Spring update 2016

June 1, 2016

May 31,2016


Season is off to a great start.  Ice was early this year going off the lake around April 22.  The water levels are pretty normal given we have had some good spring rains.  The trees have greened up great and it looks like we are well past the spring dry season when  forest fires are of concern. The winter was mild with below average snow fall.

  Our main winter project included what started as some upgrades to The Morningside cabin and turned into a complete rebuilding.  Morningside is now completed. The new Morningside will have two baths with showers, dishwasher, vaulted ceilings and we increased the view with more windows.



We are planning on adding another dock that would be directly in front the cabin. The feedback from guests so far this year love the cabin and view.  The weather has been so nice this spring that we already have the pool open.


Fishing …. opener was very good with good reports on the walleye fishing.  The DNR does annual test netting to determine species populations in fall. The results from 2015 reported the Niles Bay area ( just west of the resort ) had record numbers of walleye per test net (as compared to the historical average).  Most of those fish were 12-14 inch range which were the result of a strong year class in 2013. 


In the last week ago walleye fishing really turned on . The hot combo was lindy rigs with 5-6 ft sneels and using a ‘green’  # 4 or 6 hook. We I first heard the green hook story I was skeptical but after talking to several fisherman coming off the lake for gas and several of our guests I realized there was something to this pattern.


Musky spawning should be close to over. Several of our guests that were up around May 20th had seen and caught/released several nice fish while casting for pike in Greenwood, Dago bay, and wake em up narrows area.  We also had several large musky spawning right around the resort docks.


Bass fishing for largemouth as been excellent since opener. The Smallmouth are now starting to move onto the spawning beds with temps in the low 60s.  Again the rubber worm type baits hooked Wacky style has been the best pattern. Colors are dark with sparkles or red mixed in.  Also many Walleye fisherman fishing rock piles with slip bobbers/leaches are starting to run into smallmouth.


Crappies have been on and off the last two weeks.  I don’t think they have completed the spawn yet and weather is driving them in and out of their bed areas. One group here right now had several days this week with limit catches of crappie.  They found success by covering a lot of shorelines looking for Spawning fish using small tube jigs and minnows. ( They will not spend a lot of time in one given area ..move in fish a spot if nothing happens within minutes they move further down the shore looking for new areas/beds the crappie are using. JIm  and Jackson Bolman


Pike fishing has been good also since opener. Best success is trolling long rapalas that run shallow over 6 ft of water. The key is letting a lot of line out and get the baits a good distance from the boat. 


Out staff is in place for the summer and everyone is looking forward to another great year.










June 23,2015 Report

June 24, 2015

June 23,2015

2006-01-08 09.34.40

Ice went out on-time in late april after coming off two consecutive late ice outs where  the opener of fishing was touch and go .  This year’s earlier ice out combined with  lots of sunshine not only allowed us a lot of time for spring projects on the resort it warmed the lake up on-time.   Moisture was below average in spring so we started the opener in May with low water.  May and early June brought some nice rain falls so the lake today is at normal levels for late june. The lake water clarity has been above average so far this year maybe due to the lack of big run offs in spring. Visibility along the main dock today is around 6 ft.  Since last fall we had some major projects to complete ( finish  the upgrade of the fuel dispensing system, upgrade Honeymoon to a two bedroom , and upgrade the Lodge Commercial kitchen with new equipment, and rebuild the docks below the dam).


2006-01-08 08.57.23

2015-03-31 03.30.44

2006-01-08 09.34.04

The old leaning gas pump on thedock is no longer there and replaced with a new pump and  100 ft hose reel. The Honeymoon cabin was upgraded by adding a bedroom on the main floor, replacing the ladder to the loft with a spiral staircase, new carpet, floor covering, appliances, bath renovated etc.  The wood fireplace and Jacuzzi is not longer part of this cabin.  We converted the cabin to two bedroom to provide better capacity and flexibility in rentals.

May fishing… Most of the resorts on the west end of Vermilion were slower than normal for the fishing opener due to previous openers with ice on the lake. Although the Minnesota’s Governor opener was held on The east end of the lake so there was quite a few people fishing the lake. The Governor opener was great success with a lot of nice walleye . Our guests did good with walleyes and some crappie. Most of the action was on minnows with the water temps in the low 50s.  Memorial weekend we started seeing some nice catches of crappie…most right off the shore of the Resort . Walleye bite turned to leeches by the begging of June.  Slip bobbers have been the ticket with leeches.  A lot of fish being caught over the last three weeks using that method.  Smallmouth and largemouth fishing has been excellent all season so far.

