451 West Sheridan Street Ely, Minnesota 55731
Fishing Report
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The lakes are getting a bit sloppy due to the warm temps and melting snow, but as long as the entry points hold up, you can still travel on the ice. Many folks are out there every day and they are hauling home some nice fish. There's still plenty of trout to be caught, but not much time left to catch them. Trout season closes March 31st.

Burntside and Snowbanks Lakes are still producing lakers in excess of ten pounds. Active jigging is very effective, but some are still being caught on ciscoes fished right on the bottom. Other trout lakes are giving up some nice rainbows, splake, and brook trout. Small salted minnows and small jigging spoon and wax worm presentations are the best bet there.

Crappie fishing is getting into high gear right now as well. The amount of holes you tend to drill is related to your success rate. Anglers that remain mobile have a great advantage as a fish or two will come through each hole before it goes "cold". Artificial baits are beginning to overtake live baits as being the most productive. Small Chubby Darters, Jiggin Raps, Lindy Darters and other jigging lures are good to start with as their bulk tend to draw the larger, more aggressive fish on the initial drops. The extra weight allows you to drop down quickly, and when you're hole hopping this is a plus.

Crappie action is heating up on area lakes and anglers are taking full advantage of it. Over the weekend Birch lake had a steady stream of fishermen and women searching for the slabs in twelve to twenty-four feet of water and taking some crappies up to fourteen inches. Most anglers were using dead sticks with a minnow, but more and more anglers are finding that artificials are working very well in capturing the most aggressive fish in the schools. From tiny jig and soft bait combos such as Gitzit micros, up to small Chubby Darters and Jiggin Raps are working well for anglers on the move.

Rainbow trout are continuing to bite on Tofte, Miners and High and Dry Lakes. Early mornings are best, but some folks are managing limits throughout the day.

Lake trout are still active, and some of them are being caught in as little as twenty feet of water on Burntside. This migration to shallow areas usually coincides with ice out, but this season finds them staging shallow earlier than past years. A ciscoe on the bottom works well and allows you to use another rod that you can actively jig with. Small spoons such as Little Cleos and VMC Tinglers are doing the job. Chubby Darters and Salmo Zippers are also a good bet to take lakers by working the entire water column with fairly aggressive jigging.

Another walleye and pike season has come to an end, but that doesn't mean we need to hang up the tackle just yet. Some great fishing for trout, sunfish and crappies still remains, and this can be some of the best action of the winter season. The fishing pressure has been greatly reduced and this minimal traffic allows fish to settle down and resume their normal feeding patterns without being pushed around by noise from above.

Stream trout lakes such as Tofte, High, Dry and the Glacier Ponds hold very good numbers of trout and the access to these waters is for the most part easy. Try fishing the first couple hours of daylight with diminutive baits like ice flies tipped with a wax worm and a subtle approach, then as light develops get more aggressive with small spoons.

Crappie action will begin to build and continue to get better up till ice out. Birch and Fall Lakes have already begun to turn out some crappies approaching fourteen inches, which indicates a good supply of fish ahead.

Traffic on local lakes has receded with the closing of walleye and pike season, however those who have adapted by pursuing panfish and trout are managing to catch a few fish.

Steam trout fishing is currently the most productive. Miners Pit, Tofte and High and Dry Lakes have been giving up some nice rainbows, with a few browns thrown in for good measure. The most effective method has been using small salted minnows either alone or attached to a small spoon. It pays to work the entire water column as the fish have been working various depths,

A few lake trout are still being caught on Burntside Lake with small heavy bodied spoons such as Kastmasters and Little Cleos. Some are tipping them with either a minnow tail or strip of ciscoe to add flavor and scent.

Crappies to fourteen inches are starting to appear on the menu from Fall and Birch Lakes, but it's been a bit slow and the bite should continue to build up until ice out.

Don't hang up the ice gear just yet as there's still some fine fishing to be had.

Walleye and pike fishing will end for the season in Minnesota this weekend on February 22nd. This will be the last chance to put some of these fillets on the table till Spring opener in May. While the catching may have slowed, it doesn't mean that there's no opportunity. A few folks are still managing a few per trip with the best bite coming late in the day till just after sunset. The fish have settled a bit deeper, with most catches coming from deeper than twenty feet.

Some trout still coming through the hole on Miners Pit, Tofte, High and dry Lakes lately, with salted minnows working as well as anything during the day. Daybreak anglers are jigging small dark jigs tipped with wax worms with fair success.

Lake trout seem to be hit or miss on Burntside and Snowbank Lakes with a few large walleyes mixed in while probing the depths down to seventy feet. Ciscoes fished right on the bottom have produced more fish, but some are responding to Airplane jigs and white tubes.