10 Best Fishing Lakes in Vermont: Fabulous Angling Opportunities

Imagine a world where every cast you make reels in a memory, a world brimming with crystal-clear lakes, lush forests, and teeming with a wide array of fish species.

Welcome to Vermont – a veritable paradise for fishing enthusiasts. Hidden within the verdant tapestry of the iconic Green Mountains, this gem in New England weaves together a dazzling network of pristine lakes and winding rivers.

This makes Vermont not just one of the best places for a fishing expedition in the United States, but a thrilling adventure that imprints an unforgettable narrative in the minds of its visitors.

In this guide, we will explore 10 of the best fishing lakes in Vermont. These lakes provide ample opportunity for some of the best fishing in the state. We will also discuss some of Vermont’s fishing regulations so that you will be well versed in the fishing laws of Green Mountain State.

10 Best Fishing Lakes in Vermont

1. Lake Champlain

Lone Rock Point on Lake Champlain
Lone Rock Point on Lake Champlain

Situated between the breathtaking landscapes of Vermont and New York, Lake Champlain stretches to the Canadian border, embodying a sense of adventure that’s hard to match. As the largest lake in the state, it’s more than just a body of water – it’s a fishing haven that is a gateway to a unique angling experience.

The lake teems with many fish species, famous for its lake trout and landlocked salmon. It also boasts a robust population of smallmouth bass, allowing anglers to experience the thrill of the catch all year round.

In the warm summer months, as water temperatures rise, the deeper water areas of the lake come alive, providing fruitful opportunities for those willing to delve into its depths.

With a maximum depth of 400 feet, Lake Champlain’s underwater topography is as varied and exciting as the surrounding landscape.

Whether you are a boat angler seeking the elusive lake trout in deeper waters, or a shore angler pursuing smallmouth bass near the lake’s countless coves and points, Lake Champlain has something for everyone.

With its excellent access areas, Burton Island State Park opens up a world of fishing spots to explore. Shelburne Bay, another hotspot, is a popular angler spot due to its diverse fish population and easy access.

Marinas on Lake Champlain:

  • Malletts Bay Marina – Colchester, VT
  • Point Bay Marina – Charlotte, VT
  • Champlain Marina – Colchester, VT
  • Westport Marina – Westport, NY
  • Burlington Boathouse Marina – Burlington, VT
  • Shelburne Shipyard – Shelburne, VT

best fishing spots on Lake Champlain

Best Fishing SpotFish SpeciesBest Time to Fish
Shelburne BaySmallmouth Bass, Yellow PerchEarly Summer
Missisquoi BayNorthern Pike, WalleyeSpring, Fall
Burton IslandLake Trout, Landlocked SalmonSummer
Malletts BaySmallmouth Bass, Lake TroutEarly Summer, Fall
Burlington BaySmallmouth Bass, WalleyeSpring, Summer

2. Lake Memphremagog

Lake Memphremagog
Lake Memphremagog

Cradled amidst the lush expanse of the Green Mountains, Lake Memphremagog captivates with its serene beauty and prime fly fishing opportunities. Straddling the borders of Vermont and Quebec, Canada, this majestic body of water is a treasure chest teeming with abundant fish species.

Spectacularly clear waters hold a well-kept secret – a thriving population of rainbow and brook trout that turn an ordinary day of fishing into a delightful challenge for anglers of all skill levels.

With the lake’s size spanning an impressive 40 miles in length and a depth reaching down to 285 feet, it offers a unique fishing adventure every time you cast your line.

Its crystalline waters, perfect for observing the fish in their natural habitat, and its scenic surroundings make Lake Memphremagog a favorite haunt for locals and tourists.