2015-06-16 03.52.35


This year the smallmouth being caught have  has above average..we are seeing a lot of fish in the 17 to 19 inch range being caught by guests.  The wacky style hooked plastic baits are still the best option.  Also leeches are working well on the Smallmouth’s .  May flies hatched two weeks ago. They were all over the surface. Fishing seemed to get better as the hatch progressed.   Last week we had a group of four musky fishermen from Illinois up for the second time to the resort Chasing muskies.  They had a great week boated 7 fish..one 50 ft and 6 Over 40 inches.  They were casting open water areas where the whitefish schools were present looking for may flies .  They fished hard and put their time in and it really paid off.





1653942_1656970977847716_8550907033100185593_n 44

Braggin’ Board
Date Name Hometown Type of Fish Length Bait Type Kept/Released Structure Weather Other Info
6/8/2015 Paul Askins St. Louis, MO Walleye 28″ Leech Released Rocks Overcast
6/10/2015 Katelyn Schwab Owatonna, MN Walleye 23″ Leech Released Weeds Sunny
6/10/2015 Justin Stover Frankfort, IN Muskie 25″ Jig w/ Crawdad Released Rocks Overcast
6/10/2015 Jonah Switzer Lafayette, IN Walleye 27″ Lindy Rig w/ Leech Released Rocks Clear
6/11/2015 Christian Knarr Joliet, IL Pike 35″ RVD 10XD Released Deep Water Clear
6/11/2015 Ross Kohlman Lakeville, MN Muskie 46″ Silver Plug Released Deep Water Sunny
6/12/2015 Matt Pitan Pequot Lakes, MN Muskie 44″ Spinner Released Weeds Sunny & Calm
6/12/2015 Jonah Switzer Lafayette, IN Pike 30.5″ Perch colored Spinner Released Flat Sunny Biggest Pike of my life
6/12/2015 Justin Stover Frankfort, IN Large Mouth Bass 20″ Wacky Worm Released Weeds Sunny
6/12/2015 Jeff Stover Frankfort, IN Small Mouth Bass 18″ Ribbon Worm Kept Weeds Sunny
6/13/2015 Caroline Mcdonald Barlington, WI Walleye 21″ Leech Released Rock Pile Sunny
6/14/2015 Tom Short Spencer, IN Small Mouth Bass 19″ Tube Released Dock Sunny
6/15/2015 Starr Marshall Cloquet, MN Walleye 21″ Leech Released Rocks Sunny
6/15/2015 Scott Morrow Becker, MN Small Mouth Bass 17″ Spinner Released rocks Sunny
6/15/2015 Mary Oine Elgin, IL Large Mouth Bass 20″ Leech Released Weeds Sunny
6/15/2015 Karen Cluchey South Elgin, IL Large Mouth Bass 17″ Leech Released Weeds Sunny
6/15/2015 Eric Moran Cary, IL Walleye 20″ Leech Released Weeds Sunny
6/15/2015 Ken Fox Indianapolis, IN Walleye 23″ X-Rap Released
6/16/2015 Maddie Mae Robertson Dorkville, IL Small Mouth Bass 19″ Crawdad Kept Wet Evening
6/16/2015 Tom Short Spencer, IN Pike 31″ Shad Rap Released
6/17/2015 Dom Winiecki Crystal Lake, IL Muskie 46.5″ Bull Dawg Released Open Water Cloudy Personal Record
6/17/2015 Dom Winiecki Crystal Lake, IL Muskie 44″ Bull Dawg Released Open Water Partly Cloudy
6/17/2015 Austin Wiggerman Lith, IL Muskie 43.5″ Jimmy Released Open Water Partly Cloudy Personal Record
6/18/2015 Corbin Pennino Crystal Lake, IL Muskie 48.5″ Bull Dawg Released Open Water Partly Cloudy Personal Record
6/18/2015 Corbin Pennino Crystal Lake, IL Muskie 47.5″ Bull Dawg Released Open Water Overcast
6/18/2015 Eric Moran Cary, IL Pike 28.5″ Buzz Bait Released Rocks Clear Personal Record
6/18/2015 Brandon Jarva Crystal Lake, IL Muskie 46″ Bull Dawg Released Open Water Cloudy Personal Record
6/18/2015 Corbin Pennino Crystal Lake, IL Muskie 50.5″ Bull Dawg Released Open Water Sunny Personal Record…Again
6/22/2015 Rob Schwab Rockfalls, IL Walleye 28″ Leech Released Drop Off Sunny Best Dad out there!

