Welcome to the first edition of Nick’s Fishing report of 2019! Well, it seems this year’s Fall Lake Ice out was right on point for a great walleye opener! Anglers fishing Fall Lake and Basswood reported catching plenty of fish for dinner and even some to take home.
Post spawning walleyes are setting up in 12-14 feet of water and anxiously awaiting lunch. Fall Lake has been producing stringers of golden walleye, the power dam has been the place to be for catching the smaller 14’-18-inch sized fish, while the top side of Newton Falls has produced some larger 18-23-inch fish. The larger trophy walleye have been coming out of Pipestone Bay. Fisherman have been reporting catching fish in the 25-26-inch range, while also catching plenty of “eater” sized fish. The best presentation has been one of Jim’s Jigs and a minnow!
Northern pike are also hungry! If you’re fishing the Boundary Waters this weekend be sure to have some pike gear in you tackle box. Some folks are using dead sucker minnows, harnessed with a stinger hook and having great success, while others have pulled in some hefty pike while fishing for walleyes! Largest rumored pike at Packsack so far has been a 37 incher, but I’m guessing bigger fish are due this coming weekend.
Smallmouth bass have been active as well. While still in the prespawn, some larger bronze backs have been crushing lures and surprising walleye anglers with a huge fight! One lucky angler managed to reel in a 19 & 22-inch lunker right here on Fall Lake. As the water temps rise, the smallmouth bass action will only get better from here!
With some very chilly post ice out conditions the crappie bite was slow at first, but has certainly made up for lost time. Some large slabs have been harvested in good numbers in both Fall Lake and in Basswood! When you can find them, and they are not being chased by northern, perch are also aggressively biting! Crappie minnows have worked well for both perch and crappies.
Well this wraps up the first edition of Nicks Fishing Report for 2019. If you are coming to the Ely area to fish this weekend you have lots to look forward too! The walleye should be hungry and foraging for the next few weeks before spreading out to deeper water and the pike bite will only get more ferocious!