Fishing in Vermont

Vermont’s lakes and ponds offer a wide kind of high-quality fishing opportunities, extending from fishing off a guided charter boat for landlocked salmon and trout on 100 mile-long Lake Champlain to hiking with map and compass to a remote beaver pond where the brook trout seldom see more than a few anglers in a season. The choice is yours.

Fishing in Vermont

Fishing in Vermont

With over 140 state-owned fishing access points on lakes, ponds, and rivers throughout the state, Vermont waters offer accessibility and superb fishing opportunities.  Vermont has 288 public lakes 20 acres and larger and hundreds of small ponds, almost all offering some form of fishing to tempt the angler.

Lake Champlain provides some of the best fishing and the greatest variety of freshwater fish in the northeast. While closed seasons are set for a few species on this productive lake, most can be taken year round.

One of the highlights of Lake Champlain fishing is the Salmonid Restoration Program, which began officially in 1974 as a means of restoring landlocked salmon and lake trout fisheries, and now continues with the guidance of a multi-agency lake management team. Through the cooperation of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department of Environmental Conservation, and the US Fish & Wildlife Service, substantial numbers of landlocked salmon and lake trout are stocked annually. The fish are doing well, with salmon averaging two to four pounds, and many weighing in around ten pounds.

Good waters for lake trout are from Arnold Bay near Vergennes north to South Hero in the main lake. Salmon are more common from Malletts Bay to St. Albans Bay, especially in the “Inland Sea” east of the Champlain Islands.

Most Lake Champlain lake trout and salmon are taken by trolling between the surface and forty feet deep with balsa minnow lures, silver copper or orange spoons, and streamers. Getting up extra early to be on the lake at dawn is another important key to success. If you prefer shore fishing, try the mouths of the major rivers and smaller streams in spring or fall.

Steelhead fishing has been slow, but experiments with new strains are encouraging. At this time there are small spring spawning runs of steelhead in the Winooski River and Lewis Creek.

Come May and June, Vermont stream fishing for trout blossoms. This is when serious fishermen head to the upper Missisquoi, Black (North), New Haven, Castleton, Saxton’s, Mettawee, Winooski, Lamoille, Waits, and Wells Rivers and, of course, the Battenkill. Bait and lure fishermen do well during May and June, especially with lighter lines and smaller lures. However, aquatic insects become more active then and fly fishermen have luck with imitations of Quill Gordons, Blue Wing Olives, Blue Quills, and Hendrickson.

With the warm days of summer, stream fishing gets tougher, but during the early morning and late evening, the knowledgeable angler can catch trout.

If you don’t have patience for getting a finicky rainbow or brook trout to bite, summer is the time to fish the warmer waters of the major rivers for brown trout and smallmouth bass. Both species are commonly found in the Connecticut River and the big water areas of the White River, from Bethel downstream, and the Winooski River, from Middlesex down. Northern pike and walleyes are also found in the lower stretches of some rivers. Otter Creek from Proctor downstream is often canoed for its unique combination of northern pike, smallmouth bass, and trout. Determine the dam locations before starting.

Fall has to be one of the best times to fish in Vermont. Everyone else is off bird hunting or thinking about deer hunting, and you often can have a stream all to yourself. You may even want to combine your hunting and fishing with a bird hunt in the morning or evening and trout or bass fishing during the day. Some anglers plan a fall trip just to be out in the cool air enjoying the brilliant foliage.

Fall is spawning season for Vermont’s brown trout, brookies, and landlocked salmon. In many cases, the

Vermont Fishing- Salmon

Vermont Fishing- Salmon

fish will be migrating from lake and ponds into streams to spawn. At this time of year trout can be either spooky and finicky eaters or brash with voracious appetites, so if you come fall fishing, be prepared to try most anything. Although notoriously tough to catch, the big Lake Memphremagog brown trout on their spawning run in the Black River at Coventry are a superb challenge for the expert angler.

Connecticut River: The Connecticut River, which runs the entire length of Vermont, is probably the best-kept fishing secret in the northeast.

