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A Family Destination for Anglers

By the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing

Landing a 15-pound lake trout requires the right combination of skill, luck and perseverance. Achieve that perfect balance at a fishing derby and you’ll walk away a winner.

For more than 25 years, LCI has been making Lake Champlain a sportsman’s destination, first with the Father's Day Fishing Derby and more recently with the LCI All-Season Tournament and the LCI Lake Champlain Fall Bass Tournament. The LCI Derbies have helped highlight a well-known fact that Vermont is a top destination for anglers and their families.

Vermont’s waterways are home to some of the finest freshwater fishing in the country. Families visiting Vermont will find an abundance of brown, brook, and rainbow trout in our cold water streams and brooks. Vermont’s broad lakes and ponds provide tremendous opportunities for bass, walleyes and other species. Whether you vacation near Lake Champlain or the White River, fishing helps children learn lifelong lessons about sportsmanship, conservation, and an overall appreciation of the natural environment.

The need for a family getaway to spend quality time together has never been greater, and a Vermont fishing vacation can offer a wide range of activities for everyone.

The first step in planning your trip should be visiting the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing’s website at www.VermontVacation.com. Here you will find the Vermont Travel Planner which lets you specify the location, type of lodging, events and attractions you want to include in your Vermont fishing vacation. The Travel Planner now features a new itinerary planner, which allows users to search for ideal fishing spots plus lodging, dining, recreation, attractions, shopping, and events by town or by region, and add them to a day-by-day itinerary.

Be sure to also visit the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department’s website at www.vtfishandwildlife.com for license information and applications, as well as access areas, seasons and dates, laws, access areas, and stocking schedules.

Vermont’s many offerings

Lake Champlain, located on the state’s western boundary, has a surface area of 435 square miles. Landlocked salmon, lake trout and steelhead rainbow trout offer spectacular action. For outstanding shallow-water excitement, try the big lake's northern pike, which range up to 25 pounds. High quality bass fishing for both largemouths and smallmouths is one of the lake’s best-kept secrets now being discovered by bass angling enthusiasts.

Interior Vermont waters offer classic New England lake and stream fishing with 808 lakes and ponds--284 of which are larger than 20 acres--and over 7,000 miles of rivers and brooks.

Vermont's lakes and streams are home to more than 20 popular species of game and panfish offering something for anglers of all tastes and experience levels.

Vermont is well-known for its "coldwater" trout and landlocked salmon fishing. Innumerable icy brooks seep down off the Green Mountains into beaver ponds and streams, providing superb angling for native brook trout, as well as larger rainbow and brown trout. Lakes Willoughby, Caspian, and Seymour, among others, are renowned for their lake trout and landlocked salmon fishing.

Vermont also has excellent "warm-water" fishing and is home to a vast array of species that tolerate warmer water than trout and salmon. They include such favorites as largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, channel catfish, chain pickerel, American shad, yellow perch, white perch, black crappie, rock bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, and bullhead, as well as bowfin, long-nosed gar, freshwater drum, burbot, cisco, whitefish and sauger.

Vermont's trout fishing season opens in April and continues through October. A long Vermont winter leaves fish with an appetite for biting anything that moves. The rush of mountain spring water tumbles through more than 5,000 miles of fishable streams in the valleys of Vermont. It's the prime spot for brook, brown and rainbow trout.

As the tumult of the spring melt subsides, the ice will be off the more than 400 lakes and ponds where northern pike and walleye provide another sporting challenge. Vermont is fast becoming known for its bass fishing, restricted to catch and release until the second Saturday in June each year.

Guided Expeditions and More Information

The guided fishing expedition is a popular option for anglers of all abilities. For the more experienced fisherman, using a guide leaves the logistical issues and planning to others.

For the less experienced angler, a guided expedition is a must if they are serious about improving their skills and bringing home trophy fish. Just by the law of averages, even a total novice will land a big fish on occasion, but by calling on the expertise of a seasoned guide, they can improve their basic skills and greatly increase their chances of consistently bringing home “the big one.” Fishing guides in Vermont offer a wide variety of packages. For more information, visit the Vermont Outdoor Guide Association website at www.voga.org.

Vermont offers plenty of outdoor recreational activities for families. Be sure to visit www.VermontVacation.com for details on upcoming events around the state. Vermont Days is a two-day event in June that offers free admission to all Vermont State Park day areas and State Historic Sites. Vermont Days also includes Free Fishing Day, a statewide event where the whole family—residents and non-residents--can fish in Vermont without purchasing a fishing license.

Discover why Vermont is a perfect family destination for fishing, dog sledding, canoeing, camping, snowmobiling, and more. Call 1-800 VERMONT or visit us online at www.VermontVacation.com.