This story spans a time of 8 days on the water, so I hope you have time to read and enjoy!
Our trip up to the absolutely amazing waters of Lake Vermillion started out Wednesday morning with a bang. We (myself and Mike) hit the waters at around 10 am after getting our campsite ready, yes that's right, we tented out due to the lack of availability in rooms in that region at the time. However, I must say that it probably made the trip even more enjoyable, plus we had great camping weather the entire 4 days. The weather on this day was pretty much prime muskie conditions, and we had every intention of getting out and catching a few giants before the tourney. It didn't take long before we had struck gold with this bonus fish of a 40" Pike. This turned out to be only the beginning of our crazy day. At 2:00 we picked up long time friend of mine named Noah to get in on the action with us, and that is when the bite really turned on. By 2:30 we had our first 2 muskies of the trip in the boat, both of them in the low 40" range, but absolute beauties nonetheless. The next couple of hours before the prime evening bite we spent running all over the lake finding the right structure to hold fish for our tournament to come. Before the day ended we managed to land a beautiful spruce tree (haha), and 2 more muskies. When it was all said and done we boated a total of 4 muskies, 1 - 40" pike, and 1 - 45' spruce. We had several other close calls throughout the day and saw in the range of 35 other ski's.
Day 2 brought about the decision to somewhat stay away from what we had already going from day one, with the simple fact that we didn't want to catch fish that we were hoping would be active for our tournament on Friday. We studied several areas of the lake, finding many great areas to pursue during tournament hours. We left the lake early to rest up because we both knew that the next two days on the water will be quite a test of stamina for the both of us.
With the weather that we already knew was coming (Hot, Sunny and Calm) we prepared for the worse and headed out for the first day of the tournament. After seeing only a couple of boats fishing similar structure during pre-fishing we were somewhat startled to see a boat on nearly every spot we wanted to go. This coupled with the weather conditions, made our approach of running and gunning from spot to spot very frustrating. We saw nearly 40 fish during day one on the water, came close a couple of times, but managed a dissapointing 0 for the day. We did however stumble accross a completely different pattern away from the crowds towards the end of the day that put new life back into us for day two.
With this new attitude we decided to go fish waters that very evening that we knew fish were using and that we didn't plan on fishing during the tournament the following day. We had very little daylight, but had every intention of fishing into the night. This normally wouldn't be in the rules, however this tournament allowed for fishing after, before and between tournament hours. We were on fish almost immediately, and with a lot more aggression than they had shown us during the heat of the day. We had a couple of close calls, then had one monster of 50 1/2" completely explode on my topwater boatside. If you've never experienced an explosion after dark, I must say that it will scare the begeezes out of You.
Day two of the tourney brought forth much of the same as day one. Our new pattern fizzled on us for the simple fact that the fish had much more interest in staring at the hot sun and taking it all in, than they did at chasing our baits. It was to the point that we would have to bounce a lure right into them before they would even move off of the rock they were sitting on. Talk about FRUSTRATION!!
So as it ended up, we left lake Vermillion with many great stories, memories, pictures and big fish, but nothing in the boat during the tournament. That's how it goes in the world of muskie fishing some times, and it is important to not let it get a person down. This is truly an amazing fishery, and one that definitely needs to be on everyones list to try some day. Not to mention that the scenery on this northern body of water can be simply spectacular.
This story is only half told, but I must leave right now so stay tuned, this is to be continued......