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barney

Lake Vermilion/Trout Lake 7-22 thru 8-4

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Our latest trip to beautiful Lake Vermilion was wonderful indeed. We were able to fish Trout Lake 7 times during our stay and it was fantastic as usual. Vermilion started off a bit slow but I eventually found all kinds of fish on the easternmost Vermilion rock reefs. At times the walleyes were on top in 12-15ft and at other times they were on the edges from 18-25ft. Interestingly, they were shallow during calmer water. We caught all of our Vermilion walleyes on crawlers with single red hooks and a red bead. Speed was the key and, at times, backtrolling into "heavy" water produced the best results even though I had to empty water periodically. Drifting was and is always very effective IF the speed is correct. All of the walleyes we caught were disgorging perch minnows and I would imagine that minnows would be very effective also. I found walleyes almost everywhere I fished that had reasonable structure. We caught very few fish over 16" BUT bunches of them from 12"-16". The fish are very hungry and care must be taken to NOT let them take the bait too long. Survival is almost assured if they don't swallow the hook. I cut the line on several and I hope they do survive. I would give a word of advice, I noticed several boats fishing the humps adjacent to the lighthouse and, also, the flats north and east of Potato Island. I fished the reef west of Potato and had it all to myself. Fish were 20ft deep and very very hungry. Don't throw out a marker though, because we also ran into some of the rudest, inconsiderate, people with poles in their hands that I have ever seen on Lake Vermilion.

Trout Lake was very good. Smallmouth seem to be taking over however. It was impossible to fish a crawler on some of my favorite reefs. Leeches hold up much better and all of our fish were caught on leeches and plain red hooks. I caught walleyes from 18-30ft on deep water reefs. 25ft is always my starting depth in that lake. All of the reefs that I fish this time of year have 60-80ft of water very very close. The least amount of walleyes caught on any of our trips on Trout was 5 and the most was 9. The biggest was 24" with several 20-24". We caught only two fish that we could have kept and eaten in Lake Vermilion. The best smallmouth we caught was 21" and we caught lots 15"-18". You must watch the weather very closely when in Trout Lake and we were lucky to narrowly miss two major storms. By the way, we never stay in Trout past 11:00 unless we go in at 11:00 and come out at 4:00.

Boat traffic could become a problem in some areas of Lake Vermilion due to the speed that some of the boats travel. People who rent boats need to be especially careful when fishing and traveling early and late. Always watch for approaching boats to make sure they see you and NEVER EVER travel at night without lights.

Good luck to all the rest of this year and, God willing, we'll have a report next spring.

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