451 West Sheridan Street Ely, Minnesota 55731
218-365-6930
Fishing Report
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Time to dust off the hard water gear and head out on the lakes. Ice conditions are near perfect this season with twelve to fourteen inches of pure, clear ice with just a few inches of snow on top of it. Folks in the Ely area are dragging out the fishing shacks with full size pickup trucks, a sure indication of solid ice.

Walleye fishing has begun to satisfy those early season anglers that have been out for the past week or so. Due to the ideal conditions, travel is easy which opens up nearly all of the lakes with the exception of moving water. The most aggressive fish tend to be higher up in the water column, so break out the lipless jigging lures, and ratting spoons and get busy. If the fish seem to be relating more to the bottom, drop a dead stick line down with a live shiner or chub just inches to a foot off the bottom.

Big pike are very active during early ice and will readily hit a live sucker minnow when fished near weed beds and on the upper edges of drop-offs where forage fish tend to gather. They will stay in these shallow areas for the next few weeks until the smaller fish move to deeper water. This is the main reason spearing is so effective during early season.

Crappies and sunfish are on the menu as well. Tiny micro size baits are becoming more popular these days as both of these species rely on tiny zooplankton to make up a large portion of their diets. Use the lightest line and gear that you feel comfortable with and you will be rewarded with a good bucket of fish by days end.

 Whether you're an old pro or someone who has just developed an interest in ice fishing, you couldn't ask for a better scenario, so get out there and take advantage of these great conditions.

Mother nature is giving anglers a helping hand by dropping water temperatures. The walleye bite has picked up in recent days due to the falling water temps, and fishermen and women are taking full advantage of it. The "eyes" are beginning their Fall feeding patterns and have become increasingly active in water depths from 11-20'. Jig and minnow or spinner combinations are racking up good numbers in the 15-20" range. Some folks too are using deep running crank baits with the same amount of success.

Crappies too are feeling the chill and are bunching up in deeper drop-offs and can't resist a lively chub fished near the bottom or suspended just above it. Watch your fish finder to see just where the fish are holding and get ready for some good action.

Pike are putting on the feed bag as well and can be caught using larger crank baits and spoons in a bit deeper water than normal, probably preying on other species holding there.

It's time to get in on the action and get out on the lakes one last time or so before winter freeze up. Caution is required though as water temps drop and winds pick up. Remember to always wear a life jacket during this cold weather period as hypothermia is a real possibility if you should find yourself in the water.

Fall like weather is upon us and cooling water temperatures are beginning to trigger some changes is fishing tactics. Crappies and walleyes are beginning to head a bit deeper than they've been in the past few months. Walleyes have moved from the shallow flats to slightly deeper water down to twenty feet for now. Spinner rigs are still the best approach to filling a stringer, whether tipped with a minnow or crawler and slow trolled it can prove to be a deadly combination. Some folks are also using crank baits such as Shad Raps with similar results.

The crappies have shifted to a bit deeper water and are readily inhaling small minnows when presented under a slip bobber. Work the weed lines down to fifteen feet or so both early and late in the day.

Pike are still smacking large swim baits and cranks near weed beds and rocky points. A more laid back approach might be to drift along with large suckers whether rigged on a quick strike rig or June Bug spinner.

Crappie action has dominated the fishing scene lately. Numerous reports are coming in from several of the area lakes of crappies up to 14" being caught, but overall nice eating size crappies in the 10-11' range are the norm. Watching your fish finder for suspended fish from 5-10' off the bottom indicates where to put your baits. Offerings are mostly minnows under a slip bobber, but many more anglers are using small soft plastics and tiny crank baits. Those fishing East Twin, Johnson, Fall, and One Pine Lakes are seeing the most action.

Walleye action has slowed to a crawl even into the Boundary Waters on Basswood Lake. Those who have been connecting have been using large minnows such as pike suckers and bigger rainbows or crawlers on a Lindy style spinner fished right on the bottom in 12-20' feet of water with a few coming from deeper drop-offs down to 30'.

Pike action remains good with a lot of pike in the five to seven pound range with a few bruisers up to eighteen pounds pulling down large suckers or spoons and spinner baits fished near weed edges and points adjacent to deep water. 

Lake trout enthusiasts are struggling as most fish have been on the small side but still hovering around 40-55' feet of water. Trolled spoons and mid-size crank baits are still producing lakers in the 3-7 pound size. 

Not much walleye action of late, so folks have turned their attention to panfish and pike. Some decent limits of crappies have been turning up from some of the smaller lakes. One Pine, Johnson, Armstrong and East Twin have been producing for those dipping minnows in water from twelve to fifteen feet. Small minnows and tube jig combos have been working well early and late in the day.

Pike have still been actively hitting spoons, spinners and live suckers in water from five to twelve feet. some of the largest reported have been out of Basswood Lake but most local lakes have been doing fairly well.

A few lake trout are still being caught on Burntside Lake with most anglers pulling spoons down around forty to fifty feet. Lake trout season closes Sept. 30th, so now is the time to get out there and do some good before season closes.

Just a reminder, bass season closed on Sept. 8th, so now it's only a catch and release fishery.

With forecast lows in the thirties, it may be time to start tuning up the gear for ice fishing.