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Spearing Machine

2017-2018 Vermilion Ice Conditions and Fishing Reports

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LBerquist

I believe one of them goes out of the fortune bay resort landing. Haven' been out on it this year so not sure how far out it goes.

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JerkinLips

Typically the road is plowed barely outside of the bay.  Haven't take the sled there since December so I don't know what it is like this year.

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JerkinLips

It surprised me, but Fortune Bay does rent fish houses.  Just check their website out and look under Marina.

 

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LBerquist

Saturday turned out to be pretty interesting. Got an early start and had lines wet at the butt crack of 930. Went to drop the first line, reached into my minnow bucket and found maybe 6 minnows still attempting to swim. First walleye came on my only sucker so had to head back into town for minnows. Final tally: 5 whities or tulibee, still not 100% sure which one they are yet but the biggest was 18", 4 dink walleyes, 3 jumbo perch (biggest was 14), missed a few on both rattle reel and jig. It was slow but down sizing my jig and watching the water column allowed me to find enough fish to keep me entertained.

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Sushilicious

I'd like to thank everybody who comments on this forum and helps plow the roads. U guys r a great help!!! even tho we didnt do well. I think it was just 1 of those days 4 us that no matter what we did we weren't gonna have success. A buddy n myself ended up going out of McKinley Sunday. Ended up trying 3 different spots n only caught 3 baby eyes in 16 fow around sunset on a plane hook with a shiner. We ended up getting the truck stuck 3 times (drives fault) n the Coleman stove didn't work. We did eat tho.

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Cliff Wagenbach

Not the best time of the winter for walleyes on Vermilion. They usually slow way down after January most winters.

All I have been getting the past couple of weeks are mostly small fish, and not very many of them!

Cliff

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bffcaf

We fished Sat/Sun, hole hopping with spoons mostly.  Between us, my buddy caught two mid-20"ers.  Lost another nice one.  I caught exactly zero walleyes, some baby perch, and was red-hot on rock bass.  lol   Had walleyes come up and look, but no bites.  The difference between his getting bites and my not getting bites may have been that the fish were line shy??  My buddy was using all 6lb flouro, while I had 10lb braid with a 2' flouro leader of 10lbs.  I stripped all that off when I got home, so ready for our next trip up in a couple of weeks.  Sunday was cold with that wind!  brrr...

Edited by bffcaf
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MN BassFisher

Heading up to the Big V this weekend and the following weekend...finally! I haven't been able to get up yet this winter. We will definitely be doing some fishing but with the Walleye bite being slow this time of year that will force us to likely try some new lakes! My father in law usually only fishes on Vermilion in the winter and hasn't had a real bang up day before so I'm going to try to get him on a Panfish bite somewhere in St. Louis county so he can, hopefully, have some steady action.

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nickeleye

Hello, First post here. Seems like I'm in the same position as a lot of first time posters - heading to Vermilion and looking for pointers.

My wife and I are staying at a rental cabin between Oak Island and Niles Point. I'm bringing fishing gear to walk out from the cabin. There are some islands not far and some small reefs. Would it be best to hope for a walleye? Any chance for perch or crappies?

Thanks in advance!

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BrianF

nickeleye, yes, in that area of the lake there is an excellent chance for small perch (4" to 6") just about everywhere you go.  Larger sized ones are hard to find, but they do exist.  Very few crappies in that area, so I would not expect that, particularly if confined to walking out.  You have a chance at a walleye on the island points and small reefs to which you have walking access.  This time of year, your best shot will be early and late in the day.  Have holes drilled in depths between 28 and 20 feet on those island points/reefs prior to dawn and dusk, then hole hop around during the prime bite window.  We have a 4 minute rule per hole.  Usually, half your walleyes will show up within the first minute of your first drop and 80% within your first two minutes.  After about 4 minutes, your just waiting for one to swim around randomly into below your hole and that could take a long time.  Smaller spoons worked better for us than larger spoons last weekend.  Tip with a minnowhead.  Hope this helps!  Good luck, you should have the area to yourself.

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nickeleye

Thanks very much! Your last sentence is the best news and was one of my biggest questions. I figured the area would either be packed or empty... and I like solitude.

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Cliff Wagenbach
8 hours ago, MN BassFisher said:

Heading up to the Big V this weekend and the following weekend...finally! I haven't been able to get up yet this winter. We will definitely be doing some fishing but with the Walleye bite being slow this time of year that will force us to likely try some new lakes! My father in law usually only fishes on Vermilion in the winter and hasn't had a real bang up day before so I'm going to try to get him on a Panfish bite somewhere in St. Louis county so he can, hopefully, have some steady action.

