Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Minnesota Mid-Summer Bronzeback Madness

It's been a month or so since I was in Northern Minnesota, smallmouth fishing on the Vermilion River with Billy Rosner of Wild Country Guide Service, and it sounds like the bite has progressed exactly as Billy had expected during that month.

Not that is seemed like it needed to progress. We caught smallmouths like mad for two days, with Day 1 being a topwater show, and Day 2 featuring a bunch of big fish. Relatively speaking, though, the bite was off, which Billy attributed both to the fact that many big smallmouths were spawning
and to the fact that the river was very high from a rainy spring.

I talked to Billy today, and it sounds like the fishing in the river is borderline crazy now, with angry smallmouths behind every boulder and logjam. Significantly lower water makes the fish's locations more predictable and the best spots easier to reach with casts and work with good presentations. Billy fishes some sections of the Vermilion in a small V-hull and floats other sections in a canoe, portaging around falls. On float trips, he also likes to wade the lower ends of shoals.

Although it has only been about a month since my visit, I'm already planning my next trip to the Vermilion. Next year (or whenever I'm able to make it back up there) I will plan it for just a little bit later in the summer. If I experienced "off" fishing, I can't imagine what it's like when it is on. I suppose it's a little early to start packing my tackle!

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