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Yancimator

After fishing every handful in years in Minnesota for 40 years, I'm FINALLY going to bring my wife up to Vermillion and see it for the first time.   I'm chasing smallmouth and pike only (well, I'll gladly wrestle with a fooled Musky but not fishing for them).   If the largemouth fishing is better than the smallmouths, we'd probably chase some of them too.    Staying at Ludlows on the island.   Boy I'd love ANY help with where to start my searching for the smallies and pike and what to key in on that time of year.   I'll have basically two days to fish and will have my own bass boat.   I am an artificial bait only guy and catch and release.   Just looking for a bunch of tugs on the line and hopefully put my wife on some action.  Any guidance or direction??   

 

How deep are the smallies and what do they relate to that time of year?   Are the pike around visible weeds or submerged cabbage or something?   I'm coming in clueless.   Sure appreciate ANY help anyone's willing to provide.   Thanks!!!   Yancey from St. Louis, MO

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FishinCT

Interested in this too. I may get a few days up there in a couple weeks and was thinking of chasing smallies. 

 

Caught them deep on reefs later in the fall but are they out there already by mid September?

 

Big/Fraser bay for me

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Yancimator

Looking like we'll be there towards the Western end of the lake from Sept. 10-12.   Gonna try and find some bays with Cabbage or some other fishy looking pike weeds in the 8-15 foot depth range.  NO clue where I might find that.   Then, just no clue on smallies.   I imagine I'll attack any and all rocks and shoals I can find, but sure hope somebody tells me where I might find some better ones to start on.   Hoping their willing to chase some moving baits in the 15-20 foot range or shallower???   Just don't know what I'm going to see on this lake or what I should look for.   There's a million fishing reports out there, but it's all for the every tasty walleye.   I don't keep fish, so I don't chase em.   Just love chasin and catching smallies and pike for the great strikes and battles!!!   SURE HOPE SOMEBODY CHIMES IN.   :) 

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CigarGuy

I know YouTube has a lot of fall fishing videos on Vermilion. Been a while since I watched any, but lots of multi species videos. Might be a start!

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Yancimator

Thanks Cigar Guy!   I've been trying.   Lots of walleye stuff.   Some of the pike and smallie stuff, but struggling to find guidance on what to key in on or areas of the lake that might be good in that area of the lake.   Lake looks BEAUTIFUL!!!  

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TrueNorth

Yancimator - Good luck.  I'll give you my 2 cents for that time of year.  Ludlows is in the wakeemup narrows and there are a lot of weedy bays very close to you.  This time of year, I would be out on the edges of those bays for pike in the weeds.  Be plenty of Largemouth in there too.  All around Murphy's point near the 3 flags can be good for larger pike as well as outside Muskego bay...the bay itself will be pretty choked out with weeks this time of year.  There is also a weed line from Murphy's point straight across to the east side of Muskego bay that starts the deeper water transition going towards Niles Bay.  For Smallies, find rocky shore near deep water if you don't want to fish reefs.  This can be found around the islands off main basins and don't be surprised if you run into a few walleyes.  

 

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Yancimator

True North...……...this is awesome information!!!  DEFINITELY helps me get started!!  Thank you!   Curious what you'd recommend to chase big northerns in those areas and what depth you'd suggest I'm sitting in when casting??    I typically live my life throwing spoons, spinnerbaits, and in-line spinners for pike.   Any of those work well up there or is there something else I should consider??      And, similarly, what would you recommend we cover water with when chasing smallies?   Do spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits work well?    Or, do you guys always have to flip tubes or drop shot to get bit up there?

 

Thanks again!!!   CANNOT WAIT for this trip!

Yancey

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GopherFishing

You're staying in a great location for both large mouth and pike. For largemouth, cast a texas rig with a ribbon tail worm around all the docks/trees in the general area of the resort. For pike, a white spinner or stick baits have always worked well.

 

 

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Yancimator

Heck, I hadn't even really thought about largemouth fishing.   That's what we do regularly down here in Missouri.    If we can't find pike or smallies..……...I'll definitely take your advice and go flip the docks and trees, that's right up my alley!!!   I just never get to catch pike here and our smallies are only a pound or two usually, so I get excited when I get a chance to fish for some nicer brown bass.  :)

 

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TrueNorth
7 hours ago, Yancimator said:

True North...……...this is awesome information!!!  DEFINITELY helps me get started!!  Thank you!   Curious what you'd recommend to chase big northerns in those areas and what depth you'd suggest I'm sitting in when casting??    I typically live my life throwing spoons, spinnerbaits, and in-line spinners for pike.   Any of those work well up there or is there something else I should consider??      And, similarly, what would you recommend we cover water with when chasing smallies?   Do spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits work well?    Or, do you guys always have to flip tubes or drop shot to get bit up there?

