There is Great Ice Fishing in Brainerd Area

Brainerd, MN—Fishing is great right now as is the forecast for being on the ice to catch them. Continue ice safety checks due to varying conditions on several lakes; though most lakes are safe for ATV or snowmobile travel at this time. Check ice frequently as you move across bodies of water, stay off ice less than four inches, and please review the Minnesota DNR resources to help determine ice safety, immersion survival, etc.

Catch crappies along weed lines in 12–18 feet of water and suspended over basins; they may drop near bottom, so vary your jigging depth in the water column. Jig crappies with 1/16-ounce or 1/32-ounce jig tipped with a Mister Twister Sassy Stingum, 1/16-ounce Lindy Frostee spoon (our go-to) or glide-bait style lure, such as a Vexan Crystal Reaper. We’ll switch to a Mister Twister Sassy Stingum or wax worm on a Tungsten jig if they aren’t hitting the spoons. Aggressive jigging will bring schools in, although it’s a good idea to drill several holes and jig at least 10–15 minutes in each hole before moving to the next hole or spot due to the movement of fish. Jig higher in the water column; a good rule of thumb is splitting the depth in half and jigging at that location in the water column as well as jigging within 2–3 feet from the bottom, vary it every few minutes, and don’t be afraid to dead-stick without jigging for 10–15 minutes if the fish are finicky. Bluegills have been hitting tungsten jigs tipped with the tail end of a Mister Twister Sassy Stingum or wax worm.

Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows or shiners, and spoons tipped with a minnow head. We are jigging high in the water column and set lines are above the weeds in 8–16 feet.

Walleyes are active at low light periods and cruising the shallows during the day, as well as overnight in clear lakes. Walleyes are hitting minnows/live-bait presentations (such as shiners or fatheads), or spoons tipped with a minnow head jigged near bottom in 15–26 feet of water.

Find perch in schools inside pockets of expansive weed flats in 8–16 feet. Jigging aggressively with a spoon tipped with a minnow head or tungsten jig and fat-head has been producing bites. Hot tip: make frequent bottom contact to stir up stand and debris to entice finicky biters, add a slow lift to seal the deal. Learn more at Hawg Hunterz on YouTube.

Once again, practice safety first on all early ice bodies of water! If you’re wondering where and how to fish, 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!