From the town of North Stratford north to the Canadian border, the Connecticut offers exceptional brown and rainbow trout fishing. Good fishing for these species continues down to the town of Bradford; below this browns and rainbows can still be found near the mouths of rivers, and in the Summer Falls area near Hartland.

The Connecticut River from the Passumpsic River down to the Massachusetts border is home to an outstanding warm water fishery that includes smallmouth and largemouth bass, walleye, chain pickerel, yellow perch, and bullhead. Most of the river offers easy canoeing, but consult the A.M.C. River Guide for dam locations and rough water sections.

New Hampshire and Vermont cooperatively manage the Connecticut’s fisheries resources, but New Hampshire regulations take precedence since the river is technically owned by that state.

In addition to exciting warm water fishing, the Connecticut River now provides some shad fishing below the Vernon and Bellows Falls dams. Atlantic salmon fishing may not be that far off in the future either. The restoration of anadromous fish to the upper Connecticut River began in late 1967 when Fish & Game Directors from Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut met with the US Fish & Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries service and agreed to support a cooperative fishery program. Special emphasis was focused on restoring the American shad and the Atlantic salmon to their native waters.

This tool may help you- Lowrance Hds Gen 2 Touch Fishfinder

Ice Fishing Tips-Fishfinderguru

Everything is frozen and still. Before you lies a vast expanse of ice. It appears that there is no life anywhere, except for you. But, as a fisherman, you know that below your feet, there is very active life, in the form of perch, trout, walleye, and other fish. Are you ready to do some ice fishing?
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The first step to successful ice fishing is ensuring that you are on solid ice. During the mid-winter season, you should fish on lakes areas that have approximately four inches of ice. During the later part of the season, you should note that even thick areas of ice can be weak. There are many contributing factors to weak ice, but the ice can look strong, and still be weak. Ideal ice will be clear, with few air bubbles. You should test it with a spud.

A spud is a long chisel that is used to poke through the ice. You can also use an auger, or even a power auger. Most ice fishermen carry their gear in a five gallon bucket, unload the gear at their fishing spot, and then flip the bucket to use as a seat.

For fishing line, look for Cold Weather Trilene, which is a thin and supple fishing line. Depending on the fish that you are trying to catch, you may need anywhere from one to ten pound test weight line.

During the winter, you will want to fish at dawn and just before dark. These are the times when the fish are most active under the ice. Patience is required even more in the winter time, as fish are a bit more sluggish, as they are cold blooded. It is recommended that you use a short flexible rod that is thin, in order to better judge what is going on under the water.

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Be very still, and then move your rod around to see if you can entice the fish. Ice fishing is like playing chess – with fish. You have to outwit them. For bait, try waxworms. Trout, bass, panfish, bluegill, and yellow perch can all be caught very well on waxworms.

If you are new to ice fishing, try taking a fishing trip with someone who is experienced the first few times out. This will help you to learn the basic safety precautions, and the best ice fishing techniques for your area. Also, make sure that you dress in layers, with cotton on the inside, and wool on the outside for the best insulation. Cover as much of your body as possible!

Top 10 Fish Finders 2016 Review and Step by Step Ultimate Guide

Any fisherman can tell you that the best fish finders reviews are able to take a lot of guess work out of the hunt for the ideal fish locator as well as how much easier it will be to land a big one.
When you are trying to find a fish in an ocean or a large lake, looking for your evenings dinner, this can be a true help. If you are new to fishing or new to the idea of using a fishfinder, it will not take you long to discover that you have a lot of choices.
There are some name brands that you will find more often than others, but there are also decent fishfinders available that do not come with a big name involved. Which will you choose? Seek help finding the right one by reading through these reviews.