This Friday VDL will host a Minnesota high school musky tournament. The tournament is a one day event followed by prizes and food.  We are honored to be hosting it and very encouraged to see high school fishing competition. Looking forward to a busy summer and seeing a lot of the returning families. I will update the blog again soon…..Ed

Fall Update October 14, 2014

October 15, 2014

August ..fishing and weather was very stable throughout most of the month. Little rain allowed the lake to drop to normal levels for last summer. High temps never got above high 70s..Average lows in the evenings got into the high 50s. Musky Fishing was very good in August.  There were 11 Pike on our bragging board in August. The average length for that group of fish was 35.86 inches. The  slot on Vermilion has really contributed to producing a nice population of trophy sized Northern Pike. Most of the larger pike were caught on spinner baits. Walleye fishing was great for August. The largest walleye on our board for August was A 26.5 incher caught on 8/24 by Garrett Wolf on a Lindy rig. Like July many of the guests reported a lot of smaller walleye just not big enough to keep..But at the same time some nice large slot fish.  Those smaller year class fish should  provide some great fishing for keeper walleye for next few years.

Carley , 25 inch walleye    IMG_1434 IMG_1433

In Late August we had two fisherman come to Vermilion for the first time to try Musky fishing for three days. They hired Guide Bob Benson and caught three trophy fish that they are getting replica mounts made ..( 51 inch Musky,  42 inch Tiger Musky and a 41. 5 Northern) .  

Mario  Langoria 42 inch Tiger Musky

Mario Langoria 42 inch
Tiger Musky

51 icher  Caught by Mario Langoria fishing with Bob Benson

51 icher Caught by Mario
Langoria fishing with Bob Benson

September fishing remained good throughout the month. We held our third annual Walleye School with Doc Sonar and Johnnie Candle.  Both are walleye pros and teach Electronic use. This year’s school we had 40 people attend. The weather was good. Doc and Johnnie added more hands –on training on the dock and time on the water.  The feedback from everyone that attended was very positive. We are planning on dates for next year’s school around the last two weeks of September 2015. Fishing in September the first two weeks was excellent…a lot of both Smallmouth and Largemouth bass. Walleye fishing using crank baits that Resemble the 3-4 perch was excellent along weed lines. Also we had Several guests that found success using lead core line and fishing deep flats pulling crank baits. . Mike Dorsey  Caught the largest musky of September ..a 56 incher on 5 of Diamonds Dardevil .

Mike Dorsey 56 incher

Mike Dorsey 56 incher

This beautiful fish was caught within a mile of the resort.


This past weekend  was  our annual Larry Ramsell Fall  Musky Outing. This year we had  a big  turnout with close to 80 attending. The lodge game room was too small so we moved it inside a tent on the deck. For our first night of the event we brought back Doc Sonar to do  presentation of Electronics use for musky fishing. Doc also made himself available to guests at the dock so he could provide hands-on instruction. Also this year Thorne Brothers Sporting Goods set up a section of the Lodge with musky tackle . They brought rods , reels, Lures, leaders, clothing,etc…DSC06206 

they also did  some dockside presentations after breakfast on Saturday to allow guests to try out the latest and greatest in rods and reels. In addition, they provided a donation of a $250 gift certificate for our raffle drawing. Keys Outdoors is also  back this year to cover the event.   Friday and Saturday night we had a Guide panel of Bob Benson, Luke Ronnestrand, Matt Seifert, Dusty Carlson, Bruce Shumway, Bill Shumway, Ben Olson . The guide panel discussions always are good for it provides the opportunity  for everyone  to exchange fishing reports , strategies and suggestions from the guides  for the next day .   Several people came in for the event a day early to pre-fish.  Jeff Vollmer came in early and caught a nice 50 incher on wed. evening and reported seeing several other fish that were very active that night.


Jeff Vollmer 50 incher

Jeff Vollmer 50 incher

Marcus and Lacey Dehley from Devil’s Lake returned again this year.  They  boated  fish the night before the event and a couple during the event.  Friday.. The first day of the event fishing was slow with only one 45.5 inch fish caught. That fish was caught by Rich Kane…This was Rich’s first musky after 6 years of chasing them.

