Vermilion River Smallmouth Fishing

According to Wikipedia, there are numerous Vermilion Rivers located in the United States and Canada.  An article about Vermilion River smallmouth fishing recently appeared in Duluth News Tribune and is an excellent overview of the Vermilion River in Minnesota.

 Vermilion River smallmouth fishing

Vermilion River On this day we’ll float about five miles of the river in as many hours and make a couple of portages along the way. We will see nobody else on the river.

We fish from Rosner’s 16-foot canoe, casting as we go. Occasionally, we hop out to make a few casts. The water is high from recent rains, Rosner says, and we don’t want to float through good stretches too quickly.

The Vermilion River flows 40 miles from its outlet at the Vermilion Dam to Crane Lake. Along the way, it tumbles through Class I to Class VI rapids, including a rollicking run through the Vermilion Gorge just before entering Crane Lake. In parts, though, it meanders through pastoral stretches, dances lightly over boulder beds and carves through deep pools on outside bends.

Most of the bass here are from 10 to 16 inches long, Rosner says.

“I get my share of 16 to 20s. The top end is 23. And I’ve had some 22s,” Rosner says between casts. “We had one bass we nicknamed ‘Betty.’ We hooked her four times and never landed her. She was an honest 5½ to 6 pounds.”

Talking tackle

Most of the bass come on the Mepps spinner —silver blades always work better here, Rosner says —or spinnerbaits.

“From spring through September, it’s pretty consistent,” he says.

Pike up to 40 inches are merely a bonus. Rosner usually fishes bass with 6-inch, 30-pound-test wire leaders just in case a toothy northern decides to eat a spinner.

Rosner likes Booyah spinnerbaits, Mepps inline spinners, Bomber Long A minnow imitations and Rebel minnow imitations. If top-water action is going, Rosner throws the Tiny Torpedoes, Rebel Pop-Rs and Zara Spooks.  Source

Interesting that this guide uses in-line spinners.  These are an underutilized bait for smallmouths these days but I caught some of my earliest smallmouths on one of my nearby rivers with them.

Vermilion River smallmouth tactics


The Vermilion River has a fantastic population of nice sized smallmouth bass.  I hope you get the chance to fish here.

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