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2017-2018 Vermilion Ice Conditions and Fishing Reports

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Cliff Wagenbach

Well, after getting 9" or 10" of new snow last night the easy traveling conditions on Vermilion are now over. Combine this deep snow with the very hard drifts under it from earlier and there will certainly be a lot of stuck vehicles out there! We will probably also start to see a lot of slush show up! :(

Cliff

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OhioVike

Too bad! Time to unhitch my Otter and ride the trails!

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JerkinLips
On 1/11/2018 at 10:55 AM, Cliff Wagenbach said:

Well, after getting 9" or 10" of new snow last night the easy traveling conditions on Vermilion are now over. Combine this deep snow with the very hard drifts under it from earlier and there will certainly be a lot of stuck vehicles out there! We will probably also start to see a lot of slush show up! :(

Cliff

Hope my fish house isn't stuck in the slush when I come backup January 18.  Only blocked it up 5".

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Cliff Wagenbach

JL,

If your heat is off and no one drills holes close to your house you should be ok.

I had to move my house and a friends house just before the snow because they were starting to flood! Sure glad we did that before the storm!!

Good road plowed out as far as Birch as of yesterday! If you see the guys plowing be sure to stop them and thank them with a $20 (thank you) donation!!!

Cliff

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JerkinLips

Never leave my heat on and all of the houses surrounding me leave their holes open, so I will see on Thursday.

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Kohlerpeet

Hello! I am wondering if anybody would be so kind to offer some advice/insight on ice fishing Lake Vermilion. We have summer fished there for the last 3 summers but are interested in pulling up our ice castle fish house and staying a long weekend. We have bet ice fished there. Any help would be appreciated. Ice Conditions? Where to go out of? I see a lot of people fish Lake of the woods or Red Lake but we love Vermilion and would like to try it. Thanks for your time.

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Cliff Wagenbach

Kohlerpeet,

Welcome to FM!

Best landing is at McKinley Park by Soudan.

Plowed road there now.

Fish 21' to 36' depths .

Small jigs and dead sticks are both working. Rainbows or chubs as bait.

Fish have been biting all day off and on.

Cliff

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Kohlerpeet

Thank you for your time Cliff. Hope to make it up there this winter! Happy Fishing.

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JerkinLips

My advice for ice fishing on Vermilion would be to avoid high traffic areas.  I always believed this before, but this weekend seemed to validate that theory.

On Thursday my neighbors in our ice fishing village decided to plow roads, driveways, and parking lots all around, and I only caught 4 little walleyes.

Friday I planned to take my portable out to an isolated spot, but none of my village neighbors were out that day, and the fishing was very good.  I caught 14 walleyes that day, including 21" and the pictured 26" and 24" slotters.

Saturday I thought that maybe the fishing was just picking up so I fished in my permanent again.  Caught only 2 walleyes while my neighbors proceeded to have a big family gathering with many vehicles going back and forth.

Love fishing in my permanent house, but the next time it starts to get busy in the neighborhood, I am moving out with my portable.

 

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IMG_5781.JPG

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Cliff Wagenbach

Same here.

Thursday was a good bite and the weekend bite was mostly a bust!

Cliff

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JerkinLips

Cliff, did you have a lot of vehicle traffic around you on Saturday?

Maybe the bad fishing on Saturday was just the weather conditions, although Saturday was beautiful weather-wise.

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Cliff Wagenbach

Beautiful weather on Sat and Sun. but plenty of traffic!

No traffic today but still a very slow bite this morning.

Could just be the weather change!???

Cliff

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Darrell Larson

Clifford, how is the slush out there? I have slush in front of my home and looking at sled tracks they are turning color also.

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Cliff Wagenbach

Darrell,

Nothing in the area that I have been traveling.

Cliff

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FishinCT

Jerkin, you are absolutely onto something. Back when I used to put a permanent out in the south metro, I made sure to fish as many weekdays as possible. Weekends were always worthless, no matter the conditions. Luckily vermilion is big enough to get away from it all!

