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Coming up later this week to fish out of the Vermilion Dam Lodge. Any reports for eyes in that general area of the lake? I've noticed on a few other posts that the water temp seems to be in the low 60's. Sounds like gravel flats and rock piles with crawlers in about 22-27 FOW is the place to be lately. Ed @ VDL also mentioned the eyes have been feeding on crayfish and perch this year. Does anyone do any night fishing on Vermilion? We have always talked about slip bobbering some night.

Also might try for some crappies and it's hard to resist throwing a few bucktails for the big dogs! Looking forward to another great trip to a great lake! Any input you might have would be appreciated. (not looking for spots; just general info)

Thank you in advance!

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Slip bobbering in the moonlight is one of my favorite methods of fishing, but for some reason I've never "made it work" on Vermilion like it does on Mille Lac. I've decided that the Vermilion walleye, in more stained water, feed earlier in the evening.

The flats on Niles Bay will hold evening and morning walleye, also the eastern approaches to Wakemup narrows. Outside edges of weedy bays, where they meet deeper water have been working good.

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How about "turnover"? Is there any indication of this yet on Vermilion? This will be our 5th trip up and we have had better fishing before the turnover. If memory serves me right the turnover happens when the water temp get closer to 50 degrees. Any insight on this?

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Vermilion is what some of us call a "gentleman's lake."

That means you don't have to get up before dawn to catch walleyes, nap during the middle of the day and go out again near sunset/after dark for them. In the low-vis stained water of the Big V, you can get walleyes all day. Many is the time we've hit the water at 10 a.m. and fished until 3 p.m. and retired to the shore with limits of 'eyes to be put fresh on the table.

Many times, the bite is stronger in early morning/late evening than it is at midday, but we're entering the period when walleyes are putting on the feedbag, and a big chub or 4-inch sucker dropped down on a rig will get the attention of any walleye 12 inches or bigger. Same with the smallies.

There is a night bite. It's not like LOW, where the walleye bite seems to shut off completely at a certain point after sundown. Many, many Big V cabin owners toss slip bobbers off their docks starting at midnight on opener in May and have a limit long before the sun comes up.

Don't worry much about turnover. This is the time of year you start finding 'eyes and smallies in a mixed bag off deep humps and main lake points and other structure. Think deeper, and turnover becomes irrelevant, or almost so. Thermocline isn't always a big issue on V even in high summer, because of the way the lake/winds work. smile

And the folks at VDL will steer you right. Rely on them. They are in the business of putting you on fish, and they are not typing comments in an online forum from 45 miles away like I am right now. gringrin

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I have heard that many parts of Vermilion don't really "turn over" since they don't really set up a thermocline in the first place due to wind and not being that deep. And also that "turnover" where it does happen is pretty gradual.

A lot of the west end is only 30 to 35 feet deep so the wind induced currents can mix it up.

Just an opinion. I would think that the drop in water temperature and the change in day length would be more important in its effect on fish location.

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Del has a good point. I believe that Head O Lakes Bay sets up a solid thermocline while Wakemup Bay gets more mixing of the waters. The Tulibees and Whitefish mainly die off on the Head o Lakes bay and not so much on Wakemup Bay. The area heading to Black Bay leaves lots of shallow structure that does not turnover.

Now the real question is- Where the heck do I go to find fish and then procede to get them to bite.

This is a small picture of the whole lake. I am sure that there are areas that set up a thermocline and thus have a turnover. Our job as fishermen and women is to get out there and fish- something I have not been real good at this season blush

Lake Vermilion is diverse- many many many different options for areas to fish and species to chase.

Good Luck on your trip. You can have a new adventure every day grincrazy


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Now the real question is- Where the heck do I go to find fish and then procede to get them to bite.

To repeat: This time of year and into October it's deep main lake structure, beefy minnows, rigs or jigs (I prefer rigs). Go get 'em, tiger! gringrin

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Thanks everyone! This is why I love this forum! I get out on one or two fishing trips a year and there is always good information here and friendly people. I will try to post during our trip and provide any feedback that I can.

Thanks again!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just getting around to posting after the trip. The first day we caught some one crawlers but what seemed to work best was chub minnows. I think the change from crawler/leech bite was in the process of switching to minnows. White floating rig on a bottom bouncer was working well. Most fish caught near weeds. We always fish the "deep" hole and pulled a few from there as well. This was 35-45 FOW.

Speaking of the deep hole... there was a black Lund fishing boat out there

fishing crappies and a gentleman was fishing using those completely yellow rods. One rod was out the side and the other he had laying down in the back next to the motor. We didn't call it on or anything but it's not fun seeing a fellow outdoors man breaking the law.

Ran into a guide at the fish cleaning house one day and had a good conversation with him. Real nice guy; cannot remember his name but he had a nice walleye decal on his Lund pro Series boat.

Talked to Ed @ VDL and he mentioned trying Trout Lake sometime when we're up there. Anyone fished Trout? Ed says it has good numbers for walleye and smallies; with the opportunity to fish lake trout. He told us about the portage fee and permits plus only allowed to have a 25hp motor. Sounds like it might be a fun day!

Thanks again for all the great info here.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Tripp_315
      How’s the the smallie bite? I’ll be up on Friday 😎 ~Tripp
    • FishinCT
      Culling is not against the law in Minnesota unless you have a limit. (Which obviously applies in this case.)   They finally cleared up the language about it in the regs this year. 
    • delcecchi
      Since culling is against the regs in Minnesota, weighing in early is a great thing to do.   Congrats.
    • Rivergroup
      We're heading up tomorrow. Hoping for walleye but looking to mostly relax. We'll have leeches and minnows and any tips would be great. Just looking for enough for a good fish fry. Thanks in advance.
    • Jetsky
      Caught a lot of small ones yesterday in 20 -30 ft.  A couple of eaters.  Minnows on Lindys clearly out fished the leeches on Lindys.
    • Hookmaster
      Kudos for doing this. I'm sure a lot of fishermen would not have.
    • MikeG3Boat
      I know it has been raining all week but anyone have any walleye reports?  Heading up for the holiday weekend and want to do some fishing.
    • MikeG3Boat
      Partyonpine, Would you be willing to share in what areas you were getting some nice Bluegills?  I am on the east end on big bay and would like to find some good panfish.
    • partyonpine
      Opener and the week after were good.  Not the numbers we normally get but better quality in the East End.  Not surprised on the weights for the Auto City a.  Usually for us we only catch a few slot fish but we averaged 3 a day for 10 days.  2 overs, biggest 27 inches.     Our best luck was 12-16 feet for quality.  When we went deeper we caught more but smaller.  Bass were really starting to heat up.  For me little earlier than normal.  Found some nice Bluegills the day we went after some panfish.  Dock fishing was as many as we wanted per usual.
    • Shulsebus
      We will be up on June 8th for the week. It will be our 13th year in a row staying on the lake.  I hope the walleye are hitting the bobbers by the time that we get there. 
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