 

1. Garmin Echo 150 Dual Beam Fishfinder

Garmin Echo 150 Dual Beam Fishfinder

Garmin Echo 150 Dual Beam Fishfinder

The most popular fishfinder is one built by Garmin. The Garmin Echo 150 is the one that amazon users purchase most often and have the highest rating for. Perhaps it is the fact that it can reach extreme depths which means you can fish anywhere you want to go. It is usable on most types of boats and it is just overall higher quality because of the name backing it.
Pros:
*Max Depth of 1,300 feet
*4 inch display screen
*Easily mounted
*Waterproof
*Dual beam
*Adjustable sensitivity
*Everything you need to install it is in the box with it
Cons:
*Not for high speeds
*Accuracy questionable until you set sensitivity right

2. Humminbird 4088301 PiranhaMAX Fish Finder

Humminbird 4088301 PiranhaMAX Fish Finder

Humminbird 4088301 PiranhaMAX Fish Finder

The PiranhaMAX Fish Finder has not had a lot of people purchase it, but the ones who have bought it seem to think that it is a great way to locate fish and know what is going on under the water’s surface. This is due to all the useful features that it comes with.
Pros:
*A four level grayscale screen that is 4” for easy viewing
*Shows water temperate in digital format
*Shows up to 600Ft deep
*Mountable
*Easily installed
*Usable at fast speeds
Cons:
*Plastic mounting bracket may break

 

3. Humminbird 110 Fishin’ Buddy 4inch Fishfinder


The Humminbird Fishin’ Buddy has a unique look when compared to other fish finders. Perhaps that is what makes it such a popular purchase. Perhaps the reason so many users love it is some of the other features that also make it unique.
Pros:
*Accurate to 240ft
*4” LCD Monochrome screen
*Level 4 grayscale
*Portable
*Clamp mounted
*Wireless
*Shows temperature
Cons:
*Usable for 30 hours
*Clamp too small for some boats
*Depth reading not accurate in shallow water

4. NorCross HawkEye F33P

This fishfinder has been purchased by many amazon users. It offers a reasonable price and several very useful features. One of the main things that people love about it is the accuracy of it.
Pros:
*Extra wide sonar beam angle
*Accurate depth, bottom, and fish finder up to 99.9 feet deep
*Works in zero degree temperatures
*35 feet of cable to use with the mountable, trollable, and floatable sensor
*Small enough to hold in your hand easily
Cons:
*Not ideal for ice fishing
*Not good to use with grassy bottoms and near shore
*Extra floater needed for cable

 

5. Garmin Echo 500c Fish Finders

This fishfinder features a scanning device that has 500 watts RMS power and an ultra powerful tracking technology.

Pros:
*Can be installed in under 5 minutes
*Comes with a 5 inch QVGA display
*Can be used for depths of up to 1,900 feet
Cons:
*Stocks are sometimes short of supply
*It may require extension cables

 

6. Humminbird 561 Fish Finder

This is one of the more popular names in fishfinders. They provide quality in all aspects and tell you basically anything you may want to know about the area you are fishing in.
Pros:
*Accurate up to 800ft deep
*Speed capable and you can get a speedwheel if you want
*Use it mounted to your boat
*The 2400 dualbeam PLUS sonar
Cons:
*Does not show grass or debris on bottom of the ocean or lake
*Short wires to reach from unit to water
*Screen quality lacking according to some users

7. TomTop Portable fish finders

TomTop offers a portable fish finder that comes packed with various desirable features, only one of which is the easy portability of it. It is not one of the most popular brands on amazon, but the users who have purchased it seem to appreciate the quality of it.
Pros:
*The LCD display with backlighting
*Shows Grass, weeds, rocks, or sand on the floor of the ocean or lakes
*Alarm when fish are found
*Tells you how far down the fish are located in meters or feet
Cons:
*Sensor is on a 25 foot cord which makes it difficult to swim in deeper waters
*Some reviewers have purchased faulty machines

8. Lowrance Mark 5x Pro Fishfinder

This fishfinder is rather large which may not appeal to some people. However, if you want easy to see, the 5 inch screen should make it easy on you.
Pros:
*5inch screen with a 16 level gray scale to allow you to see clearly what is under you
*White LED screen and backlit keypad
*Easy to see in all lighting
*Easy setup
*Dual Beams
*Easy to use
Cons:
*Screen readout is slow

