451 West Sheridan Street Ely, Minnesota 55731
Fishing Report
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Walleyes have still remained the target of many out on the areas lakes, and the majority of those out there are continuing to fill their stringers. While most of the fish are in the eater size category, a few folks are managing to catch a few wall-hangers. Some of the largest fish are being caught while trolling deep running crank baits on lead core line, Dipsy Divers, or downriggers. This same tactic will also get you some lake trout action on both Burntside and Snowbank Lake. While specific colors or patterns may be thrown around in conversation, the best way to achieve success is to get out there and try a variety of lures, baits and methods until you come across something that works. If someone tells you that one particular bait was working, chances are tomorrow you can use that same lure and draw a blank. Fish preferences change as the weather, temperature, wind, and barometric pressure changes. Some of the lures in your daddy's tackle box from forty years ago will still catch fish today, so it pays to be flexible. For live bait anglers the best success rates have been attributed to trolling crawler harnesses behind a bottom bouncer or slip sinker. Leeches and minnows will also work, but crawlers have always been at or near the top for putting fish on the stringer.

Northern pike are still very active in shallow water, as this is where the majority of bait fish reside. Covering more water is the key, so tie on a spinner bait or spoon and get that casting arm in shape. The more casts you make the more fish will see your lure. If you are having pike swipe at your lure and not connect, try throwing something different at them. This is why it pays to have more than one rod rigged at all times. At times a surface lure will garner all the attention of the pike, as they disrupt the water more and draw fish from further away, and other times a large, deep running crank bait will give off the good vibrations that trigger a bite.

Bass action has recently been the best of the season. Top water baits have been providing some of the hottest, most explosive results. There's nothing like seeing your bait slip across the surface when a bass blasts it from beneath. Don't get hung up on colors or patterns here. If you think about it, the only thing the fish sees is what's on the under belly of the lure. The miriad of patterns and paint jobs are designed to catch fishermen, not fish. Some of the most productive lures will have most of their finish worn off, and still catch fish. Frog immitations and poppers rule the summer action as well as old reliables such as Hula Poppers and Jitterbugs. Some of the newest lures on the market are getting the attention of anglers and fish are the Live Target mouse, Savage Gear duckling and Dahlbergs' Whopper Plopper.

Sunfish are readily slurping up bits of worm or waxies either on a small jig or just threaded on a hook. This is the easiest way to get youngsters hooked as the action can remain steady all day long. Kids get excited when they see their bobber dancing on the surface or plunge below the water line. In the past few years soft plastic baits are replacing some of the live baits on peoples lines. They can be very effective when worked properly, and they remain on the hook far longer then live bait.

Stream trout are still co-operating for many on the area's designated trout lakes. Whether you are trolling or casting small spoons and spinners, or just dangling crawlers under a bobber, it's worth the effort to get out there and into some action.