Brainerd Fishing Report - Brainerd Lakes Area Fishing Report

Fishing Report - Brainerd, Minnesota

Don't set out on your next Brainerd fishing trip unprepared! Check in with our Brainerd Lakes expert fishing guides Todd Andrist and Walleye Dan for an up to date fishing report on the Brainerd fishing lakes. Look for information on everything from Walleye population to lake conditions with the Brainerd fishing report.

Our local fishing guides know the Brainerd lakes well and have years of fishing and guide experience to provide you with the best fishing report possible. Not only do our guides provide a regular fishing report, but you can schedule 1/2 or full day guided fishing trips with them and experience a professional fishing trip year round.

Meet our Fishing Guides:

Walleyedan's Guide Service
Dan and Shelley Eigen
9287 Anderson Rd., Lake Shore, MN 56468

May 16, 2023

Good morning! We are a few days into the Minnesota fishing season, and like every other “opener”, there are mixed reports! Some people hammered them and others got shut out. I opened up on Gull and caught a mixed bag of fish, but only one walleye (a 24 incher). I did hear of a couple good reports from Gull, but overall most anglers did not score on the walleye! Are they shallow? I’m sure. The crappies were biting quite well, and bass too. We did have a few pike as well. I was out on Sunday night with my son Mac and a couple of his pilot students. The night was gorgeous and we saw Star Link again, but it was to nice and all we boated were northerns. I hear and see the Mille Lacs smallmouth are going berserk, so I am half thinking of making a rip over there. The guide calendar is filling up and I would suggest if you are looking to fish, you should make your plans now. Turkey season runs through the end of the month, so you do have a little time! Make sure you spray down with some tick defense before hitting the woods! If you’d like to book a guided fishing trip, call Shelley at 218-839-5598. You can also find us on FB, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and at

Have a great day!!,


March 16, 2023

Good afternoon!

Or is it? The weather is not nice, but we are hoping old man winter is about done with his crappy weather. It’s mid-March, and people are really starting to think open water and other spring activities such as turkey hunting, baseball, etc.. We do still have a couple of feet of ice on the area lakes, so ice fishing is definitely the way you will be fishing in the BLA for the next couple weeks for sure. I had the Pillager high school kids out the other day and we caught some pan fish and a couple of pike. Last Friday I was out on another area lake and the action was good. I was testing out my new, Two Brothers Innovations rods and so far I am quite impressed! This time of year is fun because plastic baits can be as or more effective than live bait. We have been fishing 8-14 feet of water on the edge of some of the larger flats, but soon they will even move up shallower. This is a fun time of year to get after these crappies and sunny’s because they are typically quite aggressive. If you want to try and get in some ice action, please call. If you want to schedule open water, Shelley is standing by, 218-839-5598. Have a nice day and weekend and know that spring is days away!


January 30, 2023

Good morning!

Another Extravaganza is in the books and this one will go down as a pretty special one. A 13 year old boy from Hutchinson, MN caught a 9.45 pound walleye to win a Ford F150 that he won’t be able to drive for a few years. He caught in 50 feet of water on 3 pound test and a tungsten jig fishing for tulipee. I joined a group of friends that have won numerous prizes in the past, but this time around we did not even see a fish caught anywhere near us. We were in 64 feet of water. Once again, I was amazed by the awesome coordinating and organization of the event! Thank you to all the volunteers! And participants.

The fishing has hit the mid-season slump a bit. We are still catching some fish, but it has slowed down quite a bit. It sure doesn’t help that we finally got some cold, cold air to move into the area. But looking at the forecast there is warmth at the end of the tunnel! If you are interested in coming up to fish, we can get you out in one or more of our houses. Or, if you would like to go out and run and gun, we can do that too. The Polaris Titan is one sweet machine. Hey, did you happen to see the eelpout catch? You can see it on Walleyedan FB, Instagram or @theWalleyedan on TikTok. If you are interested in getting out on the ice, or if you want to book your open water trip for this coming spring, summer or fall call Shelley at 218-839-5598. Or email

