It’s been a week since we’ve returned from our early season trip to VBL…and I already wish I was headed back up. I took my 2nd son up with me (I take my boys the summer they turn 9). We also had my father-in-law, a buddy I work with, a buddy from school and his father-in-law.
I’ll try to keep the words short and the pictures many, but overall it was a great trip! As you could tell by some of the previous pictures, the weather was great, there were no bugs, the water was still cold, and the fishing was on just about the whole week.
We had a bit of adventure getting up there when the bearings on my truck went out at 5am and we were 35 miles South of International Falls. After two hours tracking down and waiting on a tow truck, praying a shop was open over the holiday weekend (thank you All Seasons Equipment!), and then going for breakfast at the Chocolate Moose while it got fixed, we were back on the road North! After that ordeal, the border crossing was easy.
Hot Chocolate makes everything better
Once we got there, we unpacked and hit the water. I won’t give you a day-by-day rundown, but our week went something like this:
Up and eat breakfast
On the water by 9am
We’d fish all day…usually on Clearwater. Some would head to High Rock.
Dinner by 6pm
Back out into VB for the evening bite
Breakfast of Champions
Clearwater didn’t disappoint and as an added bonus the creek was up, so all three boats could go over. We caught fish off all the common points. We were trolling small floating Rapalas in mostly blue/orange or black/silver combo. The Lakers were up in the water and that always makes it fun!
His first Lake Trout
18" - 24" Lakers all day, every day
Beautiful weather all week
We also got into some pretty good Smallies on Clearwater:
Tub jigs into the boulders worked like a charm!
A great Clearwater Smallie
Instead of Clearwater, just about everyday, one of the boats would make the journey to High Rock lake. It did not disappoint as we caught some great Smallies and Walleye:
Some nice eaters
Tub jigs were getting Walleye & Smallmouth
He caught and released this beauty!
While Clearwater and High Rock didn’t disappoint, most of our after dinner fishing was done within site of VBL…and it was equally as great. We caught 3 Lake Trout over 30″, the biggest was mine at 33″ and 15lbs. Mark caught two, almost twin Lakers (31″ & 30.5″) just 30 minutes apart. In fact, the first one he caught actually tried to hit his white tube jig while is was 4″ out of the water off the side of the boat! They cast at it as it swam away, and he caught it on the drop!
I also caught the small perch to complete a 6-species week at VBL (Lake Trout, Walleye, Small Mouth, Pike, Whitefish, Perch). All these pictures are from within 5 minutes of VBL:
A beauty of a fish!
Landed this 30" in a boat by myself one night!
One of a limit-out kind of morning right before we left
Hey, it counts for the specie total!
Like I mentioned in a post before I went up, heading to VBL is about so much more than the fishing. It was a great time with my son building some memories, chatting in the boat, hanging with friends, drinking bourbon with Gord deciding John and Mark could just spend the night on the water and we’ll find them in the morning, and so many other things!
It really was a great week and it’s why I love early season fishing trips!
Love the views from the deck
Yep, he went swimming!