I am not sure where the summer went but it is about to go out and its going out in style! Fishing has been nothing short of incredible the past week and it really doesn’t matter what we were chasing, the feed bag is on! As the water cools, the fishing is going to get hotter and in my opinion, the Brainerd Lakes area has fallen under the radar for the fishing it actually has. The lakes are teaming with huge fish and the fall is the best and easiest time to target these awesome fish. I am fully expecting many very big walleyes (28 inches and up) as well as some very large smallies, pike, largemouth and crappies to enter my boat this year. It has been an absolutely awesome year and its pretty exciting to thing of what September, October and early November is going to bring in the Brainerd Lakes Area!
Brainerd Area Fishing
Walleyes are starting to transition a bit into their fall feeding habits. Some of our weed line bites have moved from in the dense weeds to just off the edge of the weed lines. We are still getting them on crawler harnesses but we have also started to get a few on crank baits as well as chubs and sucker minnows. The Mississippi has a great walleye bite going. Find current edges and troll minnow baits along that edge. My best has been the Salmo Rattlin Hornet 4.5. Brighter colors as well as any gold patterns have been working. We also found some walleyes staging on wood as well and we targeted these fish by casting the cranks as well as swimming 3 inch twister tails in chartreuse as well as pink and white.
Gull Lake has some fish scattered all over the place. Most of the fish we found were on the mid lake structures without weeds. We did fine some huge fish suspended over deep water on clouds of bait fish. A deep diving Salmo Freediver did the trick. As for the fish found on the main lake structures, with several fish on rock. Snap jigging paddle tails produced fairly well as did a jig and a minnow. This is where tungsten jigs shines and the Clam Pro Tackle Drop TG in 3/8 oz in black tipped with a plastic that mimics a lake shiner did the best, especially while clanking it off of rocks. The big thing is to use a good fluorocarbon leader due to the zebra mussels. The fluorocarbon can handle the sharpness of the mussels better than mono or braid.
Bluegill fishing is simply incredible on Gull and will continue to be excellent for most of September. Get off the tips of points, anchor and fish around. Pay attention to your graph because at some stage the gills will find your boat and use it as shade. Simply vertically jig below the boat using a heavier jig to get through the smaller fish as the bigger fish have been towards the bottom. This is where tungsten shines when fishing panfish. The smaller diameter of the tungsten keeps water resistance down and allows for a faster fall.
The smallmouth fishing on the river as well as other area lakes has turned on considerably. Jigs mimicking crayfish as well as metal toned crank baits have been crushing them as of late. We are beginning to see some transition to deeper water and a sucker bite has picked up considerably. Keep in mind, catch and release season begins on September 10th which I give a lot of credit to the Minnesota DNR for implementing yearly. Smallies become very vulnerable to over harvest this time of the year but a ton of fun to fish!
Pike fishing is starting to heat up. Big wood as well as big spinner baits and spoons are crushing fish. Troll fairly fast on the weed edges at 3.5 to 5 mph. They seem to be positioning themselves more in dense cover for ambush points rather than tips of points or inside turns.
Crappies have been fairly active as of late but they are still feeding closer to the sunset.
Crosslake Fishing Report
The chain is producing some awesome fishing at this time. Walleyes are all off the weed edges and actively feeding. Creek chubs on long snelled live bait rigs, snap jigging and casting minnow baits have been the best as of late. Be very active and move. The fish have been mostly in smaller schools as of late so when you pick a couple off a spot, don’t be shy on moving. There are a few fish being found off of main lake structures as well.
Crappies are still on the the tips of points. Some bluegills are beginning to move shallow again. Both have been easily targeted using ice fishing jigs with plastics under slip bobbers.
The whitefish have begun their fall migration towards their spawning areas and have begun to school up in shallower water adjacent to deep basin areas. Jigging has been by far the best option but we are still getting a few trolling. Bright colors in the fire tiger patterns are working very well.
Bass are now primarily in deeper water off the weed edges. Crank baits and swim jigs have been producing great numbers.
We still have a few openings this fall and this fall is gearing up to be a special one with big fish and lots of numbers! Give us a call and we will put you on some awesome fall fishing!
Nate Berg Fishing Guides