I hope you have a nice week,


MN Walleye Guide
Todd Andrist
19964 See Gull Rd NW., Brainerd, MN 56401

July 2, 2020

Things have heated up in the Brainerd lakes area it’s hot. The walleye seem to be heading out to deeper weed edges and have been active early mornings and late evenings. Crawlers and leeches seem to be working but if you can find some red tails chubs those seem to be the best. Lindy rigs and slip bobbers along the tips of wind swept points. The pike seem to be using the cabbage weed beds and be caught on spinner baits or trolling sucker minnows. The bass and panfish have slipped out to the 10-15 foot depths and are extremely active. Water temps are in the mid 70s and the lakes are full of food so patience and persistence are the keys to success. Thanks and have a great Time!

Todd Andrist

Fishing Report Archives:

November 17, 2022

Well, it looks like that’s a wrap to the open water season. And now on to the ice season! This weekend’s forecast looks cold and if the wind pipes down for a day or two there will be a lot of lakes sealed up in this neck of the woods. We just put the Vexilar/KDrill order in this morning and if you rent a fish house from us this winter, they will come with the use of a new FLX 28 or 30. We will have 4 houses for rent and still working on a SnoBear. The deer season is still open. Ducks, pheasants and grouse are still fair game too. We will try to keep you posted on ice conditions and the fishing report once we get out there, but for now that’s it!

Happy Thanksgiving!,


July 25, 2022

Here we are nearing the end of July already, I cannot even believe how fast this year is sailing by. Shelley is keeping the guides busy and they are doing well putting their guests on fish! The weather has been screwy, that is for dang sure, but it is what it is! The walleyes action has been pretty darn good, but it always helps to have wind (a fishable wind). Leeches are going to be your best bet for catching walleyes, but the problem is that every other fish in the lakes love them too and you will go through a lot of bait! You must keep moving along structure if you want to find the desirable fish. If you are continually getting robbed, keep moving along the windswept structure and eventually you will land on them. Most of the game fish in the lake right now are in less than 18 feet of water and A LOT of them in are less than 10 feet. You are going to find largemouth and smallmouth bass right along with the walleyes. Our guides have been fishing Gull, Pelican and North Long for the most part. If you would like to hook up with one of our guides, please call Shelley at 218-839-5598!

Enjoy the rest of this fast moving summer,



January 7, 2022

Good morning!

It looks like we have a real winter on our hands. You’d think that with the cold, we would be in good shape as for ice making but because of all the snow that’s not the case. Gull Lake, which is site of the worlds largest ice fishing contest has varying ice depths. Snowmobile is definitely the best mode of transportation on Gull. Fishing has been good for those that are getting out, but this is the least amount of houses I have seen on the ice in many years. We will just have to keep on eye on things over these next couple of weeks. I drilled a hole the other in an area that had 4.5” a week ago and on Wednesday it had only made an 1 1/4”. I will check again next Wednesday and keep you posted. If you are going to head out onto the ice, make sure you wear knee high boots! There’s some slush out there.

Sorry for the bleak report!,


October 4, 2021

The weather has been spectacular and the fishing has been pretty darn good too. We just completed our 9th annual Walleyedan’s Fishing To End Hunger tournament last Saturday at Bar Harbor Supper Club on Gull Lake. The event was a success in all ways. Money raised for the Outreach Program, decent fishing and decent weather. Thank you all who participated and for those who volunteered their efforts. The winning team of Dobias and Bohnsack had just shy of 18 pounds for 5 fish. Most anglers were using a hook, line and sinker with a red tail or creek chub fished at many different depths (8-60’). With these cooler nights and shorter days, the action should continue to get better up until the ice forms. If you are looking at taking advantage of this awesome weather and the beautiful leaves, now is your time to book a trip! Call Shelley at 218-839-5998 to book one of our guides!


July 2, 2020

Things have heated up in the Brainerd lakes area it’s hot. The walleye seem to be heading out to deeper weed edges and have been active early mornings and late evenings. Crawlers and leeches seem to be working but if you can find some red tails chubs those seem to be the best. Lindy rigs and slip bobbers along the tips of wind swept points. The pike seem to be using the cabbage weed beds and be caught on spinner baits or trolling sucker minnows. The bass and panfish have slipped out to the 10-15 foot depths and are extremely active. Water temps are in the mid 70s and the lakes are full of food so patience and persistence are the keys to success. Thanks and have a great Time!