 

9. Signstek FF-011 Fish Finder

With Signstek FF-011 you get a completely wireless fishfinder with a backlit LED screen. Its round sonar sensor tells you everything you could want to know about the water you are gliding over in your boat or kayak.
Pros:
*Shows fish depth and water temperature
*Readings in feet or meters
*Shows fish up to 1000ft deep
*Multiple sensitivity settings
*Replaceable battery
Cons:
*Depth reading near bank is questionable
*Temperature reading is slow

10. Vktech Fish Finder

This is perhaps the least selling product on amazon though there is truly nothing wrong with the list of features for it.

Pros:

*Green Backlit LCD screen
*Fish location and depth shown on a 28×38 screen
*Sonar Frequency 125 KHz
*Fish alarm

Cons:

*Uses 4 AAA batteries
*Users say it is faulty

Lowrance HDS Gen 2 Touch Fishfinder

Lowrance HDS Gen 2 Touch Fishfinder Review

Lowrance HDS Gen 2 Touch reviewBesides all of the amazing technical features that the unit provides the most obvious one to examine first is the touch screen. There are many concerns to think about with a touch screen best fish finder. Your hands get all sorts of foreign materials on them while fishing. Scents that are on baits, oils, grease, fish slime, and any number of other substances.

Now try using your dirty hands on a touch screen and still expect a clean screen that can be easily viewed. Most likely not happening. This is, as far as I can tell, the biggest drawback to the touch screen unit. It might be a good idea to keep a rag and cleaning solution on hand to make sure it is clean and easily viewable as the day progresses.

Another issue to keep in mind is controlling the unit while you are wearing gloves on a cold day. Touch screens do not work unless something which can conduct electricity touches them, for example your fingertip. It would be very annoying and uncomfortable to have to remove your gloves each time you want to punch in a new way point or make any changes to your unit.

A quick fix to this is to sew in a conductive material to the tips of your gloves to ensure they will work still with the screen.   You can buy metal coated thread at craft stores or online to accomplish this. Besides there two downfalls I think that the touch screen will be a welcomed and advantageous development to the Lowrance HDS gen 2 units.

Ease of Use:

After examining the screen and the on screen buttons to control the unit, it looks like Lowrance made the buttons nice and big so they are easy to select without hitting another button on accident due to fat fingers. The graphical user interface is very easy to navigate and intuitive.

The next feature I was impressed with was the QWERTY touch keyboard. I find it extremely annoying to use a cursor and select each letter to name way points and other data on the units. This is very time consuming, and with the new keyboard this can potentially now take seconds to input the same labels and information.

Overall I think that the touch screen was a great feature to add on to fish finder units and in time will become the new standard for all fish finder units. The cleanliness issue and glove issue can easily be overcome by many of the added conveniences of the touch screen. Oh and because there are no major buttons on the unit, you can have a lot more screen in the same size of a smaller screen sized unit with buttons.

 

Compatibility:

I would guess that most people looking to upgrade to this unit already have a pre existing HDS Lowrance product. The great news is that this is fully compatible with all the existing networking features you had previously. Same wires, same connections.

An added benefit of the HDS gen 2 touch units is that they have a built in LSS-2 HD, the black box that costs over $600.00! The standard version of the HDS gen 2 does not have this build in. This is the unit for sidescan and down scanning. You can use the LSS-1 transducer if you have this already, however you will need an adapter for the cable. While the unit does has the LSS-2 HD module, you still have to purchase the transducer if you do not have this already.

 

In addition to these features, the Lowrance HDS Gen 2 touch units have 5 separate plug ins on the back of the unit. Ethernet, N2k, Sonar, Structure Scan HD, and power. This allows you to connect a wide range of networking devices such as a video feed, radar, fuel/temp probes, engine, and others.

How to Select an Ice Fishing Fish Finder

Obviously when you are selecting an ice fish finder, portability is essential.   There is not the luxury of a boat to mount electronics on.  The number one consideration when looking at that various options for fish finders which can be used for ice fishing is the size.  The next consideration to look at is the power source.