Rich Kane with a 45.5 incher

Rich Kane with a 45.5 incher

Also several large Pike were caught Friday and Saturday including a nice 40 incher caught by Andrew Jensen.

 40 inch pike

During our Guide Panel open discussions one of the fishing reports came from  Mike Riha  and Rick Johnson. Both of these guys come up in summer with their families on vacation. Both are good musky fisherman.  Prior to the event they never met…Both came up alone to the event so we matched them up to fish together.  They boated 46 incher that day and seen several other fish. Their fishing report provided insight for everyone including the guides. They found a pattern with slow rolling blades in cisco colors. The end of the next day we heard other fisherman reporting success using that method. I mention this for this is what the outing is all about..sharing information so everyone can learn and apply what they learn that weekend.

Saturday ..the second day of the event fishing improved some  with a  32 , 37,42, 43, 46  caught.  Saturday night  Larry Ramsell did a great presentation explaining the new modern day world record guidelines. He provided some  eye opening photos of some huge high 50 inch  and  low 60 inch fish that were caught  the last decade from locations all over the upper Midwest and Canada.  Larry has spent many years researching record fish and when he opens the floor to questions and answers  it’s always interesting and everyone leaves with new dreams of monster fish.   Sunday fishing improved with  36,45,46,48, 50 and two 51s.  The reports of fish being seen greatly increased.  Mike Keys caught one of the 5 1 inchers.  Kevin Mcbride caught the other 51 incher fishing with Guide Bob Benson

Kevin Mc Bride with Bob Benson 51 incher

Kevin Mc Bride with Bob Benson 51 incher

Overall the Musky Outing went very well…fishing could have been better but as we all know fishing for Musky is not easy and that is what drives our desire to keep fishing for them.  Sunday night after most went home I went out walleye fishing with my son Austin who came back from College for the weekend.  We caught four nice slot fish from  21- 24 inches …then Austin hooked what we thought was a real nice walleye. After a several strong  runs I think we both knew this was no walleye…turned out to be  a 48 inch Musky.

Austin's 48 incher ( 6lb test, # 9 Tiger Flicker Shad)

Austin’s 48 incher ( 6lb
test, # 9 Tiger Flicker Shad)

Mid Summer update

July 29, 2014
Dam 7/28/2014

Dam 7/28/2014



July 27, 2014… the past month we have had some great weather and excellent fishing.  water levels have dropped ..Although still higher than past years for late July. Walking out on the Dam is not recommended for the people who enjoy doing that this time of the year for the strength of the water flow over the Dam could take you off-balance. Overall the higher than normal water levels have not impacted fishing with exception of the later opener.

The late opener delay the water temps from warming up which in turn delayed fish from getting into their summer patterns.  So the only impact if any is fish were still being caught in shallow areas that are normally associated with spring fishing. So far this year we seen some big Northern ( up to 42 inches) caught over shallow water until about the last week of june .  Once the mayflies started their annual hatch ( around the first  week of July)  fishing over deep open water took off with Cisco schooled up tight feeding on the Mayflies so that meant the larger predators ( Musky and Pike ) were concentrated also in those same areas cashing in on the unlimited food source.  Guests fishing with large shallow running crank baits and running them right below the  surface over deep water in Niles and Frazer Bay were catching big Northern and Musky consistently.

One the largest Musky of the season was caught trolling by Nolan Spregeler.  His Fish measured 55 inches. Nolan is an experienced Musky fisherman and caught several musky the week he was here.  Guests fishing right in front of the Dam/Lodge for smallmouth and Largemouth bass have enjoyed some good action. One family( Lou Oine family from Elgin Illinois) had an afternoon where they caught and released over 40 bass right in front of the Dam. Guests that come up in early July to target musky had excellent fishing.  Rick Becker and son Sammy from Illinois,  caught 8 muskies and several large Northern during their week. Sammy broke his personal best with a 50 inch musky.photo

In addition he caught a 42 inch Northern…he and his dad put their time in fishing and it pays off for them. Another Father/son team Jim Bolman/Jackson Bolman had a great week of catching limits of walleye, Bass and northern.

