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

As the weather begins to cool, the fishing action has been heating up. Good reports of walleyes are currently coming in from Bich Lake and Shagawa Lake as fish are smacking crawler harnesses trolled along the breaks in the mouths of bays. Some anglers are still having success in the shallow flats, in water less than eight feet. Many big pike are being caught while trolling or casting magnum size crank baits, but some anglers are still bobber fishing suckers to accomplish the same task when they are available. Bass fishing has really hit its stride as is usual during the summer months. Top water lures are very popular as you can see the strike as it happens. Try floating frogs or use the old reliable Jitterbugs and Hula Poppers. During mid-day when bass sink down a bit, soft crawfish immitations on a jig or weighted hook work very well in convincing these acrobats to bite.

Fishing action has picked up a bit and anglers are having most of their success in shallow water. Big smallmouth bass are being reported, and walleyes have been a by-catch of those plying the shallows for both larege mouth and small mouth bass. Walleyes have been roaming the near shore waters in seach of minnow schools, and are falling for crawlers, and crank baits there. Big pike are smashing plus-size crank baits and spinners too, as they cruise the weed edges and rocky points in search of an easy meal. Crappies are beginning to school up along the thermocline and will take anything from a lively minnow, down to small soft plastics on a jig head. A recent resurgence of the use of Beetle Spins and Spin Bees are helping fill the stringers. A few impressive rainbow trout in the twenty inch range have been coming out of Miner's Pit for folks fishing crawlers in the timber.

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.

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.

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.