The water temps are finally starting to climb and along with that the bite is improving. We have been on Gull, Whitefish, Round, North Long, and Mille Lacs since our last report. Mille Lacs has been fun for catching big walleyes but not many keepers out on the edges of the mud flats and the smallmouth action is great up in the rocks. Around Brainerd, Round and North Long have been the best for walleye action. For the most part these fish are still staging in the weeds, but starting to move out to the weed line edges. Trolling cranks over the top of the weeds or pitching lite jigs tipped with a small minnow up into the weeds has been producing most of the walleyes. The good part about this is you are catching a smorgasbord of fish doing this technique. The Bass are going strong on almost any of the area lakes up in the weeds on most any technique you want to try. Tim and Butch fished the Camp Confidence Tournament on Saturday putting their guests on lots of fish but not any big ones to win any of the categories, lots of fun for a great cause. For Father’s Day, Nate took me fishing on North Long, I caught a plump 25 ½ incher. We boated 10 other really nice marble eyes and a couple of nice pike, we kept some smaller fish to eat and let the bigger ones go. Great time, thanks Nate! The bite should just keep getting better and better as these water temperatures continue to climb. If you are thinking about hiring a guide for a fun day on the water, call us at S & W Bait and Tackle 218-829-7010 and check out our web site and Facebook page. Oh Son, set that hook!
Come on summer… We need some warmth to get the fish into thier “normal” patterns in the Brainerd Area Lakes for this time of year. Over all the walleye fishing has been pretty tough. Fish started to turn on last week when we had some warmer days and the water temps began to creep up into the mid 50′s – 60 degree range. Round and North long have been the best as of late but you have to dig through a lot of smaller fish to find some keepers. The pike action has been pretty good and the bass fishing is picking up. The walleyes are showing up in spots where they should be, the challenge has been getting them to bite. We have been concentrating in the 12-18 ft range on the edge of windblown weedlines. Both a jig and minnow and a Lindy Rig and minnow have had some sucsess. The bright spot has been the area crappie fishing. Many of the small dark bottom bays have been good with a small jig and minnow or puddle jumper. Mille Lacs has been a pretty fun bite the past few weeks. We had been fishing the north end sand breakline in the 11-17 ft range using a lindy rig minnow/leech or a jig. The key has been to get the bait away from the boat. Long lining has worked best moving around .5 mph. As of this weekend the fish are starting to transition out to the main lake structures including the mudflats. Lots of action with the average fish being 22-25 inches, keepers are the challenge to find at this point. The guiding schedule is in full bloom now so we’ll be on the water often. If you would like to book at trip with Tim, Butch, or Nate give the baitshop a call at 218-829-7010. Have fun on the water!
The lakes are all finally ice free. The past week we received about 4 inches of much needed rain so now we need the sun to shine and warm up the water. Walleye fishing in the Brainerd Lakes area has been slow for most anglers but should be picking up with the warmer weather. The fish are still staging in shallow water. Pitching a jig tipped with a minnow in towards shore and pumping it slow back to the boat is your best bet. Trolling crankbaits over the top of submerged weed beds and shallow sand flats has also been working especially in the low light hours. The Crappie action has been good using a light jig tipped with a minnow or puddle jumper in shallow bays. The guide trips are starting to be booked and we will be getting out on the water much more from this point on and will be updating the fishing report as we go.
The 2014 Governors Opener will be held in the Brainerd/Nisswa area with beautiful Grandview Lodge as the headquarters. It’s not to early to make plans to participate, it will be most definitely a good time.
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Here we are November and Deer Hunting already. Since our last report fishing has been hit and miss. We have had slow days, lots of fish days, and some days with not many fish but really quality fish. We have certainly caught a bunch of those 20-25 inchers, several 25 and up with Nate catching the biggest, a 29 incher. Deep has been the key. Most of the fish have come out of that 35-45 foot depth. A jig tipped with a minnow works some of the time but the best has been Lindy Rigging with Red Tails. Believe me the minnow will let you know when to get ready for a bite and bang, fish on. The problem with deep fishing is you have to really take your time bringing them up or they will blow their air bag. Once you set the hook, set it another time once you reel up a couple of cranks, this allows for a better hook set and can ease the fish up rather than horse it up. We have been able to get into some nice crappies too, just 1/16 onz jig tipped with a small fathead or crappie minnow and finding them in 35-45 feet also. Nate had a trip Saturday with a father and son from Iowa who had fished by themselves for two days and never had a bite. It took him a lot of running and gunning but was able to finally find some really nice fish for them. Tim put his boat away early and has been spending the weekends hunting with his son Blaze, ducks, pheasants, geese, deer, you name it, they are hunting it. Butch starting deer hunting this weekend and will be concentrating on that for the next week. Nate will still have his boat ready to take trips if want to go out and try for a possible trophy Eye. Just call the bait shop at 218-829-7010 and they will line it up for you. Just wanted to say thanks to all our clients for the business this year and look forward to another busy angling year next year. On another note, don’t forget to get out and vote, Tuesday, November 6. And more importantly, November 11 is Veterans Day; please take time to give thanks to all the men and women who have served our great country!!!!
The fall bite is upon us. The past 3 weeks has included some pretty darn good fishing on several of the Brainerd Lakes Area. We have been mainly fishing Gull, Whitefish, North Long. The wind the last few days has really been cranking but is dropping the surface temps on the lakes. Yesterday we had around 56-57 degrees on Gull. Butch’s group yesterday ended up catching 27 eyes in 3 hrs with the average being about 18-21″. They were some beautiful chunky fish. Nate’s group ended up catching around 20 but did boat the biggest at 25 inches. The aggragate group we had out where troupers to withstand the cold but when fish are biting like that it really helps one think they are warm. Fish are still deep, shallow and any where in between. 30-38 ft has been the best but we have caught some big fish on weedlines in 14-17 ft as well. Lindy rigging with big minnow has been the key. We haven’t gave jigging too much of an effort yet but know that is working as well. The night time trolling bite has really picked up as of late as well. Several folks are giving it a whirl. The floating weed masses on gull seem to have disapeared with the strong winds and the weeklines are starting to break up as well which helps with being able to troll. If you would like a chance at some great fishing and spectacular scenary give us a call and book a trip 218-829-7010. We will most likely be guiding until mid November, weather dependent.