451 West Sheridan Street Ely, Minnesota 55731
Fishing Report
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As the trout season draws to a close, some anglers are still venturing out and picking up a few nice fish. The ice conditions have been improving as the warmer temps begin to melt some of the snow and slush on area lakes. Travel by four-wheeled vehicles is possible now and should continue through the end of the month when the season officially closes. Burntside Lake has seen the most activity and folks there are managing to catch a few trout up to eight pounds. Bait of choice has been hands down the white tube jigs by Gitzit or Berkley fished throughout the water column. The stream trout lakes such as Tofte, High, Dry Miners, and the Glacier ponds have been turning out decent catches of rainbows and splake. Small spoons and salted minnows are working well.

Crappie and sunny fishermen have begun to pick up fish on Birch, East Twin, Low, and Fall Lakes. There still remains some slushy areas, but travel is still possible by sled or four-wheelers. Minnows are the bait of choice for many, however, a good number of anglers are beginning to see the merits of using small plastics on a jig to tempt the active feeders. Some will tip their offerings with wax worms, just to add a little scent to their baits. Gulp plastics by Berkley have a great scent built right in to their line of artifical baits that some fish find irresitable.

If you haven't done much ice fishing this season, now is the time to get out there while the weather is mild and ice remains relatively safe for travel.

Due to the slushy lake conditions and very cold windy days, very few anglers were out on the lakes. As more info becomes available, we'll keep you posted.

Walleye fishing in the area has pretty much fallen by the wayside. The lack of decent size fish and low numbers have caused anglers to hang up their rods earlier this season just shy of the closing of walleye and pike at the end of February. Some pike are still being caught, but these too have been on the small side.

Trout fishing, have been the go-to fishery for a good number of people this year. Whether it be lake trout on the larger lakes such as Burntside and Snowbank, or rainbow and splake on Tofte, and High and Dry, the success rate remains fairly consistent. Some larger splake have hit the ice anywhere from five to seven pounds from Tofte and High Lakes. Rainbow trout have been the best performers with many in the twelve to twenty-one inches in length. Small jigs tipped with wax worms, small salted minnows or actively jigging small spoons have produced the best results.

Crappie fishing is beginning to pick up as ice conditions have improved considerably.Although there is a heavier amount of snow on the lakes, there is still the ability to drive four-wheeled vehicles around. Best way to travel these days is by snowmobile as it opens up opportunities to venture into the under utilized lakes.

Another walleye and pike season has been put to rest for a while, so most anglers have turned their attention to the many different trout that the area has to offer. Some nice lake trout have been active up in the Boundary Waters on lakes such as Snowbank, Knife, Thomas and Basswood. Getting into these lakes can be a struggle, as most of the lakes are covered in fifteen inches of snow, so travel on skis or snowshoes are the only way in if you're not running a sled dog team. Outside the Boundary Waters you can also pick up lakers on Snowbank and Burntside. Most folks have been using white jigging tubes, small spoons, Jigging Raps, and Chubby Darters worked rather aggressively throughout the water column. For a dead stick or tip-up, most are using either frozen smelt or a live minnow fished right on the bottom. The lake trout have been most active in waters from thirty to sixty feet deep.

Stream trout have been active too, with some rainbows up to twenty-two inches being brought to the hole on Tofte, Miners, and High and Dry lakes. Small spoons like Tumblers, Tinglers, Swedish Pimples and Buckshots will do the trick. Small jigs tipped with wax worms or salted crappie minnows will work as well. One group pulled a couple of splake from Tofte Lake that tipped the scale around five pounds, which are definitely bragging size.

Crappie anglers have been few and far between, but this action should kick into gear over the next few weeks.

Trout fishing has been dominating the angling scene even as the walleye and northern pike season is winding down, Walleye and pike season ends on the 24th of February this year, so if you desire these species of fish here in the North land, it's time to get out there and get in on the action. Many of the larger lakes have seen very little activity, but those venturing out on some of the smaller, out of the way lakes have been producing some decent catches. The fish seem to be a bit lethargic, so most are relying on a dead stick or tip-up to do the job. Fatheads or crappie size minnows seem to be the most productive.

The lake trout action on Burntside Lake remains steady, although most are reporting that the lakers are on the small size with two to three pounders being the norm, although some lakers are tipping the scales in the eight to ten pound range. White tubes have been responsible for the best success rates, with a lively minnow fished right on the bottom becoming a close second. Try your hand at working the entire water column in waters from thirty-five to sixty feet of water. Some nice rainbows are being caught on Miners Pit and Tofte Lake. Small dark colored jigs tipped with either a salted minnow or wax worm will work, however the hole-hopping fishermen are scoring some larger trout on small spoons.

Crappie action is picking up momentum on lakes such as Birch, Fall, and East Twin. Tiny jigs tipped with a minnow or wax worms have been working well. Jigging Raps and Jigging Shad Raps in size two or three have been taking some nice size crappies as the most aggressive fish are striking them usually on the first drop down the hole. There are times that the continued jigging action draws the attention of the fish and they just may strike a minnow fished near by. Try tipping the Raps with a couple of wax worms to add some scent and to encourage the fish to hold on long enough to get a good hook set.