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Brainerd Lakes Area, MN (November 7th, 2022)

The temperature is dropping and many anglers have “switched gears” to focusing on ice fishing, deer hunting or other fall activities in the area! This is the last fishing report until we have fishable ice!

I also want to mention it is important for anglers to wear a PFD and practice extra caution due to the removal of most of the areas access docks and marker buoys which show shallow areas, rocks, or no wake zones. Find walleyes on weed/rock transitions under 16 feet of water. Catch them using a jig/minnow combo, rigging 4-7″ minnows, such as “redtails” or creek chubs (sucker minnows can work too), or casting a Mister Twister Sassy Swimmer/swimbait on a 1/4oz jig! Lift and drop to the bottom on the retrieve, slow and steady letting the tail do the work. After dark, longline troll shallow-running crankbaits (such as a Smithwick Rattlin’ Floating Rogue) in 5-12ft, slow down the troll 1.0-1.6mph; if targeting fish in 10-13ft, slow-troll a Smithwick Perfect 10 Rogue with pauses.

Find panfish over basin areas near bays or prominent weedlines that drop into deep water. The panfish are in large schools, often over basins 25-45ft and often suspended 10-15ft under the surface or near bottom. These locations will translate to early ice locations and will often pay to drive around using sonar to locate the schools as schools can be massive. Catch crappies with a 1/16oz or 1/8oz jig and minnow either jigging or under a slip bobber/float. Casting and jigging a 1/16oz or 1/32oz jig tipped with a Mister Twister Sassy Stingum or glide-bait style lure, such as a Crystal Reaper or Jigging Rap. Catch Northern Pike in the same areas as walleyes using a jig/minnow or sucker minnow under a large float is especially fun!

On Mille Lacs, target walleyes around hard bottom areas, such as gravel, sand and rocks (many schools of fish are showing up under 15ft on rock bars/reefs); target them rigging minnows, jigging minnows, casting swimbaits or trolling crankbaits such as the Smithwick Rogue Perfect 10. Smallmouth bass are hanging around the tops of rock reefs in 5-16ft or remaining green weeds near rocks; cast rocks and pockets of sand in rocky locations; use Ned Rigs, jig/minnows and drop-shot minnows, nightcrawlers, or imitations; slow every presentation down and wait for the solid thump or steady pressure before setting the hook. Good luck to the hunters out there for the 2022 Minnesota Whitetail Firearm Season!

Have fun, stay safe and Happy Hawg Hunting!

Dustin Monson 
Hawg Hunterz Guide Service LLC