Walleyes have been crushing and kids are having fun!

Brainerd, MN—Summer patterns are picking up, but not without some cooling trends to change things up!

Find walleyes in 7-15ft or 23-26ft 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 developing weeds. 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 Bandit Deep Suspending lure used as a jerkbait. Try longline trolling Smithwick Lures Floating Rattlin Rogues after sunset into dark on clear bodies of water for walleyes in 7-12ft of water.

Panfish (crappies/sunfish) are roaming shallow and deep weed flats, channels, bays and areas near pencil reeds in 6-15ft; or suspended over deeper weeds in 20-25ft. 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.

Northern Pike have been on weedlines and weedflats in 10-17ft 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 30-50lb braided line. There are several rigs (20lb mono) and ways to catch catfish with a weight (1-2oz) about 1-2ft 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 ½oz is a good start. Be careful as the water is high, fast and can be dangerous in these conditions. 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 40ft of water, with the most common depth 2-15ft. Trolling a smaller crankbait 2.5-3mph is a great way to catch fish and cover water.

Find Hawg Hunterz on YouTube. Stay tuned for fishing reports next week from the boat! 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!

As always, have fun, stay safe and Happy Hawg Hunting!!