451 West Sheridan Street Ely, Minnesota 55731
Fishing Report
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 Many folks are taking advantage of the fairly mild weather patterns of late and the exceptionally good ice conditions to extend their hard water season. Ice thickness varies marginally, but most lakes still have twenty to twenty-two inches of good, solid ice. Some thinner ice is still being reported, but it remains mostly where there is some current and flowing water. If you can avoid these areas, you should have no problem manuevering around on nice, smooth ice with very little snow cover. Crappies are beginning to bunch up around deep water structure adjacent to shallow bays in preparation for ice-out and Spring spawn patterns. The most productive lakes are Birch, Fall, and Twin Lakes, although other lakes such as Bass, and Low Lakes are producing their fair share. Dead sticking minnows are working well, but small soft plastics on a jig seem to be working equally well. Sunnies too are snacking on wax worm and jig combos and in some cases, the larger ones are taking small minnow rigs targeting crappies.Lake trout action remains good on Burntside Lake and Snowbank. Most action has been attributed to jigging tube baits on both lakes, and dead sticking smelt or suckers have been working on these lakes as well. Some folks are taking advantage of the ideal lake travel conditions and have been trekking into the border lakes within the Boundary Waters as travel conditions remain excellent. A reminder that trout season ends on the 31st of March outside the Boundary Waters.

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.

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.

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.