Open water! We are seeing many lakes opening up in the Brainerd Lakes Area due to the melting ice from recent rain, wind and warming temperatures.
This is a great time to get out for panfish (crappies and sunfish). Fish are in 1 of 3 locations, roaming the basin, staging weed lines/breaks, or weed flats/warming shallows. I usually start in deeper water and move shallow as that is the typical progression unless there’s a significant warm-up or green weeds/oxygen or food shallow. I have been finding fish staged and scattered near weed flats in 14-18ft. Jigging vertically with a 1/32oz-1/16oz jig and plastic, minnow or wax worms works well jigging about 2ft off bottom unless fish are suspended, then a slow retrieve on a cast or slip bobber presentation can work well. Catfishing has been slow for anglers though th e warming trend could really improve the bite, jigging or casting a rig that keeps bait near the bottom will be the best bets in slack water areas on the Mississippi River.
Now is the time to get ready for the “MN Fishing Opener” by going to our local businesses and find the gear, fishing tackle and boating essentials before opener, so you’re prepared! Good luck, stay safe and happy fishing adventures!