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

Another fishing season is upon us, and as the hordes of anglers who have decided to start it out in the Ely area, most were pleased with the results of their journey to the North Country. People have been coming to the Ely area from across the state, and across the country to pursue their dreams of catching big northern pike and the most sought after walleyes, This year, the largest hurdle was finding good supplies of bait to entice the bite. Bait shops across the state were having difficulties find live minnows and leeches, but businesses in our vicinity seemed to be able to provide what was needed. The second hurdle was trying to secure permits for the BWCA.

 The Great Boundary Waters permit debacle of 2019 has been temporarily resolved, and hopes across the board have been temporarily lifted as many anglers were able to at least get a few of the permits that were made available through the system that has been plagued with crashes and beaurocratic ineptitude.

Basswood Lake, in the Boundary Waters was THE place to be on opening weekend, as most who traveled there were very successful. Reports of stringers being filled within the first few hours were the talk of the town throughout the weekend. Many of the walleyes were in the 15-18" range which was fine for most, but some fishermen had caught and released many in the 25" and up range as well. Minnows have led the way for live bait, followed closely by crawlers trolled on a spinner harness.

Outside the Bdub, Fall lake anglers crowded the power dam and reported good catches there, however many of the fish were released due to their diminutive size. Shagawa Lake, which was once hailed as a premier destination, left a lot to be desired when it comes to catch rates. Some caught their share, but many others struggled to get a limit. Birch Lake was doing well for walleyes with most in the 15- 18" range, and some slab crappies found their way into the boats of anglers there. White Iron Lake appears to be slowly rebounding as far as walleyes go, with not only a decent amount of "keepers" but some larger eyes as well. White Iron's saving grace has been the northern pike which have been running on the large size. Sucker minnows have been the go-to bait for these whoppers this early in the season.

Remember if you are planning a trip anywhere up North, either wear a life jacket, or keep one close at hand as the water temperatures have only been in the mid forties on most lakes right now and hypothermia can claim the the lives of even the  best of swimmers.