It is officially summer in the Brainerd Lakes Area, and the fish seemed ready to come out and enjoy a long weekend as well. The weather kept some of the recreational boats and fair weather fisher-people off the lakes, but for those who went out it was rewarding. I fished walleyes, bass, and panfish this past weekend and they all seemed pretty willing to bite!
On the walleye end of things, some good reports can from multiple lakes including Gull, North Long, and Whitefish. Gull Lake kicked out the hungry walleyes in 18-28 feet of water using nightcrawlers and redtails on a live bait rig. The low light/nighttime hours are still producing good numbers of fish due to the multiple bug hatches occurring right now. Trolling a shallow running stickbait is the best way, and change the depth until a pattern is established. On other lakes in town, it seemed that 6-20 feet of water was the best area to look and the all mighty redtail on a live bait rig was the best. Casting a KenKatch jig/shiner into the cabbage weeds also produced some nice walleyes, even through the middle of the day.
Bass and panfish are still shallow, some are still holding in and around their spawning beds. For bass my go-to bait from now until fall is a 1/32nd ounce jig with a power worm. This combo is easy to fish through the weeds, and it is effective at all depths. The main focus for bass anglers was 2-15 feet of water. I did talk to many different anglers that landed bass, walleyes, and northern casting some type of crankbait up into the shallows and twitching it back to the boat. Panfish have been going crazy, and they seem to be a great way to get the rod bending when the walleyes decide they do not want to eat. The best areas still continue to be their spring spawning locations, however start fishing outside of those areas if the action is slow and you might be rewarded. A slip bobber and small jig/crappie minnow or plastic is a great searching rig to find these fish, and once you find them it can be a blast!
Have a great week, and don’t forget to check VisitBrainerd.com for events, reports, food, entertainment, and everything else to enjoy the Brainerd Lake Area!! Give us a call for your Brainerd fishing guide needs, Leisure Outdoor Adventures does big group trips, family get-togethers, corporate events (with weight-in, tournament style), and we can custom build your perfect fishing excursion!