451 West Sheridan Street Ely, Minnesota 55731
Fishing Report
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The walleyes are beginning to leave the shallows and are starting to roam about their summer haunts as the water temperatures continue to rise. Crank baits at this time of the season wll be the preferred tool of choice due to their ability to be run at different depths and speed. These search missions should begin in the shallowest parts of the lakes early in the day and work progressively deeper as the day wears on. Some anglers are having success at mid-day down to twenty-five feet, and this is where large lipped cranks can be very productive. Begin your trolling at speeds around .8 mph and gradually increase your speed up to about 1.7 or 1.8 if necessary. When you hit that sweet spot in your pattern and have a strike or you land a fish, make a note of your speed and direction, and try to dupicate it. More often than not there will be other fish in the area, as walleyes tend to school near a food source. For live bait anglers, it's a good idea to carry a variety of baits to dial in what the fish might prefer at the time. Leeches, crawlers, and minnows will all work, but one might stand out above the rest, and you might not want to be sitting next to a bucket of leeches while the fish are on a minnow bite.

The rising water temperatures have kicked in the pre-spawn for smallmouth bass. The bass are beginning to strike out at anything that encroaches upon their nesting site. This is a perfect time to refine your techniques of pitching soft baits and shallow running cranks. Soft baits can be extremely productive right now as they allow you to slowly crawl the bait along the bottom near and even over these nests. The bass's instincts are to attack and remove these threats. Many times they will not engulf the baits, but merely pick them up and move them away, and if you are watching this action with a pair of polarized glasses these fish can be hooked and played as they pick up what you have to offer. Catch and release should be dutifully practiced during the spawn as these reproductive cycles are the future of our continued success.

Crappies too are getting ready for the mating game. A few anglers have reported seeing crappies in as little as a foot of water, some even less, with their backs sticking above the surface. While it's best not to disturb or disrupt the process, it's hard to resist taking a few of the slabs home for the dinner table. Small minnows or tiny jigs fished under a slip bobber can be irresistable right now. Keep in mind though that when you're working these fish in the shallows, stealth is extremely important. Use very light line so that you may make longer casts as these fish are extra spooky.