Scroll Down or Click Pictures for Brainerd Fishing Guide Seasonal Tips
The pike fishing has been improving on Gull Lake in the recent years. There have been several 40 inch plus northern pike caught on Gull Lake in the recent years.
Spring is an exciting time on Gull Lake. Large northern pike will relate to the depressions found on large shallow water flats which have access to current. The big flat north of Gull Point is an excellent location for big northern pike on Gull Lake in the spring. The best spots are near the holes in the center of the flat. Search these areas for nice stands of cabbage weeds. Gull Lake fishing guides often catch some of their biggest pike of the season during this time period. Keep the boat in deeper water, just outside the cabbage weeds, while casting into the cabbage. Let the bait settle to the bottom. Then give it a three to four foot pull with the rod. Slowly take up the slack line while the lure falls back to the bottom. Repeat these steps all the way back to the boat. The strike usually occurs when the lure is falling and can be very subtle. Hesitate for a moment and then set the hook hard. Even the most seasoned fishing guide in Brainerd, Minnesota can not predict the size of a fish by its strike. The only method to guarantee consistent big pike hookups pike is setting the hooks hard every time. My favorite lure is a red 1/8 oz. weed-less jig with a 3x strong hook tipped with a 5 inch sucker minnow. This bait fishes best behind an 8 inch soft wire leader.
The larger northern pike will drop deeper in the summer when the water temperatures on Gull Lake start to inch pass the eighty degree mark. Here they take advantage of the deepwater forage and cooler temperatures. Most pike leave the shallows soon after the water temperatures start to heat up. Many fishing guides in Brainerd, Minnesota have heard countless stories about pike losing their teeth in the summer. These stories sound interesting but there is not much truth to them. Pike stop biting at some spots simply because they have moved. Deep water regions, especially those close to main lake flats, are key big pike locations in the summer. Lake usually develops a thermal cline in summer. Deep water schools of ciscoes are attracted to zones where warmer, plankton rich, surface water meets cooler water. Key water depths are 22 to 26 feet. The baitfish will roam the main lake basin, following whichever way the prevailing winds blow the biomass of plankton. Big pike target these wandering schools of ciscoes for two reasons. Ciscoes are plentiful and the cooler water is more to their comfort. Key locations are where large main lake points meet deep water breaks.
The big pike move back to the shallows as the water temperatures start to drop in the fall. Key locations are the last stand of cabbage weeds that are still healthy and green. Fall is an exciting time for fishing northern pike on Gull Lake. The sun is lower on the horizon, the shallows have started to cool, and the big pike have returned to the shallows. The ability to follow fish migrations is a necessary skill for Brainerd fishing guides. Trolling big swim baits over the tops of big weed flats is an effective technique for catching big pike in September. Nine inch wooden swim baits in perch, fire tiger, and sucker colors are good lures for this situation. Key water depths are 9 to 12 feet. An eight foot medium heavy casting rods spooled with 40 lb. braid is good combination. Trolling is the best tactic. Pitch the lure out lures 80 to 90 feet behind the boat. Big pike are not boat shy so long line trolling is not required. Shorter distances also help with hook sets. Every Gull Lake fishing guide has their favorite technique. Mine is ripping the bait forward 2 to 3 feet and then letting it drift back. Hold on tight because strikes are massive.
Winter is a great time to catch a giant pike on Gull Lake. Many of the largest northern pike of the season will be caught on tip ups during this time of year. Key locations on Gull Lake are current areas with access to deeper water and healthy cabbage weeds present. Gull Lake always gives up a few big pike over 40 inches each winter. Most are caught in February, when most Gull Lake fishing guides have quit fishing for the season. Key locations are edges of large main lake flats. Grassy, Cobins, and Hayfield are some of the best. The best tactic for catching winter pike is a tip-up. Search out deep water edges of the flat with a depth finder. The best locations are a few yards outside of the weeds. Six to nine inch suckers on a quick strike rig are tough baits to beat in these situations. Some of these big gators can be over twenty years old. Brainerd, Minnesota fishing guides recommend catch, photo, and release methods for these special fish. It is the only way to ensure quality Gull Lake fishing for future generations to come.