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

Happy New Year to everyone!  May 2019 be your best fishing season yet.

With the recent cold snap, we should continue building a more solid ice base from which to seek the fish in the Ely area. Most lakes have around twelve inches of good clear ice. That is not to say that it's safe, as there are much thinner areas that can and will vary from lake to lake, particularly around any moving water or choke points between any islands. As always, proceed with caution, and drill or chisel your way as you go, and please travel in numbers for safety.

Pan fishermen have been doing fairly well on most small impoundments as more and more folks venture out. Small minnows and jigs tipped with a minnow or soft plastic bait have been working for the crappies. White, pink, and other light colored offerings seem to be performing the best. Sunnies are attacking small jigs tipped with a wax worm or two. Don't hesitate to try some larger profile baits for the first few drops as these will draw them towards the hole, then you can pick off the larger more aggressive fish first.  When the action slows, downsize your baits to keep them interested.

Northern pike are being quite responsive in the past couple of weeks. Most are using tip-ups with a live sucker or shiner on the hook. This can be very entertaining for the young and old alike, and a great way to gain the interest of someone who has never ice fished before. Try working around the still green weed edges in water from three to ten feet deep. You can also lay a dead or frozen minnow rig right on the bottom, as pike can be like vacuum cleaners picking up just about anything lying around.

This is also a good time to get your trout gear in order. Boundary Waters Lakes opened last week for trout and will open Jan. 12th outside the BDUB. If last year was any indication of what's to come, get ready for some great action. We have seen the number of trout reported increase for the past few years. This could be due to increasing trout numbers, or the fact that anglers are getting better at catching them. If you have never had a lake trout through the ice on the end of your line, you have no idea what you're missing. These fish are extremely dogged fighters, with even the smaller fish keeping up quite a fight. Keep in mind though that the next one you catch could be one of those ten-plus pounders, which will absolutely spool your reel with the drag screaming the whole way. Rainbows and splake have also been showing up in good numbers as well in recent years. Some rainbows have been in excess of 23", which is impressive considering what small bodies of water they're coming out of here.