Todd Andrist

MN Fishing Report 5-15-17

Opening weekend 2017 is in the books! We hit several different area lakes over the weekend and found some fish on them all. Target the shallow water areas where sand meets cabbage weeds on the shoreline breaks. Check the inside and outside edges in 7-13 feet of water with 1/8 ounce long shank jigs and shiners, lindy rigs and shiners, or lindy rigs and leeches. Don’t be afraid to use some plastics on a jig like Gulp Alive or Berkley Ripple Shads to fish fast and search areas for active fish. After dark troll floating stick baits in 4-7 feet of water on sandy shoreline breaks.

Crappies are still biting good and have moved into the shallow water spawning areas. Look in the pencil reeds, around docks, and over shallow weed beds where the water is warm. Plastics like Puddle Jumpers or Berkley Gulp Alive 1” minnows on a 1/32 ounce jig under a float are a quick way to catch them.


Walleyedan’s Guide Service

MN Fishing Report 5-3-17

The crappie bite is hot and happening now, and it will only get better in the next few weeks! They are staging close to spawning areas with deep water near by and I am finding them in 5-12 feet of water depending on the lake and the day. Using the wind is a big key as it typically pushes the warmer water into pockets. Look for these warm water pockets with good weeds. Plastics like Berkley Atomic Tubes and Puddle Jumpers on 1/32 ounce jig heads or live bait like crappie minnows, all fished under a float are producing the most fish. I like to use 4lb test mono on 7 foot medium light rods to get better control on the baits in wind. Walleye and pike opener is just around the corner!

Good Luck,
Walleyedan’s Guide Service

MN Fishing Report 4/10/17

As open water finally reaches the Brainerd Lakes Area it’s time to start looking for spring crappies! I ventured out yesterday and found water temps between 44 and 48 degrees for the most part with some shallows being as warm as 50 degrees. I didn’t find any crappies in the shallows but did find them suspended down about 5ft over 14ft of water on my electronics. I got them to bite on 1/32 ounce Berkley jigs tipped with 1″ Gulp Alive minnows or on Berkley Pre-Rigged Tubes in 1/32 ounce fished under a float on 4lb test line. Look at the smaller lakes or the small bays and channel areas of the bigger chains.

Good Luck!

Nick Miltimore – Walleyedan’s Guide Service

Walleyedan’s Guide Service

MN Fishing Report 4-1-17

Spring is in the air. Ice is going off the lakes. Rivers are flowing and fish are on the move. Most game fish spawn in the springtime. Walleye and pike spawn first and then panfish, bass, and last but not least, musky. With fishing opener a month away we can focus our efforts on crappies, sunfish, perch, and whitefish.

Before we go fishing it is a good idea to check rods, reels, tackle, and fishing line. Cleaning rods and reels ensure years of reliability. When your gear is working properly, there are less chances of losing big fish. Clean reels and check rods for cracks and broken or chipped guides. Now is also the time to put new fishing line on every rod. It may look ok, but why risk it? New line performs better and is stronger. It is also the time to go through your tackle. Clean what you can and discard broken and rusty tackle. This also makes room for new tackle and everyone enjoys buying the latest and greatest. Also taking the time to organize tackle and gear now will save you time on the water- even tying up a few rods if you know what you will be fishing for first. If you own a boat, now is the time to test batteries, organize, clean, and clear compartments. Check pumps, rope, and electronics. Don’t forget to also look over your trailer, check tires, winch strap, wheel bearings, and brakes. Proper maintenance ensures more time enjoying being on the water.

Have a great spring and see you out there,

Todd Andrist
Todd Andrist MN Walleye Guide

MN Fishing Report 3-12-17

Crappies, bluegills, perch, Rainy River, shed hunting, Lake Winnipeg, the thought of gobbles are some of the things firing through the brain as we get closer to spring. I’ll start with the crappies and say that this is a great time to be out fishing these black and white beauty’s! They are not only fun to fish, they are delicious.

