451 West Sheridan Street Ely, Minnesota 55731
Fishing Report
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Walleye anglers have been treated to some good catches lately as their targets are beginning to return to their summer patterns. Once again the areas which one fishes are more important than the presentation. Some fine fish are falling for slow trolled crank baits along the drops associated with shallow flats and humps, along with the use of jig and leech or crawler combinations. Crawler fishing has made a resurgence in the past couple of years, as anglers revert back to these tried and true baits. A crawler harness hooked up behind a bottom bouncer or walking sinker has been working very well. Try working up and down the drop walls until you find that sweet spot depth. Crawlers are much easier to keep for most folks as all they require is to keep them cool. Even in a longer duration trip such as into the Boundary Waters for days on end, it's possible to maintain, good, lively bait. All that is required is that you place a wet cloth over the bait container, and keep it out of direct sunlight. The evaporative cooling should keep the bait well enough on all but the hottest of days. Leeches should keep well to if you choose to use them. It's advisable to add a stone to your leech container to sink it below the surface, which holds the warmest water. Sinking a bait container three feet or more can reduce the temperatures by five to ten degrees. This also applies to anglers using minnows.

Largemouth and smallmouth bass action has also heated up recently as the males are on the beds guarding the nests during the spawn. Females too will readily hit a slow worked soft bait or crank bait worked in the shallow waters. Please release any egg laden females as these are producing the next generation of fish. Using a heavier line to catch them is essential as this allows you to get the fish to the boat quicker and return them to the water without the stress of a longer battle. Crawfish patterns are working extremely well under these conditions and should continue for the next couple of weeks. Some of the nesting sites are easy to locate, as the bottom that hold the eggs or fry will usually be slightly lighter in color than the surrounding bottom.

Northern pike have become more aggressive of late as the abundance of juvenile forage fish has increased with young of the year fry and fingerlings roaming the shallows. Spinner baits and spoons are the preferred bait for most, but a sucker fished under a bobber or simply laid right on the bottom are irresitable to these toothy denizens. Some anglers are beginning to see the merits of soft swim baits worked along shorelines, weed edges or rocky points. Your rate of retieval should vary until you find the proper speed that the fish will respond to. At times a slow retrieve will work just fine, but other times you may want to rip your bait across the surface. Some bass anglers have been hooking up some impressive pike as they ply the skinny water. Without a wire leader though many finish their retieve with a bare line. A good braided line can avert this result as well when tied directly to a lure.

The crappie spawn has been slow to materialize on many lakes as the water temps have taked their time to rise. On some of the smaller shallow lakes the action can be hot while on larger impoundments the temps are just now approaching spawning temperature. Simple rigs such as a minnow under a bobber work well, but if you want to cover more water try tying a small jig and plastic minnow or other soft bait such as a curly tail to your line. This also helps you to keep on casting to the productive spots without constantly rebaiting your hook. Johnson Beetle spins work well at this time of year, but keep a few different color tails on hand as at times this will make the difference of getting bit or not.

Lake trout have also begun to migrate to the deeper waters as temps rise. Most folks have begun to pick them up  thirty to sixt feet down in the water column, whereas just a couple weeks ago they were being caught at twenty-five feet. Spoons and cranks trolled at two to two and a half mph seem to be the ticket to draw a response. Color choice seems to vary day by day so it's best to have a selection of colors and change them often, to ascertain what the lakers will respond to. Downriggers are the preferred method to get the baits to depth, but in lieu of that, a Dipsy Diver or even a large sinker on a three way swivel should get you in the zone.