From today's DNR press release:
Similarly, the smallmouth bass harvest season will be extended and limits relaxed. The smallmouth bass season on Mille Lacs will start May 10 and be exempted from the statewide catch-and-release regulation that begins in mid-September. This means anglers may harvest smallmouth bass from the opener until the last Sunday in February. Anglers may keep six fish, only one of which may be longer than 18 inches. The previous regulation allowed anglers to keep six fish 17- to 20-inches, only one of which could be longer than 20 inches.
I am totally OK with the changes. We will just have to see whether or not I will be able to take advantage of the early start to the season. It's been a couple of years since I caught a smallie from Mille Lacs and I haven't had the Trophy out there in at least 5 years. The one thing that I don't care for is the fact that we can't be on the water until 6AM except for on the Opener weekend. I feel they should have made the start time 5AM. The night ban is in effect until December, so there will be no night fishing allowed on the lake this year other than on Opener weekend.
I feel bad for the Muskie guys.