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DGTAYLO

I'm thinking of trying Vermilion for Opener this year. In looking at resort availability I'm amazed at how many cabins are open.

Is the walleye fishing that bad at this time of year or do people just wait to book until after January?

I am a little spooked as to the reasaon why. I even looked back to last year in this forum and not much talk about the eyes for opener.

I love Vermilion I just love catching fish more.

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TomWehler

HI D

Can't speak for eveyone but we do well on opener each year.

Most people I run into or know on the lake do well also.

Might take a bit of work to find them in large numbers in some areas.

Some openers a bit toug to start out...as each season is very different.

For the most part it is always fun an pretty darn productive well into June if you know how to follow the food.

No food, less fish but always something biting some place on the lake.

I find them, get two or three....then me an the hounds watch Bonnie bring up 40...she has the touch fer dem eyes.

\:\)

Big lake...lots of places to work an things to try...all good fun.

No time to type about it when your on an isalnd an always out doing it.

I'm pretty sure if ya ask Cliff W. he will help ya in your search...best dam walleye hunter I ever met...bar none.

\:\)

Keep on rocken.

Musky Tom Wehler

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heartattack22

Another reason for the availability might be because instead of taking a guys trip on opener, and a family trip later in the year, the guys are going waiting and only taking one trip up because of the higher expenses these days. I never argue about spending the end of the day sitting on the dock watchin the slip bobbers.

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Cliff Wagenbach

Thanks Tommy!

As Tom said there are plenty of walleyes biting on the opener!

Usually we manage to boat at least 50 walleyes on opening day in an average opener.

I would guess that many people wait a little later in the year to start booking their vacations at the resorts, same as they do for booking guides. My bookings uaualy really pick up in March and April.

If you wait to long to book at a resort you will probably not be able to get lodging on the opener!

Cliff

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lkvrmln-NilesBay

I would agree with you Cliff...the opener is usually great. Last year was in the amazing category. But it didn't seem as busy on the west end as other years...could be the economy...but certainly not the fish.

Don't wait too long to get booked for a place...most of the resort folks are at shows filling their open dates...

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DGTAYLO

Thanks for the info gentlemen. I have booked a few days at White Eagle for the opener.

I appreciate the help. Any suggestions on how to attack the opener?

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slick814

Find a spot away from the crowds that's producing and stick with it...

seriously, though.. we generally do a lot of jig/minnow fishing early in the season. Leeches on occasion, but the weather has to have been pretty nice and the water temps a little higher than normal on opener for me to use leeches. The big thing we've found is that color will make a big difference in the numbers and size of eye's you find. If you have 4 guys, try 4 colors and see what's working. THere are some colors that work great in Pike Bay, but not as well the further West you go... water clarity is big in that one.

And to make a really good suggestion... hire Cliff (or another guide if need be). One day of fishing with him has the chance to fish with a true expert. I know I've learned more from fishing for 1/2 a day with him than I could've in a month on my own.

You got responses from 2 of the best on Lake Vermilion in Tom & Cliff... both legends of the lake, in my opinion!

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Cliff Wagenbach

Minnows should be your #1 choice the first few weeks of the season.

Jigs/minnows or Lindy Rigs/minnows are my two favorite presentations early in the season.

Trolling Rapalas in shallow bays will also produce a lot of walleyes the first couple of weeks of the season.

Cliff

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lkvrmln-NilesBay

certainly old enough to know to not argue with a legend...but on the west end, make sure you have a few leeches in your bag. We have huge success with leeches on lindy's...leader length and hook color can make a difference...some of our group have strong religious views on hook and bead color...

leeches or minnows; jigs or lindy's...ask your resort host or hire a guide...Lake V is a great place to spend Mother's Day weekend...

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Cliff Wagenbach

I can't argue about the leech bite, especially on the West end! That certainly is one of the differences between the East and West ends!

Some fishermen also do well with crawler on both ends on the opener! \:o I talked to a fellow a few days ago that did very well trolling spinners and crawlers last October on the East end! Go figure! crazy.gif

Cliff

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Walleye Guy

We make our annual trip to the big V the weekend after the opener. We have found that when fishing deep water during the day minnows almost always out produce leeches. However when we anchor on our favorite shallow water, soft bottom, evening, bobber spot, about 50% of the time leeches will great outfish minnows. The weird thing is when the leeches are not the preferred slip bobber bait, minnows greatly outfish the leeches. I would recommend bringing both. The bite can vary from day to day and spot to speot.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Borch
      It usually pays off finding your own fish.   Nice report.
    • Borch
      Welcome to the forum.  Lots of good options already given.  Have some fun!
    • ozzie
      The fish are out there and they go hot and cold on the bite but they are catchable!  Anytime you can get the kids out fishing is worth it in my opinion!  Take them up and wet a line is about the only way you will find out if they can catch anything or not.  The main thing to look for before going to Red is the week leading up to the date you plan on fishing is to watch the wind speed and direction.  If blowing from the west for a few days the water stirs up and gets hard to fish. 
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      Welcome TheEyesofanAngler! A ton of good bass lakes around the area.  For numbers of 2 to 4 lb bass, the eastern Todd County lakes near Burtrum and NW Morrison county are hard to beat as well.
    • Wanderer
      Good job guys!
    • YellowFinRed
      Have only been out a couple of times now but did get a 5.5 lb walleye my first 10 minutes out in 16 feet of water. Lots of fish in the 16-20 feet range. No jumping in the boat but catching fish on the mid lake areas. I'll be darned if I'll sit under a bridge with other boats when you can catch fish out on the lake without others boaters around.
    • Gillraker
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    • DonkeyHodey
      agree with gimruis.  look to the river. Your chances of catching a 3# bass or better are exponentially better on the river.  (There's a reason SC/mississippi was chosen for the Gov's opener last year--the Mississippi around here is really a world class smallmouth fishery.)  (most river rats will tell you that you can essentially catch smallies any time of year and often as by-catch while targeting other species.)  Below the SC dam is pretty much catch and release only (all 12-20 inchers must be released) but it's quite loaded with big smallies! (and lots of good shore areas on public land)  Just be prepared to lose a few lures on snags... Frankly, If you want to stick to lakes, I think you can pretty much pick a lake in a 30 mile radius...--most produce bass in good quantity, it's just years may vary in terms of sizes.  Clearwater is good.  Consider Bass lake adjacent to it.  (...it's not just a clever name.)
    • Wanderer
      Haha!  Based on our conversation at the truck I’m going to edit that comment a teeny bit!  Cuz I know both of us had a workout.  I was still sore yesterday but it was a good sore. 😎
    • gimruis
      I like Clearwater too.  I haven't fished in in a couple years now but I used to and we caught a lot of fish out there.  The one negative was all the competition - there seemed to be a tournament almost every weekend. Another overlooked place to target smallmouth: RIVERS.  The Sauk River and the Mississippi between St Cloud and Elk River is plum full of bass and receives minimal fishing pressure (its just my opinion but rivers in general are very under fished here in MN).