Walleyes, northern pike and great weather in the Brainerd Lakes Area of Minnesota!

Brainerd, MN—The fish have been transitioning to “summer patterns.”

We are targeting walleyes in 14-24ft of water on large sand or gravel flats, current areas and first breaks near spawning areas. We found schools of walleyes near developing weeds. We caught most fish by casting a jig/minnow combo (1/8oz or 1/4oz) or pitching a slip bobber/leech to fish. Also worth mentioning is pitching a jigging rap (Rapala)/Moonshine Shiver Minnow or Vexan Crystal Reaper.
Panfish (crappies/sunfish) continue roaming shallow weed flats, channels, bays and areas near pencil reeds in 3-13ft. Target panfish with three main approaches: (1) jig/plastic under a bobber, (2) bobber/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. We found crappies near the warmest water in the bodies of water we fished near wood/sunken tree branches or pencil reeds and sunfish weren’t far away. Move the bobber slightly to elicit bites! If they are present, but finicky, try using a small tungsten jig tipped with wax worms.
You can fish for 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). If I’m shore fishing, I will often use a medium-heavy spinning rod with a medium-large spinning reel (size 30) spooled with 30-50lb braided line. There are several rigs (20lb mono) and ways to catch catfish with a weight (1oz) 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. 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.

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!!