451 West Sheridan Street Ely, Minnesota 55731
Fishing Report
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The walleye bite remains fairly consistent on many of the areas lakes of late. The best chance of landing these prized game fish has been by using a crawler harness slow trolled around reef edges and weed lines. Some of the best specimens are actually coming from shallow water.This may be counter intuitive as most anglers believe that the walleyes will always be in deeper water throughout the summer months, which is not entirely true. While there appears to be an active bite for some by trolling larger crank baits in deep water, there are others who have found that the fish are also chasing their meals in the shallows where the bait is plentiful. Small bait fish will nearly always be found in the shallowest of cover around weed lines and other structures. This is where flexibility in ones approach can provide the best action. Small crank baits can be effective, but the majority of anglers are using the tried and true method of pulling spinners tipped with either a crawler or leeches. As the summer wears on, the availability of leeches wanes and their size begins to dwindle, so it may be necessary to use more than one on a rig. This is where a multiple hook harness can be a plus, as you can place a smaller leech on either two or three of the hooks to attain a larger presentation. With crawlers on the same rig, a good tip is to shorten the crawler by pinching off the long tail that protrudes beyon the trailing hook. This will help to avoid the short striking walleye from avoiding the hook. In the heat of summer, it is much easier to care for crawlers or leeches by placing them in a cooler to protect them from the summer heat and maintain a good, lively bait. For those who feel they must use minnows at this time of year, consider keeping them in a cooler with an aerator to keep the bait fresh and active. Placing a bucket of minnows in the lake at the surface where temps are now hovering around the eighty degree mark will almost guarantee a bucket full of dead bait within hours.

Pan fish such as crappies and bluegills are holding in tight cover frovided by the thickest of weed beds where ther is a plethora of food available to them. Tiny invertibrates and small young of the year minnows will always be found in these under water forests of weeds and downed trees. This is a great place to use a longer rod so that you are able to dip your offerings into the small pockets where the fish are waiting to ambush a meal. Consider using some small soft baits such as a one inch Berkley Gulp minnow or other insect immitating soft baits on a small jig and work them slowly through the weeds. It is best to use some stealth with this approach as any disturbance can shut down the bite. Pieces of crawlers or small red worms can really trigger a bite from the sunfish, but unfortunately crappies tend to shy away from such offering. This is where live minnows or minnow immitations fare much better.

Some huge pike are responding well to large crank baits fished along island points and weed edges. Floating/diving cranks seem to be doing better then the deep runners. Spinner baits too can be very productive at this time of year as you can work them right through even the thickest of cover.

Lake trout in the three to five pound range are still coming out of Burntside on a regular basis.Some larger specimens have been caught up to ten pounds but these are the exception. White and green colors have been working the best of late, whether they be crank baits or spoons. Try trolling down about thirty to forty-five feet. The overall depth of the water doesn't seem to matter much as some are being taken in water over eighty feet, but only twenty-five feet down. The fish will readily rise to an offering, as some folks are reporting watching the fish rise on their sonar units charging up thirty feet or more to slam their baits.

Bass action has been exceptional, with many anglers reporting catches of twenty to thirty bass throughout the day. Surface lures such as frogs and poppers have been working very well in water less than ten feet deep. To target some of the larger fish, a deeper approach may be necessary. This is where deep diving cranks and tube jigs work extemely well. Try bouncing a tube bait or crawfish style lure down some of the rock out croppings or dead heads for some great action.