Brad Hawthorne with a walleye caught on a Ripipin Minnow

Northland Pro Brad Hawthorne capitalizes on the early summer walleye and smallmouth bite.

BEMIDJI, Minn. (June 8, 2021) – The feed bags are on… Walleye spawning season has ended, and fish are in beast mode. And, for the most part, smallmouth bass is wrapping up, and either are or will be in a similar feeding frenzy. As you’ll see in this video, Northland pro and professional guide Brad Hawthorne has the luxury of pursuing both on the same body of water, Minnesota’s Lake Mille Lacs.

Improving prospects, these species frequently inhabit the same climes: shoreline rock, shallow reefs, and hard-bottomed zones with blended vegetation and rocks or gravel. Their desired depths (under 10 feet), temperature ranges (low to mid 60’s), and preferred structures are identical. With all of this in mind, Hawthorne rips from spot to spot, plucking active fish.

Early Summer walleye and post spawn smallmouth fishing video

Fishing this fast for an aggressive quarry necessitates a bait that caters to early summer’s speed of life. To that, Hawthorne ties on a Northland Rippin’ Minnow. The high-speed lure combines a perfectly sculpted, winged jighead with baitfish profiled soft body. Mixing and matching colors to ultimately uncover the perfect pattern, Hawthorne rips and glides the bite, triggering savage strikes from post-spawn feeders. He also notes that because of the lure’s upright single hook, most snags are left on the bottom while the bait swims free.

Whether you’re pinpointing smallmouth bass or walleyes, or both, you’ll want to add Northland Rippin’ Minnows to your summertime bag of tricks.


Rippin Minnow in Electric Chicken color

Electric Chicken

Rippin Minnow in Smelt color



Northland Fishing Tackle® — EST. 1975

In 1975, a young Northwoods fishing guide named John Peterson started pouring jigs and tying tackle for his guiding clients in a small remote cabin in northern Minnesota. The lures were innovative, made with high-quality components, and most importantly were catching fish when no other baits were working! The word spread like wildfire, the phone started ringing for Team Northland®… and the Northland Fishing Tackle® brand was in hot demand!

For over 45 years Team Northland® Tackle has been designing, testing, and perfecting an exclusive line of products that catches fish like no other brand on the market today. Manufactured in the heart of Minnesota’s finest fishing waters, Northland® is one of the country’s leading producers of premium quality jigs, live bait rigs, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and spoons for Panfish, Perch, Walleye, Bass, Trout, Northern Pike, and Muskie.

Northland Fishing Tackle® products are designed by fishermen for the quality-conscious anglers of the new millennium. The entire management team are fishermen who surround themselves with experienced Northwoods fishing guides, veteran charter captains, professional tournament anglers, and the famous Team Northland Pro-Staff! These fishing experts provide us with valuable product feedback and innovative fishing ideas that keep us on the “cutting edge” of the fishing tackle industry.

The Northland Fishing Tackle® Team has some of the best promotional fishermen in the industry such as Brian “Bro” Brosdahl, Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson, Jason Mitchell, Brad Hawthorne, Joel Nelson, and Nick Lindner to showcase our innovative shapes, colors, and designs. Our Pro Staff and professionals spend hundreds of days each year on the water and are the backbone of our organization. Our social media channels reach millions of people across Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Our content-rich Northland Fishing Tackle website serves as a home base for new product information and an excellent resource for fishing tips, tricks, and hacks.

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