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

Walleye anglers are having some succes of late, in spite of the mayfly hatch. The primary baits have been leeches and crawlers fished in conjunction with spinner rigs in ten to twenty feet of water. Some folks are also having success with crank baits fished on island drop-offs and sunken reefs. Evening fishermen are scoring as well when using slip bobbers and leeches, with some of the best action occuring right at dark. This is where a good lighted bobber comes into play.

Crappie action has been heating up too. Some crappie fishermen have been saying that the action has been so good that they have to reluctantly leave after filling their quotas with the fish still biting.

Some decent catches of northern pike have been reported, with anglers using spinner baits and top water lures fished on weed edges and rocky points.

Lake trout have been somewhat active too and have readily taken trolled spoons and large crank baits in the fifty foot of water depths.

Smallmouth and large mouth bass have been smashing surface running lures early and late in the day. During the heat of the day, soft plastics on a jig or weighted hooks have been the way to go. Some fine catches have been made by shore anglers just bobber fishing with either a leech or crawler as bait.

It's been a good week to be fishing in the Ely area. The weather has finally given us a reprieve from the rain showers, and the mayfly hatch is finally winding down. Fishing pressure was light, as normally is the case folowing a holiday weekend, so there was little competition for prime fishing spots.

Crawlers and leeches led the way for live bait presentations for walleyes. Minnows become harder to keep for many anglers that are reluctant to keep their bait cool and aerated with the warmer temps outside, and crawlers and leeches can be kept in the cooler alongside your favorite beverage. Spinner rigs have been a preferred offering, but some anglers are finding success working deep diving crank baits in mid-range structures such as sunken reefs and islands.

Smallmouth bass anglers are being rewarded with some great top water action early and late in the day. Mid-day action seems to favor soft baits such as crawfish imitations, and swim baits worked in rubble, weed edges and sunken timber. A good way to get the kids in on some action is to suspend a leech under a bobber. It usually doesn't take long for a hungry bass to find it.

Northern pike are smashing top water baits as well, as bass fishermen are finding out, but spinner baits a large crank baits are scoring too.

The recent rainy weather served to keep a lot of folks off the water, but to those hearty souls who did venture forth were rewarded with some decent catches of fish. Some nice walleyes, up to twenty-seven inches have been caught from Birch Lake and from Basswood Lake, with anglers using a variety of methods from dragging crank baits, floating crawler harnesses, and jig or bobber fishing leeches. It seems to be more of a matter of location, than tactics. Most are saying that the fish are relating to a softer bottom of mud or sand.

Pike numbers remain good as well, with a good number of them in the forty inch and up range coming to the net. Spinner baits and large crank baits are very effective right now, but some are using suckers as their bait of choice to cash in on the lakes bounty.

Smallmouth bass are going into their post-spawn habits, and are beginning to hammer top water baits fished in the transition zones where soft bottoms verge into rubble fields of rocks.

More than a few lake trout are being taken by anglers dragging crank baits and spoons in the forty to fifty-five foot of water depths. Deep water basins have been producing the most action as water temps slowly climb.

The walleye bite has slowed this past week, perhaps due to the recent mayfly hatch. Some anglers had some success, but action has been relatively slow. The fish that have been caught were coming from shallow water in the ten foot range, around weed edges or in the mud flats.

Smallmouth bass action has been heating up in spite of the bug hatch and are responding well to surface lures near shore. Hula Poppers and Jitterbugs have been the go-to baits along with Torpedos and Tiny Torpedos a close second. Best action has been early and late in the day. Some nice smallies have been caught with diving crank baits in a crawfish pattern during the heat of the day. As always a lively leech or crawler can also do the job when fished under a bobber.

Some nice pike have been taken using spinner baits or large crank baits fished along weed edges or near submerged structure. The old adage, "big bait, big fish", is still applicable. For a more laid back approach, try fishing a frozen smelt or live or dead sucker fished right on the bottom.

Lake trout have still been co-operating on Burntside Lake. Trolled spoons or deep diving crank baits have been the ticket to success there. Try to get your offering down in the forty to fifty-five foot water depths for the best action.

Walleye fishing remains good throughout the area, with a vast majority of "eyes" coming from less than ten feet of water. This may be in part due to the insect hatches of late, as anglers examining the stomach contents of their catches and finding mostly semi-digested insects in them. Mayflies are begining to hatch and that will account for a lot of the bugs in the fish. Slow crawled leeches or crawlers just inched along the bottom seem to be working well early and late in the day, while a floating jig head can be used during late mornings and early afternoon. Some folks are also having success trolling shallow diving crank baits along transitions or weed edges.

Smallmouth bass are on the beds in many lakes and can be caught with either soft baits such as crawfish imitations or swim baits and tubes worked along the shorelines in less than five feet of water. A few have been lucky to catch some more aggressive bass with top water baits such as poppers or frogs.

Pike have readily been smacking spinner baits and small shallow diving crank baits worked along breaks and weed edges. Some anglers are just sitting back and relaxing while live suckers do the work for them.

A few lake trout have been reported from Burntside Lake as anglers troll spoons or crank baits down about forty feet in the water column. If you don't have downriggers, you can still achieve these depths with diving planers such as Dipsy Divers, Slide Divers, or a large egg sinker in line with your lures.