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

Walleye fishing has been going extremely well, with most anglers managing to fill their quota. A lot of keeper fish have been readily taking slow-trolled spinner rigs and others are hitting jigs on the reef edges. The majority of fishermen have progressed to using crawlers on spinners and then working close in fish with a jig and leech. A good number of large walleyes up to thirty-one inches have been weighed in, but conservation minded folks are releasing the "breeders" over 22". Those smaller walleyes are better on the plate anyhow. Try fishing the flats in twelve feet of water or less.

Large northern pike to forty-six inches have been caught using live suckers or having spinner baits and spoons chunked at them. Work the emerging weed edges or rocky points.

Some really nice lake trout are responding well to either spoons with some green color variations or Rapalas in the glass minnow clear patterns or those with blue backs.

Sunnies and crappies are still staging for the spawn in the shallows but the cooler water temps seem to have put much of the action on hold. It will be only a matter of days before they begin their annual ritual.

As water temps continue to rise so does the walleye action. Many folks are starting to have more success using leeches and crawlers in addition to minnows. While jig and minnow fishing continues to be productive, keeping leeches and crawlers is much easier especially for back country adventurers. Many fish are still cruising shorelines but as temps equalize a good number of active feeders are scattered throughout the water column. This is a good time to begin slow trolling crank baits and working over reef edges.

Northern pike have become more aggressive and will readily strike spoons and spinner baits worked along weed edges and off rocky points adjacent to deeper water. A sucker suspended under a bobber can be very deadly right now too.

Lake trout are still being caught in relatively shallow water from fifteen to twenty -five feet. Trolled crank baits are accounting for a good number of lakers right now as well as larger spoons in green/silver color. Keep in mind when fishing these gin clear waters to keep baits well behind the boat or use side planers to keep your offering well away from the boat to avoid spooking them.

Bass and most panfish are beginning their spawning ritual and will readily attack a bait placed near their spawning beds. Look for depressions on the bottom that are of a bit different color than surrounding areas. Male fish are on the beds, but the heavier egg-laden females are holding somewhat deeper.

Walleye action remains consistent with good stringers headed for the dinner table each day. The fish have left the shallows for now and have been roaming waters from 10 to 25 feet of water. Minnows remain the bait of choice, but many folks are crossing over to leeches and crawlers linked to spinner rigs. Keep in mind, that when you are fishing stained or off-color water try brighter patterns.

Some big northern pike are being caught and they do react to bright spinner and spoon colors. The pike still remain in the shallows where the bait fish are hanging as the sun warms the water.

Some lake trout still being co-operative in relatively shallow water around twenty to thirty feet of water. Large minnows and ciscoes are the bait of choice but some anglers are hooking up by trolling large crank baits along the breaks.

Walleye action remains steady with some exceptional fish up to ten pounds being reported. The shallow flats have been the most consistent with eating size walleyes holding in water from four to twelve feet. Rainbow minnows have been primarily the bait of choice, but leech and crawler sales are steadily rising as water temperatures continue to climb. Jig fishing has been doing the trick for most, but spinner rigs tipped with leeches or crawlers have been very effective.

Smallmouth bass and crappies are in a pre-spawn pattern and are beginning to fan nesting sites. This can lead to some interesting fishing as the bass will attack anything that approaches their nest, so slow moving crank baits or soft baits in crawfish patterns will promote a strike. These fish are not necessarily hitting out of hunger, but to move invaders away from the beds.

Some big pike up to twenty pounds have been reported and will readily strike spoons and spinner baits in water down to ten feet. Large suckers suspended under a bobber will draw the interest of cruising pike and is a much more laid back approach as opposed to continuous casting.

Lake trout up to eighteen pounds have been smashing slow trolled crank baits and spoons in water as shallow as fifteen feet. Burntside Lake has led the way in numbers, but several have been reported from Snowbank Lake and Thomas in the Boundary waters. Chrome and silver lures with a touch of green have been working really well.

The fishing opener started off slow due to the frozen lake conditions, but now with the advent of warmer weather, the fishing action has heated up. Numerous walleyes from small  "eater" size up to some whopper wall-hangers up to 31" have been pulled from Ely's pristine waters.

Basswood Lake has topped the charts with loads of walleyes in the 20" range and there's no reason to believe it's going to stop any time soon. Minnows have apparently been the top bait, but is followed closely by leeches and crawlers fished either on jigs or spinners.

Northern pike too have been smashing spoons and spinner baits worked along emergent weed edges and rocky points.

Some lake trout have succumbed to ciscoes fished right on the bottom along with trolled spoons as they cruise depths of twenty to thirty feet of water.

The action should steadily increase as young of the year bait fish become more plentiful in the warming water.

Crappie action has been slow to materialize with the colder water, but should improve as temps rise.