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Brainerd Lakes Area, MN (May 1st, 2023)

Spring is finally here!! Well, at least the spring weather I dream about! The warmth, rain and wind have been working together to melt and remove the remaining ice sheets on lakes in the Brainerd Lakes Area! We have been able to fish from the boat and fish are active! You can still target Channel Catfish on the Mississippi and Crow Wing Rivers, but be careful as many locations are flooded with high, fast-moving water. Set lines with cut bait have been my go-to in the past. Catfishing can be done from shore, boat or fishing pier; and some common locations for targeting channel catfish in the Brainerd Lakes Area on the Mississippi River include: 

  1. Below the “Brainerd Dam” 
  2. Kiwanis Park
  3. French Rapids
  4. Green Point 
  5. Sylvan Dam (Crow Wing River). 

Hold them by the tail and under the belly for safer handling.

Crappies have been staying in areas adjacent to spawning habitat, such a steep breaks, holes and deeper flats in 18-26ft of water. Drive around areas near spawning habitat or sunken wood until you see schools, and fish the schools. Two main approaches for early spring crappies are jig/plastic or bobber/minnow presentations. We opted for using Lindy Fatboy Tungsten Jigs and Mister Twister Sassy Stingum plastics to catch our fish! We found a large school, anchor-locked  on the school, and either vertically jigged them or pitched at the school. What a fun time with friends and family! 

Good luck, stay safe and Happy Hawg Hunting!

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