RUTLAND – Vermont’s regular bass fishing season is set to kick off on Saturday, June 11, marking the start of some of the most-renowned bass fishing in the northeast.
“From big-water angling on lakes like Champlain, Bomoseen and Memphremagog, and the Connecticut River, to hundreds of smaller, untapped ponds and reservoirs, Vermont is loaded with great bass fishing for anglers of all ages,” said Shawn Good, fisheries biologist with Vermont Fish & Wildlife.
Vermont’s regular bass season opens each year on the second Saturday in June and extends through the last day of November. However, outside of those dates, anglers can fish for bass on open water on a catch-and-release basis with artificial lures and flies only on waters that are not seasonally closed.
“The bass fishing in Vermont is truly incredible, and one unique aspect compared to many other states is the sheer amount of quality, unpressured fish,” said Good. “Vermont is tough to beat for numbers of solid, two to four-pound bass that see very little fishing pressure, but anglers have the chance to connect with a true trophy in the six to eight-pound class as well.”
Vermont’s bass fishing has received national notoriety in a variety of fishing publications in recent years, and bass-rich Lake Champlain has become a favorite of touring bass professionals.
In 2014, World Fishing Network named Lake Champlain one of the seven best smallmouth bass lakes in North America. The renowned fishing media outlet went on to characterize Lake Champlain as “perhaps the best lake in all of North America for both quality largemouth and smallmouth bass.”
Prominent professional tournament angler Kevin VanDam agrees.
“What makes Lake Champlain unique is that you can catch fish – both smallmouth bass and largemouth bass alike – just about any way you want to,” said VanDam. “It’s an amazing fishery with diverse habitat throughout and large, healthy populations of many species of fish. Whether you’re an avid tournament angler or recreational fisherman, you’ll want to experience Lake Champlain fishing. It’s simply that good.”
What’s more impressive is that Vermont hosts dozens of other lakes, ponds and rivers that rival Lake Champlain.
“There’s no question that Champlain hosts a very special bass fishery, probably one of the best in the world,” said Good. “However, there’s countless other waterbodies throughout the state that can be just as good, if not better, simply because those bass populations don’t get much fishing pressure.”
Bass fishing in Vermont is a fun outdoor activity that can be enjoyed by adults and kids alike, regardless of skill level, and can also be a great source of food for the table.
“Bass fishing is a great way to get out and enjoy Vermont’s great outdoors and nothing beats a tasty meal of fresh, locally-caught fish,” Good said.
Good noted that smaller, younger bass, which are also much more abundant, are generally better eating compared to bigger, older fish.
Anglers heading out on the water to fish for bass this season should be sure to reference all fishing regulations, including harvest and size limits, applicable to the waters they are fishing. Vermont’s fishing regulations can be found in the 2016 Vermont Fish & Wildlife law digest available at district offices and authorized license dealers, or online at www.vtfishandwildlife.com/fish.