What an amazing few weeks it has been here in the Brainerd Lakes Area. It really doest matter the day the fish are biting. Several lakes from small to large were hit, all with the same results…absolutely awesome fishing!
Brainerd Area Fishing
Walleyes have been going absolutely crazy on the weed lines as well as on shallow rock bars. The weed line bite has been an all day thing with the walleyes using the weeds for shade and ambush points. Trolling crawler harnesses at 1.1 mph is the ticket. We have been targeting the fish in the 8-17 foot marks concentrating on the areas of the weed line that begin to taper off into more of a sporadic thickness. Colors really depend on the lake and that is the trick. Lately it has been mostly gold colors in all lakes but then adapting to shades using custom painted blades. For example, one lake is a metallic perch/gold colored blade. Another lake is a red/gold blade and the 3rd is a purple/black/gold blade. The lakes I am talking about are all smaller lakes under 1000 acres and my policy is not to mention these lakes.
There is also a great trolling bite with crank baits going on during low light periods on these same lakes. I try to match the color of the crank bait to the color of the spinner that was working. For me, the lures that are producing the best are Salmo 4.5 Rattlin’ Hornets. The best speed I am finding is anywhere from 1.6 to 2.2 mph. As the evening progresses, we noticed that when the fish started moving up the weed lines, we were getting less bites so we have been shortening up the amount of line we are letting out to about 8 feet and pulling the crank bait behind a small crappie sized planer board and pulling it on top of the weeds.
We also had success on rock humps during the evening hours using a 3/16 Clam Pro Tackle Drop Tg jig in orange/chartreuse and half of a night crawler. The beauty of the Drop Tg is it has a great bait keeper that will keep the crawler on with ease. The trick was to make long casts from the boat on rocks that range from 6-16 feet of water. The key was to drag the jig on the bottom. Another great technique was to cast minnow baits retrieving with a ripping action.
Largemouth fishing is absolutely incredible right now. The fish are staging off of deep points, deep cut inside turns as well as humps. Ned rigs, Big John jigs, deep diving crank baits are all producing large numbers of fish. With the crawfish molting we are currently going through, any shades of brown, orange, red are working the best at this stage.
The smallie fishing on Serpent Lake has been simply wonderful as of late. We are finding fish on rock bars in the 10-20 foot mark. Leeches are smallie candy so if you can get your hands on some large leeches, a slip bobber that is set up about 2-4 feet off the bottom, the action can be about endless.
The crappies have begun to feed fairly heavy during the day light hours on the young of the year hatches. They are staging fairly shallow on weeds and can be taken with small tungsten jigs tipped with plastics or a small tube jig. We have been casting and retrieving with more success than dancing a bobber in.
Bluegills are absolutely insane right now. Pretty much the tip of any point will produce fish. Waxies, night crawlers, panfish leeches, plastics are all producing. The big thing is do not use a spot lock to anchor, it actually keeps the gills away from you. Use a traditional anchor and wait for the gills to find the shade of the boat and fish directly under the boat. You should have zero problem getting a meal.
Crosslake Area Fishing Report
Walleyes can be found on humps deeper than 20 feet and weed edges from 17-25 feet during the day light hours. As of late, snap jigging perch colored minnow baits have been the best. Crawlers are still working as long as you puff it full of air. Long lining has seemed to produce better fish than keeping it at a 45 degree angle below the boat. A great evening into night time trolling bite is also happening. Crank baits in more natural colors are working the best trolling on the weed edges. After sunset, increasing the size of your lure has been increasing your catch rates and size.
The smaller lakes are producing some awesome walleye bites with the use of a crawler harness or a jig tipped with a crawler and long lining off the edge of the weeds. Fish have been found in the 10-19 foot mark. Most small lakes have a very shallow thermocline so there really isn’t a reason too fish below it. The fish are very much associating to weed lines.
Whitefish have really begun too bite well. Use your electronics to find the suspended over deep water. We found fish scattered over the deepest basins in 90-120 feet of water by trolling small Salmo crank baits. Most active fish were being found in the 25-50 foot marks. When we would find a pod of the, the spot lock function comes in handy to stay on them. We would then drop white jigs with white plastics or perch colored minnow baits. The key was to snap jig them hard up and slowly lower the lure down. We used our electronics as we would ice fishing.
The big thing with whitefish is to use as light off a rod as you are comfortable using as well as the lightest mono possible. I use a 7 foot ultralight with 6 pound mono. The key to using the light rod is the fish wont feel it when they strike to allow the lure to get in the mouth which is important considering how soft their mouths are. Once we had a good bend in the rod, a very hard hook set is needed due to the 6 pound mono stretching. The mono serves a huge purpose however. The stretch of the mono keeps the hooks buttoned where as a no stretch line will rip the lures out of the fishes mouth.
If you want to keep your whitefish, make sure you bring a cooler full of ice to cool down the fish. What I do is bleed out the fish in the live well and then throw them on ice to ensure the best fillet possible.
The smaller lakes have really been producing excellent bass catches. Crank baits off the weed line has been the hottest bites of all. Shades of blue with chartreuse have been the best choice. Some fish are being found under docks as well. A whacky worm is the easiest lure to skip under the docks. 100 fish days are quite possible right now!
We have a ton of great fishing left in the Brainerd Lakes Area so make sure you get out there and do it! We would love to put you on a great day of fishing so give us a call
Nate Berg Fishing Guides