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Mille Lacs Bass Offer Alternative To Walleyes

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — While fisheries managers try to restore the struggling walleye population on Mille Lacs Lake, they’re encouraging anglers to consider bass instead.

Minnesota’s statewide bass season opens next Saturday. But it’s already open on Mille Lacs, where the state liberalized its bass and northern pike regulations this year. The hope is to cushion the economic impact of tighter walleye regulations on local businesses, and to reduce predation on young walleyes.

Mille Lacs’ battered reputation as Minnesota’s premiere walleye lake overshadows how it has become a premiere smallmouth bass fishery. But It remains to be seen if walleye purists will take the bait. Most walleye anglers catch them to eat them. Few smallmouth end up on the dinner table, so it’s not well known that they can be fine eating, too.

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