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.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.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.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. Ely angler Marlene Appleberry was fishing in Lake Vermilion when she nabbed a 6 lb. 6 oz. walleye, entering the contest at Vermilion Fuel and Food. Keith Appleberry stayed right at home to catch his fish, a 6 lb. walleye out of Shagawa Lake. Registration by Voyageur North Outfitters. Another 6 lb. walleye was brought in by Dale Woodard of Deer River. Using rainbow chubs on Fall Lake, Dale brought the 28-incher into the Voyageur North registration station. Four year-old Tia Moscatelli of Forest Lake, MN made the trip north worthwhile with a 4 lb. 1 oz. walleye caught on Birch Lake while using a jig and a minnow. Skube’s Bait and Tackle took down the fish information. Big northern pike were still on the loose, tearing into minnows thrown their way. Top pike of the week was a 19 lb. 8 oz. northern that went 44 inches on the scale with a 17-inch girth. Caught by P.J. White, age 10, of Aurora, IL in Burntside Lake using a pike sucker. Right behind was a 19 lb. 2 oz. Birch Lake northern caught with a crappie minnow by Bill James of Hill City, MN and registered at Voyageur North Outfitters. Cory Lundeen of Harris, MN was fishing with a pink plastic worm when he tied into a 16 lb. 16 oz. northern pike on Lake Vermilion. The fish was landed and registered at Vermilion Fuel and Food in downtown Tower. Dave Limpus of Carthage, IN registered a 16 lb. northern pike out of Shagawa Lake at Skube’s Bait and Tackle. Mike Pelto got his name in the running for the top angler prize with a 10 lb. 4 oz. northern pike caught in Burntside Lake on a ciscoe. The registration came in from The Great Outdoors in Ely. Smallmouth bass will hit hard this time of year and Paul Spirake of Cicero, IL found this out when he landed a 5 lb. 10 oz. smallmouth on Shagaw Lake using a jig and a minnow. Spirit of the Wilderness reistered the 21-inch fish in the North Country Angler fishing contest. Pat Neurer of Ely was using rainbow minnows to catch a 2 lb. 5 oz., 16-inch smallmouth bass in Shagawa Lake, bringing the catch into the Spirit of the Wilderness for registration. Seven year-old Caty Haaversen of Ely, brought in a couple of nice fish, including a 2 lb. 1 oz. northern pike, the fish one she’s ever caught. Voyageur North Outfitters took down the registration info. This can be a great time of year to catch some big crappies and Carol Okerstrom of Virginia, MN found this out on Lake Vermilion when she bagged a 1 lb. 4 oz. crappie that was checked in to Vermilion Fuel and Food. Jim Smith of St. Louis, MO used the tried-and-true jig and a minnow to catch a 1 lb. 2 oz. crappie in Fall Lake. Packsack Canoe Trips and Log Cabins was the registration station used. An 8 lb. 8 oz. lake trout was caught in Carp Lake and entered into the North Country Angler contest at Voyageur North Outfitters by Harvard, IL resident Phil Kapraun. Taking home a pair of nice brook trout was Carol Bjork of Embarrass out of Tofte Lake with the registration coming in at Skube’s Bait and Tackle.Fresh brookies can easily be prepared by splitting the fish through the middle of the belly to remove the entrails. Clean out the inside and remove the head and tail in preparation for a great meal. We like to use some lemon slices and butter on the inside, baking the fish slowly in the oven for a delectable treat. For those who choose to release the fish back into the water to be caught another day, we would remind our visitors that by taking a picture and jotting down the length and girth, a very good replica can be made by most taxidermists to give the memory a permanence.Andrea Isgrow of Ely caught and released a 20 inche smallmouth bass caught on Basswood Lake with a jig and a minnow. The release was reported to Spirit of the Wilderness in Ely. Tobi Macki of Ely entered a largemouth bass catch and release from Basswood Lake. A jig and minnow was the bait and the folks at Spirit of the Wilderness took down the info. Business was brisk at many bait shops and retail stores in the Ely area during the Memorial Day weekend. Reports of better fishing action were coming back from the area lakes. For those looking for an extra edge, be sure to check out the Solunar Tables in each week’s North Country Angler.This chart can often be helpful in trying to figure out when the fish might be biting. It may or may not be the way to put more fish on the stringer, but as the saying goes, it can’t hurt to give it a try. Remember that every fish entered into the North Country Angler has a chance at winning the Grand Prize, a trip for two to Zup’s Lac La Croix fishing camp. Cash prizes are awarded at the end of each six-week section of the contest in several categories.Look for the star in the advertisements in this publication to find out where you can bring in your fish to have it entered into the contest.