Midsummer fishing report update Aug 4th, 2019.
After the lake warmed up in mid-June the fishing stabilized. June and July provided a lot of nice warm sunny days which allowed for Lake vegetation to catch up from the cooler than normal Spring, in which weed growth was behind.
Walleyes…Fishing in June and July for walleye is not consistent with 2018 locations. Walleyes seem to favor this year rock related structure ( points, rocky shorelines and mid lake shallow humps) vs. weedlines and sand flats.
The best technique seems to be standard slip bobbers with leeches or crawlers. Single hook Lindy rigs are still working, but when fishing rocky areas, nothing works better than a slip bobber. What we noticed this year is the walleye seemed to be targeting crayfish, for most of the walleye our dock crew cleans seem to be full of crayfish. This is why the fish must be keying on rocky areas vs the weed lines looking for perch.
By mid-July the walleye fishing catching window seemed to be limited to early am and right before dark. Forage numbers ( small perch , bluegills, cisco and minnows ) seem to be up this year. Many fishermen are reporting they are seeing plentiful schools of smaller bait fishing in most of the main basins.The walleye being caught by our guests are not only very healthy from all the forage, but there are good numbers of fish being caught just below the slot ( 18-20 inches).
Bass…Smallmouth fishing has been excellent all summer. Smallmouth are also taking advantage of crayfish on rocky shorelines 5-12 ft. Standard plastics and crankbaits with red color are working well. The best overall bait for smallmouth is the jumbo leeches on a jig. Fishing on top the Dam and below in the pools have been great for VDL guests. Best presentation is a weedless Worm with a light weight, and let it drift down in the current.
Largemouth bass fishing has been odd this year. We are not seeing the numbers and action as years past. Some of the best largemouth fishing has been in Larson Bay and Wakem-up narrows using top water buzz baits.
Pan Fish….Crappies have moved over open water for the summer, and not a lot of fisherman are targeting them this late in the summer. Blue Gill fishing has been excellent all summer. Fox Bay has been producing some nice sized Blue Gills ( large enough to get good meat off of them).
Musky and Pike…. This year the best musky fishing started during the may fly hatch over open Water ( non-structure related) and continued until just recently where last week musky fishing has picked up on mid lake reefs and weed beds. Guide Bob Benson is having a fantastic year Guiding VDL guests. Bob is putting fish in the boat every day and has had several two fish days for his guests. Recently he guided his daughter to two 50 inch fish. Current bait patterns have been Bucktails, but the Beaver Bait has been super hot on Vermilion this year. Would highly recommend picking up a Beaver Bait before your trip to Vermilion. Thorne Brothers Sports in Blaine, Minnesota stocks them.
Pike fishing has been very good this summer. Seeing a lot of nice 32-38 inch range fish being caught. New slot for our region is 30-40 inches..so many have to be released. Pike patterns have been standard small bucktails..with some type of rubber trailer/teaser. Indian Bay and Greenwood bay have been consistent in producing pike.