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Top 3 Ely Lakes To Fish


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If I only had 3 days to fish Ely, and I want to fish a different lake each day. Which 3 lakes would I want to pick (vermilion not included)? Bass is the primary target.

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Shagawa would be one of them for bass, and then you could pick two lakes in the Farm/White Iron Chain for the other two days.

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I just got done looking over some area lakes on the lakefinder and farm and white iron definitely look like 2 lakes to pick! However, I am torn between burntside and snowbank. I wouldn't mind spending a little time going after lakers, but which of the 2 has better bass fishing?

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I don't know. I don't fish smallies in either Burntside or Snowbank. I only fish them occasionally on Vermilion, which is the king of the smallie lakes within a half hour of my door.

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Both have some great smallie populations, but I think you'd have a better chance for a bigger one on Burntside.

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If you wanted to try a couple of smaller lakes that may not have much for other fishermen on them Little Long and Low Lake are options.

I have caught some nice smallies (19") on Birch Lake.

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Burnside is full of smelt a better food source. Snowbank has a better catch rate IMO.

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Better bass fishing for size and numbers would definately be snowbank. I have never done good on lake trout in the summer.

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Steve, I don't need you to do everything, just most of everything. laugh

Are lakers even possible in august without downriggers though?

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By the way, I just looked up low and little long on the lakefinder and they look very promising. I wonder if they are the lakes that john gillespie fishes every early ice?

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Shagawa would be one of them for bass, and then you could pick two lakes in the Farm/White Iron Chain for the other two days.

Hey Mr Foss, I hope all is well. A young man that works with me is going up to Shagawa, for a few days on the 9th of July, he does not fish much,so being a avid walleye guy myself, and always willing to help, I told him I would try to find info on this lake for him. I've never been on Shagawa my self, I would appreciate a few hints so I can point him in the right direction, I did tell him I thought it was a decent smallie lake but didnt know about any other species that call it home. thanks much..... any one else that want to chime in is welcome

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Are lakers even possible in august without downriggers though?

Yes. You can vertical jig them or use divers like Dipsies, Jet Divers or Pink Ladies.

Eelpout, I haven't been on Shags this summer at all. Once the season opens I'm all about lakers. But Great Outdoors or Babe's Bait will be able to put a fella on Shag 'eyes when you buy your bait there.

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I'll probably go with jigging. I'm guessing they'll be at least 30 to 40 ft down? Shiners, suckers, or chubs?

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30-40 FOW should be fine for trout, as the temp last night on Burntside was 51 degrees at 29-31 feet.

Burntside has a massive population of smallies (way more than Snowbank), but many being caught now are not very big.

If and when the water warms up, you can catch many 17 inches and over by trolling a two tone green jig with a green with black flecks double twister tail over any of the reefs.

The bigger ones are on the edge in as much as 30+ FOW.

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Mr Foss,Thanks for the reply, I'll pass this on to my coworker. have a great summer fishing all that deep water.

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I have had good luck jiggin' for lake trout in the summer with a 3/8 oz. glow jig and 4", Pearl Berkley Gulp Minnow. We were on Lower Manitou for a muskie fishing trip 3 years ago (beginning of August) and would take a break mid day from muskie fishing to go after lake trout. We used the combo I mentioned and caught trout after trout. Lake trout for supper every night grin.

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Little Long is a blast for bass fishing. As simple as a leach on a slip bobber and your catching them all day. All sizes of bass in there.

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Did the whole perimeter but only one little one last week. Did a lot of casting towards shore, thought there would be a few in the weed bay, but no luck. There were an awful lot of mayflys hatched in the Ely area then too, so don't know if that hurt us...did not try leeches.

Darn those NW winds & drizzle all week too!!

Hope to try little one more time this year.

