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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:

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

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

December 20, 2019

Good morning! One would think the way the weather has been that we’d have a ton of ice up this way. But that’s far from the truth! The untimely snow falls, after getting about 4 inches of ice has really hindered the ice growth. We’ve been plowing a private road with 4 wheeler for a while and the road is good. But as soon as you get off road, you may be driving on 5.5”. So my suggestion is that you play it really smart and use your two, God-given legs and hoof it out if you don’t feel confident. We have 2 houses and a dark house out on the ice and we are monitoring the situation daily. 2 of our nicer houses are still on shore and it may be until after the new year that we get them out. Fishing has been fairly slow, but we are catching some walleye and pike. If you are interested in a guided trip on the ice, please give us a ring! 218-839-5598.


Fishing Report Archives:

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

MN Fishing Report 6-28-16

June 28, 2016

The walleye bite throughout June has been good! We have been fishing Gull, Round, and the Whitefish Chain the most and all are producing fish. We are starting to see fish transition into those mid summer areas around mid lake structure, edges of flats extending out into the deep water basins, and thicker cabbage weed areas where they will spend most of their summer. Fishing the wind blown structure has been helpful, as always with walleyes. The bite on Gull and Round has been predominately leeches and night crawlers fished in many different ways. Target the 9-14 foot depths. Start with a live bait rig and a 3-4 foot snell. I like to use a floating jig head or a float on the main line when fishing leeches and crawlers. Don’t be afraid to get in the weeds and pull the rig fast to trigger bites. On the Whitefish Chain we have been fishing a little deeper in the 15-25 foot depths and using a live bait rig with a Redtail minnow, jigging Rapala, or pulling crawlers on a spinner or slow death hook. There was a recent bug hatch and covering water with crawlers sometimes is the best option when this happens.

Bass are biting in the weeds and it’s getting into jig worm time. A 3/32 ounce mushroom head jig with a Berkley 7 inch powerworm fished over the deep weedline will do the trick. If your fishing a little shallower wacky rig a Senko worm.

The panfish bite is going good as well in the 7-12 foot depths around the thicker weeds. Small leeches fished under a float worked well this week on a panfish trip. Keep moving around until you find the fast and furious action.

Good Luck Fishing,

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