612-208-1800 • 8089 Lost Lake Rd, Nisswa, MN 56468 view map
There is plenty of parking in the Gull Lake Marina parking lot.
At nearly 10,000 acres, Gull is the largest lake in the Brainerd area. Maximum depth is 80 feet and nearly 30% of the lake is 15 feet or less. These shallow waters consist primarily of sand and gravel. Rubble and boulders abound in many shallow bays.
Welcome to Gull Lake. Within a 30-mile radius, you will find over 450 lakes, four river systems, 13 mine pit lakes, 3 trout streams and 3 trout-stocked lakes. Gull Lake is rated the best fishing hole of the bunch.
This lake is connected to eight smaller lakes through a series of navigable channels but Gull Lake is the granddaddy of them all. The reason Gull holds such a phenomenal fishery is that it is blessed with superb fishing structure for all species. It’s large, it’s deep and it has sharp rocky drop-offs going down like stairsteps into the depths — perfect hideouts for big fish, especially walleyes.
The upper section of the lake is characterized by sunken islands, sand and gravel bars and rocky reefs. The lower section, south of Gull Point (formerly Squaw Point), is a group of large bays with numerous humps, sunken islands and massive weed flats that have a varied selection of healthy lush weeds, perfect for largemouth bass.
Gull Lake has a strong population of stocked walleyes (annual fry) and also naturally produced walleyes. Their average weight is 1.3 pounds. The northern pike population is very good and averages 4.0 pounds.
In the early season, the upper portion of the main lake is a good place to start because it
contains the best spawning habitat for walleyes: wind-swept shorelines, gravel flats and sand bars strewn with rock and rubble. Try the shallow areas at the edge of flats and look for gradually sloping points dropping into deep water. The channels leading to Lake Margaret and Upper Gull can be productive until early June. Jigs and live-bait rigs rigged with minnows and leeches fished slowly are usually the best techniques.
About mid-June, walleyes will move deeper to underwater points, bars, and sunken islands that have rocks and weeds. Some of the most popular walleye locations are Rocky Point, Sandy Point, Dutchman’s Bluff, Center Bar, and the sunken islands northwest of Cinosam Bar. In mid-summer, stay north of Gull (Squaw) Point and troll the weedline in the 16- to 18-foot depths, using a live bait rig and redtail chub minnow. The low light periods of morning and evening will be best.
In the spring, the best locations are the bulrush beds and tops of the weed flats adjacent to the spawning areas on many of the bays throughout the lake. Wilson Bay on the far southern end of the lake is one of the best early season locations. Spinnerbaits, floating topwater lures and plastic worms are productive on the deep bulrush flats. Cast crankbaits, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, and plastic worms over the tops of the thickest weeds.
In the summer, most large bass school on deep underwater bars and points, and deep drop-offs. The best time is during low-light periods at the beginning and end of the day when bass are high in the weeds and actively feeding. Docks near deep water with healthy green weeds are also a good bet. They provide shade, cool water, shelter and food. Cast a spinnerbait or buzzbait parallel to the dock on the shady side first. Retrieve slowly letting the lure drop at the posts. Or try pitching or skipping (underarm or sidearm cast) underneath the dock with a soft plastic lure. Try to get your lure as far back as possible and allow at least five seconds for the lure to drop and the fish to notice it.
You can almost always catch northerns in Wilson Bay or Steamboat Bay. But
knowledgeable anglers who go after poundage suggest staying north of Gull Point, particularly in the summer and fall. In the spring, the most productive locations are the bulrushes and newly emerging weeds on flats in 6 to 15 feet of water. In the summer, concentrate on the 12- to 18-foot depths. Northern Pike are ferocious carnivores and will attack almost anything that invades their space or appears to be food. The most popular lure is the traditional red and white spoon but live bait, crankbaits and spinnerbaits work well too.
CRAPPIE & SUNFISH In the early spring crappies and sunfish will be schooled in the warmest available water. Try the boat canals, backwater bays, docks, and channels connecting two bodies of water. The expansive weed growth in the bays are prime areas for late spring crappies and sunfish. Use a small hook or jig tipped with a crappie minnow, small leech, or piece of nightcrawler.
The best summer sunfish spots are the thick coontail and cabbage weeds on the flats, bars, and points. Most of the smaller fish will stay in the shallows. Bigger fish are in deeper water on the large bars or in the larger bays. Frequently the good bass haunts harbor larger sunfish. Troll along the weeds or use a slip bobber and live bait. Keep the bait within a foot off of the bottom. Fish the various depths along the weedline until you locate the fish.
Summer crappies can be found in the same areas as the sunfish but also look for them to be suspended off the bottom just outside the weedline or suspended over deep water. The sunfish baits work well here too.
© Copyright 2012 Sybil Smith, All Rights Reserved.
8105 Lost Lake Road, Nisswa, MN 56468