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CigarGuy

The slush on the west end is terrible. Same goes for fishing. Fished about 20 different spots, from shallow to deep, different bottom structure and could only catch perch-a few were nice size.  Beautiful wknd to sit on the ice and fish!  Did stop in and introduced myself to Raven77. Nice to meet him! 

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OhioVike

CG, Where did you run into the slush?

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Cliff Wagenbach

I did see some slush out side of the Stuntz Bay Landing today.

Probably will soon show up out of McKinley Park too.

Cliff

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CigarGuy
1 hour ago, OhioVike said:

CG, Where did you run into the slush?

Wakemup, Partridge River, Head-O-Lakes, Richie Bay and down into Norwegian Bay.

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BRULEDRIFTER
11 hours ago, CigarGuy said:

The slush on the west end is terrible. Same goes for fishing. 

The west end is just awful for fishing. It's really too bad.  My in-laws live on that end and I've been trying to learn that lake for years and I come up empty handed more often than not. The few times I've found some fish, they're usually too big to keep.  Best bite I've found is a guy can get on some nice bluegills, which is fun, but.....

The dynamic differences between the East and West end of Vermilion is a perpetual head scratcher.  

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OhioVike

BD, I have a place on the West End. Yes, there is a huge disparity in fish between the East and West basins. It took us a couple of years to figure it out, but we did. I rarely have an issue getting our limit of nice keepers.  Generally we keep it simple with bottom bouncers, two beads and hook.   When fish spread out over the mud flats we'll do some trolling with Raps.  Every year for the last 5 years fishing has improve for us. The 2011 stock is coming and and we are getting more knowledgeable. Also, every time I take a first timer out, they catch a nice 20-24" slot walleye and go crazy.  It is a lot of fun for me to watch that.  

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SkunkedAgain

I think that the thing people need to realize about the two ends of Vermilion is that you have to fish them differently too. My buddy always bombs all the way to the east end to catch keepers. It's fun when we go because it's easier. There are definitely lots of walleye on the west end, and IMO better fighters. It's a different style and strategy but worth the effort.

Thanks for the slush report CigarGuy. I'll take that to mean that there is slush everywhere!

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OhioVike

Couldn't agree more Skunked. I tell my friends we'll go catch some linebackers.  WE Walleye got shoulders baby! I have caught 20" walleye that I thought were over the slot.  

On 1/22/2018 at 11:35 PM, CigarGuy said:

Wakemup, Partridge River, Head-O-Lakes, Richie Bay and down into Norwegian Bay.

With some cold weather with things freeze up or is there too much snow?  I am coming up in 3 weeks.  

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JerkinLips

Last weekend the road going out from McKinley Park didn't have water on it, but truck tracks that left the road were filled with slush so I am sure it could be an issue anywhere.  In the 3 weeks I was last up, the water came up 3 inches under my permanent, and during the 3 days I was up, it came up another inch.  With the amount of snow cover on Vermilion, I don't think that water or slush will freeze under undisturbed snow.

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OhioVike

Thanks.

 

 