Marinas on Lake Memphremagog

  • Newport City Dock and Marina – Newport, VT
  • Fitch Bay Harbour – Magog, QC, Canada
  • Club Nautique Memphré – Magog, QC, Canada
  • Marina Venise – Magog, QC, Canada

Best fishing spots on Lake Memphremagog

Best Fishing SpotSpecies of FishBest Time to Fish
South BayRainbow Trout, Brook TroutSpring, Fall
Eagle PointBrown Trout, Rainbow TroutSpring, Summer
Newport AreaWalleye, Smallmouth BassSummer
Clyde RiverNorthern Pike, WalleyeSpring, Summer
Fitch BayLake Trout, Rainbow TroutEarly Summer, Fall

3. Lake Bomoseen

Lake Bomoseen
Lake Bomoseen

Set in the idyllic backdrop of Rutland County, Lake Bomoseen is the largest lake entirely within Vermont’s boundaries. But its distinction doesn’t end there.

Lake Bomoseen has also earned a reputation as a paradise for anglers, teeming with an array of aquatic life that promises an unforgettable fishing expedition.

From the feisty largemouth bass that every angler loves to hook to the elusive northern pike that tests even the most experienced among them, Lake Bomoseen provides an aquatic stage set for a range of thrilling fishing narratives.

It presents diverse fishing opportunities throughout the year, covering a vast surface area of 2,400 acres and reaching depths up to 65 feet.

Adding to the charm of Lake Bomoseen is Bomoseen State Park, gracing the lake’s eastern shore. Here, you’ll find an array of amenities that makes your fishing trip a delightful family experience.

With well-maintained boat launches for easy water access and serene picnic areas for enjoyable breaks, it’s a perfect setting for creating treasured memories.

marinas on Lake Bomoseen

  • Woodard Marine – Lake Bomoseen, VT
  • Lake Bomoseen Marina – Castleton, VT
  • Bomoseen Bait Shop – Castleton, VT

Best fishing spots on Lake Bomoseen

Best Fishing SpotSpecies of FishBest Time to Fish
Neshobe IslandLargemouth Bass, Smallmouth BassEarly Summer, Fall
West Castleton BayNorthern Pike, Yellow PerchSpring, Winter
Crystal Beach AreaLargemouth Bass, Chain PickerelSummer
Glen Lake OutletYellow Perch, Rock BassSpring, Fall
Bomoseen State ParkLargemouth Bass, Rainbow TroutSpring, Early Summer

4. Lake Willoughby

Lake Willoughby
Lake Willoughby

Immersed in astounding natural beauty, Lake Willoughby is a crown jewel of Vermont, promising an unforgettable trout fishing experience. This renowned fishing hotspot is not only famed for its scenic allure, but it’s also a fertile aquatic playground teeming with a wealth of trout species.

The crystal-clear, deep waters of Lake Willoughby, reaching a staggering 320 feet and spreading over a breadth of 1,653 acres, house a bustling aquatic community.

The lake is a haven for rainbow trout, brown trout, and lake trout, providing angling opportunities that cater to various fishing styles. Whether you’re an experienced angler seeking a challenging catch or a novice eager to experience the thrill of trout fishing, Lake Willoughby offers a unique fishing journey.

marinas on Lake Willoughby

  • Willoughby Lake Store and Beach – Westmore, VT
  • White Caps Campground – Orleans, VT

Best fishing spots on Lake Willoughby

Best Fishing SpotSpecies of FishBest Time to Fish
South BayRainbow Trout, Brown TroutSpring, Fall
North BeachLake Trout, Brown TroutEarly Summer, Winter
Westmore AreaYellow Perch, Lake TroutSummer
Mount PisgahRainbow Trout, Lake TroutSpring, Fall
East ShoreLake Trout, Rainbow TroutEarly Summer, Fall

5. Lake Carmi

Lake Carmi
Lake Carmi

Perched near the Canadian border, Lake Carmi, a wintry wonderland, stands as one of Vermont’s most sought-after destinations for ice fishing.

Embraced by a stunning winter landscape, this lake transforms into an icy playground where the thrill of angling meets the magic of snow-kissed surroundings.

