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Brainerd Lakes Area Fishing Report March 19, 2013

Posted on: March 19th, 2013 by Brainerd Lakes Chamber


The only people that seem to be happy with all this fresh snow are the snowmobilers. Driving on the lake has become a little more difficult, but still manageable. Fishing in the Brainerd Lakes Area has been pretty decent considering the odd conditions for this time of year. 

The majority of the crappies and sunfish have been hanging a little bit deeper than normal. I think that all this snow has cut down the sunlight penetration to the weeds. What this means is that the majority of the oxygen is still deeper than normal for mid-March. So keep that in mind when deciding what depth to start at. 

The smaller lakes have been going pretty constantly, with some days being better than others. I like to target areas that have deep basins close to big weed flats. These flats need to be close to spots where I catch panfish in the early open water season. I will generally start between 10-18 feet, and adapt to what the fish tell me. Mobility is key, so the more you move, the more fish you will catch.

Looks like this week will be a little chilly considering the time of year. However, you can’t catch fish if you don’t go fishing! 

Have a great week!

Thanks, Capt. Tim Hanske





Pine River

Pine River area lakes continue to give up good numbers of bluegills and crappies. Sunfish are hitting in 8-20 feet of water during daylight hours, with small glow ice flies tipped with wax worms, mousies or wigglers working well when used on ultra-light line. Crappies have been active at daylight and dusk, moving from roughly 20-30 foot depths during the day up onto the shore bars at low light periods and on cloudy days. The panfish and perch bite will continue to improve as spring approaches with late winter anglers finding fish as shallow as the bottom of the ice sheet! A good depth finder really makes angling more fun this time of year as anglers watch fish move up and down in depth during the day. Please be aware that until more snow melts, anglers are advised to stay on the plowed roadways and carry a shovel.


Brainerd Lakes Area

Earlier this week, the ice measured over 30 inches and there was enough snow to make lake travel tough. While some anglers are finding panfish, most are confined to the few paths remaining on the lakes. Hot spots that have been mentioned include the 371 Bay of North Long Lake, the Cullen and Mission lake chains, Sylvan Lake, Blackhoof Lake, and Steamboat Bay on Gull Lake. The best approach has been a small plastic or maxi worked in the shallows during the day and in the deeper holes at night.


Isle/Onamia – Lake Mille Lacs

Anglers are taking perch, tullibee, sunfish and crappies on Lake Mille Lacs. Although the perch bite has been tough this season, it has been improving. The best action has been in 32-plus feet of water off the deep edges of the mud flats, with some nice perch being taken. For crappies and sunnies, work the bay areas using waxies or eurolarva with light line and a small jig in 10 feet of water or less.

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