Anglers visiting the Ely area in the past two weeks have been treated to not only outstanding fishing, but also some beautiful weather! The post walleye spawn has produced some massive fish on Basswood Lake. Some anglers reported catching fish up to 30 inches, and numerous fish in the 24-28-inch range. Newton and Fall Lakes have consistently produced some smaller 14-20-inch walleyes for our guests looking for dinner. Minnows have still been the bait of choice, but with the water temps rapidly warming, I suspect many anglers will be switching over to leaches and crawlers.
Packsack anglers targeting pike have had luck using spoons and crank baits to catch smaller 20-30-inch pike while folks using large dead or live sucker minnows have been able to find the larger 30-40-inch fish. Some of our clients had luck with fish guide Todd Larson from Basswood Trails Guide service on Basswood Lake and brought in several large northern 30 inches plus, and the largest being 41.5 and 43-inch monsters! All were released safely!
The smallmouth bass bite has been the big talk as of lately. The water temps have reached that 60-62 degree mark and the smallmouth are on their beds. Many anglers are casting top water lures and tube jigs up against the shoreline rocks and as soon as it hits the water, they are being struck. Numerous reports of 4-5 lb. bass are being reported form many BWCA lakes. The bass action should only get better the next few weeks, so be sure to have some top water lures along for your upcoming fishing trip.
The panfish reports have been mixed, many anglers looking for crappies have found them in shallower water with small crappie minnows. Worms did the trick for a couple of anglers who found a school of bluegills on Back Bay.
Many of the paddle BWCA lakes are producing large fish and great numbers of them. Crooked Lake is as hot as ever, Thursday Bay produced many Northern in the 38-40-inch range for one lucky family, and they also caught and released a 29.5-inch walleye! The Kawishiwi River has been producing plenty of 15-20-inch walleye and also some large bass.
A big THANK YOU for all of you who have talked fishing with me and best of luck for the next few weeks!