Encompassing 1,375 acres and plunging to a maximum depth of 33 feet, Lake Carmi is home to a vibrant aquatic community, notably yellow perch, and the elusive chain pickerel.

During the colder months, when the lake’s surface solidifies into a frosty sheet, anglers set up their gear on the icy expanse, dropping their lines through holes in the ice to pursue these species.

Lake Carmi State Park’s public access points ensure convenience, allowing anglers to venture onto the ice and set up their equipment easily. As you wait for a nibble on your line, you can take in the mesmerizing beauty of Vermont’s winter, making your ice fishing trip a truly memorable experience.

Marinas on Lake Carmi

  • Lake Carmi Campground – Franklin, VT
  • Lake Carmi State Park – Franklin, VT

Prime ice fishing spots on Lake Carmi

Best Fishing SpotSpecies of FishBest Time to Fish
Northern BayYellow Perch, Chain PickerelWinter
Southern AreaChain Pickerel, Northern PikeWinter
Eastern ShoreYellow Perch, WalleyeWinter
Western ShoreNorthern Pike, Brown BullheadWinter
Lake Carmi State ParkYellow Perch, Chain PickerelWinter

6. Lake St. Catherine

Nestled within the verdant confines of Lake St. Catherine State Park, Lake St. Catherine is a favorite haven for fishing enthusiasts. The lure of this destination goes beyond its scenic beauty; it is also a flourishing aquatic habitat teeming with a variety of species that ensure a thrilling angling experience.

Playing host to an impressive array of fish, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, and rock bass, Lake St. Catherine invites both boat and shore fishing.

Whether you prefer to drop your line from the quiet solitude of a secluded shore or the rocking deck of a boat, the lake’s 930 acres and depths reaching up to 68 feet promise a unique fishing expedition.

Before you set out for your fishing adventure, familiarize yourself with Lake St. Catherine State Park’s privacy policy, which outlines fishing and camping activities guidelines to ensure a respectful and enjoyable experience for everyone.

marinas on Lake St. Catherine

  • Lake St. Catherine Country Club – Poultney, VT
  • Lake St. Catherine Marina – Poultney, VT

Best fishing spots on Lake St. Catherine

Best Fishing SpotSpecies of FishBest Time to Fish
North BayLargemouth Bass, Smallmouth BassSpring, Summer
South PondYellow Perch, Rock BassFall, Winter
Lily PondLargemouth Bass, Chain PickerelSummer
Birdseye MountainYellow Perch, Rock BassFall, Spring
Lake St. Catherine State ParkLargemouth Bass, Yellow PerchSpring, Summer

7. Lake Dunmore

Lake Dunmore
Lake Dunmore

Nestled in the heart of Central Vermont and graced by the nearby Branbury State Park, Lake Dunmore is a shining jewel among the state’s fishing destinations. Its sparkling clear waters host a rich biodiversity, inviting anglers to enjoy a memorable fishing experience.

Lake Dunmore, spanning over 985 acres with depths plunging up to 92 feet, is a fertile habitat for various fish species.

This body of water is particularly renowned for its healthy populations of brown trout, rainbow trout, and yellow perch, offering exciting opportunities for anglers with diverse preferences.

The lake’s accessibility enhances its appeal among fishing enthusiasts. With a network of access points sprinkled throughout the lake’s expanse, reaching your chosen fishing spot is a breeze.

This feature makes Lake Dunmore an inviting destination for all, regardless of their angling proficiency.

marinas on Lake Dunmore

  • Waterhouses Campground and Marina – Salisbury, VT
  • Branbury State Park – Brandon, VT

Best fishing spots on Lake Dunmore

Best Fishing SpotSpecies of FishBest Time to Fish
Waterhouses AreaBrown Trout, Rainbow TroutSpring, Fall
North ShoreYellow Perch, Smallmouth BassSummer, Winter
South BayRainbow Trout, Yellow PerchSpring, Fall
Branbury State ParkBrown Trout, Smallmouth BassSummer, Fall
Lake Dunmore Fern Lake AssociationRainbow Trout, Yellow PerchSpring, Early Summer

8. Seymour Lake

Aerial View of Seymour Lake
Seymour Lake

Seymour Lake stands as an idyllic fishing paradise in the northeastern reaches of Vermont.

