451 West Sheridan Street Ely, Minnesota 55731
Fishing Report
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The walleye bite is still active around the reefs and sunken islands in eight to twenty feet of water by day and on adjoining flats in four to eight feet in the evening.The early bite seems to be on minnows and as the day progresses, the bite turns over to crawlers on a spinner and slow trolled crank baits. When using cranks, size apparently matters, as some of the bigger walleyes are striking larger size Rapalas up to number 11s. This is also the go to bait for late evening action, and some folks are also having success using lighted bobbers with a minnow after sunset.

Smallmouth bass are still smashing top water offerings when the lake surface is calm, then the action seems to go deeper with small cranks and soft baits when the chop is on the water. Spinner baits are working their magic too, but be prepared for the occasional pike to inhale your lure and run off with it. Pike will readily take spoons too, but their favorite seems to be live suckers fished under a float.

Many good numbers of trout are being reported to from lakes like Miners, Tofte, and the Galcier ponds. The simplest way to catch them is to suspend a crawler under a bobber, but tiny crank baits and spinners will do the job when casted along shorelines in six to ten feet. Some rainbows have been caught exceeding twenty inches in length.

Anglers are still finding cooperative walleyes on many of the area lakes recently. Most fish are being caught using crawler tipped spinner rigs, but some folks have been doing well with crank baits trolled along drop-offs at the mouths of shallow flats both early and late in the day. The mid-day bit has been somewhat deeper, as folks ply the waters over eighteen feet down.Some are having success in the late evening hours fishing minnows under lighted bobbers in the shallows.

Trout anglers have been doing well on Tofte Lake and Miners Pit by trolling small crank baits and spoons. Set your depth at ten to fifteen feet down during the day. Early and late these same trout are striking lures run right at the surface. A crawler under a bobber will also take many of these same fish. It's an easy way to fill a stringer and all it takes is a little patience.

Smallmouth bass will readily attack a surface lure as these calm mornings continue. Work your baits around weed edges or on mid lake rock piles early in the day and use sub-surface cranks and soft baits as the sun rises higher in the sky. Spinner baits are taking their toll on bass throughout the day, but one must expect to donate a few to the pike that are lying in wait in the same waters in search of a meal.

While on the subject of pike, try trolling larger profile crank baits near weed edges and rocky points. At this time of year, no lure seems to be too large to entice some of these monsters to bite. Spinner baits and spoons will work very well for those willing to keep casting. Some impressive numbers are being reported, but most of the fish are in the three to five pound range, which happen to be the ideal size for eating, although some true line busters in the ten to fifteen pound range have been taken.

Some nice walleyes are still being caught on area lakes. Many anglers have switched their choice of live bait to crawlers these days as the availability of leeches has come to a virtual halt. Crawler harnesses have been the lure to use and the success rate has been very good. Crawlers are much easier to keep as the temperatures continue to hover around the eighty degree mark. Keeping a couple dozen crawlers in a cooler has been much easier for folks and those going into the back country have found that just keeping a wet towel over their bait can maintain the cooling by evaporation.

Trolling larger profile crank baits are becoming very popular as well at this time of year. Trying various color combinations until you achieve the desired action. A good rule is to use neutral colors like silver, gold, or natural bait in clear water lakes, and brighter colors such as orange or fire tiger patterns in stained water.

Crappie action has finally taken hold as these fish are beginning to bunch up once again. The easiest way to locate the schools is to troll tiny crank baits or lures such as Beetle Spins where you mark suspended fish. Quite often, you'll find them suspended around the eight to fifteen foot mark over water that can be up to thirty feet deep. On shallower lakes, look for the fish on the edge of weed beds either early or late in the day.

Smallmouth bass action has been the most consistent of all local species. Top water baits rule here, as the action will continue throughout the day. This can be a very exciting way to fish as these aerial acrobats will readily explode at the surface and summersault their way to the boat or shoreline if fishing from land. Some bragging size largemouth bass have been taken using the same tactics. When there is a heavy chop on the water, make your presentations a bit deeper, using sub-surface crank baits or spinner baits.

Northern pike are still gobbling up sucker minnows, whether fished live under a bobber or dead baits laid right on the bottom in three to ten feet. Larger profile cranks, such as Rapala F-18s have been accounting for some huge pike as are spinner baits or spoons, fished either around weed beds or rocky island points. Color patterns don't appear to be a concern as these fish will grab most anything presented to them when they're in the mood.

Walleyes are still responding well to slow trolled spinner rigs loaded with a crawler. most of these fish have been taken from waters fifteen to eighteen feet deep. Trolling crankbaits has been working well in the same depth range. Larger cranks are taking some really nice walleyes near sunset and into the night on areas that lead to shallow flats where they're feeding after dark. This can also be a great time to hang a minnow under a lighted bobber. To be safe, make sure your running lights are in order, and it also helps to have good lighting in the boat. A headlamp is a valuable tool after dark.

Northern pike have been active in the early morning. This can be a great time to fish top water plastics. These lures create a lot of disturbance at first light, when the lakes are flat and still. The same lures that you'd use for bass fishing work well on pike. buzz baits, spinner baits work as well as top water plugs such as Jitterbugs, Hula Poppers, and Torpedos. The action can be explosive, with both largemouth and smallmouth bass attacking these same baits. They create quite a ruckus on still waters as they smash a surface offering and the bass don't seem to mind the steel  leaders that are necessary for targeting pike.

Trout action has seen an upswing too lately. Lake trout fishing on Burntside has been producing some decent fish in the five to six pound range. Set your lures, whether they be cranks or spoons from thirty to forty five feet down. This has been where the thermocline has been hovering, and bait fish tend to congregate there. Raindow trout have been active on most local trout lakes. Fly fishermen have been working dry flies early in the day, then working nymphs or minnow imitations like the Clouser during mid-day. This can also be a great time to get kids interested in trout. These fish respond well to the simple method of just fishing worms under a bobber, which can be a kick for kids. (and adults too).


The angler success rate has slowed a bit in the Ely area, perhaps due to the high temperatures of both the air and the water. Those seeking walleyes should now concentrate their efforts on deep water structure in the fifteen to twenty-five foot range. Walleyes in particular have been holding at these depths, and anglers dragging spinner rigs with a crawler have been scoring some decent catches.

Smallmouth bass fishing has been better than average, as folks turn their attention to these hard fighting fish. Whether you're using spinner baits or top water lures, these critters never fail to co-operate. Many fishing trips have been saved by these voracious feeders on these clear water lakes. Young anglers too have been getting into the game as a simple rig of a crawler suspended under a bobber will be as effective when fished from a dock or along the shoreline.

As the walleye action slows, some folks have been turning their attention to northern pike. Artificial lures such as spinner baits and spoons, probably account for more pike than any other baits. It appears that the faster that you work these lures, the more aggressive the fish become, probably due to the fish responding to a bait that's trying to escape. Suckers under a bobber or just layed on the bottom can be very effective as well. There are times when a dead sucker on the bottom will produce much larger fish as the big ones don't have to work as hard chasing bait to get a meal.

Some lake trout have been coming in for anglers working water from forty ot sixty feet down in the water column. In this area spoons with a white or white green pattern have been working well. Other anglers find that just drifting along and vertical jigging has paid off.