I fished Myrtle Lake a few days ago with some friends and the crappie and bluegill bite was very good for us.

Crappies averaged 10" to 11" and the gills were also nice.

Waxies and minnows as bait.

Cliff

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Mielkez

Alright guys. Change of plans. My group is concerned about lake travel. After consulting a snowfall map we've decided to stay south of the line that runs from basically Duluth to Lake Winnie area. Were coming from Wisconsin and don't know anything about MN lakes. Rather not do Mille Lacs. Looking for something a little smaller. Not asking for spots. Is there a lake within and hour or two to the north or east of the cities that fishes strong? Looking for panfish mostly with some walleye mixed in. Thanks. 

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james_walleye

I'd concentrate on the buffalo/annandale area just northwest of the metro. There's a ton of good lakes. Clearwater, Pulaski, pleasant. The list is long. 

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Cliff Wagenbach

Mielkez,

I thought that the area you are now targeting was supposed to get the most snow from the coming storm.

Cliff

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side_laker

Thinking about bring my wheelhouse up there tomorrow far a day of fishing and spend the night any new reports 

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Cliff Wagenbach

Pulled my house a couple of days ago, but there are still a few fish biting at some spots. Very slow for me!

Good roads out there yet as we plowed them after the last snow.

Cliff

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JerkinLips

Caught 17 walleyes on Friday, but all were dinks except for two 15".  Caught 6 more Saturday, all small again except for one 16".  Also caught a 12 inch perch, 3 eelpout, and 2 tulibee.

Considering the snowstorm prediction for Sunday, I pulled my house off the lake and parked it back in the garage for the season.  LOW next week, then onto lakers the following weekend.

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Cliff Wagenbach

JL,

Smart move! We must have gotten around a foot of snow today!

Cliff

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JerkinLips

Cliff - much more than the 4-6" they were predicting.  It was a tired drive back to Blaine late Saturday night, but would have been a much tougher drive back Sunday.

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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

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Cliff Wagenbach

nickeleye,

Thanks for the report!

Lookers but no biters seems to be the pattern the past couple of weeks. Common for this time of the winter on Vermilion!

Cliff

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Reid Saarela

Quick report from last weekend: Fished a couple midlake reefs in big bay and the walleye seemed to be non existent aside from a few dinks, although, the action was pretty decent. Jumbo perch, tullibee, and a few crappie kept me busy. From hearing other people’s late season reports along with my experience last weekend it seems like a lot of the walleye have moved to different types of structure, perhaps shallower?? I’m not sure, but had very few marks that appeared to be walleye.  

Edited by Reid Saarela
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Mielkez

Ended up going to Vermilion anyhow. Camped all weekend and did okay. Handful of walleyes each day, many whitefish and a few pout. Went in search of some panfish on Saturday using the 360 off my boat and found an ice school of perch in some flats. Yeh m sure fishings been better but we caught enough to feed ourselves all week. 

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Jan Scuba

Is anybody still fishing? Is there still ice? I have been following This Thread all winter living vicariously through you guys. We lost our ice a month ago and Indiana.

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Reid Saarela

Still tons of ice! Did not see anyone out fishing today when we took the sleds over to trout lake portage to do some fishing. Probably not worth the effort of drilling tons of holes through 30 inches of ice to stay on the elusive crappies.

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Cliff Wagenbach

Reid,

Find ant trout?

Really have to get lucky and find the right spot for crappies with this much ice that is for sure!

Hope to get out after them in a week or so once this snow drops down!

Cliff

 

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Wicheesehead37

any open spots on the lake yet?

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Cliff Wagenbach

No open water except right below the pike river dam.

I had 30" of ice yesterday when I was out fishing! 6" to 10" of snow/slush on top.

Cliff

 

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delcecchi

With a forecast for below freezing for the next 10 days, not gonna be melting much ice...

