Top Places for Bass Fishing in Vermont

Top Places for Bass Fishing in Vermont

Bass, Bass Fishing, Lunkers, Trophy Bass

Let's look at bass management strategies in New England and where avid bass anglers can find the best bass fishing in Vermont.

Vermont is another state where trout fishing has always ruled, but Vermont biologists have recognized the increasing interest in bass fishing in recent years and have taken the initiative to set regulations designed to protect bass during the critical spring spawning period.

With this in mind, catch-and-release angling with artificial lures only was allowed on lakes and ponds from April 13 through June 7 last year. The regular bass season was from June 8 to Nov. 10. The bag limit is five fish over 10 inches in length. Season dates are expected to be similar in 2014.


Duo Realis Crankbait M65-8A

Length: 2 1/2 inches
Weight: 1/2 ounce
Depth: 8 feet

A highly detailed crankbait, the M65 confronts bass with a realistic baitfish appearance plus sound generated by a metal plate and steel ball. Available in two models and a variety of colors, this crankbait is effective in both stained and clear water.

Price: $12.99

Sebile Action First Bull Crank

Length: 2 1/2 inches
Weight: 1/2 ounce
Depth: 4-7 feet

Patrick Sebile's Bull Crank is an excellent lure, especially at that low price point of $6.95. The Xternal weight system helps to keep a low center of gravity, dig deep, and stay on track, reducing the need to tune. It features a wide body to increase visual presence.

Price: $6.95

Storm Arashi Silent Square Bill

Length: 2 1/8 inches
Weight: 1/2 ounce
Depth: 3 feet

The Square Bill's self-tuning line tie lets you burn it and still have it track straight. The circuit board lip provides strong vibration up the line and helps the lure deflect well in cover, especially downed trees.

Price: $8.99

Gary Yamamoto Chikara

Length: 2 1/2 inches
Weight: 1/2 ounce
Depth: 2-4 feet

This popularly-priced, rattle-equipped crankbait is designed to be worked through heavy cover and still get the job done. The Chikara features internal 3D holographic foiling that provides flash and cannot be chipped. The lure's value is enhanced by Mustad Triple Grip treble hooks.

Price: $7.99

Strike King KVD-1-5-Flat Side

Length: 2 ¼ inches
Weight: 3/8 ounce
Depth: 8-10 feet

This flat-side crankbait has a good thumping action and a tight wobble, and that means it's a great crankbait for cooler months or highly pressured lakes. Adding some weight to the hooks helps to cast the relatively light Flat Side on baitcasting gear, especially in windy situations.

Price: $5.79

Rapala Scatter Rap Crank

Length: 2 inches
Weight: 5/16 ounce
Depth: 6-8 feet

On a medium or slow retrieve, the Rap Crank is amazing: it tracks straight, then pops laterally and juts back onto the original track, ready for the waiting strike.

Price: $8.99

Spro Baby Fat John 50

Length: 2 inches
Weight: 3/8 ounce
Depth: 0-2 feet
Spro Baby Fat John 50

This smaller version of the established Fat John effectively imitates smaller forage, and works on spotted and smallmouth bass as well as largemouth. It runs shallow at any speed, and its fiberglass lip makes it kick out and 'hunt ' frequently before returning to true.

Price: $12.03

Bass Pro Shops XPS Square Bill

Length: 2 1/2 inches
Weight: 3/8 ounce
Depth: 5 feet

It's a good-looking lure, and fine quality for a hard-to-beat price. The XPS rattle is subdued, which is nice for spooky bass. The oval split on the line tie helps it run straight and avoid line slipping between rings.

Price: $4.29

Megabass Knuckle Jr

Length: 2.2 inches
Weight: 3/8 ounce
Depth: 1-3 feet

You'll be a megafan of Megabass lures because of their innovation and uncanny attention to detail. The Knuckle Jr.'s two-position adjustable bill really gives you two lures in one, making it easier to swallow the premium price.

Price: $4.29

Livetarget Bait Ball Square Bill

Length: 2 3/8 inches
Weight: 1/2 ounce
Depth: 3-4 feet

The Bait Ball is a crankbait with realistic 3D baitfish bodies inside the main body. The smaller lures inside cleverly mimic a school of shad. This crankbait casts very well and has a tighter wobble than most square bills, making it a perfect crank for clear water.

Price: $14.99

Some excellent largemouth bass fishing may be enjoyed in the Connecticut River as well as various lakes and ponds in the southern portion of the state. Smallmouths rule in the Green Mountain State's largest waters, including the legendary Lake Champlain, Lake Bomoseen, Chittenden Reservoir, Seymour Lake, Somerset Reservoir and many others. A complete listing of Vermont's best bass lakes and ponds is available on the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department's Web site at www.eregulations.com/vermont.

Bass fishing is allowed under general state regulations throughout New England but there are state-specific variations and some site-specific restrictions that apply. Interested anglers are advised to contact the appropriate state fisheries agency for current details on bass fishing regulations, restrictions and projected changes that may be implemented in 2014.

Also, most state fisheries agencies offer a "record fish" program where largemouths and smallmouths of exceptional size may be submitted for certificate or "pin" recognition. Contact the appropriate state's fisheries division for applications and additional information on these programs.

Finally, some of New England's bass populations have been affected by a "bass virus," which has been found to exist in nearly every state. Anglers who encounter fish showing signs of the virus are asked to contact their local or state fisheries biologist for instructions on how to submit fish samples for study.

Don't forget to share your best bass photos with us on Camera Corner for your chance to win free gear!

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