451 West Sheridan Street Ely, Minnesota 55731
Fishing Report
  • 218-365-6930

The fishing seems to fluctuate on a daily basis. One day finds you catching limits within hours, and the next you can't buy a bite. As they say though, "you can't catch them sittin' home on the couch".

The walleyes have been responding to spinner rigs slowly trolled in six to fifteen feet of water when tipped with either a leech or crawler. Another option might be to use crank baits fished along shoreline breaks and weed edges.

Pike have been slamming large cranks or spinner baits ripped along in water less than ten feet.

Lake trout on Burntside Lake have been more co-operative this year than in many years past. The best method lately has been to troll large spoons in forty-five to fifty-five feet of water in the large basins from the VanVac landing through to dollar and Waters Island.

Crappie fishermen have been taking some dandy slabs on the East end of Birch Lake in twelve to twenty-one feet of water. Small minnows under a slip bobber is the preferred tactic although a good number of folks are turning to small Gulp baits and small jig and tube combos.

Get off the couch and catch your share of the action!

While walleye fishing has slowed somewhat, anglers are still able to harvest other species like pike and crappies with some success.

The pike have been active in five to fifteen feet of water especially along weed edges. Spinner baits and big crank baits are a must for this style of fishing and the payoff has been big for some folks with fish to eighteen pounds coming to the boat. Many others in the three to five pound range are common and will fill the bill for a good lakeside dinner.

White Iron Lake has been providing  some decent crappie limits. Small minnows fished under a slip bobber have been working well, but many anglers are relying on soft baits on a jig to turn the fish on. Try working the reef tops in twelve to twenty feet of water.

A few lake trout have been landed this week and were responding well to trolled spoons in forty to fifty feet of water. Green and green/chrome have been the best colors to lure some of these fish to twelve pounds up from the depths. 


Heading into the holiday weekend things were going well on Ely's lakes with good numbers of walleyes, pike, and surprisingly lake trout, coming to the net. Walleyes we hitting both crawlers and leeches when coupled with a spinner rig bounced along the bottom. Things changed for the time being, with the arrival of the mayfly hatch as action has slowed somewhat over the weekend. Northern pike have been very active along weed edges and many a walleye, sunfish, and crappie have been attacked right at the boat. One angler said that he had a good twenty inch northern snatched from him by a four footer right at the net.

Those seeking lake trout have been rewarded by several fish in the five to seven pound range with the occasional twelve pounder thrown into the mix. Trolling spoons and Rapala's in the twenty-five to thirty-five foot depths has paid of for  many, and Burntside lake is the destination of choice outside the Boundary Waters and Knife and Basswood lakes inside.

Crappie action has been at full swing, with Birch Lake leading the way with some fourteen inch fish being landed there.

Reported catches were down somewhat this week, probably due to less anglers post holiday. Those that have been out tell us that although the size of fish were down somewhat, that everyone seems to have caught decent numbers. There were some really large walleyes caught that were measured from twenty-six to thirty-one inches, but these were  exceptional. Weather conditions too may have hampered some as it has been raining off and on with wind gusts to twenty miles per hour. With the new high pressure moving in for the next several days, fishing should improve considerably.

Northern pike catches were still good. Folks working the weed edges were doing best with large crank baits and spinner baits. Northerns were in the mid thirty inch range with only the occasional bruiser mixed in. A few of the larger fish caught were taken with large suckers and ciscoes fished right on the bottom down to twenty-five feet.

Crappie numbers are starting to improve as the spotty spawn comes close to the end. Water temps fluctuating as they have recently didn't help catch rates. Small tube and soft tail jigs twitched along weed edges were taking decent numbers on Birch Lake which was also experiencing a hatch of mayflies making things a bit more difficult, although the larger fish were responding well.

Lake trout have still remained active on Burntside with fish being reported on nearly a daily basis. Trolling down to 50 feet of water with crank baits and spoons worked the best for the past couple weeks.

Walleye fishermen have been doing well with good numbers of fish, but many of them taken have been on the small size with a few bruisers thrown in. The vast majority of folks are using leeches or crawlers on a spinner rig, but the evening bite continues for those using a lighted bobber  becoming a more common practice and can be used from shore or anchored near an offshore reef.

Pike anglers using spinner baits and spoons fished along weed lines and rocky points have been rewarded with good numbers of fish to include some large ones up to forty inches. Suckers fished under a bobber works well too if you have the ability to keep the bait lively.

Some big crappies have taken the stage on Birch lake and other area lakes converting many fisher folks from walleyes to these slab-sided delicious treats. Crappies have moved into shallower water to begin their spawning season and are falling for small minnows or soft bait tipped jigs and Beetle Spins.

Sunfish too are getting some much deserved attention as they move into shallow water. They will readily hit small worms or leeches fished under a bobber. This is a good time to get youngsters exited about fishing as at times the action can become non-stop.