Lake Vermillion: Walleye and Pike Edition



Day 1 & 2: The Hunt for Muskie


Just got back from what has become an annual trip up north with my Dad to fish Lake Vermillion in Northern Minnesota. This was our third year yet and we did quite well. Started off the trip hunting for Muskie. On Day one this meant throwing some big streamers on the 10 wt after setting up camp. No success for me but my Dad landed a good pike and a largemouth. Day two we headed out with a guide and we would learn that the search Muskie was going to be challenging at best on our own. Due to the weather and the time of year the Muskie were not going to be found in shallow water like we had hoped. Instead they were suspended in open water deep water, 35 ft+, chasing schools of Cisco that were eating Mayfly larva. To catch them on a fly rod was going to be all but impossible so we opted to troll  large crank baits and bull dogs with planer boards. Let me add that it was cold that day, in the 40's and raining. While prepared as much as we could with base layers and rain gear it was still a long 9 hours on the water trolling seemingly endlessly and in the end we didn't even get a bite from a Muskie. We did catch two very nice pike, a 35" from my dad and I landed a 33" on a bull dog. Both were new personal bests for us. Frustrating to not even see a Muskie but then again Muskie fishing is almost always a frustrating affair. 







Day 3-5: A Change of Focus

With the realization that we weren't realistically going to be able to pursue Muskie with the gear we personally owned and that it was going to be virtually impossible on a fly rod our focus shifted mainly towards two pursuits: Pike on the fly and Walleye. Towards these ends we were wildly successful. All pike on the fly were caught on the Golden Oriole Pike Fly. As for the Walleye, we caught them all on white and orange Lindy rig's, trolling around mid lake humps. Numbers weren't there but size was, especially the last one, a 29" 8 lb Walleye caught by my dad--the biggest I have ever seen in person--and a fish I am certain he won't soon forget. 


























16 Comments:

Looks like a great trip! Can't beat spending a little fishing time with the old man....

Atlas said...

Thanks Jeff, it was a great trip indeed and is always a blessing to be able to spend time with my Dad.

Pond Stalker said...

Excellent, I should say so! Never fished for Musky in my life, but, sounds like my difficulties when I used to fish for Steelhead. Lots of time fishing for very few rewards... Impressive Pike and Walleye for sure. Would be worthwhile to target those guys on fly rods given the opportunity.

Atlas said...

Thanks Mel, Yep most of those Pike were caught on a fly rod and the Walleye would have been a little more tough as they were in deeper water. Catching a Walleye on the fly is on my life list of things to do for sure.

Howard said...

Fishing for Pike alone is a whole lot of fun. The Walleye would be a bonus. Don't they also call Muskie the fish of a thousand casts?

Atlas said...

Howard, thanks for stopping by, and yes the Muskie is the fish of ten thousand casts. Trust me I have put my time in for sure, and have been lucky enough to catch three in my life.

Atlas
One killer trip with some outstanding scenery, pike is one fish I am still pursuing with the fly rod. Thanks for sharing

Atlas said...

Bill, thanks for stopping by I greatly appreciate it. Pike on the fly are a blast!

Great post! Those are some beautiful fish. That last walleye shot is just awesome! I really like that pike fly that you were using. I am going to tie up some variations of it for the pike around here. Thanks, for sharing your trip!

Atlas said...

Thanks Justin, I have no doubt my Dad will remember that Walleye for the rest of his life. It was a monster! And I am glad you like the Golden Oriole. It is an original pattern of mine that has worked awesomely.

Joseph Hord said...

Looks like a great trip, I really enjoyed reading about it! I've never had the chance to do any walleye, pike, or muskie fishing but it sure does look like fun! Also, I wanted to apologize for just now replying to the comment you left on my blog back in January. I haven't really kept the blog up for the last six months or so, but I'm hoping to keep things going on there better now. I'm enjoying reading your blog, and I'm going to add you to the blogroll over on mine.

Atlas said...

Joseph, no worries at all. I appreciate you stopping by and even more I appreciate you adding me to your blog roll. Always helps when we can help one another fellow bloggers get some addition traffic. I look forward to additional posts of yours as well.

Juan said...

Bro, that sounds like a fantastic trip! I have never fished for any of those because we don't have any in Cali. Very impressive fish!

Atlas said...

Juan, Pike along with Muskie have to be near the top of my list for freshwater fish for sure. Thanks for stopping by.

TexWisGirl said...

those muskies reminded me of my wisconsin youth. :) i liked the bare feet in the boat, too. :)

the building is in what i consider 'my town' now in ne texas - not the town of my zip code but the one in which i buy groceries and gas. but i'm a wisconsin girl by birth, even after 30+ yrs in texas... (shhh... don't tell the locals or i'll be sent back north of the red river...)

Atlas said...

Thanks for stopping by TexWis. I am glad you enjoy the post! Unfortunately they aren't Muskie--though we tried hard for them. Still I will take big Pike anyway. Also thanks for the info from your post. You take such inspiring photos.