Hints of cooler temperatures at night, heat spikes during the day and fall is around the corner in the Brainerd Lakes Area of Minnesota! It’s the month of #Hawg-ust!
Walleyes remain relatively schooled up on mid-lake humps, points and inside turns in 10-22ft, and definitely check steeper edges near weeds/weed flats down to around 30ft. Our go-to presentation has been Longline trolling Smithwick Perfect 10 Rogues or Bandit Walleye Deep Suspending lures during the day, or Rattlin’ Floating Rogues in the dark from 1.7-2mph. We tend to gravitate toward metallic and natural color patterns. This is a fun way to catch walleyes on clear bodies of water; also casting to shallow wind-blown weed flats or rocks is effective as a jerkbait. During the day, catch walleyes Lindy jig/minnow combinations as well (blue/glow or gold 1/8oz or 1/4oz jigs are the go-to), some fish are still hitting leech/slip bobber presentations too. Also working is rigging night crawlers and ripping reaction baits (Vexan Crystal Reaper/Moonshine Shiver Minnow).
Crappies have been roaming bays, basins and weeds. Find them on steep breaks, holes and flats in 8-22ft of water. Two main approaches for summer crappies are jig/plastic or slow trolling spinner rig presentations. We opt for using Lindy Fatboy Tungsten Jigs and Mister Twister Sassy Stingum plastics to catch our fish, and troll using Lil Joe Spinners with a Sassy Stingum or crappie minnow. Sunfish are near the same areas as walleyes on expensive weed flats in large schools, and will hit an angling worm or leech tipped on a small lead or tungsten jig casted or under slip floats/bobbers. Weed flats and weed edges (or sunken wood) are the go-to structures in 6-16ft.
Catch bass and northern pike in bays and inside weedlines in 8-22ft on jig/minnow, soft plastic or wacky worm variations; drop shot techniques for bass are also effective. Trolling a Smithwick Perfect 10 Rogue or using as a jerkbait is also effective.
Smallmouth bass are hitting various presentations such as a War Eagle 1/8oz worm jig/Mister Twister 3″ Ned Ringer, jerkbaits, leeches or crawlers under a slip float, Mepps XD or Booyah Pranks in 5-15ft; slip more into 12-20ft rocks/edges during the day.
Target trout on inland designated trout lakes using a Tungsten or 1/32oz jig tipped with a piece of angle worm, wax worm or soft plastic such as the Mister Twister Sassy Stingum. Also very effective has been trolling small crankbaits at 2-2.8mph. Fish are under the surface to 40ft deep, so it’s important to try different presentations or use your electronics to see the depth of most fish to target.
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Good luck, stay safe and Happy Hawg Hunting!