The Ely area fishing reports have been a mixed bag for the mid part of August. The windless bluebird days of August found anglers reporting that the fish bite has been as absent as Nick’s Fishing report. Those that were catching fish were reporting big bass and panfish. In the past week however, the temps have dropped and the action is back on!
Packsack Anglers seeking walleyes have had the best luck making the long trip into Jackfish Bay of Basswood Lake. 18-22-inch walleyes have been found at 18-25 feet of water. Pipestone has also produced a few nice stringers. Some folks are having luck finding some smaller sized walleyes on Newton Lake but work has been required. The recommended bait of choice is night crawlers on a crawler harness. Leeches are still working as well, but are in as short of supply as day use motor permits. Some Ely bait shops will periodically have some leeches so calling around may pay off.
This has definitely been the year of the smallmouth. These bronze back bullies are attacking bait on top of the water and below. A certain small Lake in the Fall Lake area has been producing large numbers of huge bass. Many Packsack anglers report catching bass in the 15-20-inch range. The action and excitement of catching these big fish is very addicting and can hook a young angler for life! A report of a 26” smallmouth bass being caught at the bottom of Pipestone Falls is circulating the area. I have seen the video and it is a true BWCA giant!
Northern pike are becoming more aggressive as the seasons change. Anglers are already reporting this aggressive behavior as they are catching pike on almost any presentation. If targeting pike, I recommend using a large sucker minnow on a large slip bobber. Trolling with inline spinners is also a good way to find the toothy giants. Some large pike are being reported but not seen as many fish that have been caught have been in the slot of 30-40-inches and then released.
Fishing for panfish is still a great way to spend the day and fill the freezer. Many Packsack anglers have had success on Fall Lake, Back Bay, and Ella Hall for catching bluegills and perch. Crappies are also being found on Pipestone and Newton Lakes.
As the Fall season approaches, the Ely area fishing will only get better! There is still plenty of time to plan a BWCA getaway whether it’s a canoe trip to Crooked Lake or a Fall Fishing cabin stay, we can help you out!