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

The recent snow cover on the Ely area lakes has inhibited some of the ice formation and slowed angler traffic somewhat, however those that are venturing out have been rewarded with some decent action. Many folks have been targeting crappies and sunfish with good results. Some slab crappies up to fourteen inches are being pulled from Fall, East Twin, and Birch Lakes. Some decent northern pike have been caught and speared in the past few weeks as well. Although ice thickness can vary considerably, prudent anglers have been traveling by snowmobile, four wheelers, and on foot, drilling as they go to stay on the safest ice. Most bays have around ten to twelve inches of ice which is just fine for the smaller transports. Some areas of slush are now being reported near cacks and where people have been drilling a network of holes.

The next big rush of activity will come with the opening of trout season outside of the BWCA which begins on January 12th. Lakes entirely within the BDUB has already opened. Lake trout fishing has really seen an increase over the past several years, and this season should be no exception. Burntside Lake has been gaining in popularity as the numbers of lake trout there remain healthy and steady. Burntside has a large expanse of water with several access points on it which allows anglers, even those on foot, to get in on the action relatively close to shore, which means a great deal when travel conditions are restricted. Lake trout respond well to active jigging with a variety of lures convincing some of these bruisers to chase and strike. While this is the preferred method for many, some of the lakers will readily take a live or frozen bait right off the bottom under a dead stick or tip-up. Snowbank Lake is another great destination for lake trout and is within easy reach of Ely, just up the Fernberg road. Snowbank seems to turn out some larger fish at times and it has access to waters inside the BWCA which prohibits motorized traffic. This can be a plus too, as some lake trout anglers believe that any disturbance above the ice affects the trout under it such as driving, drilling and plowing.

Stream trout will be open on the Ely areas many trout lakes this weekend. Lakes such as Miners, Tofte, Glacier Ponds, High and Dry and others will no doubt see a surge in action as is usual. These lakes have been providing some great action for rainbows, splake, browns and brook trout. Lure selection can be as wide and varied as the anglers pursuing them. Some take the stealthy approach with tiny offerings tipped with a wax worm or crappie minnow head, while others score big on larger spoons and jigs. Always keep in mind that you are only allowed to fish with one device, whether it be a rod and reel or tip-up on designated trout lakes. Ridiculous, yes, but that's the law.