Babe's Bait Ely
Located in the heart of Superior National forest and on the doorstep of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Ely Minnesota is one of the most wild and wonderful remote areas left in the Continental United States. From pristine woodland streams to cool, clear placid lakes, this is one of the few places left, where you can still get lost in the beauty of the outdoors. You can choose to paddle through seemingly unending chains of lakes, or motor along through fishing territory that most people only dream about, without any doubt, this truly is a sportsman's paradise.
Whether your interest lies in landing giant northern pike, massive lake trout or what is the much revered and sought after, walleye, Ely has it all. And THE place to begin your quest is Babes Bait and Tackle. Babes has been in the same location for over 30 years, one of the oldest fishing landmarks in the region. Fishermen from all over the country and beyond pass through the doors of Babes locally known as “the best little bait shop in Ely”.
The weather of late has really affected the number of folks out on the water. High winds and colder temps have slowed the action considerably, but those who braved the elements have been doing a good job of taking a fair number of fish. Walleyes have been hitting crawlers on a spinner rig quite well in lieu of the dwindling leech resource. Leeches tend to run on the small size right now and for many areas have become non-existent, so crawlers will be the main bait to use. Some folks are still trying minnows with limited success, but the minnow bite doesn't usually resume till water cools around September.
Pike have begun to show up in good numbers as the temp begins to dip and should remain active right up to ice on. Casting spinner baits and spoons have been the ticket lately, and several have come boatside in the 40+ inch range. Ciscoes and suckers fished right on the bottom will surely remain a good tactic to use for more leisurely fishing.
Panfish action has been steady. Simple to do, just set up a line with a small jig or plain hook tipped with a bit of worm or wax worm under a bobber and the bite comes almost immediately. If you haven't had a bite right away, just move down the bank a bit, these fish are not shy. Crappies sometimes require a bit more finesse. Small minnows suspended in and amongst the schooling slabs are surely the best way to trigger a bite. More anglers are now seeing the benefit of the latest Gulp baits such as the 1" minnow and other soft baits on a 1/16th or 1/32 jig head fished below a bobber. This rig will allow you to slowly retrieve thereby covering more water and putting your presentation in front of more fish.