In addition to maple syrup, cheese, snow, and Bernie Sanders, Vermont is also home to great places to fish. The local Fish and Wildlife department has taken an active role in the community. They encourage thoughtful use of Vermont’s public lakes, rivers and streams, offering licensed fishing and two free days each year, where anyone can cast without a license. They also run clinics to teach ice fishing and send out a newsletter with the fishing reports, and update the areas that trout have been stocked.
The state has more than 7,000 miles of rivers and streams. You can also find more than 800 lakes and ponds. If you want to discover a great place to fish, walk about 100 feet in any direction. Here are a few of my favorites:
Lake Champlain, Grand Isles
We’ll get this one out of the way first. Of course a massive lake and key part of the state is going to have some fish. To be exact, you can find more than 90 different species in this majestic cold-water lake. The main draw here is Bass, and it’s one of the best places to go to catch them. You can fish from just about anywhere of this 120 mile long beast, but some of the best areas are among the Grand Isles, from South Hero to Alburg.
If you’re looking for salmon, you’ll have the best luck in a boat. You’re going to want to stay at least somewhat close to the shore though. You won’t catch much hovering over the deepest spots, which go down 400 feet. Get more fishing tips for Lake Champlain here.
Shelburne Bay, Shelburne
Technically part of Lake Champlain, Shelburne Bay is another great place to fish. Located in the village of Shelburne, this open water is home to bass, northern pike, and more. You can even catch trout in late spring and early fall.
For the best odds, cast your line in the area between the bridge on Bay Road and the point, as fish enter and exit the lake. Not getting any bites? Enjoy a walk along the beautiful Lake Champlain on the one-mile trail that traces the shore.
Lewis Creek, Vergennes
There are plenty of great spots along Lewis Creek, but my go-to is right off Route 7 near Ferrisburg. There’s a small point where the water is just right and you can catch a ton of trout very easily. In the spring you’ll also get some decent size largemouth bass.
Avoid this area in the first two weeks of trout season. The snow melting turns this water into near-rapids levels and it’s not safe to fish in. However, once it calms down, you’ll be set.
Half Moon Pond, Castleton
Want a relaxing spot to coast out and catch some panfish? Then check out Half Moon Pond. The pond is shallow, only 15 to 20 feet deep, and supports a population of perch, bass and a few northern pike. It is an absolute perfect spot to fish from a kayak. Just make sure you brush up on your skills so you don’t fall in while pulling in the big one.
From your kayak you’ll be able to get to plenty of underwater rocks and fallen trees and you can’t reach from the shore. Those make perfect resting beds for hungry fish, and you can even get them with the basic worm and bobber setup.
Echo Lake, Plymouth
Echo Lake offers nostalgic cabins and excellent fishing. The lake is teeming with wildlife, including rainbow trout, panfish, largemouth bass, chain pickerel and more. With a maximum depth of 91 feet, you’ll have no problem finding a spot to park your boat and cast a line.
This spot is perfect for the whole family. Your kids can bicycle, bird watch and kayak. They can also join you on the boat and look for fish.
Vermont is home to many fantastic fishing locations. I’ve caught at least something at every place I’ve tried, so you can’t really go wrong. Of course, things like weather, time of day, and season play a big part, but if you do a little research you’ll be having a fish fry or catching a trophy bass in no time.