Crappies are almost always “circling the wagons”, looking for food to eat, so you must drill a number of holes in an area where you think they are and hop around until you find them. I use a KDrill auger and my Vexilar FLX 28 sonar. There are a lot of times that I will not drop my bait down until I see that line on my sonar, that is indicating fish (pretty hard to catch them if they are not there!). I like to use a light action rod loaded with 3 pound test if I am in water that is less than 15 feet. If I’m on in a deeper, basin area, I will go with a braided line so I can get a better feel and hook set.

Any time of day can be good for these crappies, you just need to get out there and find them. crappie minnows, euro larvae, wax worms or plastics will all work, but if you aren’t catching them on one or the other, switch things up until you find out what they eat on that given day.

Now that the walleye season is closed on our inland lakes, it’s time to gather head for border waters or to Canada. I’m heading to Manitoba, Canada in search of the giant greenback walleye’s. If you have never been up to the huge lake, I would highly recommend you add that to the bucket list. It is a beautiful place for the walleye fishermen and women (and kids). The SnoBear migration is heading to Lake Winnipeg and I will say that there is no better winter vehicle to fish out of. This machine is the most incredible ice fishing machine ever built, and it is ideal for a destination like Lake Winnipeg. O.k., that’s enough of that.

If you are itching for open water, call today and book your guided trip! My new Larson FX 2020T is being built in Little Falls right now and I cannot wait to get it all rigged out and ready for the 2017 open water season. The Hummingbird Helix 12 is going right from the dash of the SnoBear, right on to the Larson and it will then be “open season”!

Enjoy March and go Wild!,


Walleyedan’s Guide Service

MN Fishing Report 1-14-17

By the looks of the forecast, we are going to be having a heat wave this week! After some wicked cold, I would have to say that the warm-up will be welcomed! I just finished my second cup of coffee, and thought I better do something productive before my afternoon SnoBear trip.

So, here is the latest “report”. The ice is “nice”, and I would have to say that we are at about 16 inches in average on Gull Lake. I had the Merickel Lumber and Express Central groups out yesterday and we timed our outing just perfectly to hit the coldest air of the season. But, that didn’t slow us down a while lot. I don’t know what the final numbers (100 ish) of people and fish, but I’m guessing it averaged out to be about a fish a person. Walleye was the top fish, but a couple of 17 inchers were the biggest. We fished a number of different spots in the SnoBear and had fish houses on a couple of different spots as well.

Thank you Merickel for hiring me and I believe by the looks of things, everyone had a good time! Thank you Jakes on the Lake and the Quarterdeck Resort for accommodating all of us. Thanks SnoBear and Kenny V. for having another unit on hand!!

We have been fishing a number of different spots on Gull and catching walleye, perch and tuly’s in 19-46 feet of water. Jigs, spoons and set lines all work, it depends on where your confidence is. Gull has a fair amount of snow on it and is drifted in pretty good on spots. Trucks are still getting around, but if we get any more snow it’s going to be track-time only. The K-Drill has been solid, the Vexilar FLX 28 is solid and the mapping on my new Humminbird Helix is the best! Put all of these goods in the SnoBear and you can’t get any better!

Time to get the machine cleaned out and ready for John and his southern buddies tonight!!

Talk to you later,

Walleyedan’s Guide Service

MN Fishing Report 8-15-16

The walleye bite remains consistent – not great but not bad either. Most fish are being found on the deepest weed lines on the lake that have some wind blowing on them. Lindy rigs and slowdeath have been the go-to presentations. Long snells on the lindy rigs with creek chubs will produce.

Bass and northern action remains good. Bass have pulled out to the edges of the cabbage and a few fish remain under shaded docks and can be caught on a variety of plastics baits. Keep changing baits and covering water area. Catching pike trolling deep Rapala taildancer on braided line over thirty to sixty feet of water. Musky action has really picked up. Be ready to fish all day to take advantage of bite windows. Burning backtails and twitching minnow baits over the weeds have been working well.

