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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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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • monstermoose78
      Well monstermoose78 is done ice fishing around here for the year. Why you ask I fell through yes there was 28-30 inches of ice on the lake, but the shoreline nope. Went fishing with @Cret Jigs and we had fun fishing. I cut lots of holes and we got some good ones for the knife. Cret jigs brought a plank for the way out but on the way in I did not make it to the plank. Cret jigs helped me get my stuff the shore and out. I worry about the guy on the wheeler and they guy who used the plank to get out too. Thanks Cret jigs for a fun day. 
    • redlabguy
      To all you guys who’ve been keeping us posted, thank you. I’m an islander so I don’t have much hope for the opener, but I’ve been reading all the posts (read them year around), including entertaining posts on new gear, and, again, thanks for letting a lot of guys know what’s going on there. The current weather, forecast and web cams, give me hope! I’m thinking I may get back home in three weeks, maybe four. Keep the sun shining, Dick
    • jkrash
      What a difference a day makes, yesterday the dam was locked up tight and today it's roaring. Walleye should be running this week...
    • IceHawk
      Well this morning was officially the end of the ice season for me.   Its been a lot of days on the ice this winter and I have to admit I'm  a little burnt out.   It wasn't easy but it was time to end it.  Have to admit It was a sad moment putting the gear away but it was time as needed space today to put the boat in the garage   Learned a lot of new water and reacquainted myself with some old standbys. Fished 10 different counties this winter so definitely fished a lot of different areas.  Fished many species on the ice this winter so there never was a dull moment. Didn't take a ton of pics just a few need to take more just have never been a pic type of guy LOL.   Iced 7 walleyes between 26-28 3/4 all on local lakes.  So just a tip if you dedicate some time locally big eyes can be found. Fished panfish everywhere in the state highlight area for big fish being Becker and Ottertail Douglas counties. Biggest gill this winter was 10 3/4    many 10's came topside but couldn't break 11 this winter. Craps 15 inchers were tops. Good fish but had goals set at a 16.  Some things learned this ice season where number one lure for the eyes was a old school hammered silver Swedish pimple. It far out produced anything else.   Kenders tungsten where my mainstay for gills and crappies. The plastics of choice were power bait wishbones,  chigger frys, and Northland impulse mayfly's.  The catfish were a hoot and a  change of pace did well on Maynards slammers Glow red. The equipment and gear I was running and never failed me all season were Thorne Bros Rods- For eyes Perch sweethearts. For the Panfish I was running  Power Noodles, panfish sweethearts,  and my favorite the Tripwire. Reels Pflueger Presidents, Prestige ,and Supremes.. Did use some inlines also from 13 fishing The free falls where worth every penny. Ran a K-Drill 8 inch early and late and During the thick ice Ran my strikemaste Lazer.  Vexilar Electronics the old trusty FL18 my eyes underwater, Please Don't  think that I'm pushing these products because I'm sponsored by them I'm Not Just want to give a thumbs up and honest opinion on  some top notch equipment that has worked and weathered the storm of a good hardwater season. Realize we all work hard for our dollars and I can honestly say these products where worth every penny and never let me down!  Well Off to the Garage to start getting the boat ready for the Next season  By the Way big Shout out to some of the best Anglers I had the chance to share the ice with this season from FM.  Thanks  Borch,  Bass Thumb,  Moose,  Eyeguy, Rick G , Tom Sawyer for shareing some ice time with me.  Hopefully I get to meet and fish with a few other FMer's this summer or next hardwater.  We had some great Times great laughs and managed to even ice a few fish   Looking forward to having a few summer outings in the future.  BYE BYE Ice Hello open water 
    • Cliff Wagenbach
      Thank for the update and photo Dave and Diane! Cliff
    • Cliff Wagenbach
      I was out on Vermilion fishing today again. Big bay still has about the same amount of ice but the ice is a lot softer now! Small patches of 4" to 6" deep slush pockets on it. Pike bay seemed solid when we went out but when we returned almost the entire bay had about 6" of very soft slushy ice on top! That will be my last trip out this winter. Talked to one Native that I saw checking a  net that he had  out under the ice in Pike Bay. He had caught around 15 walleyes and a pike today and 8 or so walleyes yesterday. Tough way to catch fish! Cliff
    • dgdg
        Well the Pike River Dam is finally running at full throttle.  For those of you who aren't up here to see it for yourself, you can see it here: https://www.everettbaylodge.com/lake-vermilion-ice-out-2018-the-dam-is-running/
    • Horseshoe_Don
      measured ice this morning.   It has not changed in the last 48 hours.    Just the shorelines have melted.   The quality of ice has gone down though.   Still Driving my wheeler on shoe.    Still 20-28 inches out there away from current.    The bay by winter access is the thickest at 30 inches.   Don
    • Tom Sawyer
      Thanks for your efforts!!! Let me know if you need any free city garbage bags; I'm involved with the City of St. Cloud Green Team. You can place them at the Munsinger Garden greenhouse, or any trail access points for easy Park Dept. pickup.
    • JeremyCampbell
      Going to get the kids out on the river today with gloves and garbage bags for Earth day.Plenty of garbage around the local community spots that can be removed.Im sure there will be more but it's something to do and it will look a little prettier out there.