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thedeadsea

Ely - Babbitt Fishing Reports - Lake Conditions Too.

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Mike Stark

foss you got mail.

sounds like you had a good day last sat.

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Steve Foss

Two good spots are right off the Van Vac landing (just walk out bearing right until you find 40-55 FOW and set up), and about half a mile walk out the Passi Road public landing out the Echo Trail. You bear left off the landing and follow the land until it ends (you're actually tracking the north side of a long narrow point). When you get to the end of the point, take a left and you'll see a permanent shack. There's a giant reef that only sticks up above ice a little bit (a few boulders visible), and it forms a giant letter C, with moderately steep breaks all around it down into the 55 foot basin. Fish the breaks or where the breaks level off at the basin floor.

Both these spots are commonly fished, and that's because they are easy to get to and they hold fish. Van Vac was flooded with permie shacks last year because the slush was so bad early, but this year ice/snow conditions are about perfect, so those shacks are scattered all over the lake, and there's very little fishing pressure and only a couple shacks off Van Vac. I've caught fish up to 12 pounds there, and have had some of my fastest action on Bside there as well. It's not so good when there's a lot of traffic.

You can also walk off the access at Burntside Lodge and hit some very good trout water in about 1/4 mile. You'll see shacks there, too.

If you feel like driving a bit more, you can go up the Echo farther than Passi Road and take a left at North Arm Road. The public access a few miles up that road may be accessible by car (haven't been there yet this winter) because we've had so little snow, but if it's not, you pull over and park at the wide spot in the road, and head out bearing right until you get to the first main point and find 40-50 FOW. Nice fishing right in there. Or you can bear left and work your way out into the bay that makes up the northern tip of the North Arm and fish that bay.

These are all well known spots, so you'll likely find some company around you, although tomorrow's weather is supposed to be so foul that I expect most anglers will be staying home except for those with permie shacks.

Good luck out there!

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Steve Foss

Today was a lot tougher. Only one laker and one pout landed between three guys. Laker was a nice 5 lber landed by Moose Track, and I got a pout and one laker hit. We all saw fish and they all chased, but half-heartedly at best. We thought the dropping barometer and approaching storm might counteract the stiff east wind that's been blowing for a few days straight (wind from the east, fishing is least, wind from the west, fishing is best). But that didn't happen.

Here's a pic of Jim with his laker (unclipped).

jimweb.jpg

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Lee Lane

Who forgot their tip up on the 20ft reef up the north arm? I thought I found lost treasures but it was frozen solid in the hole ...way too much work for me for a tip up!!

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Steve Foss

On Burntside, January and March are best, with February still yielding plenty of fish but not at the same pace.

I fish all the same bunch of spots the whole winter season. The fish are still there, it's just that there seems to be a lull in activity in February for a few weeks. We see just as many fish on the electronics in February. But there are more lookers and fewer takers.

NoWiser, the types of structure you mentioned are classic laker structure and will hold traveling and feeding fish on Burntside.

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Steve Foss

Wasn't us. We were up the Arm for awhile today but didn't leave anything behind. Was that you guys out in the big bay in the gold pickup? We saw that group, a couple guys on an ATV who didn't stay long, and one guy on a sled towing a portable who was still there when we left.

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Cliff Wagenbach

I second Steve's views!

I usually fish the same type of spots all winter.

In March I do seem to get more fish up closer to the ice though!

Cliff

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Lee Lane

wasnt me I was in my wifes 1999 white chevy blazer.....Its my new laker portable....Im lazy and I can fish right out of the door and its so easy to move I might sell all my fish houses!

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gunther274

Thanks alot Steve, I appreciate it. And to clarify, is this where all the Ely area stuff goes now?

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gunther274

One more question, can you park at the very end of the north arm road and access the lake right there? It dead ends right at the lake if i remeber right..?

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Steve Foss

can you park at the very end of the north arm road and access the lake right there?

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Steve Foss

Today was a better day. Hard fishing with the strong wind and rain/sleet, and the fish were NOT hot, but I was able to get a few to go.

Got a 4 lber that acted like a walleye and wouldn't come more than two feet off the bottom. After about 20 seconds of lift/fall and jiggling, it finally hit the Jigging Rap. Had a 1.5 pounder that came up a little higher but took several attempts to finally go. Then got a 7 pounder off a live golden shiner/tip-up set a foot off bottom. I moved the tip-up about 15 feet away from me after several big red bands were suspended a foot or so off bottom but wouldn't hit. One came up, ignored my Do-Jigger spoon and 10 seconds later the flag popped.