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • flx
      Any spots around Farmington to set up nice crayfish spots? Or any spots around here? 
    • Roseypike19
      Sounds great Squirt.  Good to hear you have plugs that will hit those depths, but more than likely you'll only need something in the 10-20' range...maybe even higher in the water column.  Hope you get to find out!     We also eat a few pike.  My personal slot ends at about 25-26" - everything bigger goes back - but the new NE MN limits allow harvest up to 30".  Northern nuggets are tasty, and I've never had anyone who could tell me the difference when presented side by side with walleye.  
    • Squirt
      RoseyPike 19 and all, Thank you for the tips. Very good instructions and specifics that I can see on the map. I will give these a try. For big pike I am looking for 40 inch plus.... I also like fishing the shallows as you say for the 20 - 30 as I like to eat pike. I think the fillets are the best minnesota offers. For the deep fish I have the tackle and divers to get down 30 - 40 so I will try that. You also gave me specifics around where I am staying, so I will report back on how I do.   Thanks all!
    • JBMasterAngler
      Launched out of Copas today. Got beat up by the wind pretty good. Caught an 18.5 inch largemouth, and a 17 inch walleye. Then it was a looooooong time in between fish. My son found a brief bit of success when he started jigging a small paddle tail and caught his very first sheephead. Then I had him jig one of those gulp minnow things, and he caught a 15 inch smallie. But that’s where it all ended. After we loaded everything up I threw him in the river 😂  
    • Rivergroup
      I'm in a group of 5 that heads to Vermilion once a year.  We'll be on the West end starting 6/13.  We're open to traveling but will be looking for walleye primarily.  I'll keep an eye on the message board, but any input for success would be appreciated.  In the past, we've had luck with crawlers and leeches, but not much with minnows.  We've had the most luck with lindy rigs and slip bobbers.  We'd like to get ahold of some crappies too if anyone has any pointers.  We're used to Mississippi River fishing so we're kind of at a disadvantage when it comes to Vermilion.  Thank you in advance!
    • smurfy
      well...........i'll be up for round #2 wed morning!!!!!!!! look out fish. last time was mainly work. did get a bit of fishing in but i was limited.
    • Roseypike19
      Hi Squirt,    The previous tips are all good regarding pike on Vermilion.  Find some shallow reeds/weeds and you will find some nice sized pike (Average = 20-30" with a bigger fish at times).    What is your definition of a "big" pike? The shallow program is fun and that's how I do most of my pike fishing, but overall that is not how you will find the biggest pike on Vermilion.  I'm talking East Vermilion as that's the basin I fish.  By now many of the biggest pike are suspended and feeding on ciscoes in deep water.  They will make occasional forays into the shallows to follow food (think windy days), but they spend much of their time suspended over the depths.     Several really good areas very near you have this potential: 1. The narrows between Moccasin Point and Pine Island.  You can't miss this area on a map.  There is BIG pike potential here.  2. The deep water break on the east side of Isle of Pines.  I have literally seen giant pike chasing ciscoes out of the water here (also a fantastic muskie spot).     Those two areas are a literal stones throw from your place.     How do you fish the deep water?  IDK!  Like I said, I'm a shallow pike program guy.  The few times I've done the deep suspended thing we found the bait and big hooks on sonar and then jigged 1 oz hair jigs and/or 1 oz lead heads with a white fluke.  It worked, but it was technical and tough.  If I ever do it again (maybe later this summer), I'll troll big plugs at the depth just above the fish.     Last week we had a lot of fun catching many nice pike in the shallow weeds, but our two biggest fish (including a 40"er), came on a very windy, cloudy day while fishing shallow rocky points adjacent to deep water.   Coincidence?  I think not.  So definitely take advantage of those windy, cloudy days if you expect to find a giant.  In my experience, those conditions provide your best shot a true trophy pike from shallow water.  (Of course there are some exceptions and any cast on Vermilion could land a big pike!)   Otherwise, ply the suspended depths and report back what you find.    Good luck.    
    • Roseypike19
      Hope I'm not too late on this report.  We were up last week (23rd-30th), and overall we had fantastic smallie fishing.  We had to adjust a bit as they were definitely more in spawn mode than most Memorial day weeks, but that just meant moving from points and secondary points towards the spawning bays and banks.  I really enjoy pre-spawn smallie fishing because they are often schooled up on the points leading into spawning areas, they are fat as heck, and they are very active - and while we had some action in this regard - we had more overall action on the banks and in the bays and saw a lot of spawned out females compared to previous years.  So I'd say about a 1/3 of our fish were pre-spawn, a 1/3 were spawn (males on beds), and a 1/3 were post spawn.  T'was all fun.     The whole month of June = awesome shallow smallie fishing, so whoever is up, good luck!  
    • Raven77
      I have one that I would sell you.  I'm on Richie Bay.
    • gimruis
      This is how my boat is.  The bow eye fits snuck right up the roller with the latch below.
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