Mille Lacs Lake Fishing With Matt Peters
I have known Matt for a long time, we have shared ice houses, boats and tree stands together. I’ll be the first to tell you that he is not a typical angler and if you ever have the chance to share time with him, you’ll quickly realize that he’s a world-class fisherman, to the bone. He loves a good time and loves to “catch’em”, as he calls it.
(CLICK VIDEO BELOW- TO WATCH THE DAYS ACTION)
As usual, on the morning of the trip, I was behind on some things, like packing, that I had to finish before the 4 hour drive to meet with him. All the time, Matt was sending me photos in text messages of the big bass he just caught, trying to make me go faster – it worked, I drove 90 all the way there
It was after 1 PM before I arrived and we promptly loaded my gear and headed out.
I met Matt at the boat launch and I was greeted with a cool. “How are you, friend?”
It seems that every time I fish with Matt, we are always fighting the weather, and this trip was no different. As we made our way crossing Lake Mille Lacs, a passing shower rolled through soaking us. After the rapid rain ended, he broke out the rods and we caught a Walleye and several Smallmouth Bass. Later the wind picked up again and rain returned, pushing us off into a nearby bay. Finally, the rain receded and the bite was never uninterrupted for the rest of the day.
Matt likes to say he is “not on ‘em,” but it was easy to see the truth. He knows exactly what and why he is doing something to pick up fish. The first day ended and I was super impressed.
Mille Lacs Lake - Is A Massive Body Of Water
If you have never visited Mille Lacs Lake , it’s like a small ocean. It’s super big and it can get crazy rough out there. I’d heard Matt talk about the swells, and I got to experience them a few times, crossing the choppy waves to new spots. I saw some huge rollers out there. The pure size of Mille Lacs is not for the faint of heart. Roughly 207mi² and 80 miles of shoreline, most days you cannot see land on the other side. It is not the place to be caught in foul weather. Good thing Matt knows his way around it and his boat.
Speaking of the boat, Matt’s boat functions like a doctor in surgery . It was super clean, his rods are always an arms length away, and already rigged.
All his tackle boxes had their own names such as “Dirty,” “Woolly,” or “Juicy”.
Matt’s one of the coolest guys I know, and he’s full of one liners. I’m constantly hearing new stories he has throughout the day. His serious side is on the water however, and truthfully if I had to pick one guide, it would be him.
The Second day had more of the same but with a twist. I knew Matt had secret places on the lake and I was provoking him about taking me there.
Matt says to me “I’m going to take you to a place most people ask of Friend – I call this place “The Juice.” And it’s going to be “on like Donkey Kong!”
You might ask, “what in the world is, “The Juice!” Is it a legal steroid that helps fishermen stay out on the water longer? Well, NO. Is it a mixture you use to chum the water with? Nope, but I’m glad you asked.
“The Juice” is a place! A special place that only the most dedicated fisherman find. It takes perseverance, focus, and a hope that this place actually could exist. Some say it’s random, that the juice can’t be nailed down to a location. Others say it’s just a myth, an old fisherman’s tale that’s told to keep us out on the water looking for the “ lost city” of all honey holes!
I know this place isn’t just a legend because I’ve seen it first hand. “The Juice” is a real place! Most every lake has an area where, for whatever reason the biggest fish seem to congregate. Everytime you go back the fish are always there! Large, awesome, and ready to give you a fight to remember. It could be better aeration or the best underwater cover, no one knows why, but they are there. A fisherman who’s on the water day after day looking for subtle changes to what they are feeling in the line, and on their finder, has a pretty good shot at finding this fabled spot.
Of course, some guys just seem to have a special juice compass built right into them. Maybe that’s why they end up being guides in the first place. Matt seems to be one of those guys. It just looks and feels like he effortlessly finds these special places. And until you hit “The Juice” with him, you always kinda feel like he’s been holding back, ready to surprise you at any moment, revealing what he’s known all along. And that is just what he did.
Matt dropped the boat’s engine and we headed to the other side of the lake. I was super excited to see what he had in store, I mean when you call something “The Juice,” it must be good! Right?!
Well, it was incredible!. Matt stopped the boat, dropped the trolling motor, and stood up on the Grizzly Cooler. It was an overcast sky, so as he anticipated a break from the clouds, he would lift up his Costa Sunglass and spot a bed or cruising fish and he would drop his line and cast to it.
Matt said this area has a mix of pre-spawn and spawning bass. He captured them quickly and furiously for the next few hours, with what he called the “The Secret Sauce”, which was a lure he coveted for these fish. I was sworn to secrecy not to show the special lure. So far so good. I have kept my promise. He would drop and flop the lure catching bass time after time.” I can tell you it was a combination of location, lure, and great eyesight from Matt that revealed to me how well this was “Juiced.” I saw several back-to-back-to-back fish catches. It was incredible!
5-pounders after 5-pounders, I was just in awe of how many big fish Matt was on – he really was “on’ Em,” just like the cooler, all day! It gave me a chuckle when Matt turned to me, standing on the cooler saying,
“The Grizz G20 is just the right size for standing on for looking for these fish! You just get a little more elevation. You can just kinda see farther out in front of you, especially on these cloudy days when it’s hard to sight fish.”
– Typical Matt fashion, we were “On’Em-Friend”….. “Yep, it’s all about “The Juice” Matt,” I said, and took one last pic.