Lake Vermilion is known as a big pike lake and the most recent gill netting reports that as well. If you know how to fish for pike, you have a good shot at catching some big pike on Lake Vermilion. There aren’t huge numbers of pike here, but if you know how to target these fish, you should be able to catch them. Most anglers catch them on accident while fishing for walleye or muskie.
Target Trophy Pike
Lake Vermilion has plenty of trophy pike available and many anglers will actually catch them while targeting muskie. Because it is such a good muskie lake, it’s a great place to throw bigger lures because you may end up catching some nice pike and muskie. Pike in the 40 inch range are possible.
Fish the Bays
The bays are always good spots to target northern pike, especially early in the year. The bays with vegetation are good spots to start when searching for pike. From summer through fall, fish the deeper weed edges and you’ll have more success.
Fish the Islands
Lake Vermilion has so many islands and many of them are great spots to fish for northern pike. The islands with some vegetation are usually better spots to fish for pike, but the rocks will attract plenty of pike too. Islands with some access to deeper water are usually more productive. Wind blowing waves into the island will also help bring pike into the area.
Fish the Points
There are many points throughout the lake and points are always good spots to fish for northern pike. Whether it is rocks or weeds, you can find pike around the points, especially if there is some deeper water near by. Wind blown points can also be very productive as well.
The offshore structure is found more on the east side than the west side of the lake. Walleye are common on the numerous offshore structures on the east side and you can find northern pike in these areas too from summer through fall.
Fish the Rocks
Pike love weeds, but will often be found near the rocks as well. With all the walleye and smallmouth bass that can be found using the rocky bottoms here, pike will be close by as they like to feed on both species of fish.
Fish the Weeds
Weeds are always great places to fish for northern pike and it is no exception here. On the east end, the weeds will not be found as deep as on the west end. This is due to the water clarity being more clear on the west end. The shallower vegetation in the bays are easy to find and fish early in the year. In the summer and fall though, the deeper weed edges will almost always be the better spots to fish for the better quality pike.
Fish the Wind Blown Structure
The wind blown structures can be productive, especially in the summer and fall when pike are usually found deeper. The east end of the lake is much bigger and wide open, which results in the wind being a much bigger factor than on the west end. Fishing the wind blown structures is a great pattern to target pike from summer through fall.
Best Baits for Northern Pike
Northern pike are known for eating just about everything they can get the mouths on and there is definitely some truth to that. For the most part, if it swims, pike may eat it. There are some baits that definitely will catch more pike than others though. Spinners, crankbaits, spoons, swimbaits and soft plastics are some of the best lures for targeting pike. Live baits such as minnows and perch are great baits too.
There are many different rigs you can use for northern pike, however, since pike are so aggressive, you really don’t need to use as many of them as you would if you were trying to get good at largemouth bass fishing. For most situations, you can keep it real simple with a jighead and a minnow or soft plastic bait. To learn about some of the rigs that you can use, take a look at our best rigs for northern pike page.
To learn more, take a look at our best techniques for northern pike page.
Our northern pike fishing section has tons of tips on the best lures, live baits, where to catch them and how to catch them.