Outdoors

Fri
10
Jun

Walleye fishing picking up, rain pushes water levels higher

So you’ve got your Rapala trailing behind your boat, hoping to hook another walleye to fill out the stringer. <BR><BR>Then, WHAM, a monster muskie grabs that lure and decides to take you for a ride around the lake. <BR><BR>This was Jerry Palmer’s tale of landing a 45-inch muskie that had an 18.5-inch girth and tore apart a small Rapala.<BR><BR>Fishing with his son on Lake Vermilion, the two were trolling along when one pole bent in a hurry. <BR><BR>“You got a big walleye,” said his son.<BR><BR>“That ain’t a walleye,” said Jerry.<BR><BR>With the motor turned off, the muskie pulled the boat around the bay, stopping to surface and look back it what it was towing around.<BR><BR>“It would surface just like an alligator and you could see its eyes sticking up,” said Palmer.<BR><BR>It would take 15 minutes before the fish tired out and could be brought up alongside the boat.

Sun
05
Jun

Birdshot and backlashes

It is sometimes amazing the stuff people pick up. Like names of things. Every now and then a visitor to the area wants know what the word “Quetico” means. They assume it has some significant Indian connotation. Like everybody else, I wondered about this, once upon time. My Canadian friends explained that it is a contraction of Quebec Timber Co. It was shortened to Que-ti-co.” I never explain it to visitors unless they insist because it kind of throws their wilderness ideas into the lake.<BR><BR>Another one, which is simply a mispronunciation, is Bois Forte, which is forever pronounced like “Boys Fort.” The facts are, it is a French term from back in the Voyageur days, meaning “Wood Fort” or place in the woods.

Sat
04
Jun

Hook and bullet club

Tauno Maki brought in a copy of a clipping from the Ely Fish Facts, a summer publication of the old Ely Miner newspaper. <BR><BR>The piece was entitled, “WARNING: FISHING POX! Very contagious to adult males. <BR><BR>“Symptoms: Continual complaint as to need for fresh air, sunshine and relaxation. Patient has blank expression, sometimes deaf to wife and kids. Has no taste for work of any kind. Frequent checking of tackle, catalogues. Hangs out in Sporting Goods Stores longer than usual. Secret night phone calls to fishing pals. Mumbles to self. Lies to everyone. NO KNOWN CURE.<BR><BR>“Treatment: Medication is useless. Disease is not fatal.

Fri
03
Jun

Fishing turns red hot in Ely area, 12 lb. 10 oz. walleye registered here

You kind of just knew it was a matter of time before the fishing turned around and anglers started swamping registration stations with big fish.<BR><BR>Well, time’s up and here come the big fish. Even with water levels higher now than they were at opener, the weather has finally started to cooperate and if you can survive the black flies at the landing, you can put some nice fish on the stringer.<BR><BR>Leading the way this week was a 12 lb. 10 oz. walleye that went 33 inches long and had a 17.5 inch girth. Caught by Brad Knope of Shawano, WI on a leech and a jig in Little Long Lake, the whopper was registered at Skube’s Bait and Tackle. The fish went home in a cooler but it had to be frozen in a U-shape in order to fit in the cooler.<BR><BR>Richard Lasch of South Bend, IN hooked a 9 lb. 10 oz. walleye in Burntside Lake using a chub and brought the 29.5-inch specimen into Skube’s Bait and Tackle for registration.

Sun
29
May

Monster Basswood Lake northern pike filling up anglers’ landing nets

Basswood Lake is still the home of the state record northern pike and this week’s entries show the lake is still producing.<BR><BR>Pike of 18, 19 and 25 pounds were taken out of Basswood Lake last week, still a ways short of the 45 lb. 12 oz. behemoth taken May 16, 1929, but some nice catches nonetheless. <BR><BR>Andy Schell of Lakewood, CO used a cisco to land the top northern pike this week. The pike went 25 lb. 12 oz. with a length of 45.5 inches and was registered at Deer Ridge Resort. <BR><BR>Jennifer Schneider of Aitkin, MN was also using a cisco when she landed a 19 lb. 8 oz. pike that went 41.5 inches on the ruler at Deer Ridge Resort. <BR><BR>Amber Lindgren, also of Aitkin, brought in a 18 lb. 2 oz. northern that measured 40.5 inches from tail to mouth at Deer Ridge Resort. <BR><BR>Doug Todd of Loretto, MN used a minnow to catch an 8 lb. 8 oz.

