Brainerd Lakes Area

Brainerd Lakes Area: 3-13-2023

by | Mar 13, 2023 | 0 comments

Dustin Monson of Hawg Hunterz Guide Service gives his latest Buzz Bite Report for the Brainerd Lakes Area on March 13th, 2023.

Brainerd Lakes Area Buzz Bite Report: 3-13-2023

It’s March in the Brainerd Lakes Area, which is also known as “last ice or late ice.” We have phenomenal panfishing in March! We’ve noticed about 20-25 inches of ice in the area, and softer snow on the surface ranging from 8-15 inches and drifting in some areas.

Snow can make travel difficult, have backup plans for traveling on and off the lakes.  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.

Catch crappies and bluegills in basins/holes of 20-30ft (finding fish suspended in the water column); also near/in bays around weeds in 7-12ft. 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 Jigging Raps (I’ve had a lot of success with a small tungsten jig with a soft plastic or wax worm too).

The same tactics are working for tullibees/ciscoes though jigging in the top 10ft will usually be sufficient for jigging depth over deep basins.

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. 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. Other great options to target include tullibees or inland trout.

Brainerd Lakes Area

On Mille Lacs, main lake areas are accessible by ATV or Snowmobile, and there are several resorts with plowed roads to rock reefs or mud flats. We are finding big drifts and slush pockets as well; also take caution crossing pressure ridges. Mille Lacs has a special regulation for northern pike, of which the season ends March 31, 2023.

Target northern pike in 6-18ft of water on points, expansive flats or bays. Target them with sucker minnows or shiners on set lines or “Deadsticks,” or jigging a spoon tipped the head of a fathead (Lindy Quiver Spoon in metallic colors 1/8oz, War Eagle Super Spoon 1/2oz). Perch are hitting tungsten jigs with wax worms or small spoons/small minnow head in bays, mudflats or rock edges in various depths, jig aggressively on or near bottom to bring fish in and raise your lure slowly to catch them. (Make sure you read the Mille Lacs Special Regulations:

Good luck out there in the Brainerd Lakes Area! We’re looking forward to the late ice season! Have fun, stay safe and Happy Hawg Hunting!

Dustin Monson

Contact Information:

Hawg Hunterz Guide Service: Brainerd Lakes Area and Mille Lacs Lake

Email Dustin at or call/text at 320-293-2442 if you have any questions or to schedule a guided fishing trip.

Follow us on Facebook at Hawg Hunterz Guide Service


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