The opening weekend of the 2020 Minnesota fishing season was a wildly successful one. Packsack and Ely area Anglers had no problems finding their limits of walleyes! The bite was hot right off the bat on Saturday morning, and has only gotten better over the last few days. Pack’s largest walleye of the weekend was a 26 & ½ inch golden-bug-eyed-beauty caught on top of Newton Falls.
Newton Falls was not the only place where the fish were biting, Anglers lucky enough to have a Day Use Motor permit for Basswood Lake were also successful! Surprisingly, Pipestone Bay is open for fishing from the Falls to Caribou Point. This does come to a surprise, as certainly some walleye may still be spawning since the water temps are still bouncing between 46 degrees and 50 degrees. If you’re lucky enough to have a Day Use permit for this coming week, expect plenty of action fishing on Basswood!
Fall Lake has seen plenty of action as well, the Power Dam has been busy all week, and productive. In the past, Fall Lake and the Power Dam have been notorious for smaller male walleyes. That tide may be turning. Packsack Anglers have been bringing back plenty of fish 18 inches plus for the frying pan, and releasing plenty of fish in the 20 -25-inch range. Minnows are still the go-to bait, and can be found at bait stores throughout Ely. Anglers fishing the bottom with jigs, at 17-20 feet are finding that to be the most effective approach.
Several large pike have been caught, a 41-inch lunker was arrested (and released) while attempting to steal a walleye from a Packsack anglers’ line. If you are targeting large pike, dead bait and sucker minnows are being used to finagle the cold blooded Esox Lucius (Northern Pike) into biting.
Crappie and perch fishing is on right now as well. Crappie can be found in shallow water now, and for the next few weeks. Finding some smaller crappie minnows will do the trick on these black and silver slabs! Perch are biting also in shallower water with minnows of various sizes and wax worms under a slip bobber.
If you are headed out on the water this coming weekend, please bring some warm weather with you, I promise, the fish will still bite! Keep your lines wet, and have fun!