54 or bust

Guidelines with Glenn McDonald; Lake Vermillion (54 or Bust)

Over the weekend of November 12-14 the Vermilion Bay area was pounded by the first major winter storm. We received over two feet of snow, bringing down many trees, leading to mass power outages. And the by-product of this? The open water fishing season came to an unofficial end. Almost all the boat launches were snowed in. Some guys have been able to get back on the water, and I hope to hit the water one more time. 


If it was the end of the season, we finished pretty strong. Our last weekend on the water we put 11 fish in the boat, all on suckers. 

Almost all of the action was caught on video for future YouTube episodes. We tried our hands at underwater footage of the catches. We were able to get some unique footage and I pulled a few still shots of that footage. 

We went into our last weekend with water temps between 45 and 47°. Fishing areas that in the past have produced multiple fish, we didn’t find the bait fish stacked up as we would like. That didn’t stop the muskies from being close by. The first day we went 5 for 6 and they were all caught within a couple hundred yard area. 

Dave Chaval had the hot stick, bagging four and Kyla McDonald added one to the total. We found suckers in the 12-14” range produced the best action. On this particular lake the larger suckers don’t seem to get hit as often. 

A day later Dave took our buddy, Murray, to another local lake. Murray caught his first sucker rig musky, a tiger no less! Dave was saying the bait was really starting to stack up in this area and had the suspicion that the whitefish spawn would start soon. 

Our last day on the water was an absolute beauty of a fall day! Sunny and flat calm. Water temps are pushing into the 48° range and again the bait did not seem to be heavy. 

The muskies were there, in numbers! We went 5 for 8 and had a few more near misses while casting rubber! Dave caught the first two and I finished up with three. My brother in law, Richard was casting and jigging all day and was moving fishing. He had a few up boat side but couldn’t get them to commit. 

As a side note, this was the first fall that I used the Chaos Tackle live bait / trolling rods and was very impressed. We also used Barbarian Braid all fall and we were quite impressed with it as well. 


Look for videos of these catches and more this winter on our youtube channel. 


Gregg Thomas

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