This Thursday, September 2nd, the Champions Tour will conclude the 2021 season on Lake Mille Lacs out of Eddy’s Resort. 25 anglers have qualified to fish the Championship and one will roll home with a brand-new Skeeter Boat powered by a Yamaha Outboard. Who will conquer Mille Lacs and just how will they do it?
Late August and early September can be a tricky time on “The Pond”. Water temperatures are still fairly high and for the most part there’s no sign of the fall feedbag just yet. It’s a transition period that should yield a variety patterns, structures and depths. Mille Lacs is one of the very best smallmouth fisheries in the world, therefore anything can happen if an angler dials in the right schools of fish but expect this tournament to be a bit of a grind. The angler that can adapt and adjust to the day, mixing deep and possibly shallow fish could be your 2021 champ.
There are two big variables that will factor into this tournament. The first being that the lake has been off-limits to pre-fishing this past week. The guys will have one practice day to prepare on Wednesday, September 1st before the tournament. The lake has been open to pre-practice prior to this closure so anglers have certainly been checking in on things throughout the summer but with changing conditions and roaming smallmouth, one day of practice the week of the tournament will be interesting.
The other factor is the weather. As of now, Thursday looks windy and wet. A 10-20 MPH SE wind will play a huge part in the strategies of the 25 boat field. Much of the north end of the lake will be extremely tough to fish. Navigation and certainly boat control may force the field to stick to the southern portion of Mille Lacs. But often these low light, windy days trigger smallmouth into biting late in the summer and fall. Even though the lake will be rough, the bite could be strong thanks to the conditions.
All of the notorious smallmouth techniques could be in play this week. Drop shot, NED, tube, swimbaits, football jigs, senkos and much more will likely catch fish. If the bite is tough and the wind is a serious challenge, expect some anglers to mix in largemouth as well in the southern bays of the lake. One way or another a Mille Lacs champion and a 2021 Angler of the Year will be crowned at the end of Thursdays fishing time.
In addition to the on-the-water action, the Champions Tour Championship will have multiple events going on at Eddy’s Resort on Wednesday and Thursday this week.
Tour anglers will be setup in the Eddy’s parking lot on Wednesday beginning at 3:00PM. We will be shooting media and the guys will be free to talk fishing if you’re in the area. On Thursday, Champions Tour sponsors will be set up with giveaways and information on their products for much of the day. Again, we’d love to have anyone that is interested attend. The Championship Thursday schedule looks like this…
- Boat Check: 5:45 a.m.
- National Anthem: 6:40 a.m.
- Blast Off: 6:45 a.m.
- Round One: 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
- Lunch Break: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m
- Round Two: 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Awards Ceremony: 4:45 p.m.