Matt Modleski

Matt Modleski

Bob Bronke and crew from Downers Grove , Illinois also caught 8 musky. One guy their group was up on his first trip to Vermilion and caught 2 muskies both 51 inchers.

Bronke Crew

Bronke Crew

Jim Smith from St. Paul Mn…was up for their annual family trip both of his sons Robbie and Danny caught 49 inchers.  In addition, they also boated several large Northern. Bass fishing for both Smallmouth and Largemouth seems to be getting better and better. The Rusty Crayfish which we ( Resort Association) have concerns over is actually providing a great source of food for the smallmouth. We hear from everyone that the smallmouth are full of Rusty Crayfish when they catch them. The good news it seems ( my observations only) the Rusty are being kept in balance by the healthily Bass population for we are seeing good weed bed growth in the bays that we had concern the Rusty might be taking out.  It still warrants watching in the years to follow but right now it seems to be ok.  Walleye fishing has really picked up in the last two weeks . Walleyes  are being caught on standard Crawler harnesses and slip bobbers with Leeches.  Key areas this past week were mid lake rock humps and channels with gravel. Perch population is Walleye are full of 2-3 perch.

Nancy Welsch

Nancy Welsch

Nancy Welsh from Williams Bay WI. caught a beautiful 27 inch walleye fishing with her son and grandson.   This summer fishing off the docks  has been excellent..Kids can catch nice Sunfish  anytime of the day. Lots of nice Bass are being caught in front of the Dam for the  water levels

remain higher than normal which means more water flow /current over the Dam which the Bass love.   Last week the fishing remained good.. John and Sue Haydek  and their son Chris from  Knoxville TN), came up fished each day with guides. They had an excellent week…limited out on walleyes with Guide Tim Lescarbeau

Sue Haydek

Sue Haydek

They also made a trip into Trout Lake with Rob Bryers and caught walleye, smallmouth and enjoyed a great shore lunch… They caught and released a  bunch of  nice smallmouth with Guide Mike Estrin and ended their week fishing with Tim Lecarbeau ( Bucky) and

caught some trophy walleye. The highlight of their trip their son Chris caught and released a 41 inch Northern that grabbed a perch he was reeling back in.

Chris Haydek

Chris Haydek


Summer is flying by and we look forward to another busy fall.  Thank you again to all our guests that provide us the business that allows us the opportunity to keep the tradition of  Vermilion Dam Lodge going .


Spring/Early Summer Update

June 19, 2014


After a long.. and I mean Looooong  winter we finally lost our ice around

the opener (May 9th). Water levels started high with periods of rain on and off for weeks.

As of today the water levels remain higher than normal. The high water has only

impacted our ability to get in out of the boathouse with 2 inches of water covering the concrete.

Overall I would guess to say the water level is a foot above normal averages for this

time of the year.

Spring projects for us was completion of our shop for boat repairs, boat renovations and several cabin upgrades.

One long overdue project was expanding /upgrading our fish house. One group of fisherman from Dubuque Iowa ( Tommy Ball Crew)

that have been coming Up for 17 years have requested a larger fish cleaning house for several years and

we were excited to surprise them when they showed up the first weekend of June. The new fish house is

now double in size and can accommodate several fisherman cleaning at the same time.008


Walleye fishing started slow for the opener, but picked up by the first week of June.  We have

not seen Mayflies so far but several bug hatches with the high amounts of rain.  Mosquitos have been

rough right at dark…definitely have to wear your bug spray if going out in the evening.  Walleyes are now taking crawlers and leaches

in the their normal summer locations ( weed edges sand bars). Best bait still remains a

single lindy rig (number 6 red hook) and half a crawler.  Bass fishing has been excellent since

Memorial weekend. Both largemouth and smallmouth still are hot. Best baits are tube jigs and the old

standard Sinko..in Pearl Color.  Fisherman reporting seeing large schools of perch so perch colored lures are doing

well. photo

Northern Pike fishing has been excellent this year with several 40 inch class fish taken.  Dave Olson and friends from Minneapolis caught

several large pike Memorial weekend including a beautiful 41 incher.  With the late ice out fishing in shallow water remained excellent from

about May 23- until the middle of the first week of June.  Smallmouth bass have finished spawning with water temps now into

The mid 60s. Both smallmouth and largemouth fishing was excellent last week. Three different groups of fisherman from Indy(Roy and

Crew, Cain , and Neese family)  All reported fantastic Bass fishing for both Smallmouth and Largemouth.  Most of the fish taking tube jigs

spinner baits and Sinkos.


