Apr 12, 2023 | By: Charlie Yaeger

Northwoods Experience: Matt’s Fishing on Mille Lacs Lake Excited for 2023 Walleye Season

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has loosened Mille Lacs Lake walleye fishing regulations for 2023 fishing season. Catch-and-release and closures during July have been commonplace over the last few years, with local businesses feeling the constraints fiscally. One business owner said walleye is so popular that many vacationers think all fishing is shut down when walleye restrictions are in place, further affecting the local economy.

Matt Treno, owner of Matt’s Fishing, says this year already feels different with many people already booking fishing guides for the mid-summer months. Matt began guiding fishing tours by accident. He would bartend nights to pay for his fishing obsession, a passion he has had since childhood, during the day. Locals and vacationers alike began to take notice and offered to pay him to take them out as well. Soon, he began hiring other guides to keep up with the demands of customers.

He admits the extra time spent on the water isn’t just money for businesses, but more opportunities for others to share in his passion. “One of the greatest things about this business is seeing these anglers that come back year after year, especially the kids,” Treno said. “You get to watch them grow up and evolve as an angler or a fisherman or just an outdoorsman in general.”

Matt’s lead guide Eric Jacobsen agrees. “When you see that first fish get caught and the look on a kids face, or even an adult when they catch their first fish, and you see them get hooked…it’s one of the best parts of this job.”

Other 2023 walleye fishing regulations for Mille Lacs include a one-fish per angler per day. Size restrictions demand the Walleye be between 21-23 inches or bigger than 28 inches to keep.

The walleye season is set to open May 13th and remain open until November 30th. For more information regarding fishing regulations, you can visit the DNR website.

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