Dustin Monson of Hawg Hunterz Guide Service gives his latest Buzz Bite Report for the Brainerd Lakes Area ice report on February 17th, 2023.
Brainerd Lakes Area Buzz Bite Report 2-17-2023
What a beautiful week!! Ice fishing has been great! We’ve noticed about 16-22 inches of ice in the area, and varying levels of snow due to wind/drifting, but much of the snow is settling with the warming weather. Slush pockets and soft snow can make travel difficult. Foot travel, plowed roads, atvs with tracks or chains and snowmobiles recommended. There are several lakes with plowed roads from accesses or resorts; please don’t drill holes or fish on or right next to roads. Please ensure you’re checking ice conditions frequently (follow the MN DNR Ice Guidelines).
Catch crappies and bluegills in basins/holes of 20-30ft (finding fish suspended in the water column). If fish are near bottom beyond 28-30ft, they will not survive the catch due to barotrauma, so plan to keep all sizes of fish within your legal possession limit if fishing those depths.
Jig crappies with 5mm or 7mm Tungsten jigs tipped with a Mister Twister Sassy Stingum or wax worms, 1/16oz Frostee Spoon or glide-bait style lure, such as a Crystal Reaper or Rapala Jigging Raps.
The same tactics are working for tullibees/ciscoes. Schools are roaming slowly now, and moving to varying spots is a good idea until you mark fish; unless you plan to sit out the wait for a school to circle through your location.
At times, try still fishing without jigging to see if fish are being deterred by the vibrations from jigging. Jig higher in the water column, a good rule of thumb is splitting the depth in half and jigging at that location in the water column as well as jigging within 2-3ft from the bottom. Pluck fish from the top of schools to avoiding scattering the school.
Walleyes are still active at low light periods and hitting minnows/livebait presentations or spoons tipped with a minnow head jigged near bottom in 18-26ft of water.
Bluegills continue hitting tungsten jigs tipped with the tail end of a Mister Twister Sassy Stingum or wax worm on weed flats or soft bottom areas in those similar locations.
Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows and spoons tipped with a minnow head. Try suspending a sucker minnow or shiner under a tip up/IFishPro in 10-18ft, especially around weeds.
Good luck out there enjoying the great weather! Have fun, stay safe and Happy Hawg Hunting!
Hawg Hunterz Guide Service: Brainerd Lakes Area and Mille Lacs Lake
Email Dustin at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text at 320-293-2442 if you have any questions or to schedule a guided fishing trip.
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