Welcome to our Lake Vermilion Home Page

Lake Vermilion is an excellent lake that has 40,000 acres of water, 365 islands and 1200 miles of shoreline.  If that wasn’t enough, it stretches 40 miles across the heart of Minnesota’s Arrowhead Region.  This lake is a great place for an outdoor getaway.  There are plenty of resorts along the lake to take care of your accommodations.

Primary Species of Fish

Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Walleye, Muskie, Crappie

Lake Vermilion is a good lake even though some anglers report the fishing can be tough here.  It’s a big lake and there are plenty of fish here.  Once you figure out the patterns, you should be able to catch smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, muskie and crappie if you choose to target them.  Most anglers come here to fish for walleye and muskie, but the pike fishing and smallmouth bass can be very good as well.  This is definitely a trophy fishing lake too as there are many big fish caught every here of smallmouth bass, pike, walleye and muskie.

Secondary Species of Fish

Largemouth Bass & Perch

Largemouth bass and crappie are secondary here.  Good bass anglers can definitely have some success here, however, you have to put some work in and know where to target these fish.  Perch fishing can be good when they are in the shallows in the spring, but they are much harder to find and catch once they go deeper.

East End vs. West End

Lake Vermilion is huge and many people will separate this lake into the east end vs. the west end when comparing the lake as they talk with buddies about which is better and why.

East End

The east end is bigger water for sure.  On a windy day, the east end can really limit your fishing due to the open waters here.  However, when conditions are good, the fishing can be very productive here, especially if you like fishing offshore structure.

West End

The west end has clearer water and is much better if you’re here during windy conditions.  This end of the lake doesn’t have as much offshore structure as you will find on the east end, but there are still plenty of islands here to go along with bays, points, neckdowns and many other areas to fish.  With the clearer water, the weeds grow deeper on this side of the lake.  The west end is also known as being better for largemouth bass and crappie.

Fish the Bays

This lake has a lot of bays.  The bays are great spots for spring and early summer fishing as fish move into these bays to prepare for the spawn.  Some of the bays are quite large and will hold fish through the summer and fall and some are smaller bays that will be more productive in the spring and early summer.  If you’re looking for weeds, the bays are a good spot to start.  Depending on what part of the lake you’re fishing, you may have weeds, docks, wood and docks to choose from.  You may end up catching pike, muskie, both species of bass and panfish in the bays.

Fish the Channels

There are several channels throughout the lake that separate one part of the lake from another.  Fish will move through these channels to other parts of the lake.  These areas can provide some solid fishing at times.  Most anglers would fish the channels for largemouth bass, but you may find a little bit of everything in there during the spring time.

Fish the Docks

Lake Vermilion has a lot of docks on it since it has plenty of development on the lake.  Largemouth bass are under fished here big time, so if you wanted to just target the docks for largemouth bass, you can do use this pattern from spring through fall and you will catch fish.

Fish the Drop-offs

You have good depth on this lake and a lot of structure to fish.  Fish the drop-offs with weed edges and rocks and you’ll most likely find some fish.  These spots are going to be some of the better place to fish for all the game fish in the lake.  At times, the panfish will school up on the drop-offs too.

Fish the Offshore Structure


There are plenty of islands on the lake and they do attract a variety of fish.  Many anglers fish the islands for smallmouth bass, but you will also find pike, walleye, muskie and panfish in these spots too.  The islands that have some weeds may also have some largemouth bass mixed in too.


There are plenty of reefs in Lake Vermilion and these spots can hold a variety of fish.  Walleye and smallmouth bass will usually be the dominant species on the reefs, but pike, muskie, walleye and panfish use the reefs too.

Fish the Points

There are plenty of points spread out throughout Lake Vermilion.  You can use this as a pattern and go point to point.  You will have to cover quite a bit of water, but it’s doable and you will probably catch quite a few fish as well.  You may find everything on these points.  The ones that have deeper water close by will usually be the better points to fish, especially from summer through fall.  Find the rocks mixed in and you’ll most likely find smallmouth bass.  Find the weeds and the largemouth bass should be around.  Pike, walleye and muskie can be found in these areas too.  Rock and weeds will attract these species of fish.

Fish the Rocks

This lake has a lot of rocks.  You will find some rocks offshore and along the shorelines.  If you’re looking for smallmouth bass, you’ll love all the rocks.  You have more water to fish that you will be able to, so the rocky areas should keep you busy.  Pike, walleye, muskie and panfish will use the rocks as well.

Fish the Weeds

There are plenty of weeds on Lake Vermilion.  You could just fish the weeds from spring through fall and do well on this lake.  You would catch a lot more largemouth bass and northern pike if you chose to fish just the weeds.  Walleye will be mixed in too with some muskie and panfish as well, however, the pike and largemouth bass love the weeds.

Fish the Wind Blown Structure

The wind blown structure can play a huge role in whether you have a good day or not when the wind is blowing here.  The lake is huge and windy days can definitely move the fish around quite a bit here.  The east end of the lake is so wide open that the wind can definitely play a bigger role in where the fish are moving than on the western side.

Vermilion River

The Vermilion River is located on the north end of Lake Vermilion.  The river is definitely more remote than the lake, however, plenty of anglers to fish here so you will most likely see some other boaters here as well.

The river gives anglers options when the lake is too rough due to the wind.  You can target a variety of fish in the river such as smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, muskie, crappie and rock bass.

Lake Vermilion Fishing Reports

Vermilion Lake Association Fishing Reports

Lake Vermilion Fishing Regulations

Lake Vermilion DNR