Lake of the week: Gilbert Lake
A 369-acre lake located in the city limits of Brainerd, Gilbert is another example of the many fine lakes that are close to Baxter and Brainerd that offer good recreational and fishing opportunities, without having to travel far.
PANFISH: Gilbert is a fantastic panfish lake that will keep the whole family entertained throughout the day. Early in the season, Gilbert Lake’s panfish can be found in the three bays that are located on the lake. As the weeds emerge and bait fish move in, you will find very good multi-species action that will includes primarily bluegills but also a bonus bass or crappie. A small bobber and crawler work best but leeches and minnows will produce as well. As summer progresses, some of the fish will disperse from these bays and move to the weed edges or points located throughout the lake. The weed edges can be deep on Gilbert, some extending down to 18 feet. When targeting these deeper weed edges, utilize a slip bobber so you can adjust to the depth the fish are holding. The lilly pads located near points will also hold a good population of bluegills.
BASS/NORTHERN PIKE: Gilbert has a nice population of bass that can be targeted throughout the summer months. Due to its superior water clarity, you can target docks on clear and sunny days. During low light conditions, casting a weedless spoon or weedless top-water in the lily pads can produce exciting bass action. As summer moves forward, the bass can be located on those deeper weed edges. Casting spinner baits over the tops of the weed edges will produce fish. Using a jig and worm combination like a Texas-rigged or Carolina-rigged worm are good options as well. Deep diving cranks are good, especially when covering water, but be sure to make casts that are parallel to the weeds.
Gilbert Lake has an access off Gilbert Lake Road that can handle most bigger boats. Be sure to note that special regulations limit crappie and bluegill to daily bag limits of five of each species and have been in effect since 2005.
— Leisure Outdoor Adventures