Last Monday morning we had a special guest stop by the resort….Al Linder (Angler’ s Edge  and In Fisherman)   stop in for Breakfast with

one of the local guides Bill Rosner.  Bill was shooting a show with Al on the Vermilion River.  It was an honor to meet him giving what

he has contributed to the sport of fishing over the years.  His personality is just what you see on the TV shows… very open, friendly and

willing to share his knowledge with anyone that walks up to ask him a question.  Everyone here really appreciated the opportunity to meet

and talk with him.


On a sad note we lost a very close friend this past week…Steve Eisentrager from Blane Mn, .  Steve and his wife Mary have been guests

at the resort since 2007. Steve died last Friday after a battle with A rare form of cancer. We have had the pleasure  getting to know Steve

and Mary very well over the last several  years. Following his retirement a few years back he asked me if we could use help in

the spring to get open and again in fall during our larger events like the Walleye School and Musky outing. For the next years

they would come up for up a month at a time to help with whatever we needed. Both Steve and Mary are great people and they

really fit in great here at the resort. Steve always had a great sense of humor and was always willing to help anyone that needed

help.  We will miss him and really appreciated the opportunity to have got to know him.  2803248




Next blog update ..will be come much quicker….. Ed


Summer recap/fall update

October 10, 2013

June…fishing remained good through the month… the hot crappie bite in early June ended about the second week as water temps rose. Overall weather was stable most of the month and water levels normal . Walleye fishing was consistent on the common spots close to the resort using lindy rigs and crawlers.  The week of June 22-29th we had several trophy walleye caught including a 29 incher caught by guest Brad Wetzell. Musky fishing did not pick up until mid July but we had one very nice musky( 53 inchers) caught by  16 year old guest David Cluchey. David was fishing with his dad ( Joe Cluchey).  Bass fishing started great in June never slowed down for both Smallmouth and largemouth. . Many large Smallmouth around 18-20 inches caught throughout the month.  Largemouth seem to be averaging around 3.5 pounds and very agreesive.  Soft baits like rubber crayfish in red or orange and the standard fat rubber worms hooked wacky style continue to produce tons of  Bass ( both Smallmouth and Largemouth) . The rusty Crayfish have become a key source of food for the bass..which we love to hear for Rusty Crayfish in large numbers can be harmful to the lake for they destroy weedbeds.

 July…Walleye patterns remained consistent with June…fish were being caught along weedlines with adjacent sand drop offs .  Leeches not used much this season for they were hard to get this year anywhere in Minnesota due to the late ice out. Night Crawlers were used more than anything by Guides and VLD Guests. Largemouth fishing was excellent thoughout july with most of the fish being caught close to the resort in the thick weedbeds of  Dago Bay and along the north shore of Wolf Bay. My cousin Scott Tausk of Western Springs, Illinois was up for a visit and caught a 53 inch musky below the damPic 121….on a Sinko ( Rubber worm). Scott released it. He also reported seeing a larger fish in the same area ..we suspect/hope it’s the musky released by Marty in 2010 at which time that fish was 55 inches. If that is the same fish…it tells us there is pleanty of food in that little one mile section of river and that 55 incher might be 57 plus and still living. The first week of July a huge 56 inch Musky was found dead on the surface by a VDL Guest in Head-of-the Lakes Bay. The fish was still fresh with not a single mark on it ..(including no hook marks in its mouth). The guest brought the fish back to the resort. I had contacted our local fisheries Manager to see if they could age the fish and get an idea of how long it takes for a fish to grow to trophy size in Vermilion . Here The email response from our Fisheries Mgr. D. Williams :

From: Williams, Duane G (DNR)

To: Ed Tausk

Sent: Monday, September 30, 2013 9:51 AM

Subject: Muskie age

Hi Ed, I finally got around to cleaning up and looking at the muskie backbone and clithera bone you sent me from that 56 inch muskie.  As close as I can tell, it is around 14 years old.  The problem is that older large fish grow so slowly the age rings are very close together and you sometimes lose them on the outside edge.  So that might be off a year or two.  I will see if the DNR muskie guru in Bemidiji wants to take a look.  Thanks for getting these for me.  I have never looked a cross section of vertebrate before so that was pretty interesting.  Good luck fishing this fall.


