Ely Minnesota Fishing Reports

With the recent sub-zero temperatures most of the area lakes have a good foundation of clear solid ice covering them. Please continue to use caution traveling on area lakes.  Portions of lakes with any type of current may only have an inch or so of ice – even with all the recent cold weather.  Continue to check ice thickness, particularly if you are not familiar with the lake you are traveling across.


Walleye fishing seems to be slow to moderate, with the best action occurring after dark. Live minnows on a dead stick seems to be the preferred method for most, but many of the more successful anglers are using small spoons tipped with a minnow head and slowly jigged starting on the bottom and worked up through the water column. For best results, change the minnow head often, since once the bait gets washed out, they become less effective.


Crappies are beginning to co-operate on some of the smaller lakes and small minnows under a bobber have been working well. Many folks are now using some of the micro plastics as they can be fished faster, with less down time baiting hooks when the bite is on.


Northern pike have been the target of many, whether it is by spearing, or using of tip-ups. The best action seems to come from using dead bait such as suckers or frozen smelt fished right on the bottom. This could be due to the extremely low temperatures, the fact that the fish have to expend less energy chasing live offerings, or a combination of both.


Trout season opened in the Boundary Waters on December 31st and many people are making the trek up into the remote lakes with good success. Trout season opens outside the Boundary Waters on the 13th of January and quite a few folks have been gearing up for that opener, which should be great this year in light of the favorable ice conditions.

Ely Chamber on Jan 02, 2018