Posts Tagged ‘Lake Vermilion’

Vermilion Fishing Report (May 2016)

June 1, 2016

The 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 snowfall.

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 cabin will have two baths with showers, dishwasher, vaulted ceilings and we increased the view with more windows.

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We are planning on adding another dock that would be directly in front of 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.

The 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 was 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 fishermen 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 has been excellent since the 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 the 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.

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

Our staff is in place for the summer and everyone is looking forward to another great year!



Vermilion Fishing Report (June 2015)

June 24, 2015

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 rainfall so the lake today is at normal levels for late June.

The lake water clarity has been above average so far this year may be due to the lack of big runoffs 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).




The old leaning gas pump on the dock 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 no longer part of this cabin.  We converted the cabin to two bedrooms to provide better capacity and flexibility in rentals.

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 Governor opener was held on the east end of the lake so there were quite a few people fishing the lake. The Governor opener was a great success with a lot of nice walleye. Our guests did well 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 been above average. We are seeing a lot of fish in the 17 to the 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 Smallmouths.  Mayflies hatched two weeks ago. They were all over the surface. Fishing seemed to get better as the hatching 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 50 ft and 6 Over 40 inches.  They were casting open water areas where the whitefish schools were present looking for mayflies. They fished hard and put their time in and it really paid off.

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This Friday VDL will host a Minnesota high school musky tournament. This 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.


June 2015 VDL Braggin’ Board

   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!


Vermilion Fishing Report (October 2014)

October 15, 2014

August 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)