 The Largest Musky caught by a VDL guest this summer was a 56.75 inch fish caught by VDL guest Ben Rohan. 57-2Ben told me he caught that fish in a shallow weedbed area. Ben comes up often and is an excellent Musky Fisherman. July 17th  We had our annual take a kid fishing day on Lake Vermilion.  This year we had close to 100 kids participate. This a great local event that provides an opportunity for kids to get out fishing for the first time for no cost.  Our local Guide League, Sportsman Club, Fortune Bay Casino and Golf Course, Resort Assocation and many other local Businesses and organizations all pitch in to make this happen.  In addition, it requires voulunteers to provide their time and boats to get kids out fishing.  VDL had four boats with VDL guests/staff participating by taking kids out fishing.  This event supports getting kids introduced to fishing for there is very disturbing trend across the country where younger generations are not getting into fishing and hunting.  Fishing and hunting licenses revenues have been dropping and combined with Federal cuts in fish and wildlife funding..puts a lot the states in a position to have no choice but cut programs that supports our natural resources.  Minnesota raised the cost of fishing licenses last year for the first time in many years to address this issue….so our local /annual take a kid fishing event is a  great way for our lake community to do their part in addressing the problem.  

 August was a excellent month overall for fishing.  The first two weeks we usually see a lot returning families for the weather and fishing are usually both very good at this time..  This year was no  Exception .  Darin and Jenny Mullikin came up for two weeks and  again had great walleye fishing on Night Crawlers.   They know the lake well and never have a problem finding walleye.  We seen some big northern pike caught in august including Sammy Becker’s 40 incher. Sammy and his dad caught several big Northern trolling in the early evening  over open water for musky.    Smallmouth Bass continued to be hot all of august.  

 September ..Early September we had several groups of musky fisherman. One group of four flew over from Sweeden for a five night stay dedicated to only musky fishing. They had hired two Local guides and boated three nice musky  51, 47 and 41 inches.  Another group ( Mark Lazare) and friends tried Vermilion for musky for the first time.  Mark on the second day caught 45 and 48 incher.   Walleye fishing was average to good for most of the month. The second week of September seemed to be the best week for walleye with several guests getting their limits and reporting good fishing.  September 26 we held our second annual WalleyeSchool featuring instructors /walleye pros  Johnnie Candle and Doc Sonar ( Bruce Sampson). vdl10We had 31 attend the class . Weather was warmer with some high winds..but a lot of nice fish caught. The class improved this year even more with Doc and Johnnie adding more one-on –one time with the students in the student’s boats ( dockside) to help  demonstrate proper use of electronics. Water temps today ( oct.9th) are mid to high 50s. Getting ready for our annual fall musky outing starting on Thursday. This year expecting 50 people to attend. We have several great speakers lined up including the local DNR Fisheries Mgr.   Walleye fishing this week has been excellent..fish being caught on crankbaits ( perch colored) along the weedlines.  Large schools of perch are up against the weeds and the walleye ( especially larger older fish) are right in their feeding on them. Last night my son Austin home from College for a break caught and released several large walleye with the largest a 27 incher.

Crappie gone wild

June 9, 2013

June 8th, 2013

DSC05846Water temps today around 59 degrees. Fishing this past week really improved with the warmer water. Crappie action exploded with several groups going home with their limit of crappie that ranged from 12- 16 inches. It seemed only a couple of bays were producing all the fish.  Most of the fish were caught on slip bobbers and minnows fishing right up against the bank.DSC05844  As the water temps got up in the higher fifties the smallmouth have started moving in shallow for the spawn.  Brenda and Mike Schurhamer of St. Paul Mn caught and released a hugh smallmouth 20 inch/ 5 lb . OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Musky action was fantastic last week with over 20 muskies being caught by resort guests. One group ( Dan Starmach) caught and released 8 muskies during their week stay with the largest 48 inches.  Several resort guests reported shallow water encounters with musky.  Most of the musky being seen and caught were within a 1 mile of the resort.  Clayton Stover ( age 10) from Indiania caught a 49 inch Musky .DSCN0445  Northern Pike fishing was excellent with the largest of the week being 39 inches.  Both the Pike and Musky were hitting small baits ( spoons and spinners) in water less than 6 ft. The weed beds have not started coming up in most areas due to the late\ice out and lack of sunny days.  Walleye fishing was hit and miss the last two weeks . Some of the guest caught limits of walleye fishing the local Guides. One group of  long time repeat guests ( Pat Blackburn group) caught a variety of sized walleye during their stay with the largest 27 . 5 incher.  They spent most of their time fishing the channel/pinch ( 1 mile south of the resort). Pan fish are now showing up around the docks and for some reason this year we are seeing guests catch a lot of Jumbo Perch.  Normally we see Jumbos late in the fall when the walleye fisherman are fishing deep holes…but the last two weeks several guests were catching perch 7- 11 inches.  The next week we are expecting some great smallmouth action as they move into the shallow rock areas to spawn.

