Scroll Down or Click Pictures for Seasonal Brainerd Fishing Guide Tips
Gull Lake has a healthy population of these tasty fish. Crappies provide Brainerd visitors with an excellent opportunity to enjoy a fun filled fishing charter in Brainerd, Minnesota. The crappie fishing season never closes in Minnesota. Brainerd MN fishing guides start fishing for crappies as soon as the ice leaves the lake. The best crappie action occurs in the spring and fall but there can be good flurries of action in the summer and winter as well. The best crappie areas on Gull Lake are Wilson's Bay, Love Lake, and Upper Gull. Crappie will travel in schools. Find one and several others are sure to be close by. The best Brainerd fishing guide tip is to fish quickly. Don't waste time fishing empty water. Making contact with the first crappie which ultimately gives up the school is key to successful crappie fishing on Gull Lake.
The northern part of Gull Lake is a hotspot for spring crappies. Crappies are attracted to the warmer water the Gull River provides. Upper Gull contains many backwater areas. These warm quickly in the spring. Bullhead Bay and Spider Lake are just a few which come to mind. Early season crappies are attracted to these warm water areas because of the available food supply these locations provide. Spring is one of my favorite times for Gull Lake crappie fishing. Hungry schools of crappie invade the shallows and they are looking for something to eat. Key locations are backwater areas with muddy bottoms. The sun heats these areas quickly and they are abundant with insect line. Some of my favorite crappie spots on Gull Lake are found in Upper Gull and Margaret lakes. The key is to fish quickly. Too many anglers waste precision time anchoring up before they even make contact with a crappie school. The key is to find the magical first crappie which gives up the rest of the crappie school's location. Use a trolling motor to search likely areas. Fan cast as you go. This what Minnesota fishing guides call search mode. Do not waste time. Covering water is the key. Do not drop anchor until after you catch the first crappie. It is one of the best tips I can give as Gull Lake fishing guide. My favorite spring crappie lure is a white plastic grub on a 1/16 oz. jig suspended below a teardrop bobber. Fan cast towards shore as the boat moves along. Let the bobber rest for a few moments then reel in about ten feet of line. Repeat the process all the way back to the boat. Have an anchor ready to ease into the water once the first crappie is caught.
Gull Lake crappies will drop to deepwater edges on the first weed line after spawning. Here they will set up shop and take advantage of the available food supply. Small spinner rigs like road runners, or beetle spins, are effective in these situations. The key to finding crappie this time of year is mobility. Gull Lake fishing guides fish quickly to find active fish. Don't fish too long in one location. Learn more Brainerd fishing guide tips by clicking below. Crappie fishing can be a hit or miss operation in the summer on Gull Lake. Warmer water temperatures increase the metabolism of the fish and the crappie schools are on the move. Minnesota fishing guides target the deep water edges of healthy cabbage beds during this time period. Catching fish consistently is a necessary survival skill to earn a living as fishing guide in Brainerd, Minnesota. Most fish species offer more predictable catch rates than crappies in the summer. The exception occurs on calm days with bright sun. Crappie love shade in these conditions. Swim rafts and water trampolines provide the perfect cover for these situations. The best spots are close to breaks with healthy stands of cabbage weeds. It is amazing how many crappies can fit beneath a trampoline in these conditions. The key is fishing fast. Do not waste time. Several well positioned casts are usually all that is needed to see if there are any crappies hiding in the shade. They may not walleyes but any Gull Lake crappie guide will tell you, a limit of crappies beats three walleyes on any trip.
Crappies start migrating to deeper water on Gull Lake in the fall. Key locations are sharp breaks which transition from twenty to forty feet of water quickly. The crappie will be relatively close to the bottom. A good depth finder is essential for locating schools quickly. Every Gull Lake fishing guide has their favorite choice of electronics. Mine is Lowrance. Most Gull Lake crappies head towards deeper water in the fall. Key locations are sharp breaks with access to the main lake basin. The best water depths are between 28 to 36 feet of water. Some of the best structures are near Crane Island in Wilson Bay. Searching for fall crappies is similar to searching for walleyes. A good depth finder and the ability to read it are essential for consistently catching good numbers of fall crappies on Gull Lake. I like to target October crappies while most Brainerd fishing guides are still trying to catch their last few walleyes of the season. The crappie action is typically consistent on Gull Lake in mid October while walleye action can sometimes be hit or miss. Crappie schools read well on a depth finder in the late fall. The majority will be within 2 to 3 of the bottom. Key locations are the same places ice house appear at first ice. My favorite deepwater crappie jig is a 1/16 oz. glow jig tipped with minnow with a 1/8 to 1/4 oz. split shot placed 16 inches on the lines above. This rig falls quickly in all but the windiest conditions.
TFirst ice is always an exciting time when you are a Brainerd fishing guide. It is the first catch to set the hook again after a few weeks of rest. Gull Lake crappies feed best in low light conditions in the winter. The hour before and after sunrise and sunset are key windows of opportunity. Small glow jigs tipped with a minnow are effective baits in these situations. The best ones hold their charge for several minutes. Brainerd fishing guides pay close attention to where they catch crappie in the fall. These same locations are some of the best first ice winter crappie locations. Some people find this hard to believe but I have never seen a crappie swim to the surface to check for ice. Gull Lake is one of the last lakes to freeze up in the area. The ice conditions can be treacherous in December. It is not uncommon to find variations in ice thickness as much as 8 inches on Gull Lake. This is largely due to the current of the Gull River which flows through the lake. Gull Point, Hunter Point, and Floan Point are all known for their changing ice conditions. It is wise to use an ATV when ice fishing on Gull Lake in December. I have know two fellow Minnesota fishing guides who have dropped trucks into the lake. Thank goodness none of them were me. The best times are the low light conditions at sunrise and sunset. My favorite winter crappie bait is a red/white Glow demon tipped with a minnow.