JB, White Iron and Farm were awful big waters to explore for me, went there first time mid-June. Did find some structure about 20FOW on the back side of an island on White where we marked some suspended fish, but they didn't want to take the bait. There was a point where there were four other boats, but didn't see them hauling anything in, and didn't want to intrude. Caught one little slimer on Farm trolling sticks.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • partyonpine
      Opener and the week after were good.  Not the numbers we normally get but better quality in the East End.  Not surprised on the weights for the Auto City a.  Usually for us we only catch a few slot fish but we averaged 3 a day for 10 days.  2 overs, biggest 27 inches.     Our best luck was 12-16 feet for quality.  When we went deeper we caught more but smaller.  Bass were really starting to heat up.  For me little earlier than normal.  Found some nice Bluegills the day we went after some panfish.  Dock fishing was as many as we wanted per usual.
    • Shulsebus
      We will be up on June 8th for the week. It will be our 13th year in a row staying on the lake.  I hope the walleye are hitting the bobbers by the time that we get there. 
    • SkunkedAgain
      Those are some fine specimens. Great job
    • gimruis
      I'm quite shocked to hear that a walleye tournament is still doing a live weigh in.  Virtually every event these days around here is doing a catch, photo, and release format.   Regardless, nice work.  Congrats.
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...   A great week of fishing with walleyes and saugers caught in good numbers.   The go-to presentation, again, was a jig and frozen emerald shiner.  Emerald shiners are a staple in LOW and walleyes love them.  Other minnows worked also, but emerald shiners are a favorite of anglers for good reason.   The Lighthouse Gap area, Morris Point Gap and just in front of Pine Island held nice fish in 17 - 21' of water.  Various schools of walleyes and saugers across the south shore.     A quarter ounce jig in gold, glow white, pink, orange, chartreuse, or a combo of these colors tipped with a minnow worked well again.   Some big pike and jumbo perch being caught by walleye anglers. On the Rainy River...  Some nice walleyes were caught on the river this weekend, although most anglers normally head to the lake.  12 - 15' of water is holding some nice fish.   Sturgeon fishing on the Rainy River is closed until the keep season starts up again July 1st. Up at the NW Angle...  Some nice walleyes being caught along with a mixed bag.  12 - 25 feet of water.  Points, neck down areas and bays with warming water were holding good fish this week.    The go-to presentation was a jig and minnow as on the south shore.  A mixed bag as is common around the Angle.  
    • leech~~
      Nice work!   Here's two words you hardly ever hear anyone say anymore.  "grateful and humbled"   
    • Brianf.
      RLG, thanks for the shout-out!     Jeff and I are still trying to wrap our heads around what happened this past weekend.  We are humbled and full of gratitude  for having won 'The Classic' for a second time.     We practiced through all the rain on Thurs and the wind on Friday and found six different spots holding big fish.  Fishing was good on both days with several 'overs' in our catch...but would it hold up for another day?   We didn't know.     On tourney day, we made a long run to our first spot where I lucked out on a 26.5"er on my second cast.  Jeff followed up with a thick 27" er a few minutes later, which turned out to be the big fish for the event at 7.26lbs.  We finished out our limit and weighed-in at 10:30 am for the welfare of the fish in our livewell.    There were some big weights in this event which would have won in most other years, but - for whatever reason - this was our day.  Everything just went our way.  Again, we are just super grateful and humbled by this success.  We also want to congratulate all the other anglers who did well and give a big 'thank you' to the tournament organizers who put on such a great event!  
    • SkunkedAgain
      I had a good start to the season on opener. Fishing was slow but consistent. I had four eaters in the box by lunch dragging perch raps. Crappies were biting. I haven't been up since so don't know how things have changed since then, but I'm sure the walleye continue to migrate out into the main basins.
    • redlabguy
      Let’s start this by congratulating Brianf and son for winning their second City Autoglass Walleye Classic last weekend. These guys know how to fish.  We just got to the lake for the season. Chores are almost done and I’m ready to fish.  red(new dog is more yellow)labguy
    • Jetsky
      I tried starting a 2024 Lake Vermilion Fishing Report topic but it doesn't show up on this board.   Maybe somebody else knows how to do it?
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