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Trout decide it's time to eat

Brett Porthan said it was so windy on Basswood last weekend that he could only backtroll over a reef three times before stopping to bail out the boat.For fisherfolk who dared to brave the wind, the results were worth the effort. Brett reported catching over 100 walleyes with a handful over five pounds. And all in 10 feet of water. The windy weather stacked fish up on the reefs but a number of parties reported they resorted to fishing from shore rather than risk the wavy waters. Warmer temperatures may have helped turn on the trout as well. Top fish of the week was a 16 lb. 2 oz. lake trout caught in Snowbank Lake by Randy Mattson of Aurora. He weighed the lunker in at Vermilion Fuel and Food.Some nice trout are being taken out of Miners Lake right in Ely. Jerod Gheen was fishing with worms and caught two rainbows, one 19 inches, 2 lb. 13 oz. and one 20 inches, 3 lb. 3 oz. He checked the trout in just up the street at Wilderness Outfitters.We did see some nice Catch and Release entries, including a 29-inch walleye caught on the Kawishiwi with a leech and released by Christopher Affrunti of Manhattan, IL and registered at Voyageur North Outfitters. The Birr family of Neenah, WI, Ben, Dan and Andrew turned in some nice walleye releases on Big Loon Lake, with two 27s and a 25. The releases were reported at Spirit of the Wilderness. Todd Ruby of Wheelersburg, OH made the 20-inch club for smallmouth bass with a 21-incher released on Basswood and entered into the contest at the Great Outdoors.Dave Porter of Sciotoville, OH used a four-inch Venom Tube to land a 19-inch smallie on Basswood. He released the fish and entered the contest at the Great Outdoors.Emma Fering of Chaska, MN made the trip in off the Echo Trail to Sletten Lake and caught a 19.25-inch largemouth bass. She entered the release at Spirit of the Wilderness.A 32-inch pike caught on a jig and a minnow by Benny Larson of Rogers, MN was released back into Basswood, according to Deer Ridge Resort. Basswood is included in the area lakes that have a 24-36 inch slot for northerns that must be released.Top walleye caught and kept this week was a 8 lb. 5 oz. Burntside beauty by Judy Rogers of Lake Elmo, MN. Spirit of the Wilderness took the entry.Hank Harger of Ely brought a 4 lb. smallmouth in to Deer Ridge Resort that he caught on a leech on Garden Lake. Crappies are starting to turn on as evidenced by a 1 lb. 3.6 oz. black crappie caught by Josh Bullivant of Ely in Birch Lake and weighed in at Spirit of the Wilderness. As summer apparently has decided to arrive and stay, look for fishing to stabilize and the action to really pick up.Leeches have been hot for walleyes and the reefs have been the place to pick up fish, especially as the sun goes down. Once the bugs decide they’ve had their fill, the fishing can really turn on during the early evening. Be sure to check out the Solunar Tables as well, published each week right here in the North Country Angler for a listing of the best fishing times each day.As one of our local guides who uses the tables likes to say, “It can’t hurt.”Get out on the water and good luck!

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