Bass fishing season opens this Saturday

MONTPELIER — Vermont’s amazing bass fishing, once a well-kept secret among anglers, shifts gears with the start of the traditional bass season on Saturday, June 8, which also happens to be Free Fishing Day in Vermont.
Catch-and-release bass fishing with artificial flies or lures opened with trout season in April. Starting June 8, however, an angler may keep up to five bass in a day with a minimum length of 10 inches in most lakes. Check the 2013 Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Laws and Guide for exceptions.
Prospects are excellent for largemouth and smallmouth bass in many Vermont lakes with Lake Champlain leading the list for both species. But Champlain’s spectacular bass opportunities tend to overshadow the great bass fishing we have on many other waters.
Here are suggestions for additional great bass fishing waters in Vermont:
For largemouth bass, try Lake Dunmore, Lake Memphremagog (South Bay), Lake Fairlee, Lake Morey, Lake Bomoseen, Lake Hortonia, Lake St. Catherine, Stoughton Pond and Lake Sadawga.
For smallmouth bass, try Lake Carmi, Lake Memphremagog, Island Pond, Lake Salem, Lake Seymour, Lake Eden, Harriman Reservoir, Lake Bomoseen and Lake St. Catherine.
Be sure to check out the Vermont Master Angler entries on Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s website for recently caught largemouth and smallmouth bass. The site is searchable by species and includes when and where fish were caught, and in many cases released.
Planning a Vermont spring fishing trip is easy. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has a 2013 Vermont Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Laws and Guide that includes maps showing lakes and streams as well as fishing access areas and public lands. It also lists the fish species found in each body of water and it includes fishing regulations. Copies are available where fishing licenses are sold, or from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, 802-241-3700. You also can download sections of the publication from their website.
The Vermont Outdoor Guides’ Association offers help in locating fishing guides and some overnight facilities on their website, www.VOGA.org. Additional help in finding a place to stay overnight can be found at www.VermontVacation.com.
Fishing license fees are $25 for adult residents, $8 for residents 15-17 years of age, $50 for adult nonresidents and $15 for nonresidents 15-17 years old. One-, three- and seven-day fishing licenses also are available for nonresidents. Children under age 15 do not need a fishing license in Vermont. Licenses are quickly and easily available on Fish & Wildlife’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com) and at agents statewide.

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