Its that time of year again when we all get together and suffer through brutal cold at the chance of winning one of the $150,000 worth of prizes on Gull Lake. Its such wonderful event that the Brainerd JayCee’s that raises some awesome funds for the area. So many fishermen but so few prizes but I will be out there battling the cold with hopes of hooking a weighable fish. Last year I was invited into a group that has had very good luck in the past and last year was no different. 8 out of 12 caught a tullibee and got on the board. As for me, I lost my chance within 30 seconds of reaching the right depth and and having the heartache of losing a prize at the bottom of the hole.
While you are out there, make sure you grab a 93.3 sticker. They give away some awesome prizes and one Visit Brainerd and myself have teamed up to give away a fishing trip for this coming summer!
I am going to go out there with a plan in mind. I am going to start with a large bait in search of the truck! Something flashy and brightly colored in hopes of attracting a large pike or walleye. After about a 1/2 hour I am going to switch it up and go after a tullibee and see if I can get on the board. Just like any fishing, the farther you can get away from noise the better you will be so what I will be doing is looking for a spot that is sparsely populated but my guess is while doing that I will run into someone I know and set up and forget what I was there for. It is, after all, all about the fun of the day. Good luck and stay safe and warm!
The Brainerd area fishing has been nothing short of great to tell you the truth. Big fish of all species can be had in many different areas. Walleyes, crappies, bluegills, pike…they are all on the feed bag. You may have to do a little searching but they are there and they are willing to bite.
I have been finding walleyes in a variety of depths all dependent on the lake. For example on Gull, we were finding the most active walleyes on the weed edges on the tips of points and inside turns in 12-16 feet but on North Long, we found them on feeding shelves in the 20-26 foot range. On the Whitefish chain, we found fish on spots that had sharp breaks that tapered off a bit in the 26-35 foot mark. Every spot was the same, gold Clam Pro Tackle Leech Flutter Spoons in the 1/4 oz size tipped with the head of a fat head worked wonderfully. The ticket was jigging 1 to 4 feet off the bottom in am erratic action followed by pounding the spoon into the bottom, letting it sit and then raising it up and begin the jigging process again.
Salmo #4 Chubby Darters have also been producing a few walleyes along weed lines as well. I was doing something a little different with the setup this time…I was actually tipping the back hook with the head of a minnow rather than the front hook which improved our hooking percentage.
Crappies are being found in the basin areas as well as weed flats. I have found fish anywhere from 5 to 45 feet in the last week depending on the lake. It seems the shallower they are, the more low light orientated they seem to be biting at dawn and dusk. However we have found a few other lakes that were more stained that kept the crappies biting all day long. Tungsten tipped with a Maki Jamei or wax worms have been great as well as 1/16 oz jigging spoons. One in particular has been the Clam Pinhead Minnow. It has a little metal “flipper” on it that makes it a fish magnet. Feel free to not even tip it with live bait. Many times, that will increase your catches believe it or not.
Bluegills have been very active despite the weather. Lately I have been increasing the size of the jigs I am using which seems to increase the size but decrease the amount of fish you catch. Lately the little guys have been so active that I wanted to try something to change my luck. The same jigging spoons I use for crappies I have been using for bluegills. The only difference is I have been tipping it with a small plastic for a little bit of an attractant. You could tip it with a waxie or spike with the same results.
Pike have still be active wherever you find panfish. I am still going with sucker minnows and having great success.
This cold spell is really going to help our ice conditions. With this new snow, we ended up with a little more slush that I was hoping for but this cold snap should do a good job of solidifying the ice. We still have a few openings so give us a call!
Nate Berg Fishing Guides