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MN Opener 2018 Fishing Report

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Crappie and Bluegill are on Fire and Walleyes are Nocturnal in the BLA

What a wonderful weather weekend I. The Brainerd Lakes Area.  It sure was a pleasant experience weather wise.  The fishing was pretty dang good too if you put your work in.

I was a little shocked at the lack of active walleyes and pike during the day light hours. In fact we only hooked one pike all day.Walleye

Walleyes were very shallow.  We found them in 2-8 feet depending on the location. Casting and ripping Rippin Raps in blue chrome as well as trolling an assortment of minnow style crank baits at 1.6-2.5 mph.  Most fish were taken before sunrise and after sunset.


Bluegills and crappies are all putting the feed bag on staging in shallow areas near their spawning areas.  Bluegills came on an assortment of presentations.  Early in the day, they were staging in the 6-8 foot areas next to weed clumps.  The best presentation was a Clam Pro Tackle Drop XL tipped with waxies.  The heavy tungsten would drop through the small fish and get down to the bigger gills. As the water warmed, the fish moved into shallow waters and the fish were taken with a bobber, no weight and a gold #6 Aberdeen hook with about an inch of crawler. The slow fall was more than they could handle.  The big thing is at the first twitch of the bobber, set the hook or the fish would have it super deep.

The crappies we found were in the 4-12 foot marks depending on the location.  Our best presentation was a 1/32 oz jig with a red and chartreuse tube jig or the same jig tipped with a minnow.  The big thing was working the presentations rather than just letting the bobber sit.

The largemouth bass fishing was nothing short of spectacular.  It seems like they are all within a couple yards of the shorelines sunning themselves and looking for a free meal.  Spinnerbaits, chatter baits, wacky worms were all successful.

Our opener wasn’t as good as I was hoping for but it was still to get out.  On the weekend we did get a few walleyes up to 28 inches, very few pike which is amazing and a ton of gills and crappies.
Big Wally 2018
I just think the fish are a tad confused just like I am!  The 28 was still full of eggs and a male we caught was still milking. The walleye we kept were full of small perch and a couple actually had small walleye in their stomachs.

I fully expect the walleye fishing to get much better as the year progresses and we get some weeds to start growing.  The walleyes should be on the shoreline breaks and shallow for a couple more weeks before they move out to the first breaks.

Nate Berg
Nate Berg Fishing Guides


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