451 West Sheridan Street Ely, Minnesota 55731
Fishing Report
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Since the close of walleye and pike season, anglers have turned their attention to trout and panfish in the area. Lake trout have been providing a good bit of action on Burntside Lake. The trout have begun to show up in relatively shallow water, from twenty to forty-five feet of water and are responding well to active jigging throughout the water column. Stream trout have been responding to small spoons and jigs tipped with wax worms on Miners, Tofte, and High and Dry Lakes.

Crappie action has begun to heat up on Fall and Birch lakes with minnows being the go-to bait, however more anglers lately have been using small soft baits rigged on a jig head. Fish may been suspended a bit off the bottom in some of the deeper spots adjacent to soft bottom bays in fifteen to twenty-one feet of water. Some nice sunnies are attacking the same baits that are being used to target the crappies.

The ice still remains fairly good on most lakes, but caution still should be taken when navigating around moving water and choke points. Ice thickness varies, but many lakes have around twenty inches of ice left on them. Anglers are still driving full size vehicles on both Burntside and Birch Lakes.

Another walleye and pike season has been put to rest until Spring here in the North Country, but that doesn't mean that you should hang up the poles until then. Trout fishing has still been productive for lake trout on Burntside, and stream trout on Tofte, High, Dry, and Miners Lakes. Lake trout have been responding to active jigging in water as shallow as twenty-five feet. Most anglers are using jigging tubes and medium size flutter spoons worked on humps or points rising up from deeper water. Stream trout are hitting small jigs tipped with wax worms or salted minnows.

Crappie action is on the upswing of Fall, Birch, East Twin, and Low Lakes. Some decent limits have been taken, and small minnows or white or pink jigs tipped with wax worms are the go to baits. Some large sunnies are hitting the same baits on East Twin and Low Lakes.

While there still remains good, solid ice on most lakes, no ice should be considered safe, and as the season winds down, more areas will become inaccesible. This is a good time to make safety a priority and travel in numbers with a good length of rope and flotation devices.

Panfish anglers are enjoying the mild temperatures and steady action on area lakes recently. Good numbers of chubby sunnies and nice slab crappies have been coming out of Fall, Low, Birch, and East Twin lakes. Travel is best by sled or four wheelers, but some folks are finding that travel by truck is not out of the questin, as most lakes have at least sixteen inches of ice. The snow cover is the only adverse feature to deal with.

Stream trout are still providing action on Miners, Tofte, High and Dry lakes. Small spoons and jig and wax worms are used by most active anglers, but some are finding a tip-up with a dead and salted minnows work well too, as you kick back and enjoy the unseasonably warm weather.

Lake trout action, while not "hot", has been providing some fun to those fishing Burntside Lake. Active jigging working best as those fish are smacking tube jigs and small Jigging Rap style baits. Most are sweetening up their offerings with either a minnow head or whole minnow, just to give the fish a little scent and taste as an added incentive to bite. This same set of tactics are woking on northern pike on Birch Lake.

Action remains steady on local lakes for panfish and trout fishermen. The most consistent reports for stream trout are coming from Miners, Tofte, and High and DryLakes. Small jigs tipped with waxies are effective, as well as salted minnows and jigging spoons. Many anglers are reporting actual activity right below their drilled holes in less than ten feet of water.

The crappie bite has begun to gain momentum, with good catches from Fall, East Twin, and Birch Lakes, with some measuring up to fourteen inches. Dead stick minnows are working well, but more and more anglers are discovering the benefits of using small, soft plastics on a jig. Most fish are coming from twelve to twenty-one feet of water and as typical, early and late bite is best.

Sunfish action is really some of the best we've experienced this season with nice limits coming from Low, East Twin, Armstrong, and One Pine. Jigs tipped with wax worms dominate the bait scene, but some folks are catching some larger sunnies on minnows intended for crappies.

Walleye action is still slow, but northern pike fishermen are picking up the slack. Keep in mind that just about all lakes up here have good populations of pike, and they will readily take a minnow, dead or alive, fished right on the bottom.

Ice thickness remains good with most lakes sporting sixteen to eighteen inches, and this is expected to remain throughout the recent warm-up as just the snow cover is melting. Some slush is evident during the day, but it is less than a few inches deep.

With the recent colder weather, more lakes have seen the growth of drivable ice. This has been a boon to anglers seeking lake trout on Burntside and Snowbank Lakes. Finally folks are able to venture out to more remote areas free from the congestion near the landings. Some are having success in relatively shallow waters in the twenty-five to forty-five foot depths near deeper drop-offs. White tubes such as pearl white or glow white by Gitzit or Berkley on a jig leads the lure selection on Burntside, while Airplane Jigs and Bionic Bucktails dominate the action on Snowbank. The consensus of opinion for the majority of fishermen has been to keep the offering in constant motion.

Stream trout are also on the menu for many as well, and lakes such as Tofte, Glacier Ponds, Miners Pit and High and Dry lakes are all producing some decent catches. Small dark jigs tipped with wax worms are luring the rainbows in, while small jigging spoons are responsible for most of the splake and brook trout. Best bet is to work outward from shore as some of the trout are in less than eight feet of water early in the day and seem to descend deeper as the day progresses.

Panfish have been the target of more anglers these days as the lack of walleyes has become more evident lately. Good size crappies are coming out of Birch, Fall, East Twin, and Johnson Lakes. Small minnows seem to work best, but tiny tubes and other small soft baits have really been coming on strong, by eliminating the need to keep minnows alive when traveling to more remote lakes. Some jumbo size sunnies have been pleasing many by gobbling up wax worms on small jigs. Some reports seem to be a bit exaggerated, but if true, there has been a recent uptick of near one pound sunfish. Many local lakes support good numbers of sunnies, but some of the top producers have been Johnson, One Pine, Low, Armstrong Lakes, and the Kawishiwi River.