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Going to be headed to Vermilion on Sep 8th-15th and wonder what is the best map to buy of the lake. I have the navionic's chip but it's always easier for me to look at a paper map to figure out where I'm at and where I want to go.Was up at Vermilion last year and we stayed at Vermilion Dam lodge this year we are renting a house on Daisy Bay.So I have a little familiarity of the lake. Any help is greatly appreciated........Thanks Tracey

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Lake master puts out a pretty good map of the big V.

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Steve Foss

MNSkin, I'm with you on the paper deal. There are basically three routes to go on good detailed paper V maps.

Lakemaster and Fishing Hot Spots both offer foldout paper maps in durable, water-resistant paper, and Sportsman's Connection puts out a book of St. Louis County lake maps that is handier to use because it's smaller, but the paper is not coated. I have all three, and each is a bit better at some things and worse at others.

The Lakemaster map has varying shades of blue going from lighter to darker blue as you go from shallower to deeper water. It has some sections that offer exploded detail. I find it fairly hard to read because of all that medium and darker blue, and it looks a lot more cluttered than the Fishing Hot Spots map. It does, however, offer a nice way to tell at a glance the relative depths around the lake.

The FHS map is a constant pale blue color over the whole water surface, and I find it much easier to read. It also contains many marks and written descriptions of the well-known fishing spots on both the east and west sides for all the commonly pursued fish species, as well as a bit of advice on lures and presentations, and that comes in handy for a newbie on the lake. It also give you a written lake and fishery profile, which Lakemaster does not.

Both foldout maps have the east end on one side and the west end on the other. The east end is about the same size on each map, but the Lakemaster map shows the west end on a larger scale than the FHS map. The Lakemaster map appears to show the depth contours in greater detail, and as I've used it to probe specific spots, I believe it is finer in its rendition of bottom contours.

The other route would be the St. Louis County book of maps put out by Sportsman's Connection. I have several of the SC map books. The book has tons of maps, including Big V, and it was recently updated. Big V takes up several pages. There's not as much fine detail as either of the other maps, nor is the paper water resistant, but locations and tips are offered like on the FHS map. The SC book is a handy way to get a look at a whole bunch of lakes in a compact-sized package (about 8.5 by 11 inches). The SC book also contains lake profile and DNR stocking and sampling information.

All three are GPS friendly, with Lakemaster and FHS offering waypoints on the map itself for good locations. The SC map does not, but it has a GPS grid superimposed over the lake map, which is some help.

I think I paid $10 for the FHS map and a bit more for the Lakemaster. The SC book is about $25. All are available in area bait stores or can be ordered online if you don't want to wait until you come up. I'd post the Web sites, but they are not sponsors, so we don't do that. A quick google search will get you there. At least two of them and probably all three should be available at Vermilion Food and Fuel right on the main drag in Tower, but I haven't checked there for a month or two.

Hope that helps.

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I have the LakeMaster map and the Fishing Hot Spots maps of Vermillion. I think LM is the way to go. It is 3-foot contours just like the map from the LM chip, so you get a lot more detail than the FHS map. If you are only going to buy one map that may be the one to go with. The price difference is only $5.

If you fish a lot of lakes in St. Louis County you may want to go for the Sportsmans Connection Book like STF mentioned. Even if you only had to pay $0.50 per map the book would have over $85 worth of maps (there are over 170 lake maps) for about $25 - $30.

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Thanks for the replies guy's I figured FHS or Lake Master were probably my choices.

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The Lakemaster map is significantly more accurate than FHS.

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