 

Thanks again!!!   CANNOT WAIT for this trip!

Yancey

Large spoons and large spinnerbaits for pike.  Whites and reds seem to work the best for me.  Don't be afraid to try top water.  I would say boat in 10-15 feet of water.  Trolling raps can be productive as well.  

 

Smallies - Senko's, tubes, stick baits and cranks.  I'm sure drop shot would work for deeper edges.  Burnt oranges, black and natural are my favorite colors for smallies.  

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FishinCT

Yanci-I plan on drop shotting some reefs, saddles and underwater points. I’ll be up the 9-10th and will let you know if that worked for me on the east end. 

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Yancimator

I will have drop shotting stuff, I'm just not great at it.     But, sure willing to throw it if that's what it takes!   When you guys all say "reefs" are those basically the same as shoals??   Just high points where the water gets really shallow compared to what's around it?     

 

Speaking of...…….is this lake safe for boating generally??  In other words, are the shoals, boulders, surprises and hazards pretty clearly marked?    If I'm off the bank at least 50 yards and running on plane, am I generally safe unless I see a hazard marker buoy??    And……….last question...……..do any of you guys fish the hazard buoy pattern??  I've heard that's an easy and fast way to find rock and stuff that's shallow and draws smallmouth.   Anyone do that with success?

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Yancimator

And, for those that fish drop shot rigs for smallies………………….what bait and color do you like??   Drop shot worms or minnow looking drop shot baits?

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delcecchi
On 8/26/2020 at 6:54 PM, Yancimator said:

I will have drop shotting stuff, I'm just not great at it.     But, sure willing to throw it if that's what it takes!   When you guys all say "reefs" are those basically the same as shoals??   Just high points where the water gets really shallow compared to what's around it?     

 

Speaking of...…….is this lake safe for boating generally??  In other words, are the shoals, boulders, surprises and hazards pretty clearly marked?    If I'm off the bank at least 50 yards and running on plane, am I generally safe unless I see a hazard marker buoy??    And……….last question...……..do any of you guys fish the hazard buoy pattern??  I've heard that's an easy and fast way to find rock and stuff that's shallow and draws smallmouth.   Anyone do that with success?

Yes, 50 yards or so off shore all the hazards are marked, unless maybe a marker blew away which happens every once in a while.   There were two missing on west end for a week or so this summer.      Pretty much all the real shallow rocks have markers.   If deeper than about 5 feet, no markers.    Get a good lake map for you sonar/gps or even paper to look at in the evening.   The Navionics paper map is best in my opinion.   

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Wanderer

Put Navionics on your phone and track your position if you don’t have GPS mapping on your boat.  Some folks with iPhones will link to their iPad for a bigger screen and longer battery life.

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BrianF

Drop shot + Vermilion’s rocky substrate = Frustration over constant snags and lost tackle.  Better off using 3.5” paddletail swimbaits and slowly retrieve them over those deeper rocks.  Deep diving crankbaits with a big lip that defects off rocks can also be good.  

Edited by BrianF
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Yancimator

BrianF, thank you!   I'm half blind at my age nowadays and don't need the frustration of trying to retie all day!!!   LOL

 

And, I've got good lake maps in my electronics, so hopefully between that and the visible markers on the lake I'll be ok.   And I LOVE SLINGING CRANKS!!!   So, I'll probably start with that and maybe spinnerbaits in the morning or topwater a bit.   Then, see what happens!!

 

Most of my deep diving crankbaits are pretty large for down here in Missouri.   Does that matter for smallies or will they still attack em even if the bait body is 2-3 inches long?    Do they like Chartreuse baits like they seem to in other states??

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FishinCT
On 8/27/2020 at 10:59 PM, BrianF said:

Drop shot + Vermilion’s rocky substrate = Frustration over constant snags and lost tackle.  Better off using 3.5” paddletail swimbaits and slowly retrieve them over those deeper rocks.  Deep diving crankbaits with a big lip that defects off rocks can also be good.  

Was thinking about that being an issue. I have a couple spots that aren’t as snaggy that I’ll try first and see if it works. But assuming you’ll end up right I will take the paddletail advice

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