You will need to find a battery which is small enough to carry around, yet powerful enough to power your unit for a period of time long enough to allow you to enjoy fishing all day long.  Once you have narrowed down options you think would work for the size requirements you need, then it is time to consider how to carry it around, and the transducer.

How to Select an Ice Fishing Fish Finder

Many of the major fishing electronic companies offer ice fishing packages, paring some of their most popular compact fish finders into a pre made ice fishing setup complete with a carrying case for both the electronics and power source, as well as a portable transducer to put in the water.  This is a great way to easily select a small fish finder which has already been proven to be effective.

In fact if you want to get fishing right away, just go to your favorite fish finder company website, and pick out the ice fishing package that fits your budget.  Of course there are more consideration which we will detail in the following, as well as explain how you can convert your compact fish finder you use in the summer for ice fishing.

Flasher vs 2d sonar

A major consideration when making your selection is determining what you want to see when reading the water below you.  There are the tried and true flasher units, which do not offer a graph of the details below, only a real time look at what lies beneath.  Even though this is basic and old technology it still offers an extremely reliable way to look at the bottom and everything in between.

There are still many units being sold and developed with new features, and almost all of them are exclusive to ice fishing use.  This is a great option, however not everyone is comfortable with purchasing a unit only for ice fishing, or may not like the way the flasher displays information about the water below.

The next option is to go with 2d sonar.  This is a great alternative to the flasher as many of these units can show a graph of what is happening below, or switch to a flasher mode with emulates the look of a flasher unit.  In my opinion this is the best option as it gives you the best of both worlds, and allows you to compare what you see between both options.  In addition to this it also allows you the option use the unit for summer time best fish finder needs.

With a little planning you can easily switch the unit from your boat to the ice when needed.  Beware many of the compact 2d units will not have a flasher option, so you are stuck with a normal graph only, so if it is your intention to find something which can do both, make sure to read the specs of the fish finder which interests you.

 

Sonar cone size Before you make your final decision, another factor to consider is the size of the sonar beam below you. Since you are in a static position and not moving like you would normally in a boat, a wider beam is very handy. This allows you to not only see right below you, but around the hole the as well. Normally the manufacturer will provide the information on the size of the beam and type of beam you can expect. Use this in your consideration. Look for a wide beam, dual beam, and any other option which may be of use.

Converting a normal fish finder for ice fishing

Many people do not have the budget or the desire to purchase a standalone ice unit. Maybe you are someone who only goes ice fishing a few times in the winter. The good news is that it is easy to convert a normal unit you have on your boat to something which can work on the ice.

The first step to do is look up the company who produces your fish finder. You can then purchase another transducer for your fish finding unit. This is what you will use exclusively for ice fishing. They also sell soft packs where you can fit your fish finder and battery making it one self contained unit which is portable. To setup the transducer for use in the ice you want to make it like a bobber.

This can be accomplished by adding some foam. A great option is a pool noodle that you used as a kid. Just cut a small section from this to resemble a donut. From there you can mount the transducer without worry of it sinking in the water. There are many great tutorials online on how to convert a transducer for ice fishing use.

Underwater cameras

If you would really like to see what is happening under the water, something relatively new on the market is underwater cameras. This is a great learning tool because it allows you to watch what the fish are doing.

It can tell you how you need to move your lure in a way which makes the fish strike, this information is invaluable on those days you just can’t seem to get the fish to bite. This is also great because anyone can figure out how to use a camera; it just gives you eyes underwater.

A consideration to make with these unites is the brightness of the screen which you view the images on. Some units are not bright enough to see on a sunny day, and are only meant for inside a ice fishing hut. Other units are very bright and can be seen in any condition. I recommend the later.

This is a basic overview on what to look for when selecting ice fishing electronics. You can go much further in depth with certain specs and features; however this is beyond the scope of this article.  Perhaps in the future I will analyze these more technical features.