Fishing has literally come to a crawl in the Brainerd Lakes area with all the snow on our lakes. We have anywhere from 20 to 30 inches on most lakes and with that comes the problem of slushy areas. I suggest not traveling alone on the lakes because the chances of you getting stuck, even with a sled is near 100%! By all means bring a shovel and tow a strap because you’re going to need it.
Several lakes to have plowed roads but keep in mind most of those roads are for people to get to and from their fish houses so be courteous and don’t fish on the roads and don’t block the roads from travel. Once you drill a spot I’ll be prepared for slush. The weight of the snow was pushing the ice down causing water to seep out of the holes. If you fish in one spot one day be prepared for it to be very slushy the next so use caution. Please do not drill on the roads, this is a good way to flood them out and making travel nearly impossible on them as well. Most of those roads are made by people who want to enjoy our frozen lakes so lets do our part as users of those roads to give them the courtesy they deserve. Yes, each lake is public but know that you wouldnt be fishing said area lakes without the generosity of a few.
If you do head out and fish the fishing is still pretty dang good. We are still finding a lot of crappies in the basin holes with aggressive day time bites on spoons and plastics. Some wonderful night bites have been happening using minnows as well. With this much snow on the lakes, it is fairly hard to drill out an area and know that it will most likely flood out and get slushy if you do drill out a big area
Some lakes are starting to see a few bluegill show up in them same areas as the crappies and you can catch them basically the same way as the crappies. If you can find any weed cover at all, you are going to find bluegills on the tips of points, inside turns as well as some flats in the 8-12 foot depths. We have been noticing a little change in some of the shallower bluegills with them not being quite as aggressive as a couple weeks ago. The extra pressure as well as the lowering oxygen levels can both do this. Downsizing to smaller jigs with a more finesse style of jigging can help out in these situations.
Walleyes continue to be low light feeders. We are still picking them up and jigging spoons, flutter spoons as well as dead sticking small sucker minnows. All dependent on the lake we are fighting fish from on the weeds in 8-14 feet of water down to 30-35 foot feeding flats. Northern pike are still fairly active using sucker minnows on drop off areas. The problem now is seeing your flight go up with all the snow so be prepared to figure out a solution to that mess!
If you are wiling to put in the work, you will catch some fish. Stay safe and good luck!
Nate Berg Fishing Guides