will consider applications that provide both the application and a document demonstrating that the above criteria are met. Both items should be submitted as one application package to:

DNR-Region 3 Fisheries
Attn: Brian Nerbonne
1200 Warner Road
St. Paul, MN, 55106

As requested by DNR, tournament directors also will be responsible for summary data on the numbers and sizes of fish entered in the tournament; angler participation; and number of nights lodging.

Back to top