If you are a multi species fisherman, this past week was the week you wish you would have been on the water. We boated nine separate species of fish. Walleyes continue to be very active on the weed lines as well as we are starting to see a few fish fall off into the deeper coon tail areas but the majority of the active fish are still being found in 10-18 feet in heavy weeds. Muskies are on the prowl and if you are willing to put in the time, you can most definitely boat one or several. We had one trip to Leech Lake this week and we boated a 47 incher. Largemouth and smallmouth action continues to be absolutely stellar with several big fish with the big being a 22 1/2 inch smallmouth. The bluegills have now transitioned into their late summer feed bag patterns and can be easily caught directly below the boat or in rice feeding on rice worms. Crappies are now starting to suspend off the weed edges and actively feeding as well. The whitefish bite continues to be awesome. Vertically jigging minnow baits, spoons and plastics all are connecting on good numbers of whitefish.
Brainerd Area Fishing
If you can handle the boating pressure, Gull Lake is producing some awesome walleyes at this time. We have been finding them on the weed edges trolling Salmo Hornets as well as pulling crawler harnesses. If you are not ticking the weeds, chances are you are not in the active fish. The big thing is using a good no stretch line so you can jerk the weed off the hook. The stretch in mono will keep the weed buttoned and keep you reeling in instead of fishing. There are some walleyes being found on the mid lake humps as well. Ripping minnow baits, live bait rigging crawlers and bottom bouncing harnesses have all been effective patterns.
The smaller lakes are also producing some good numbers of walleyes. Lately, the lower light periods have been better for walleyes but pulling some big blades on your harnesses will pull a few active fish out of the weeds. We did have a cold front come through and a Clam Pro Tackle Drop Tg tipped with a white plastic did the job. Short casts into the dense cover allowing the jig to penetrate the weeds and when the jig hit the bottom, ripping hard was key to producing a reaction strike.
The largemouth fishing has been nothing short of phenomenal. Bass are being found under docks, off deep points, in thick coon tail as well as in the reeds. We have been concentrating mostly off deep weeds using swim jigs, Big John jigs with a 6 inch worm as well as some Ned rigs. Anything blue, red or green have been working wonderfully. The fish have went off the crank bait bite for some reason but I expect it to pick up again any time. August is a great time for cranking up largies.
Smallmouth continue to be on an incredible bite. Jigs and plastics, jerkbaits and deep diving cranks are all producing fish. The fish are in a wide range of depths all depending on the spot but if you can find one smallie, you have found a school. If you really want to have fun, drop down a leech on a slip bobber about 3 feet off the bottom.
The bluegills are being found in inside turns as well as off the tips of points. Our best action has come by using an anchor and just sitting. The bluegills love to use your boat as shade this time of the year and we simply vertically jig them with tungsten jigs with plastics or waxies as well as small lead jigs tipped with a chunck of crawler. The Mississippi is also producing awesome bluegills. The key is to fish as close to the rice as you possibly can. The best technique is to use a bobber with a jig and about 2 inches of crawler. Try to get within inches of the rice. When you find a pod of gills, its easy to put your limit into the boat within minutes.
Crappies have been fairly active with small tubes being the best choice. We are picking up a few crappies using a small crank bait as well. Look for pods of crappies off the weed edges in 13-25 feet depending on the location. Red and white as well as pink and white tubes have been primarily the best with a 1/32 or a 1/16 oz jig. Casting and retrieving slowly with a 1/5 no stretch line allows for longer casts and a faster falling jig. Retrieving in a pop pop fall pattern has been the best action rather than a slight lift and fall.
Crosslake Area Fishing Report
The smaller lakes are producing some awesome walleyes in the 16-20 foot areas. Trolling lead core as well as bottom bouncers with a harness are catching fish. The chain is still popping out some awesome walleyes. Fish are being found on humps as well as just off the weed lines. Minnow baits as well as pulling live bait rigs tipped with a blown up night crawler are doing well. Evening trolling is still producing some fish.
Crappies and bluegills are being found off the tips of points as well as around swimming platforms and deep docks. Both are easily caught in the same locations at the same time. Tubes, small panfish leeches as well as waxies are working well. Use your electronics to find the pods of fish and set up to make long casts into the spot. The fish are fairly spooky right now so you may have to move several times on the same spot to keep on the fish.
The whitefish bite continues to be incredible. Trolling cranks to find the pods of active fish is still the best way to find them. We have been catching about the same amount trolling versus jigging. I personally enjoy the feel of a strike while jigging so we are doing both. We have been getting more fish on plastics as of late but we also started getting a few on ice fishing spoons. Use your electronics just as you would ice fishing. It is a game of cat and mouse but once the fish commits, have your drag set!
We have a lot of great fishing left in the Brainerd Lakes Area. Give us a call and we will put you on some of the finest multi species angling you can find anywhere!
Nate Berg Fishing Guides