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toddrun
Posted (edited)

Hello Lake Vermilion experts,

I have a family trip planned to Lake Vermilion for a week starting June 16th.  Looking forward to the new experience, and hoping my fishing skills are good enough to get my family on some fish, whatever species.

But my question here is - how is it navigating from the far East side to the far West side of the lake, for a newbie, with LakeMaster map?  We are staying at Pike Bay Lodge on the East end of the lake, and we found out some friends of ours have a cabin up in Black Bay.  Well the lake map tells me that is on the opposite side of the lake.  From what I have read, it is 20+ miles from end to end by boat, is that accurate?  Is it pretty easy to navigate all the channels between those 2 locations for a newbie?  We would like to go see our friends and see the lake, and would likely plan on a calm day if we get one, since I have a smaller boat, don't want to get caught in any heavy wind, big waves situation.  But I have also be told there are dead head rock concerns on Vermilion in certain areas.

So if anyone can share any helpful hints, it would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by toddrun
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BrianF

This lake master map you have, are you talking about the mapping chip for your GPS? Or, are you talking about a paper map?  If the former, you could do it going along carefully and coming back before dark.  You’ll still get disoriented though and will need to give the hazard bouys a wide berth.  If the latter, I’d fear for you and would highly recommend not attempting this.  How about just hopping in your vehicle and driving over there??  Much safer. 

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toddrun

Sorry, I should have qualified, yes it is the LakeMaster chip in my Lowrance depthfinder with GPS.  And it is a two-fold trip, one to sight see most of the lake and its beauty, and two to see our friends and their cabin.  We wouldn't be in any hurry and would definitely plan on day time travel exclusively.    We could certainly do a road trip, that just doesn't seem like as much fun.  ?

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mbeyer

Yes, you can get to the other side of the lake with your chip. Certainly, do it in daylight. It will be a nice ride. But, also a LONG ride. We make a point to go from east east to west end once a trip. It is always a highlight for me.

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Cliff Wagenbach

Your GPS will get you there easily! Most of the open water hazards are marked well and so are the channels.

Just be careful close to shore, as shallow rocks there are not marked!

Cliff

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Fish Head

You didn't mention how big the boat is or what horsepower.  If it's not a good size boat & motor it might be easier to just trailer it to the West side.  Just a thought... 

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FishinCT

Go for it. It is a beautiful trip! Like others said it is long but definitely worth it to see the whole lake. Consider seeing the north side of pine island on one leg of the trip as well. Use general caution as you would on any lake and you'll be fine with your lakemaster chip. 

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trolloni

We stayed at the houseboats by pike bay lodge ,they had a customer stick one of there boats  in the narrows on the partridge river, overheated the engine cause it plugged the water intakes, dock guys said it was 42 miles on the water from their dock.

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SkunkedAgain

I have a cabin in Black Bay and just went end-to-end over Memorial Day. It's a pretty trip for sure and worth doing. If you're good with maps and landmarks, do it with a trusty paper map like you're canoeing through the BWCA! Your GPS will do the job. Boat and motor will make a difference. On my honeymoon, my wife and I almost sank in Wakemup Bay going through big waves in between storms trying to get back to our place. That was with a mid-80's Fisher 16' boat and a 35hp motor. I now run a 16' Alumacraft with a 90hp and can handle most of what the lake throws at me. So depending on what you consider a small boat, it's a doable trip. Smaller boats in bad weather could be a mistake but a nice ride with clear skies.

Cliff was spot on. This lake is a boulder field so never boat close to shore. Keep centered and watch for the hazard bouys.

I would expect a 35-60 minute boat ride depending on how fast you go.

 

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OhioVike

Make sure you understand the channel buoys and you have enough boat for the trip.  I have been on some pretty rough water when the wind is right and it will take the enjoyment out of your trip if you are in a small boat.  A lot of water and bays that look similar so your GPS is critical.   Even a phone with Google maps can help if there were a problem with your equipment for some reason, although you may not get a signal on the northern most points on the lake.   

