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

Walleye action remains fairly consistent with the most successful anglers working at or above the thermocline. This seperation of water temps and oxygen levels has been the place to run your baits. The level of the thermocline varies from lake to lake, even different parts of the same lake where water flow and clarity can alter temps. Most lakes checked have shown this line to be at twelve to twenty feet. You can visually see it if you have a sensitive locator by turning up the gain higher in the display. Work at or just above this level. Many folks are having success working deep diving crankbaits, or smaller weighted spinner/crawler combos. Often times you will see small bait fish, with larger marks interspersed, and that's where you want your bait to be running. Bass fishermen are having a heyday on most lakes around here. Some trophy size smallmouth have been smashing surface baits early and late in the day, then working shallow divers during mid-day. It's not rocket science, just keep working along shorelines and weed edges down to about ten feet. Crank baits, swim baits and crawfish imitations are drawing the most strikes down deep. Pike remain active, and are more than willing to smash a spinner bait or spoon. Average pike are running from six to ten pounds, with an occasional whopper up to twenty pounds being reported.

Walleyes still coming to the scales as more and more folks rediscover the benefits of fishing with crawlers as live bait. Crawler sales have continued to rise and in part it's due to the ease at which we can keep live bait throughout the heat of summer. Toss a couple dozen crawlers in the cooler and you have access you nice lively bait all day in spite of the high ambient air temperatures. Trolling crawler harnesses has really been paying off recently as people ply the local waters in search of walleyes. Depth really hasn't been a big consideration as fish are coming in from waters as shallow as four feet on White Iron Lake, and continue down the scale to over sixty feet in deeper lakes such as Snowbank. Crank baits too are accounting for a good portion of the fish harvest both for walleyes and northern pike. Larger cranks displace more water and their inherent erratic action will draw predators from a greater distance. Try working the water with these at the drops from the shallows down into deeper water. Some nice crappies are coming out of Birch and Fall Lakes. Most are coming from fifteen to twenty feet, but a few are cruising at mid-depth as they chase minnow schools. These fish tend to be the most aggressive biters. Tiny crank baits and Beetle Spins can be trolled through these suspended fish with some success. Some lake trout have been caught recently, but average size tends to be on the smaller end of the scale at less than six pounds. Some trout are taking deep jigged soft baits, while others are responding to trolled spoons.

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.

Fewer fish have been reported this past week as the dead of summer takes shape. Although the success rate of anglers has been down, there still have been a few happy anglers, most of them coming from more remote lakes in and outside of the Boundary Waters. Night crawler sales have been brisk as the availability and size of leeches has taken a down turn, as is normal at this time of year. Crawlers are a fine alternative to leeches and have led many folks to a successful trip. Whether you fish them on a crawler harness or just suspend them under a bobber, few fish can resist them. Another option at this time of year is to pursue the various trout species available in the area. The cool, clear waters here do abound with some fine specimens of rainbows, brook, brown and lake trout. Many of these deeper lakes remain cool throughout the summer, and it can be as simple as finding what part of the water column is currently holding the fish. The stream species, such as rainbows and brook trout can be caught by trolling or casting Mepp's style spinners or small spoons, as well as just relaxing on the bank with a worm under a bobber. Lake trout can require a bit more effort and equipment, as these hard fighting specimens are holding in much deeper water and warrant the use of a boat and equipment that allows you to troll in depths of fifty feet or more. Downriggers work wel, but can be cumbersome and a bit expensive for casual anglers. A fine alternative is to rig your line with a Dipsy Diver or larger keel type sinker to get your bait down to these depths that hold the fish.

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.