This Day 2 fish for Hackney was so big it earned a nicnkame: “Ole Big”. Photo by Joel Shangle.
Gene Larew pro Tommy Biffle with a giant on Day 1. Photo by Joel Shangle.
Megabass pro Chris Zaldain does some heavy lifting on a trip of Mille Lacs monsters. Photo by Joel Shangle.
Shimano pro Jared Lintner is 6-foot-6, but hides pretty well behind these two Mille Lacs monsters. Photo by Joel Shangle.
Daiwa pro Seth Feider stepped up with 25 pounds on Day 1. Photo by Joel Shangle.
Bass Mafia pro Greg Hackne’s “copperhead” smallie from Day 1. Photo by Joel Shangle.
Rigid Industries pro Brandon Palaniuk bags up a pair of 5-pounders on Day 2. Photo by Joel Shangle.
Garmin pro Greg Hackney with his personal-best smallmouth on Day 2: 6-0 pounds. Photo by Joel Shangle.
Rapala pro Dave Lefebre shows off a Day 1 5-pounder. Photo by Joel Shangle.
Daiwa pro Brent Ehrler shovels a 5-pounder in on Day 1. Photo by Joel Shangle.
Mercury pro Shaw Grigsby had a lot to smile about with these two Day 2 monsters. Photo by Joel Shangle.
Livingston pro Jacob Powroznik with a giant on Day 1. Photo by Joel Shangle.
MILLE LACS CO., Minnesota – You always have to be a little leery when something is labeled “The best in the world!” Because, frankly, the reality never lives up to the hype.
Never say “never”. Mille Lacs Lake in east-central Minnesota has been a perennial Top 5 choice in Bassmaster’s “Best Bass Lakes” features over the years, and carries the reputation as THE smallmouth bucket-list destination of all.
Sold. It’s true. This place is insane.
After two days at the 2016 Elite Series Angler of the Year Championship, we’ve seen more 5-plus-pound smallmouth than any of us can remember. Mille Lacs is that good, times 10. Here’s just a glimpse of what we’ve seen so far.