May 24,2013…..Memorial Day update

May 24, 2013


 After a very long winter and a ton of snow..the lake finally shed it’s Ice just after the fishing opener may 14th.  Fishing started out slow for walleye given the very cold water and walleye spawn still underway.  The first week of fishing was overall very slow. Many of the fisherman at the resort were fishing shallow water and found limited success. One group that comes every year in early may ( Novak/Bickford crew)  found walleyes in deep water and caught several limits.  One group pulled their boats and jumped into another local lake which was warmer due to being shallower and had some great Largemouth Bass action. Last Saturday a long time guest ( Ed Smith) took his two son-in laws into a local portage lake and found 52 degree water. The fishing was excellent they caught pike up 14 pounds, smallmouth up to 4 lbs and several walleye from 14 to 20 inches.  All the fish were caught casting Rapalas .  Today May 24th…our water temps are about 51 degrees and after the first two days of continuous Sunshine we are expecting fishing to really pick up.  If I had to guess we will see a good crappie bite starting in the next week and will last for at least two weeks. Water levels are up but not at a level for concern ( no water coming into the boat house).  The month of April we had record snow fall and this month a lot of rain so we should not expect much fire danger for the woods during that critical spring period between winter melt off until trees green  up again.  This week we have a lot of fisherman coming in and looking forward to the start of busy season.



November 14th update

November 14, 2012

Water temps in the channel right in front of the Lodge around 36 degrees. Every am we are running boats tied to the docks in gear to move water to keep the channel open so the fisherman can get out on the lake. Last weekend we had a good number of musky fisherman with only a couple finding success.  One group ( Andy Hutter and friends) caught three nice musky ( 55.5 , 53.5 and 49.5).

Andy Hutter with a 53.5 incher

Several other groups spent some long hours trolling from am to dark with only pike hitting.  This time of the year is not easy fishing..its very cold, usually windy and you put some long hours in with hope of connecting with one of the Giant Muskies that lurk in Vermilion .  A great example is a group that comes up from Wisconsin ( Chris Tritt and freinds) There are six hard core ‘good’ musky fisherman in their group. Last year here they boated several large musky. These guys fish a lot of lakes close to their home and catch a lot of musky. They come to Vermilion for a shot at catching a fish of a lifetime.  This year they did not boat any musky for the their group..had several hooked..but  nothing boated. One of the three boats had the opportunity to see a follow from a  monster musky that was so big that they could not even guess its size and weight only could say it was the largest musky they have ever seen.  They said seeing that fish makes it all worth the effort of coming to Vermilion.  My estimate of the lake freezing over by Nov. 14 was way off…the weather forcasted this week should provides another week of fishing. Marty and I are closing up cabins and getting some fishing time in before ending the season.

57 incher caught by VDL guest

November 5, 2012

November 5th….water temps in the wolf bay section near the resort is down to 39 degrees..skim ice formed yesterday am ..boats leaving the resort had to break through 1/8 inch of ice to get out.  Whitefish spawn is in full swing on this end of the lake. Cisco are just starting to show up in the nets.  We have had several nice musky caught by VDL guests the last week.  One group of four musky fisherman caught a 54 incher and 57 incher…both fish were caught casting.  The 57 incher was caught by Justin Caslavka. The day he caught the fish his fishing partner had to run to town so Justin went out on his own for a few hours. When he hooked the fish he was near the resort and our employee Marty happen to be right near him…Justin not only landed the fish himself.. but  was wearing a small video camera on his head  and filmed the entire boatside hit, fight and netting. Marty came over to help measure the fish and take a few photos before release. Congrats to Justin for such a great job landing the fish..clean release . This week we have musky fisherman all week…our hope is the channel stays free of ice and allow at least another week of fishing during this prime period.

Justin Caslavka with his 57 incher