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Slim Pickens

leech lake opener

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Slim Pickens

What a great weekend for fishing. we spent our time mostly on pine point with a couple dozen other boats. Saturday morning, many people were netting multiple walleyes with most of them being 20"+ and also a number of good eaters. there has also been a good perch bite. the crappie action in the last week has slowed but the ones that are being caught are 10-12"(very fun). most of the walleyes we caught were on jigs tipped with a shinner, but some of the other guys did quite well with crawlers.

How did everyone else do? what worked well for you? Did anyone try for any pike?

Now that summer is back I hope to be hitting the cabin more frequently (gas $ permitting) and will be posting updates as often as posible. GOOD LUCK...

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We where up on the big pond also. We had very good luck as well caught our limit of slot fish as well as a hand full of large fish. One of the better openers for leech in a long time. I hope the lake is coming back.

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Thanks for the fishing report, I was wondering how fishing went. Pretty nice weather considering it was the opener.

Worked on the cabin and grounds all weekend so I did'nt get out fishing but am planning on giving it a go on Memorial weekend. Probably will try pine, cedar,for walleyes as well as sand in the evening.

Know what you mean about the high prices of gas shocked.gif I put on about 450 miles round trip, but the good news is my pkup has been getting 18- 21 mpg, on 89 octane and driving sensible.

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Best opener in many years, both weather and fish. I started the day up around the Hardwoods, moved around a lot. Picked up a couple off Pine in the afternoon. Had a nice dinner and finished the evening off second point. What a day!

Did not see a single pike, on my line or any other--and we covered some ground. Strange....

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I was guiding for the governors opener and the guys in my boat wanted to run and gun... We went from Bear Island to Ottertail to second Duck to Hardwoods to Pine to Stony and back to Huddles... We found a ton of pike with some real nice jumbos mixed in... We caught a few walleyes, but it was a tougher bite for us on them...

I agree awesome weather and the press Leech recieved was awesome for the community.... Chip and the committee did a fantastic job on presenting Walker and Leech Lake to the state of Minnesota... I was ready for a good nights sleep on Saturday night... It was a long three days leading up to the opener....


Fathead Guide Service

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Glad to hear that some of you caught fish. We got going late, but my dad is 88 and my mom is 81. We stopped for breakfast first and did not get an early start. We started at Joe's Landing area along with about 40 other boats. Did not land a fish. Did not see any others caught. Went to east side of Goose and may two drifts into shore, nothing. Went up to north end of Sucker to try for some crappie action, nothing. Came back and worked hardwoods, nothing. Saw the boats on Pine, but did not go over there. Went to Cedar, nothing. We caught 3 very nice perch. We never saw a walleye landed. Talked to 4 other parties. Three got nothing but some perch. The 4th did well. But, I see a comeback.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • DLD24
      Do you have any tips for fishing Fish Lake this time of year? I'm gonna try it out in the next few days... Is it typically an early morning, late evening bite or can you get them all day long? Thanks for any info.
    • PRO-V
      Calling them would be your best bet. Maybe you can reserve some on a card.
    • delcecchi
      starft you off.... https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/lake.html?id=69066000 http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/data/lakemaps/b0537011.pdf Status of the Fishery Ely Lake is located approximately 2 miles SE of the city of Eveleth. This popular lake is highly developed with homes and cabins. There is a small seaplane base and two public swimming beaches also located there. Water clarity is good and large amounts of aquatic vegetation can be found throughout the lake. 

      There is a concrete planked boat ramp and dock located near the NE end of the lake off Cedar Island Drive (CR629) for public access. The parking space is somewhat limited near the ramp. Several private accesses are also present. 

      Thirteen species of fish were sampled during the 2017 survey on Ely Lake. Gill nets, trap nets and night electrofishing were all used to sample the fish community. Small bluegill were common in the gill net catch (34%) and abundant in the trap net catch (57%). Other panfish species including hybrid sunfish, pumpkinseed, green sunfish and black crappie were also sampled in good numbers. Largemouth bass outnumbered smallmouth bass in the 2017 sample. Walleye (16%) contributed to the gill net catch and several were sampled in the trap nets. Yellow perch are present in average amounts and some good sized pike were again sampled during the 2017 survey. 

