4/27/15 Brainerd Lakes Area Fishing Report- Put the boats in the water this past weekend to make sure everything was as it should be and do a little exploring for some panfish. We fished some of the larger area lakes particularly Gull Lake and the Whitefish Chain. Water temps were in the low to mid 40′s on Saturday in the main basins. Back bays were anywhere from 46-50 depending on their depth. The warmest bays had panfish in their shallow spawning areas. The fish were more related to the break lines or deep weeds in the cooler bays. The warm weather this next week will get things kicked into full gear for the panfish bite. We were using both plastics and minnows, pinks and whites seemed to work the best for the most part. The DNR finished up collecting walleye eggs from the Pine River about a week ago. Sounded like it took them about a week. We saw some very nice fish in the nets. The DNR says the natural survival rate for the walleye eggs would be about 5%, with collecting the eggs and raising them into fry the survival rate jumps up in the 35-40% range which some of those are put back into the Whitefish Chain to replace the taken eggs. All in all, I believe it benefits the Whitefish walleye population. The opener clock is ticking away fast. We’ll be working the bait shop again on Friday, stop by and say hi. Sounds like shiners might be tough to come by again this year but we’ll see if the warm weather can help the trappers. The invasive species regulations that are in place are really hurting the live bait industry and I have a hard time believing the minnow trappers are spreading any invasives. See you on the water.
First thing is first, it’s been a while since we last posted an update. S&W Guide Service had an epic 2014/2015 ice fishing season which spanned from Gull Lake, Whitefish Chain, North Long Lake, Lake Hubert, Upper Red Lake, and all the way north to Lake Winnipeg. With that being said the ice fishing gear will be put away this weekend and it’s time to shift gears. We are looking forward to a more “normal” spring in terms of ice out, water temps, and weed growth. This will also allow the fish to do their spawning thing and will hopefully show up in their normal haunts by opener. Lakes in the Brainerd Area are starting to loose their ice as we speak and things had been moving pretty fast.
Tim Ed, Butch, and Nate will all be running 20 foot plus top of the line fiberglass boats this season. Tim will be running the Nitro ZV 21 with a 250 Mercury, while Butch and Nate will be running their standby 2090 Warriors with 200 horses of power pushing them. Our guide service is coming off of our busiest year to date as we continue to work hard to grow S & W Guide Service on the principles of hard work, professionalism, top tier fishing guides, and bottom line treating customers as our friends and busting our butt to make it happen. It appears to be a winning combination in that our summer bookings are already filling in steadily and our repeat custom base continues to grow very fast.
We will continue to update our postings as spring arrives. It’s good to be thinking open water again!
Fish seem to be in their summer patterns for the most part on many of the area lakes. Gull, Whitefish, North Long, and Edwards are all putting out good numbers of walleyes. We have caught a lot of BIG walleyes so far this year and yes they are still out there waiting to bite another day. Depths really seem to vary depending on the daily conditions. Some fish are tight to the weed lines (11-16ft), others are in the middle 18-22, and still other schools seem to be in 28-32 ft. If there is wind and overcast shallow seems to be the ticket. We have been lindy rigging with minnows for the most part. We have caught some fish on leeches and crawlers but just not as consistent. Some really nice schools of big bass are finally showing up on the outside weed lines. Sure seemed to take a long time for that to happen this year. It is also that time of year when the big bull sunfish are super aggressive. We have been even catching these bad boys with walleye minnows. If you put a leech or chunk of crawler on you can hardly get the bait to the bottom. Lastly it is really good to see all the 10-13″ walleyes that are showing up on Gull, it should be some good fishing the next couple of years. If you would like to book a trip call 218-829-7010. Enjoy Summer!
It’s a sad day for S & W Guide team. Mike Blume originally from Herman, MN, was in a small plane crash in Montana and lost his life. Mike had been a pilot for many years and apparently was flying an older plane for some clients from MN to Montana. Mike was alone when the plane crashed. Details on the crash are still pretty limited. Mike was a very good friend and childhood friend of Butch. Butch, Larry Vipond, and Mike were planning on heading to a country music concert tomorrow prior to the tragedy. Please send thoughts and prayers to all of Mike’s friends and family. God Bless. We will post a fishing report next week.
Happy Memorial Day weekend. The weather has been top notch and appears that everyone has been out soaking it up. Crappie and Bass fishing are in full swing right now. The smaller dark bottom bays have been very good in the 1-4 ft range. Either put on a small jig, bobber, and crappie minnow or cast a small jig and puddle jumper kind of a set up. Pike have also been pretty active. Most of the pike we are catching have been caught while fishing shallow for walleyes. Over all the walleye bite in the area has been tricky. Keys have been to fish windblown structure and probably shallower than to be expected. Fishing this shallow is a challenge when trying to lindy rig due to weeds so we have been pitching jigs when the opportunity presents itself. The water temps are warming pretty quickly so that should start pushing the walleyes to the outside edge of the weed lines before too long. There are bait balls on the outside edge just waiting for some hungry walleyes.