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Fathom
      Set up deeper on rock reef for the rest of the weekend and only managed one fish (26" eye), missed a couple others. We wanted to stay deeper due to all the traffic on the lake. We did enjoy a good time at Fishing for Ducks, we saw a nice walleye pulled through the ice but it only measured 27.5". Talk about a bummer for that guy!
    • Jarrid Houston
      Roads to the islands always need to be taken very cautious and I would encourage going with someone who knows the area..  I believe they were shutting down the highway H extension due to this recent weather we just got?  Plenty of fish and opportune situtations in the bay.
    • cookie129
      Another crazy busy weekend is in the books. I really enjoy giving out my fishing/what's happening on the lake reports but finding the time has been tough. To say its a grind is a understatement.
       I can tell you again as the season winds down I'm never ready for it to end, as I truly love being out there in my trucks, moving houses, plowing the  hillmen highway, giving advise, helping other fishermen when they do something silly, Driving into a snow bank, dropping there gun down a hole or any other important object like there keys. Every year all the workers seem to get a little grumpy as fighting mother nature, going from sun up to sunset takes a toll physically and mentally. It also seems I ruffle a few feathers every year and its never my intent  so I have to chalk it up as a long season. If I stepped on anyone's toes it sure was not planned or intended as all most every day plan a turns to plan b and c. Mother nature dictates where I go sometimes as well as any plowed roads that can make our job easier. The cookie shuffle worked very well this year as I tell everyone that gets lost in my maze of trails. I'm not a road engineer.
       Man did we get overwhelmed with wheel house's this past weekend, any fish coming from southwest had to go threw a gauntlet of hooks to find my fishermen.
       I had two wheel house's  that I set up at the end of the hillmens highway and was surprised how bad they did. I guess I should of went south not east? The nw road has gotten to much to maintain, there's one lone house out that way that will need a new trail made .
       Its all started Thursday as jonnny boy and I prepped for the weekend with Joe, Zack, Adam and   his crew arriving fro florida. Zacks birthday wish was fishing red lake, they had a blast. They went to westwind where they enjoyed a fish fry, plus they took home a few fish with a couple even getting a ride in florida fish house as we moved a small distance to put it on fresh ice for there last night sunday. Last year when they came we landed on the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie mother load? I think  they had dreams for a year of repeating that. Every year is different and again this year was no exception.
       Ben who proposed in old Minnesota to Shawna 8 years ago were in old Minnesota with there two adorable kids. Louie the fishing machine and his little sister Willa plus there friend Nelli.
       They had a blast also with Shawna getting a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie to boot. They also managed to take home a nice batch of upper red lake walleyes.
       Hunter and his two buddies were in north Dakota. It was slow but they also managed to take home a batch of fish.
       Charlie and Rizzo were in montana , They were very serious about there fishing and went home with there 8.
      Jeromy and his gal were in north Carolina Saturday, sunday . They also managed to get there 8.
       Sunday was a very tough day as we had all 5 houses re rented. I was planning on moving all of them so we battled mother nature the whole time as a ne wind with 2 inches of snow made it impossible to see. At one point I was getting sea sick as I struggled to see, With the sky, horizon and the lake all the same color. wow what a struggle.
       It took us  7 1/2 hours but we got every thing cleaned, moved.
       Mother nature has given us another bout of snow so tomorrow I will let every one know how the houses did the last two days as its time to check the fluids and fire up the fleet
       
    • nickeleye
      Figured I should report back... I fished prime time on Saturday morning and Saturday evening. No action. It didn't help that I forgot to grab the vexilar on the first outing, but it didn't help to have it on the second outing either! ha! Marked a few but couldn't get them to bite. Used a GPS chip to punch some holes over structure, but when I came back with the vexilar, they weren't quite as deep as I hoped. Thanks for the pointers BrianF
    • LucasLongCaster
      Around this time last year this thread was started by @Royal_Dutchman. I got my trip planned for April but by the look of the extended forecast it's not looking to promising, especially compared to where it was at last year on Feb 23rd. 
    • osok
      Been a brutal hard water season for me as well, figured it was a continuation of my fall fishing luck. 
    • Wanderer
      Thanks guys.  I checked out Modis for ice coverage and Navionics to help understand how things are laid out.  Knowing what areas certain fish prefer and those typical depths is a big plus.
    • urbaniceteam
      My wife and I are hoping to get up to Mille Lacs this Saturday and spend the night on the ice.  Does anyone have any last minute availability?  All the resorts I've contacted are booked. Thanks!
    • Borch
      Lots of nice fish!  Central Mn is cranking out some nice panfish.
    • eyeguy 54
      I did till about 2 then just had to go for a bit. LOL 
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