      Bluegill numbers in 2017 (72.1/trap net) were much higher than the long term average (31.6/trap net) on Ely Lake and greatly above average (7.9/trap net) compared to other similar lakes in the area. The average bluegill sampled was 5.6 inches long and about 6 years old. Approximately 66% of the bluegill sampled with the trap nets were under 6 inches with a maximum size recorded of 8.0 inches. Bluegill sampled with the gill nets had a similar size structure. Approximately 7% of the hybrid sunfish sampled in the trap nets were 8 inches or larger. Several pumpkinseeds were also in this size range. 

      Largemouth bass (92%) and smallmouth bass (8%) were sampled during the night electrofishing effort. The average largemouth sampled was 10.9 inches which is similar to the historic average of 10.6 inches. The biggest largemouth sampled was 18.5 inches. Approximately 33% of the largemouth sampled were 12 inches or larger. The average smallmouth sampled was 9.8 inches which is slightly larger than the historic average (8.4 inches). The largest smallmouth sampled was 16.8 inches long. Approximately 32% of the smallmouth sampled were 12 inches or larger. Largemouth bass were also sampled from the gill nets and trap nets in numbers above average. 

      Walleye numbers in 2017 (6.2/gill net) were similar to the historic average (6.1/gill net) on Ely Lake and slightly above average (5.0/gill net) when compared to other similar area lakes with walleye. The average walleye sampled was 15.5 inches and about 4 years old. Approximately 34% of the walleye sampled were 15 inches or larger up to a maximum of nearly 29 inches. Walleye fingerlings are currently being stocked during even-numbered years and in 2017 approximately 62% of the walleye aged came from years where stocking occurred. 

      Northern pike numbers in 2017 (1.1/gill net) were similar to the historic average (1.3/gill net) and below average (3.2/gill net) compared to other similar area lakes with pike. The average pike sampled was 26.8 inches which is similar to the historic average length of 26.3 inches. The largest pike sampled in 2017 was 35.2 inches long and sampled with a trap net. 
    • gizmoguy
      Yes they do. Many resorts are set up for summer usage. Understand you can't use your FH in the storage lots. Only in a summer use lot. You have to pay for it. The cost is in addition to your winter fees. Usually more $ but the season is longer. The county requires the resorts to have bathroom facilities within a certain distance. Mac's Twin Bay has summer lots as do many others. Hunter's Point is another. Doubt Brandt's is set up for summer.
      Sweet! Heading back up tonight through the weekend. Bringing the wife and little one this time instead of my buddies, hopefully the weather cooperates.
    • Neutz68
      Heading up Sat morning and will be looking for Shiners. Anyone know if the Gateway and/or Kab Outdoors have them in stock??    Thanks for the input.
    • crappieslapper
      Hi Guys & Gals, My brother in law recently purchased a property on Ely Lake. All the boys are invited up this year on Memorial. Unfortunately nobody in the family has been on the lake before. I thought I would reach out to the pros here on the forum to see if anyone would be willing to give us a few tips on fishing this lake. Thanks in advance, Dan
    • crappieslapper
      Hey Forum, My brother in law just purchased on Ely Lake. Memorial weekend will be the first time on lake. Wondering if anyone has some experience/tips they would be willing to offer the Ely lake rookies. Thanks so much. Dan
    • huntnfish
      I made it out last Sunday and did some searching for walleye. The search didn't produce any walleyes, just northerns and smallies. The water temp on the main lake was 58-59 with the bays being about 5 degrees warmer. The people I have talked to have had similar issues finding the eyes. We missed some fish that left the shiner all chewed up. Most of the fish marked were out in that 18-21 foot range which seemed pretty deep for this early. It could have been Saturday's cold front that pushed them a little deeper though. 
    • Hoey
      SRJ - Thanks for the report.  I heard the bite was very-good to excellent, off the rocks/reefs, in the mud/sand.  I will be at the lake fishing this weekend.