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Acres: 39,271 Max Depth: 76 feet MuskyLINK Page

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Primary Forage: Cisco

Other Forage:
Black Crappie, Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Rock Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye,
Yellow Perch

Numerous fish populate Lake Vermilion, but the most popular predator fish for anglers to fish for is the muskie. Following are some detailed Lake Vermilion muskie fishing tips to help make your next Lake Vermilion muskie adventure a successful one.

Lake Vermilion muskies spawn after the ice leaves the lake and the water warms. This usually occurs during the month of May. The muskie fishing season is closed during the spawn to allow the fish to spawn without fishing pressure. Come early June, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources opens the muskie season and anglers begin their quest to land a muskie. Muskie location is pretty predictable at this time. A good place to start is in the weeds. Inside weed edges can offer some great muskie fishing in June. Post spawn muskies will sometimes bury themselves in the thickest weeds they can find. Offering lures like spinner baits above or through the cover, twitching small crank baits above and in weed pockets and dive and rise lures can and will put muskies in the net during the early summer.

As the water temperatures rise, muskies start moving towards the deeper weed edge. By late June and into July, concentrate on those deeper weed edges. Gradually increase the size of baits and lures used, as the summer progresses. Larger bucktails, topwater and medium crankbaits all produce well as the water temps increase.

By midsummer, when water temperatures are the warmest, this top-of-the-line predator will become the most active. Lake Vermilion muskies will continue to relate to the deeper weed edges during midsummer. Anglers can also try fishing some rock reefs and saddles that may connect two pieces of structure. Fishermen should consider structures with direct access to deeper water. These structures will be most likely to hold more muskies, and the sharper and more irregular breaks are better. During the warm water period, lure speed can be a determining factor when it comes to catching a muskie. Try fishing bucktails faster than you might normally fish them. Topwater lures such as creepers and prop baits can also fool a big muskie into striking during the warm water period.

With the cooler water temperatures of fall, the muskies begin to move with and stay in close relation to their forage. Lake Vermilion offers both whitefish and cisco. Cisco and whitefish make up the majority of a Lake Vermilion muskie diet. Anglers should pay close attention to deep breaks where ciscos and whitefish live. Staying on the bait will keep you on the muskies. . Slowing your lure down from summer speeds into a slower, more percise presentation will increase your catch rate in the fall. Large crankbaits, gliders and swimbaits are the ticket to hooking up with a Vermilion fall muskie.

Lastly, one thing that many people overlook when preparing for a muskie adventure on a large body of water like Lake Vermilion, is rod selection. Rods can vary in size and length. Rods that are eight feet or longer offer the best approach for Vermilion muskies. Here are a couple reasons why.

The first reason for using a longer rod is being able to focus on the figure eight. A longer rod allows the angler to offer his or her lure further away from the boat. A muskie rod of eight feet or longer will also allow the anger to keep the lure in the water during rough conditions. Muskies are not afraid of boats and will hit at boat side with lures going in circles or figure eight patterns. Before you get in this situation, practice circles and eights at boat side with every lure you use, so that you are able to smoothly go into large circles or figure eight patterns effectively.

The second reason is casting distance. A longer rod when used correctly will deliver longer casts. The longer your muskie lure is in the water the better your odds of catching a muskie become. Making long range casts can give you just what you need when searching for a trophy muskie.

The best overall time period for Lake Vermilion muskies is during the warmer water periods. Usually during the summer months anglers catch and release more muskies than during any other period. This is not to say that giant muskies just jump into the net during this period. Muskie fishing can still be tough at times during the summer. Learn and pay close attention to the structure you choose to fish. Persistence and patience will help you land the big one.