Tom Wasz wrote:
I'm going to L.V. for the first time and staying at Spring Bay resort and was wondering if anyone could tell me the best areas to fish. We will be targeting Bass and Crappie/panfish. I not asking for honey holes just an area. I wouldn't be adverse to trailering to another part of the lake if it was smarter to drive the road instead of the water. Also are there any restaurants in the close vicinity to Cook. Will be there from August 7 - 14th, this year.
Lake Vermilion Fishing Map;https://www.fishinghotspots.com/e1/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=270
Fishing is world-class on Lake Vermilion. With 40,000 acres, 365 islands, and 1200 miles of shoreline, it has something for everyone. Spring Bay offers top-notch guide services for our guests.
Home > Guide Service;
Our guide service is intended to be a service for our guests. Steve has been fishing Lake Vermilion all of his life. He is on the lake daily keeping up with the fish movement, seasonal patterns, and locations. If you are a guest, we will mark your lake map with all the hot-spots for the type of fish you are looking to catch. The required deposit is $100 for guide service.
Shore lunch is available for any 6-8 hour trips and is $15/per person.
Please call in advance and talk to Steve if you wish to schedule a guided trip. He is always available to our guests for advice on fish location, different techniques, lake navigation, and any other assistance you may need. As your host, he intends to help you locate and catch fish. Feel free to call if you have further questions regarding the guide service.
Directions to Spring Bay;
Approximately 3 1/2 hours north of the Twin Cities Area.
Take Interstate 35 north to Cloquet. Take Highway 33 north from Cloquet until it connects with Highway 53 north. Take 53 north until you get to Cook.
Take a right on Highway 24 (by the log American Bank) in Cook, continue across railroad tracks (veer to left) and continue on Highway 24 (approximately 8 miles) until you arrive at Spring Bay Resort (located directly off of Highway 24).
Please click on links for additional information, Thank you
Boat and Pontoons for Rent;https://springbayresort.com/boat-rentals/https://springbayresort.com/partners/https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/licenses/online-sales.html
Thus, when you come to Vermilion, spend some time casting and looking at areas with large main lake weed beds along shorelines or around islands, and at rock-and-boulder reefs and island complexes with immediate access to deep water.
Fishing Patterns Of Lake Vermilion;
Walleyes are the most popular species for our fishing guests, and with good reason. Lake Vermilion has an excellent walleye population, with fish of all sizes present in good numbers. They put up a good fight on light line, and make for a tasty shore lunch or evening meal accompanied by fried potatoes and onions, pork & beans and canned fruit for dessert.
In spring, walleyes spawn either in incoming rivers with rocky shoals, or atop main lake rock flats swept by wind and current, with water temperatures in the 40 Fs. Many fish tend to linger around such spots until the water temperature reaches about 55 F. Casting a ¼-ounce jig tipped with a minnow or soft bait, swimming the jig or lift-dropping it on and off bottom back to the boat, is often all you need to catch fish at this time. As an alternative, try casting or longline trolling 4- to 5-inch minnow baits through the shallows, targeting about 4 to 8 feet. As post spawn walleyes disperse.
As post spawn walleyes disperse back into the main lake, look for them along the first major points, islands or rock reefs adjacent to their spawning sites, initially focusing your efforts at about the 10- to 20-foot level. Vertically jig jig & minnow combos, or backtroll live bait rigs tipped with shiners, tapping the sinker on and off bottom. The tips of underwater structures, and irregularities along the drop off to deeper water, tend to concentrate fish.
As summer arrives in earnest, expect some walleyes to drop deeper, down to as much as 35 or 40 feet. Not all, however; some linger along the deep outer edges of main lake weed beds, where trolling a bullet sinker/spinner rig tipped with a nightcrawler covers water, using speed and flash as added triggers to catch fish. Try a similar rig on a heavy (2- to 3- ounce) bottom bouncer or three-way rig for fishing deeper if needed. If the fish are finicky, however, switch to a 3-ounce bottom bouncer rig, using a curved “Slow Death” hook, to fish slowly, tapping the wire feeler of the bouncer on and off bottom while the baited hook flip flops and spins a half-crawler threaded onto the bent hook, tempting reluctant biters to respond.