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OhioVike

LOL Tom!  You are right. As I have aged my conservative nature grows more pronounced. Being lost a while on the lake in a boat is not like being lost on a snowmobile, which could be a life ending event.  I like the picture of your dogs anticipating your catch.  They seem to be really interested. How do they react when you bring in a large musky?

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Skibo

Tom, we've never met but i think we may be soulmates.  @toddrun, make it an adventure not a trip.  On most days you can follow other boats on the main tracks.  Watch the bouys, stay away from the Whites, and "Red and Green, go Between".  Tom is spot-on about paper maps.  If you study your paper, the screen will make much more sense to you.  Use them both, but keep your paper close and dry.

Remember that you're really not lost on a lake, you're just seeing scenery that you wouldn't have if you hadn't taken that right instead of a left.  Enjoy the lake and make lots of great memories to share with your family.

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TomWehler

OhioVike.   All those boyz gone now. Lost Polar Bear month ago today. Hard times here heart n mind. Those boyz loved the water n boat n fishen be it in boat or on dock or shore. Special bunch. L to R. Are Barney Toonder. Polar Bear. Moe Rock & Homer J.  All loved surface lures most. Homer J n Moe Rock totally follow my every move start to finish when tossing topwaters fast or slow. Few times during muskie Fish follows this site n excitement was unbearable for Moe n Homer so the look to me of “ that’s all I got T. Can’t stand it no more. Gotta Go!”  Then splash into the drink after the fish. Got pretty good helping them back in boat with the big net an Bonnie’s help. No easy task when 114 lb Goldy is excited and soaked to the bone but. Totally fun. Few times when younger they freak a bit when bring BIG fish in boat. “What ya gonna do with that?” Look was a gas. Lots of great experiences n story’s with that crew 4 sure.  Fun you have a smile at the pics as are unrelated to question asked but.... I do drift off at times. Good tuff. Enjoy the weekend. Be safe have success an enjoy it all. 

Keep on rocken!

T

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OhioVike

I am sorry to hear that Tom, those things are never easy.  It is clear that you enjoyed each other greatly.  Have a good weekend thanks for sharing.  

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Stephen L Johnston Jr.

Yea I have seen some crazy boaters lose their lower units going too fast, might have done it myself a time or 2 when I was much younger learning the lake. Take note of the dead heads also, just pulled 2 to shore memorial weekend in pike bay.

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toddrun

With everyone's helpful advice, we have decided we are going to pick one day and make a day of going from one end of the lake to the other, and back, just for the experience and scenery.  I trust my navigation skills, and will just plan on taking it slow and easy.  Staying in the middle of channels and trusting my electronics to hopefully keep us safe from hazards.

And if you trust the long range forecast, looks like mother nature is going to give us a great day to do it.  For next Tuesday, the forecast shows partly cloudy all day with a high of 78 degrees, winds light to variable (5 mph).  Perfect for an all day boat adventure.  And typically not good for Walleye fishing, so makes it easier for me to give up the day of fishing, ha!

Thanks all for the information and suggestions.   ?

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Darrell Larson

Sounds like you have a plan. Have a good time up here during your stay. It appears the mayflies are done in Pike Bay area so you won't have those little rascals to deal with, at least by my house they have disappeared. 

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Cliff Wagenbach

Darrell,

This morning when I went out Pike Bay was covered with dead May Flies!

Nothing in Big Bay yet though.

Cliff

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jhousenga

How was the trip? I was on the lake Tuesday and the weather was as good as it gets!

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toddrun

jhousenga,

The weather was great all week, but not so much for Walleye fishing.  But we had an amazing time, great lake, and Pike Bay Resort was awesome for us.  We did not make the end to end trip though, our friends had to fly out of town last minute, so we didn't really have a reason to make the long trip to the West end of the lake.  Would have been perfect conditions for it though.  In hind sight, with the tough fishing, I wish we would have taken a day and made the trip just to see the lake, and maybe try some fishing on the West side.  But we covered the East end pretty well, and enjoyed every minute of it.

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