Dustin Monson of Hawg Hunterz Guide Service gives his latest Buzz Bite Report for the Brainerd Lakes Area ice report on January 24th, 2023.

Brainerd Lakes Area Buzz Bite Report 1-24-2023

Ice fishing has remained consistent for multiple species in the Brainerd Lakes Area! We’ve noticed about 12-18 inches of ice in the area, and varying levels of snow due to wind/drifting; drifting as deep as 2-3 feet so gave plans to get out of a stuck situation. Also, there has been increasing levels of slush on most lakes so travel is increasingly difficult, but still fishable. Foot travel, plowed roads, atvs with tracks or chains and snowmobiles recommended. Please ensure you’re checking ice conditions frequently.

Catch crappies and bluegills in basins/holes of 22-38ft (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 1/16oz or 1/32oz jig 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).

Aggressive jigging will bring schools in, although it’s a good idea to drill several holes and jig 10 minutes in each hole before moving to the next hole or spot.

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.

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.

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.

Walleyes are still active at low light periods and hitting minnows/livebait presentations or rattle spoons tipped with a minnow head jigged near bottom in 22-28ft of water.

This is a great time to get out and relax on the ice! Practice safety first on all early ice bodies of water, especially when slush is present! Good luck to everyone fishing the Ice Fishing Extravaganza!! 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 mrhawghunter@hotmail.com or call/text at 320-293-2442 if you have any questions or to schedule a guided fishing trip.

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Brainerd Lakes Area