Summer fun continues in the Brainerd Lakes Area and we are catching quality fish!

Brainerd, MN—Walleyes, northern pike, bass and panfish are biting, and we’re having fun on the water! Target walleyes in 7-15 feet or in 23-26 feet of water on large sand or gravel flats, weed flats and first break, wind-blown structure (rocks, weedlines, etc). We continue seeing schools of walleyes near weedlines. Catch walleyes by pitching a slip bobber/leech to fish/schools, re-casting every 2 minutes. On sand flats, pitch a jigging rap (Rapala)/Moonshine Shiver Minnow or Vexan Crystal Reaper. Also very effective has been casting and jerking a Smithwick Rogue Perfect 10 near weeds or over flats or cast a Bandit Deep Suspending lure used as a jerkbait over deeper fish. Try longline trolling Smithwick Lures Floating Rattlin Rogues after sunset into dark on clear bodies of water for walleyes in 7-12ft of water; best if you’re not seeing a bunch of floating weeds on the surface.

Panfish (crappies/sunfish) are roaming shallow and deep weed flats, channels, bays and areas near pencil reeds in 6-15 feet; or suspended over deeper weeds in 20-25 feet. Find schools of fish on electronics before anchoring on a spot. Fish are either holding tight to weeds or roaming the edges/tops. Target panfish with three main approaches: (1) jig/plastic under a bobber, (2) jig/minnow or (3) bobber/hair jig presentations. We opt for using Lindy Fatboy Tungsten Jigs and Mister Twister Sassy Stingum plastics or Lindy Hair Jigs to catch our fish on most outings. Move the bobber slightly to elicit bites! If they are present, but finicky, try using a small tungsten jig tipped with wax worms. If it’s sunny out, either fish shaded sides of weeds or inside weed beds/ pockets.

Northern Pike have been on weedlines and weedflats in 10-17 feet of water. We’ve been catching a ton of northern pike on the jig/miinnow combo, ripping the Smithwick Rogue Perfect 10 lure or reeling a spinnerbait over/through weeds.

Target catfish (channel catfish) from shore, boat or fishing piers. Some common locations for targeting channel catfish in the Brainerd Lakes Area on the Mississippi River include: below the “Brainerd Dam/Potlatch,” Kiwanis Park, French Rapids, Green Point or Sylvan Dam (Crow Wing River). Use a medium or medium-heavy spinning rod with a medium-large spinning reel (size 30 or 40) spooled with 30-50 pound braided line. There are several rigs (20 pound mono) and ways to catch catfish with a weight (1o ounce) about 1-2 feet above the hook, and some common baits include worms/nightcrawlers, cutbait/deadbait, sucker minnows or chicken liver on about a 1/0 octopus hook. Cast to areas where slack water meets current, eddys or in current where it slows down/breaks. In a boat, you can often jig for them vertically in holes and behind slack-water breaks in current. I’ll usually let the current determine my jig weight but ½ ounce is a good start. Practice safe handling as they have sharp spines on their pectoral fins and dorsal fin; I hold them by the tail and under the belly.

Inland trout offers both family fun fishing and a challenge for novice anglers to find larger rainbow trout or lake trout. We pitch Lindy Little Nippers to elicit bites or jigging a spoon tipped with a piece of soft plastic or wax worm for deeper roaming fish. We found trout from the top of the water column down to about 40 feet of water, with the most common depth 2-15 feet. Trolling a smaller crankbait 2.5-3 mph is a great way to catch fish and cover water.

If you’re wondering where and how to fish the Brainerd Lakes Area or Mille Lacs Lake, tune in to Visit Brainerd for weekly fishing reports by Hawg Hunterz Guide Service LLC. Check Hawg Hunterz Guide Service LLC out on YouTube too. As always, have fun, stay safe and Happy Hawg Hunting!!