Lake Vermilion is known as a great muskie fishing lake. This lake has good enough numbers of them that you should be able to catch one if you know how to target them, although, muskie fishing isn’t exactly easy.
Lake Vermilion is Home to Giant Muskie
Many anglers come to Lake Vermilion for the shot at catching a 50 incher. There aren’t too many lakes in Minnesota that give you a real shot at a 50 inch muskie, but Lake Vermilion isn’t just any lake. There are some absolute giants in this lake.
Fish the Bays
This lake has lots of bays and they will definitely hold muskie from spring through fall. The shallow water in the bays will warm quickly in the spring and you can often find muskie near the green weeds early in the year. From summer through fall, the deeper weed edges are good places to fish for muskie in the bays. The drop-offs with some rocky bottoms can be productive as well.
Fish the Islands
There are so many islands in this lake to fish and muskie will often be roaming these offshore pieces of structure in search of smaller fish. The wind will usually dictate where a lot of the bait fish, smallmouth bass and walleye will be on these offshore spots. Muskie won’t be far behind. The islands are good spots to fish from summer through fall.
Fish the Points
Points can always hold fish from spring through fall. Fish the rocks and vegetation around these points during peak feeding times and you’ll have a better chance to catch a muskie.
The offshore reefs are usually the better spots for walleye and smallmouth bass from summer through fall. Muskie will often be found on these pieces of structure as well. You have a lot more offshore structure to fish here on the east end of the lake.
Fish the Rocks
The rocks will hold some muskie and there a lot of rocks that you can fish on Lake Vermilion. From the points to the rocky shorelines to the offshore structure, you have lots of rocky with rocky bottoms to fish.
Fish the Weeds
The weeds will hold muskie from spring through fall. You can usually find some muskie shallower in the spring and early fall. In the summer and late fall, you will usually find muskie much deeper. Fish the deeper weed edges and you’ll be able to find some muskie. The numerous bays on the lake are the best places to search for vegetation.
Fish the Wind Blown Structure
Wind blown structure will hold a lot of smallmouth bass and walleye. Muskie can be found in these spots too, especially in the summer and fall.
Using Leaders for Muskie
Muskie have some serious teeth. Use quality steel leaders to avoid bite-offs. If you are fishing clear water, you may need to go with a fluorocarbon leader to get bit. Most anglers will not go any lighter than 100 lb. fluorocarbon for muskie and don’t be shocked if you lose a big fish due to a bite-off. Some anglers go as heavy as 140 to 150 pound fluorocarbon. Ideally, you want to be as stealthy as you can so you can get more bites, but if you go too light with the fluorocarbon, you risk losing fish and possibly killing some big fish due to the lures getting stuck in their mouths.
Best Baits for Muskie
There are many types of baits to target muskie. Anglers don’t have as many options when using live baits since many of the fish that muskie eat can not be used as bait. Suckers and big chubs are usually the best options for most anglers that want to use live bait. For artificial lures, there are a variety of big baits to throw. Most anglers fish with bucktail spinners, some type of swimbait, topwater lure or jerkbait when chasing muskie.
There aren’t too many different rigs for muskie fishing because you only have so many options for throwing some of the gigantic baits needed. Also, most anglers use lures for muskie or big sucker minnows, so you really don’t need too many rigs to target muskie. However, there are still several rigs you should know about, especially if you are going to be using live bait.
Our muskie fishing section has tons of tips on the best lures, live baits, where to catch them and how to catch them.