This tranquil body of water, renowned for its rampant fish populations and peaceful surroundings, offers exceptional fishing opportunities that invite anglers to experience the joys of casting their lines in a serene environment.

Seymour Lake is a thriving aquatic habitat, covering an area of 1,769 acres and reaching depths of up to 167 feet. It is particularly famous for its landlocked salmon and rainbow trout, ensuring a rewarding fishing experience for novice and seasoned anglers.

This lake is a perfect spot for those seeking tranquility and excitement in their angling adventure.

Marinas on Seymour Lake

  • Seymour Lake Lodge – Morgan, VT
  • Echo Lake Inn – Charleston, VT

Best fishing spots on Seymour Lake

Best Fishing SpotSpecies of FishBest Time to Fish
Southern BayLandlocked Salmon, Rainbow TroutSpring, Fall
Northern ShoreBrown Trout, Yellow PerchSummer, Winter
East ShoreLandlocked Salmon, Smallmouth BassSpring, Fall
West ShoreRainbow Trout, Lake TroutSummer, Early Fall
Island PondLandlocked Salmon, Rainbow TroutSpring, Fall

9. Silver Lake

Stools next to Silver Lake in Vermont
Silver Lake

Tucked within the scenic boundaries of Silver Lake State Park, Silver Lake stands as a delightful hub for fishing in New England.

This idyllic destination offers excellent angling opportunities, with a vibrant aquatic life that guarantees a satisfying fishing experience.

Silver Lake is a thriving habitat for several fish species, with a sprawling surface area of 84 acres and a maximum depth of 50 feet.

Its waters teem with healthy largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and brown bullhead populations, offering exciting catches for every angler’s fishing adventure.

marinas on Silver Lake

  • Silver Lake State Park – Barnard, VT
  • Silver Lake Boat Launch – Barnard, VT

Best fishing spots on Silver Lake

Best Fishing SpotSpecies of FishBest Time to Fish
Northern ShoreLargemouth Bass, Smallmouth BassSpring, Summer
Southern BayBrown Bullhead, Chain PickerelFall, Winter
East ShoreLargemouth Bass, Smallmouth BassSpring, Summer
West ShoreBrown Bullhead, Yellow PerchSummer, Fall
Silver Lake State ParkLargemouth Bass, Smallmouth BassSpring, Summer

10. Chittenden Reservoir

Island in the Chittenden Reservoir
Chittenden Reservoir

Located in the heart of the Green Mountains, Chittenden Reservoir is a fantastic fishing destination that captures the essence of Vermont’s breathtaking natural beauty.

Covering approximately 750 acres with a maximum depth of 120 feet, this reservoir teems with various fish species, including brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, and yellow perch.

marinas and boat launches on Chittenden Reservoir

  • Lefferts Pond Boat Launch – Chittenden, VT
  • Chittenden Reservoir Boat Launch – Chittenden, VT

Best fishing spots on Chittenden Reservoir

Best Fishing SpotSpecies of FishBest Time to Fish
Northern ShoreBrook Trout, Brown TroutSpring, Fall
Southern BayYellow Perch, Pumpkinseed SunfishSummer, Winter
Eastern ShoreRainbow Trout, Yellow PerchSpring, Fall
Western ShoreBrook Trout, Brown TroutSpring, Fall
Lefferts PondBrown Trout, Rainbow TroutEarly Summer, Fall

Fishing Guide: 25 Best Fly Fishing Spots in Vermont

Understanding Vermont Fishing Regulations

It’s paramount to familiarize yourself with Vermont’s fishing regulations.

