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Brainerd Lakes Area, MN (February 6th, 2023)

How about this warming trend?! The Brainerd Lakes Area is soaking up the mild temperatures and we’re excited to see how the fish respond to the warmer weather. We’ve noticed about 12-18 inches of ice in the area, and varying levels of snow due to wind/drifting; drifting as deep as 2-3 feet so have plans to get out of a stuck situation. Much of the snow is packing down so travel with machines is much easier. Foot travel, plowed roads still recommended if driving out, ATV’s with tracks or chains and snowmobiles recommended. There are several lakes with plowed roads from accesses or resorts; please don’t drill holes or fish on or right next to roads. Please ensure you’re checking ice conditions frequently (follow the MN DNR Ice Guidelines). 

-Catching crappies and bluegills in basins/holes of 22-38ft (finding fish suspended in the water column). If fish are near bottom beyond 28-30ft, they will not survive the catch due to barotrauma, so plan to keep all sizes of fish within your legal possession limit if fishing those depths. Jig crappies with 5mm or 7mm Tungsten jigs tipped with a Mister Twister Sassy Stingum or wax worms, 1/16oz Frostee Spoon or glide-bait style lure, such as a Crystal Reaper or Jigging Rap (I’ve had a lot of success with a small tungsten jig with a soft plastic or wax worm too). Schools are roaming slowly now, and moving to multiple spots is a good idea until you mark fish; unless you plan to sit and wait for a school to circle through your location. At times, the bite has been tough where deadsticking is needed. Target fish from the top of schools to avoiding scattering the school. Bluegills continue hitting tungsten jigs tipped with the tail end of a Mister Twister Sassy Stingum or wax worm on weed flats or soft bottom areas in those similar locations.

-Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows and spoons tipped with a minnow head. Try suspending a sucker minnow or shiner under a tip up/IFishPro in 10-18ft, especially around weeds. Walleyes are still active at low light periods and hitting minnows/live bait presentations or spoons tipped with a minnow head jigged near bottom in 22-30ft of water. (Fishing Videos: https://youtube.com/@Hawg_Hunterz ) 

Dustin Monson
Hawg Hunterz Guide Service LLC
Ph: 320-293-2442
Email: mrhawghunter@hotmail.com
Website: Www.hawghunterzguideservice.weebly.com