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Guide to fishing in the Green Mountain State

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

  • Lake Bomoseen
  • Lake Carmi
  • Lake Champlain
  • Lake Dunmore
  • Lake Memphremagog
  • Lake St Catherine
  • Lake Willoughby
  • Seymour Lake
  • Somerset Reservoir

Vermont is a fishing paradise with a wide variety of fish species available, providing something for every angler's preference. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about the best fishing lakes in the state, plus the species found in each lake. The state offers excellent warm water fisheries, where anglers can target popular species such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, yellow perch, chain pickerel, and panfish like bluegill and sunfish. These warm water lakes, ponds, and rivers are perfect for summer fishing, attracting anglers with their abundance of game fish and picturesque surroundings.

In addition to warm water fisheries, Vermont is also renowned for its cold water fisheries, offering an excellent opportunity for trout fishing. Rainbow trout, brown trout, and lake trout are the primary targets for anglers seeking thrilling battles with these prized game fish. Vermont's cold-water rivers and streams, as well as some of its larger lakes, provide optimal conditions for trout to thrive, making it a prime destination for fly fishermen and lure anglers alike.

Ponds, lakes, and rivers are scattered throughout the state, offering diverse fishing experiences for both beginners and seasoned anglers. Lake Champlain, one of the most famous and vast water bodies in the region, stands out as a premier fishing destination, boasting a rich variety of species to target. Smaller lakes and ponds tucked away in the picturesque landscapes of Vermont also present excellent opportunities for tranquil fishing experiences.

From casting lines in the quiet ponds nestled amidst the verdant forests to the thrill of reeling in a trophy-sized bass on a shimmering lake, Vermont's fishing scene caters to all levels of expertise and offers a rewarding and enjoyable experience for any angler who ventures into its pristine waters.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Vermont

The cold, clear water found throughout the state of Vermont offers excellent fishing conditions for big trout and smallmouth bass, monster salmon, tasty walleyes and perch, plus magnificent settings for fishing in all kinds of waters including lakes, ponds, streams and rivers. In this first section we will concentrate on the larger fishing lakes. Vermont offers great fishing year round - Spring, summer, fall and Ice fishing in winter.

Here, you can fish for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie, white crappie, walleye, rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout, lake trout, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, rock bass, white perch, yellow perch, Atlantic salmon, coho salmon, bowfin, chain pickerel, longnose gar, muskie, northern pike and tiger muskie in local lakes, rivers, ponds and/or streams.

Major Vermont Lakes & Species

Vermont major lakes and fish chart

Lake & Fish Chart

Major angling destinations, cross referenced with the major species to be found in each of the lakes. For a detailed list of primary fish species in VT, plus state fish records, see the list below.

Fishing lake sizes and locations in the state.

Lake Willoughby, Vermont - Known For Big Trout & Salmon

Harriman Reservoir is a 2,150-acre lake in the southern part of the state, at Wilmington.

Island Pond is a 600-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, at Brighton.

Lake Bomoseen is a 2,400-acre lake in the west-central part of the state, at Bomoseen.

Lake Carmi is a 1,400-acre lake in the northern part of the state, at Franklin.

Lake Champlain is a 271,000-acre lake on the northwestern border of the state, at Burlington.

Lake Dunmore is a 1,000-acre lake in the west-central part of the state, at Salisbury.

Lake Memphremagog is a 5,800-acre lake on the northern border of the state, at Newport.

Lake St Catherine is an 850-acre lake in the southwest part of the state, at Poultney.

Lake Willoughby is a 1,700-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, at Westmore.

Maidstone Lake is a 750-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, at Maidstone.

Seymour Lake is a 1,750-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, at Morgan.

Somerset Reservoir is a 1,600-acre lake in the southern part of the state, at Somerset.

Fish Species & State Records in Vermont


Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass

World record: 22 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 10 lbs 4 oz

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass

World record: 11 lbs 15 oz

State Record: 6 lbs 13 oz


Channel Catfish

Channel catfish

World record: 58 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 35 lbs 14.7 oz


Black Crappie

Black crappie

World record: 6 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 3 lbs 8.5 oz*

White Crappie

White crappie

World record: 5 lbs 3 oz

State Record: 3 lbs 8.5 oz*




World record: 25 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 14 lbs 8.8 oz



World record: 17 lbs 7 oz

State Record: 3 lbs 2.5 oz


Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout

World record: 42 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 13 lbs 12 oz

Brook Trout

Brook trout

World record: 14 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 5 lbs 12 oz

Brown Trout

Brown trout

World record: 40 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 22 lbs 2.5 oz

Lake Trout

Lake trout

World record: 72 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 35 lbs 3.2 oz




World record: 4 lbs 12 oz

State Record: 1 lbs 15.7 oz

Pumpkinseed Sunfish

Pumpkinseed sunfish

World record: 2 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 1 lbs 4 oz

Rock Bass

Rock bass

World record: 3.0 lbs

State Record: 2 lbs 0 oz

White Perch

White perch

World record: 4.6 lbs

State Record: 2 lbs 9.3 oz

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch

World record: 4 lbs 3 oz

State Record: 2 lbs 6.4 oz


Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic salmon

World record: 79 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 12 lbs 10.4 oz

Other species



World record: 21 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 14 lbs 8 oz

Chain Pickerel

Chain pickerel

World record: 9 lbs 6 oz

State Record: 6 lbs 4 oz

Longnose Gar

Longnose gar

World record: 50 lbs 5 oz

State Record: 18 lbs 12 oz


Muskie (Muskellunge)

World record: 69 lbs 9 oz

State Record: 38 lbs 3.5 oz

Northern Pike

Northern pike

World record: 55 lbs 1 oz

State Record: 30 lbs 8 oz

Tiger Muskie

Tiger muskie

World record: 51 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 17 lbs 13.3 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

A Typical Vermont Lake In Fall.

State of VT Fishing Information

Get a Vermont fishing license here. Learn valuable information about fishing in Vermont at the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife website.

Bass fishing book

Fish for big bass

Excellent largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing opportunities are available to anglers.


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