On Lake Vermilion, its finally starting to feel like summer here in sunset country! Glass calm sunny days have the water temps skyrocketing and hungry fish in transit. Up and down weather patterns have had things in a flux the last couple of weeks but things are finally stabilizing as fish set up in their early summer patterns. Surface temps are in the mid 60s and will be holding in that range in the coming week with the projected forecast. The first signs of mayfly hatches have been seen; I expect the first type of big hatch Sunday or Monday as temps decrease again after the rapid increase.
The shallows will be the place to target in the coming weeks. This is a fun time of year for the walleye angler. While fish can still be found in the deeper 20-25ft ranges, your best action on most days going forward will come in the shallow stuff, 5-15ft. Large rocks adjacent to windblown mud flats are key to finding shallow water walleyes on Vermilion in the early summer period. Graphing fish can be tough on this type of structure. The run-and-gun approach is ones best bet. Slip bobber fishing with large leeches is always a go to, but don’t overlook a good casting bite as well. Pitching 3.5″ Berkley Rippleshads on Oddball jigs should be something each angler should have in their arsenal now. Some days fish will be found on edges of rocks, in these cases mapping said edges with side imaging and dragging lindy rigs along them can also bring success on good sized fish. Larger minnows will also work exceptionally well, however the challenge now can be finding hardy enough ones.
Many fish will be found on beds on shallow gravel shorelines the next few days, while many will some will be post spawn and relating to deeper breaks along the shorelines with some bullrushes or structure close by. Plastics under pencil floats is a go to in the shallows and allows one to cover much more water and target nicer slabs.
On days that the water is in a temperature increase, the shallow water topwater bite has been exceptional. Fish are staging and are aggressive. Vermilion has an exceptional smallmouth and largemouth fishery in certain basins and should not be overlooked as the sun gets high in the sky.
Fish can be found sunning on shallow shorelines with bullrushes and pencil reeds present, however the majority will be found cruising fresh shallow cabbage beds. Spinnerbaits as well as stickballs will catch the toothy guys, however ones best bet is pitching jig and large minnow combos and working them right over the tops of cabbage beds.
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