By fall, Vermilion walleyes may drop even deeper, with 40 feet plus not unusual. Beefing up your jig size to ½-ounce or so and tipping with a minnow, or vertically jigging a # 7 or #9 Jigging Rapala does the trick. Be sure to tie a barrel swivel into your line about 16-18 inches above the Jigging Rapala to eliminate line twist. Caution: Walleyes caught this deep may not be releasable; if the fish are stressed, keep just enough for a meal if desired, and then switch to fishing for alternative species. We have lots of ‘them!
Muskies are targeted by the most hardcore of our angling clients, willing to put in long hours casting large lures to trigger follows and provoke strikes. We’re pleased to say that Vermilion’s Muskie population ranks among the best in the state for both numbers and size, with extremely large fish available. In other words, this is the place to come not just to get bit, but for a good shot at a giant.
Unlike pike, muskies do not spawn at ice-out in the back ends of marshy bays. Rather, they’re more likely to spawn in 5 feet or so of water atop weed growth in the back-center portions of bays, with water temperatures in the mid-50 Fs. For the first few weeks of the season, tossing small bucktails in bays and along shorelines leading back into the main lake are perhaps your top options.
Once summer arrives, muskies are likely to be found according to two primary patterns—weeds or rocks—and not necessarily at the same time. Often, one excels over the other. Thus, when you come to Vermilion, spend some time casting and looking at areas with large main lake weed beds along shorelines or around islands, and at rock-and-boulder reefs and island complexes with immediate access to deep water. Often, your first morning of fishing will reveal enough follows by curious fish to indicate whether weeds or rocks with be the focus of your fishing the next few days.
As far as which lures to use, that’s where your personal preferences and the fish’s current interests coincide. Large bucktails, giant crankbaits, top waters, magnum soft baits, classic jerk baits—they all have excellent potential. The best bet is to experiment with all lure styles in different color patterns, and see if the fish indicate a preference by following or striking.
As curious fish that like to suspend near the surface, muskies routinely follow your lures to the boat, even when not necessarily active. A fish following 5 feet behind your lure may not bite, while one nipping at the strands of your bucktail may be triggered at the last second by a figure 8 maneuver at boat side. Regardless, once you’ve spotted fish in certain areas, punch in the coordinates on your GPS, and return to the spot several times during the day to try to intercept them when they are actively feeding. Low light levels at dusk and dawn, and especially approaching storm fronts (safety first—avoid lightning!) often turn passive followers into savage biters. MUSKIES
Vermilion’s deep waters, lush weed beds and plentiful forage base grow northern pike to huge proportions. Few places in the state rival our potential to grow pike surpassing the 20-pound mark. Plus, there are loads of pike in the 10- to 20-pound range, and plenty of smaller fish that make a good alternative shore lunch if you fillet out their Y bones prior to cooking.
As mentioned earlier, pike are already spawning in the back ends of marshy bays even as the ice goes out. For the first month or so of the season, they will periodically move in and out of these bays, either feeding on ciscoes suspended outside the bay mouths, or on miscellaneous smaller fish within the backs of bays themselves.
Early on, fairly slow retrieves with ½-ounce spinnerbaits, 4-inch spoons, large crankbaits (both suspending and floating-diving), large unweighted soft baits, and fly fishing excel for both numbers and giants in the shallow back ends of bays. As the water warms, add a bit of action to your retrieves. Example: When using spoons, interrupt the retrieve 2 or 3 times per cast by popping your rod tip upward, and then letting the lure flutter down for a few seconds to trigger strikes from following pike.
By late spring and early summer, the largest pike will be spending more time on main lake weed flats and shallow rock bars adjacent to the deepest main lake basin. Casting many of the same lures as used earlier excels for fish of all sizes.
Once the water temperature reaches about 70 F, the largest pike tend to drop down into deep water (35-40 feet) to escape uncomfortably warm temperatures. Here, they feed on ciscoes and whitefish. To catch them, vertically jig a 1- to 2-ounce white jig tipped with a large white soft bait, up and down near bottom, anywhere you see large fish on your depth finder. The tips of long point and edges of main lake reefs are great spots. Also try longline trolling very deep-diving large crankbaits that reach down to the 35-foot level.