Abiding by these guidelines ensures a lawful fishing experience and contributes to the conservation of the state’s vibrant aquatic ecosystems.

Licensing Requirements

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department mandates that all anglers, regardless of their experience, possess a valid fishing license. This applies to both residents and non-residents alike. The licensing process can be easily completed online or at an authorized agent location.

Open Season Dates and Catch Limits

In Vermont, open-season dates and catch limits are contingent on the specific types of fish and the particular body of water.

For instance, trout fishing season generally opens in April and extends until October. However, year-round catch-and-release fishing for trout is permitted on some bodies of water.

Largemouth and smallmouth bass, on the other hand, typically have a catch-and-release season in the spring, with a regular open season commencing in mid-June.

Catch limits also vary. For example, anglers can bag up to 12 lake trout per day in most Vermont waters, while the daily limit for brook trout is 6.

Marked Access Points

In Vermont, public access areas and boat launches are marked to offer easy access to all fishing enthusiasts. For Chittenden Reservoir, the Lefferts Pond Boat Launch and the Chittenden Reservoir Boat Launch serve as primary access points.

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Conclusion – Best Fishing Lakes in Vermont

From the majestic Lake Champlain to the crystal clear water of Vermont’s smaller lakes, these fishing spots offer memorable experiences for anglers.

Always respect local fishing regulations as you enjoy the bounty these lakes provide. So grab your fishing gear and make Vermont your next fishing destination!

If you have a question or comment, please leave them below. We love hearing from our readers. Until next time Happy Fishing!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are some of the best fishing lakes in Vermont?

Some of the top-rated fishing lakes in Vermont include Lake Champlain, Lake Willoughby, Lake Bomoseen, Caspian Lake, and Lake Memphremagog. These lakes offer a diverse range of species and beautiful natural surroundings.

What species of fish can I catch in Lake Champlain?

Lake Champlain is known for its diverse fishing opportunities. Species you can catch include smallmouth and largemouth bass, lake trout, Atlantic salmon, northern pike, walleye, and yellow perch.

Are there any specific rules or regulations for fishing in Vermont?

Vermont has specific fishing regulations to ensure sustainable practices and protect its aquatic resources. These include fishing season dates, bag and possession limits, size limits, and tackle restrictions. A fishing license is required for anyone 15 or older.

Where can I buy a fishing license in Vermont?

You can purchase a Vermont fishing license online through the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s website. Alternatively, they are also available at authorized license agents throughout the state.

Can I fish in Lake Willoughby year-round?

Lake Willoughby offers open-water fishing and ice fishing. However, the types of fish you can catch may vary by season. Always check the latest Vermont fishing regulations for specifics.

What is the fishing scene like at Lake Bomoseen?

Lake Bomoseen is the largest lake in Vermont and is popular for bass fishing. You’ll find both largemouth and smallmouth bass here. In addition, anglers can also fish for yellow perch, northern pike, and other panfish.

Are facilities available for anglers at Caspian Lake?

Caspian Lake offers public access with a boat ramp, making it easier for anglers to access the lake. Facilities such as restrooms, picnic areas, and parking are available nearby.

Can I rent fishing equipment in Vermont?

Yes, you can rent fishing equipment in many places in Vermont. It’s always a good idea to call ahead or check the website of the rental shop to see what’s available.

What is unique about fishing in Lake Memphremagog?

Lake Memphremagog stretches across the border between the United States and Canada. The lake is known for its landlocked salmon and lake trout populations. The depth and size of the lake provide a unique fishing experience in the region.

Can I take a fishing tour or hire a guide in Vermont?

There are numerous fishing guides and tours available in Vermont. They can provide a great way to learn about the local fishing spots, techniques, and species.

Cory is a content writer-editor and founder of Tackle Box Talk. Favorite Quote: "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."

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