451 West Sheridan Street Ely, Minnesota 55731
Fishing Report
  • 218-365-6930

Although the fishing cannot be considered great, many anglers are managing to catch a few nice fish. Walleyes have been the most unpredictable, with some being caught on deep drop-offs, while others are hitting some baits offered to bass in relatively shallow water. Crank baits have been the choice of many folks as they come in a good variety of diving depths, which can be a blessing when fish seem to be spread out all over the water column. Bass fishermen have been having the most fun, as smallmouths and largemouths alike have remained very active at this time of year. Crank baits, spinner baits, and a wide variety of soft baits all remain effective. The most exciting time to be fishing for bass are early and late in the day, when they are exploding on surface baits like poppers worked along shorelines and submerged cover. A few northern pike over forty inches have been caught recently, and they definitely have shown an affinity for live suckers fished right on the bottom in ten to fifteen feet of water. Pro-active anglers are doing their fair share of catching pike by working cranks and spinner baits along weedlines and other structure. A few lake trout are being caught on Burntside Lake by deep jigging white tubes or twister tail soft baits in fifty to seventy-five feet of water, or trolling spoons below fifty feet.

Many of the folks fishing the Ely area recently were tough to convince that the summer doldrums have descended upon us. A good number of waleyes, pike, and bass have been landed and reported in to the local bait shops. The walleye bite this time of year has been unusual to say the least. Bass anglers have been cashing in on the "eyes" while tossing spinner baits and soft plastics in as little as four feet of water, while others are find them while trolling crawler rigs and cranks along the thermocline in fifteen to nineteen feet of water with plus-size crank baits. Pike are busting spinners and spoons along island points and the entrances to shallow bays near the deeper drop-offs. Some nice crappies are filling the stringers for some on Birch Lake, One Pine and East Twin. Most are finding the fish suspended about half way to the bottom. A few lake trout have been coming up from the depths of Burntside Lake for anglers trolling spoons and Rapala Glass Minnows at about fifty-fie to sixty-five feeto water or more. It may be a scorcher sitting out there in the boat at this time of year, but as they always say, "It beats working", and if you feel it's too hot out, you could always take a dip in these cool, clear waters.

Recent reports have indicated an upswing in the catch rates of folks heading out from the Ely area. A good number of walleyes over 24" have been taken, as well as smallmouth bass hovering around the 20+ inch range have been coming to the net. The most successful angler have been catching the walleyes where they have been suspended down from 9-12', or just above the thermocline. Speaking of which, if you have a good depth finder on your boat, turn the gain way up so that you can easily see where the thermocline lies, and put your baits in this zone. This may be difficult for some, as they are using the old tactic of putting their baits just above the bottom, far under the active fish. This is where a good crank bait comes in handy as you can adjust their running depth by either letting more line out or adding some small weights just ahead of the lure to put it in the target zone. Smallmouth bass are working the shorelines for whatever baitfish or crustaceons may reside there. Crawfish imitations or soft swim baits really shine under these conditions. Even on those lakes that have been experiencing mayfly hatches, the brown bass are smacking  top water cranks, chuggers or poppers.

Some folks are bringing in some really nice fish lately, while others still have their stringers remaining dry in the tackle box. The best way to connect at this time of year is to remain flexible.There have been bass fishermen landing some nice walleyes while fishing soft tube baits and small crank baits in as little as four feet of water, while others are pulling walleyes out of thirty feet of water using a bottom bouncer and spinner combo. As the weather has warmed, many anglers are using crawlers as a go-to bait as they're easy to maintain by just keeping them in the cooler, and almost every fish that swims will eat them. Big pike are readily taking spinner baits and spoons worked a bit deeper along drop-offs down to ten to fifteen feet. Minnows and deep diving crank baits are allowing anglers to take some decent lake trout from Burntside Lake. The lakers seem to be doing most of their feeding in fifty to sixty feet of water.

Walleye fishing seems to remain good for the most part with anglers favoring leeches and crawlers on a spinner rig. A good number of the fish are coming from ten to twenty-two feet of water during mid-day and in the shallows early and late in the day. Some folks still managing to catch some on jigs, but the long-liners are doing better as fish that are shallow seem to spook easily, especially on those gin clear lakes. Bass fishermen are having a heyday as these aerial acrobats are smashing everything from soft baits on a jig head to topwater lures worked along the shorelines and sunken timber. A few lake trout are still being caught by dragging spoons and plus-size crank baits down to thirty-five feet. Some anglers are slow drifting frozen smelt along the bottom or rigged suckers in the four to six inch range. Panfish are cooperating too, as anglers from shore can testify. Many youngsters and older folks alike enjoy watching a bobber disappear as these scrappy fish take a piece of worm offered just above the bottom.