At the end of summer, cooling water temperatures draw big pike shallow again, up into main lake weed beds and onto rock points and reefs, where either casting or longline trolling large lures produces big fish.
Visiting anglers are often surprised at the caliber of our crappie population, where limits of slab crappies are the rule, rather than the exception. Fish pushing the 1 ½- to 2-pound mark are common amongst your catch. Crappies also are delicious, providing a tasty alternative to walleyes when they hit the frying pan.
In spring, crappies move into shallow bay areas where flooded wood and reeds are present. Early on, flooded trees are usually the best fish attractors, since weed cover mashed flat by recent ice offers little protection for spooky crappies. Set up a cast length away from such cover, and pitch a small 1/32-ounce jig about 16 inches below a thin balsa float up near the edge of the cover. Let it dangle awhile, occasionally twitching the bait to entice fish to move out to the edges of the cover.
As water temperatures rise into the 50 Fs, many crappies will shift to reed cover for eventual spawning purposes, but not just any reeds will do. Cruise the outer edges of reedbeds on calm, sunny days, peering into the water with polarized sunglasses. You’re looking for areas with a combination of bent and broken reeds, darker bottom, and the dark profiles of crappies lurking within the cover. Once found, back off a short distance, and cast similar jig and bobber combos as used earlier into pockets, lanes and edges of the reeds. Switch to a slip float for fish that are deeper than about 3 ½ feet, which is a more snag-resistant setup than a traditional float. Similar to large mouths, once fish are hooked, quickly lift them up and outside the cover, then fight them adjacent to it so they can’t tangle and break off your line in the reeds.
Spawning usually takes place with water temperatures around 60 F. Once crappies disperse from spawning sites, they begin to school and suspend along points at or near the mouths, typically somewhere from 10 to 20 feet beneath the surface. Don’t fish on the bottom at this time, or you’ll be below the fish. Instead, when you seed suspended fish on your electronics, cast a 1/16-ounce jig out across the school, and count it down, one thousand, two thousand, three thousand, etc.; the small jig sinks about 1 foot per second, and you want it to reach a level at or just above the top of the school. Then retrieve it back slowly and steadily, with minimal action, enticing fish to rise up and smack it. Done properly, you can quickly limit out on bunches of slab-sided crappies. On 4-pound-test and medium-light tackle, they provide a good tussle and loads of fun for the family and serious anglers alike.
In fall, crappies continue using many of the same areas as in summer, but tend to drop close to the bottom, forming huge mega- schools with hundreds of fish in perhaps 30 to 40 feet of water. Vertically fish an 1/8-ounce jig, touching it on and off bottom, or just about the fish’s level if they appear a few feet off bottom on your electronics
Lake trout are not present in Lake Vermilion, although you can take a short rail portage into Trout Lake to get in on a Laker and walleye action, with a good chance of catching big fish of both species.
In early spring, lake trout roam main lake shorelines, remaining fairly shallow—often 15 feet or less—until the surface water temperature rises to about 55 F. Simply longline troll large wobbling spoons or magnum crankbaits along shore and around the perimeters of mid lake islands that drop off into adjacent deep water. Add a 1- to 2-ounce Rubber core sinker to your line about 4 feet ahead of the lure if you think you need to fish a little deeper to trigger strikes.
Once the water warms sufficiently, Lakers head for the depths, preferring the colder water available in 40, 60, even 80 feet or more. Thus, summer trout fishing requires tactics allowing you to fish extra deep.
Vertically jigging 1-ounce white jigs tipped with large white soft bait tails is perhaps the easiest method to employ. Free spool the lure to bottom, engage the reel, and then bounce the lure up and down a few times. Reel up 8 to 10 feet, and repeat. Again. Lake trout notoriously follow lures up off the bottom to strike midway between the surface and the bottom—or even as you lift your lure out of the water next to the boat!
Or, try three-way rigging a flutter spoon or large minnow bait on a 5-foot leader, with a 3-foot dropper line off your three-way swivel to a 5- to 8-ounce weight. Troll along just fast enough to wobble the lure, lift-dropping the sinker on and off bottom to make sure you’re in the fish zone. You can experiment with additional trolling hardware like downriggers or Dipsy Divers to troll your lures deep, but they are seldom required.
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