Sun
29
May

Birdshot and backlashes

Peak time. Memorial Day weekend is usually one of the red hot fishing periods every summer. Walleyes are gorging after their spring spawn. Northerns are cruising around mad at the world. Bass are coming up to start making nests on reefs and bars. Sunfish are starting to gather in spawning areas, intent on eating anything nearby. And trout? Ho! Ho! Ho! It is also trout time.<BR><BR>The problem is, an angler does not know exactly which species upon which to concentrate the effort. Of course, bass, walleye and northerns are pretty much found in the same areas so it is mainly a matter of which bait and how to present it. <BR><BR>Lake trout are going down deeper but can be dredged up with big Shad Raps trolled 20 or 30 feet below the surface. Stream trout are cruising just under the surface, especially at daylight and dusk and will hit anything, particularly tiny metal lures in 1/8 oz.

Sun
29
May

The hook and bullet club

Even though the weather for the second weekend of the 2005 fishing season wasn’t perfect, Megan and I decided to try our luck out on the water. <BR><BR>We were slated to meet Mike, Mitchell and Bill in about the middle of Birch Lake. Mike had nailed a five-pound walleye the night before so he was fired up to get back out there. <BR><BR>With off-and-on showers predicted for the day, Megan and I were determined to go but we weren’t really in the fired up stage.<BR><BR>I had heard a hot tip about guys using leeches on Birch on the opener, so we added a couple dozen to our purchase at the bait shop. Then we headed down Highway 1 to put in on the north end of Birch Lake.<BR><BR>The main landing is next to the Babbitt Beach, quite a haul from Ely, so we used the landing next to the campground.

Sat
21
May

Birdshot and backlashes

Governor Tim Pawlenty’s 2005 Minnesota Fishing Opener on Lake Vermilion, May 14, was the greatest ever held. At least the greatest ever attended by anyone from the Ely Echo who regularly receive invitations to these events.<BR><BR>Here’s why it was so great: Every participant was presented with an insulated nylon jacket donated by Minnesota Power, a Polartec vest from Cabella’s, a nylon tackle box with four plastic box inserts and an assortment of tackle from XcelEnergy.

Sat
21
May

Hook and bullet club

I knew I wasn’t the only one. There were many unnamed anglers who sat out the 2005 Minnesota fishing opener. <BR><BR>Sure, we broke tradition. We ignored those innate urges to throw on all our warmest clothes, top it off with a rain suit and waddle down to the dock. Somehow we persevered.<BR><BR>For me it was actually an easy decision. First my brother-in-law called from Apple Valley to say he wasn’t coming up for opener. Silently I thanked him for this move, knowing it would be another reason not to go. <BR><BR>“Well, I was going to go out with Mike but he chickened out. You know how those Twin Cities boys are.”<BR><BR>But I refrained from using that line. Even if Mike had come up I don’t believe I would have been unloading my boat in Birch Lake Saturday morning.<BR><BR>For one, Jake had two baseball games in Duluth that day and there was a funeral at 11 a.m. I wanted to attend.

Fri
20
May

The Opener was cold and snowy but fishing heating up in Ely now

The 2005 fishing opener was typical by Minnesota standards: cold, windy, rain and some snow and sleet thrown in for good measure. <BR><BR>But that didn’t slow the Governor or thousands of anglers from taking to the lakes last Saturday. <BR><BR>Governor Tim Pawlenty and his wife Mary landed 12 walleyes on Lake Vermilion by noon. With the guv putting eight in the net, he was beat out for top honors by Lt. Governor Carol Molnau who caught nine. <BR><BR>Pawlenty announced he will be traveling a little farther north next year to International Falls and Rainy Lake for the 2006 Governor’ Fishing Opener event.<BR><BR>Reports from around the Ely varied, although the number of boats out on the water was below normal opener levels. <BR><BR>The west side of Basswood was productive, with walleyes being taken from areas where there was current.

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