Lake Vermilion may be the 5th biggest lake in terms of total acreage, but it’s #1 in terms of total shoreline with an impressive 290 miles worth. That’s a lot of bank to cast to! Not to mention the untold numbers of reefs, which walleye, pike, musky and smallmouth bass often inhabit.
For a Canadian Shield lake, Vermilion is actually quite fertile, with the nutrients and habitat to grow big fish. The number of larger walleyes have increased in recent years with a protected slot limit that was implemented over 10 years ago — and anglers and guides are seeing the results. There are still lots of eater walleye for that famed shore lunch with a chance at a trophy, too!
Musky fishermen looking for a trophy are finding Lake Vermilion as one of their top destinations for a fish of a lifetime. Back in 2015, the MN DNR’s test-netting recorded that 15% of musky sampled were over 50 inches. Can you imagine how many big ones are out there now?
Vermilion’s rocky reefs and shorelines are made for smallmouth. These crayfish crunchers have lots of places to scrounge up a meal. Tubes, grubs and bottom bouncing cranks will often produce quite well. But smallies aren’t always looking down! The early morning topwater bite can be explosive as well.
Other species like largemouth bass and crappie don’t receive the same amount of attention, but once you find them, it can be some hot action.
There’s a lot to do on and around Lake Vermilion for the whole family, as well. One thing’s for sure. If you’re going to cruise the lake for the day, you better make sure to pack a big lunch because you’re going to have a lot of water to cover!
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