Of the 15 or so fish I saw on the Vex, and that I believe were lakers, only two came up very far. These fish were neutral at best. I was with Moose Track and his buddy again today. Alas, they did not land a fish, though they saw several and had a couple fun chasers.

The four

steve-small-fish.jpg

The seven

steve-big-laker.jpg

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Mike Stark

nice fish foss....your on a roll!

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Spearing Machine

Beautiful fish Steve!! Looks like your having decent luck up there after this weather finaklly stabilized a little. I am going to try extra hard to try and get up there over my spring break (last week in March).

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leech~~

Nice 7 Steve! wink Now save us some! cry

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Wanderer

Looks like another beautiful day. smile

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gregg52

do you need a trout stamp to fish those ??

whats the limit???

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walleye365

yes, limit is 2

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Mike Stark

bside009-1.jpg

only got one today....but it was a 30in PIG! 38fow...gold..3/8oz buckshot spoon.

lots of wet snow out there. we will be out for the next 4 days. hopefully we will get into more fish like this.

what do folks think this would weigh? it was a healthy fish. 10+ for sure. i lost my scale out there somewhere today. go figure..the day i get a big fish i lose my scale.

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Steve Foss

Most 30-inch Bsiders with average girth weigh in around 9 pounds. No way to know without a girth measurement. This looks like a standard girth fish to me. The 7 pounder in my avatar (I weighed it) was 28 inches long.

But it's a darn nice fish no matter what. Good luck sticking more like that over the next few days! smilesmile

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Twins Guy

nice fish mstark! i think i am going to run up early tomorrow morning for a couple days of fishing.

we've gotten nothing but rain down here in the cities-looks like it turned over to snow near Ely and more is on the way. how nasty are the roads? could i get to the lake with my FWD toyota? i have been to the vanvac landing a few times in the summer. the parking lot/hill at the landing might be a challenge eh? if there were somewhere to park though i would be happy to pull my sled as far as necessary.

what about getting to the north arm by the ymca camp? would that be tricky or do you think the roads that way would be okay? i've been up there in the summer also on a paddling trip into Slim Lake and know there is access there. i have heard it is ok to park along the road there in wide spots? again i would plan to pull my portable out onto the lake. any advice would be greatly appreciated!

tg

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grousehunter

Nice fish!...I don't know why I torture myself looking at this thread. Really wishing I was still in Ely for the lakers! March can not come soon enough.

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Mike Stark

twins guy,

i have been going off the passi road access....so i dont know anything about van vac or the north arm.

passi would be tough with FWD...they have not plowed the road and there are a couple of big hills that would give you trouble.

there might be other folks that can give you a report about the van vac access.

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Twins Guy

gunther-i hope you don't mind if i piggyback on your thread but my question is closely related. i have a FWD toyota and don't often drive it on the ice unless all variables are perfect so most of my fishing is done relatively near accesses.

with the snow am i going to have a hard time just getting to the three aforementioned access points?

looking at coming up early tomorrow and fishing monday, part of tuesday

thanks

tg

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Mike Stark

bside007.jpg

here is the pic of the fight...fun stuff.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Mike89
      that's not good!!!
    • kelly-p
      your post is the first I heard about this ☹️
    • leech~~
      I wonder if he can find someone to help him with his houses this winter?  
    • smurfy
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    • eyeguy 54
      good tips guys. indeed a good idea to bring some meat along. I find myself using it less and less but good to have in the pocket. 
    • Borch
      I rarely use live bait anymore unless I'm gonna use 2 rods.  Plastics, gulp,  tied tungsten flies, jigging raps,  rippin raps, darters... the list goes on.  There has been a few times though that a minnow head on a spoon out produced anything I had.  Good thing I had a buddy who borrowed me a few. 😉
    • Tom Sawyer
      Hey Chris what about the tip on putting your favorite concoction in a generic spray bottle to keep it secret, while you proceed to school everyone at the Catfish Get Together 😆
    • IceHawk
      Another option for those that don't have bait laying around or don't want to buy any is to buy a bottle of Berkley gulp recharge and add a little to a bait puck or plastic bag with your plastics for the day.  I myself never go on the ice without a puck with some kind of meat. Call me crazy  but  I've seen situations where it has outperformed plastics.  Fortunately for myself I have a bait fridge in the garage with euro and waxies and a insulated aeroated minnow tank with minnows all winter. A Minnie bait store so to say.😀
    • Bucketcastle
      This I will definitely try this season.  Thank you for the tip @IceHawk
    • IceHawk
      A little tip for those that want to add a little scent to your unscented  plastics naturally. Take a bait puck grab some of the plastics you want to use for the day and add couple minnows to puck or a few euro larvae or waxworms. Doesn't get any more natural than that.