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Brainerd Lakes Area, MN (September 19th, 2022)

This week marks the beginning of Fall fishing in the Brainerd Lakes Area! Walleyes have been both bigger, “eater-sized” (14-19 inches), and hungry! They continue roaming bottom sides of steep/deep weedlines (18-26ft) or edges of mid-lake humps (22-30ft). Catch them using a slip bobber/leech or jig/minnow combo; and now is a great time to start rigging some larger (4-7″) minnows too.

Windy or overcast days push walleyes shallow near weeds or hard bottom areas (rocky/gravel); cast jig/swimbaits to sand flats, scattered weeds or rocks. After dark, longline troll shallow-running crankbaits (such as a Smithwick Rattlin’ Floating Rogue) in 5-12ft.

Find panfish on weed flats/weedlines in 6-15ft or over basin areas near bays. Catch multiple species trolling (.8-1.8mph) weedlines and big weed flats with spinner rigs tipped with a nightcrawler, minnow or soft-plastic imitation. Casting and jigging a 1/16oz or 1/32oz jig tipped with the tail half of a Mister Twister Sassy Stingum will catch Crappies and Rainbow Trout in inland lakes. Catch Northern Pike trolling spinnerbaits (3+mph) over weeds near bays and over large weed flats. Largemouth Bass have been active in weed flats and weedlines in 6-15ft or deep weeds in 16+ft; use Mepps Aglia Spinners, drop-shots and top topwater frogs on thick weeds.

On Mille Lacs, target walleyes on transition areas where hard bottom and soft bottom meet in 24-30ft (some bigger fish are moving shallower throughout the day now), or edges of mud flats with a slip bobber and leech. Slide on top of rock reefs in 8-16ft and edges in 16-22ft for smallmouth bass, search for big rocks and pockets of sand in rocky locations; use Mepps Spinners, topwater baits, Drop Shots and Ned Rigs.

Look for Rainbow Trout and Tullibees in mine pit/inland lakes (Crosby-Ironton Area) by trolling deep (20-40ft) during high sun or 10-20ft during overcast. Other options include: slip bobber/crawler, casting a Tungsten jig/soft plastic or jigging rap style lures. Rainbow trout will feed more often and higher in the water column as the water temps cool.

Fishing will continue improving as fish transition to fall patterns and start to feed more readily! Have fun, stay safe and Happy Hawg Hunting!

Dustin Monson
Hawg Hunterz Guide Service LLC