451 West Sheridan Street Ely, Minnesota 55731
Fishing Report
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Fishing participants are on the lower end of the spectrum recently due to limited travel conditions on most area lakes. Travel remains limited to few ice roads that were plowed early in the season, but sled travel is still an option, when venturing off the beaten path.

Walleye reports still are mostly positive, however the size of these caught is still on the small size. Lake trout have still been fairly active on Burntside Lake, but reports out of Snowbank are few. Basswood Lake is the best option for size and number of fish caught, but the only way to get to them is on skis, on foot or by dogsled.

Decent pike catches have still kept some anglers busy chasing tip-ups in five to fifteen feet of water while using live suckers or ciscoes fished right on the bottom. The coming weekend promises a warming trend into the teens, so traffic should pick up.

Bring the family along to enjoy the Ely winter festival and view the snow carvings in Whiteside park . The event runs through February 16th.

Fishing action has slowed somewhat or less fishermen and women are out on the ice. Some of this may be due to the fact that ice travel is very limited as a result of heavy snow and slushy conditions. Walleye bite remains consistent, but over all catches seem to be on the small side. Buckshot and Forage Minnow spoons still enticing the walleyes to bite when tipped with a minnow head and dead sticking minnows under a bobber is perhaps the easiest way to entice otherwise slow biters.

Trout action remains fairly steady with good catches of rainbow trout coming from Miners, Tofte, and High Lakes. Small dark jigs such as black ants tipped with wax worms seems to be the best method to get them to bite. Lake trout action has slowed as well, this is undoubtedly due to the ice conditions where maneuverability is severely restricted.

Still some pike are being caught using either suckers or ciscoes as bait.

The trout season started off with a bang. Most anglers reporting at least a couple of fish, but others had a field day reeling them in. Tofte Lake led the pack on producing good numbers of rainbows and splake, taken either on salted minnows or small jig and wax worm combos. Most fish were taken in six to nine feet of water, and early in the day produced more strikes. Glacier ponds, High, and Found lakes have been turning out rainbows and brook trout up to 23"

Lake trout anglers were catching multiple lakers fishing in 45-55' of water both on Burntside and Snowbank Lakes. Burntside led the pack with fish up to ten pounds and a couple of twelve pounders were reported. The most productive method was fishing rainbow minnows or ciscoes on or near the bottom, but quite a few anglers were actively jigging  spoons or white tube combos with moderate success.

Big pike were also on the move with anglers taking quite a few in the 8-10 pound range by using suckers or shiners for bait. A good number of pike are also being taken by spearing and are accounting for monster pike near 20 pounds. Pike too have been slamming ciscoes fished right on the bottom either on a dead stick or tip-ups.

Walleye fishing has slowed and the ones that are co-operating have been on the small side taken with live minnows, but some larger fish to twenty inches are falling for Forage Minnows or Buckshot spoons.

Rainbow trout still the hot topic in the area. Lakes such as Miners, Tofte, High, and Glacier ponds still producing some decent catches for those willing to brave the sub-zero temperatures. Best baits have been black ants tipped with wax worms and salted minnows are working well. Some are using small Little Cleo spoons are picking off a few rainbows as well as some decent size splake.

Pike are still being co-operative, as anglers using either ciscoes or sucker minnows fished throughout the water column have been taking some fish to twelve pounds. Shiners have been working well, but supplies are coming up short perhaps due to the extreme cold weather.

Sunnies and crappies are beginning to get some attention on Birch and Bass Lakes. Small jigs with waxies for the sunnies and small live minnows for the crappies.

Some slush pockets on many lakes still remain, so caution when traversing the lakes is in order.

Walleye fishing has been a bit sporadic recently, but some anglers are filling the voids by focusing on northern pike. Jigging for pike using small airplane jigs and spoons has been working for some, but the old tried and true method of using live suckers or shiners under a tip-up or bobber still remains the best tactic. Try fishing the edges of old weed beds where some smaller bait fish remain or points that drop off to deeper water where hungry pike are in search of an easy meal.

Some folks are focusing their efforts on crappies and sunfish with some good success. Small jigs tipped with wax worms are working and small minnows under a slip bobber have accounted for a good number of eating size crappies.