Big sunfish are moving to the edges of the cabbage and can be caught on slip bobbers and leeches. The key to catching fish in warm water is to move fast until you find them and then slow down and work them over.

I have a new recipe for frying fish that is awesome. Instead of using milk and egg wash, use mustard. Yes, mustard! Plain yellow or honey mustard and then coat the fish in your favorite batter and fry them up. You”ll be surprised.

Good luck and be safe,
Todd Andrist

Todd Andrist MN Walleye Guide

MN Fishing Report 8-8-16

Hello Fisher People –

Fall is in the air, trees are changing, and water temperatures are falling. This is some of the best fishing for big fish through November. Walleye, muskie, and crappies are the main focus right now. Muskies will put on the feed bag for the next month and a half. Big baits with a slower retrieve will start to be the norm. Finding fish is key and fishing for them when the time is right, meaning sunrise and sunset, weather changes, and moon phases. As for walleyes, their activity levels will increase with the falling water temperatures. Minnows will start to be the main focus, jig and Lindy rigs will start to produce in most situations. I found walleyes this week in thirteen feet of water in one lake and thirty-six feet of water in another lake, but once you do find them they seem to want to bite.

This is the best time of year to catch a trophy walleye or muskie. The crappie bite will improve through October once they drop off the break lines into the basin. Remember to handle big fish with care, CPR (catch, photo, release).

Good luck fishing and be safe out there!
Todd Andrist MN Walleye Guide

MN Fishing Report 8-1-16

The walleye bite has been very good for this time of the year. Look in the12-14 foot depths on days with some wind or in the 18-22 foot depths on the calmer days. Leeches or jigs and fatheads have been both working. The shallower fish seem to prefer the leeches. Wind blown points or structure and weed edges are holding fish. Check the inside and outside edge of the weeds. Fish have also made there way out to the mid lake humps and islands so time to start checking these out.

Bass have been biting in the weeds on plastics like Berkley 7 inch power worms, twitchtail minnows, or leeches if you prefer live bait. Look in the
10-20 foot depths on mid lake humps and structure or thick cabbage beds on flats.

Pike are biting spinnerbaits tipped with sucker minnows or on jerk baits trolled over the weeds or along the weedlines.

Good Luck Fishing,

Nick Miltimore
Walleyedan’s Guide Service
Larson FX Series Promotional Team

MN Fishing Report 7-7-16

Hello fishing fanatics! With the Fourth of July behind us, the fishing has remained consistent. The dog days of summer will be approaching soon but fishing still remains decent in the Brainerd Lakes area.

The panfish have moved out to the edges of the cabbage flats and are feeding. The best approach for this would be to use a slip bobber and small leech or part of a night crawler. The biggest sunfish are in twelve to nineteen feet of water and remain active throughout the day. The crappies are suspending outside cabbage points and some islands. A top tactic for this time of year is trolling slow with small crappie jigs with plastics, or the trusty ole’ beetle spin trolled five feet down adjacent to cabbage points and humps over open water in the evenings. Also a number four Shad Rap will produce bigger crappies, sometimes trolling faster is better.

The bass remain active in a variety of weeds deep to shallow. A jig worm or a Senko will produce. Casting crank baits over open water early in the morning is a fun way to catch fish. Skipping unweighted Senko’s under docks will work on calm sunny days.

Northern Pike and Muskies are showing up in deep water. The bigger pike are hanging out in the thermal-cline on most deep clear lakes that have a cisco population. Heavy jigs with sucker minnows jigged aggressively are producing fish, as well as super deep diving crank baits over open water close to deep structure. Muskies are moving out to the edges of cabbage rocks and reed beds early in the morning and late in the day.

Walleyes are moving off shore structure and setting up in deeper water. Lindy Rigs with creek chubs and night crawlers are producing fish out to twenty five feet of water. Using slip bobbers with leeches along rocks and weed in the evenings are also producing.

Remember to take your kids fishing and to wear your life jackets. The new inflatable life jackets are comfortable and are lightweight, you won’t even know you are wearing one.
Good luck and be safe,

Good luck and be safe,
Todd Andrist

Todd Andrist MN Walleye Guide