Vermont walleye fishing season opens Saturday, May 2

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NEWPORT — The Vermont walleye fishing season will open on Saturday, May 2, marking the return of some of the best walleye fishing in New England.

Revered by many as one of the best-tasting fish in freshwater, the walleye is Vermont’s official warm-water fish.

The state offers excellent spring walleye fishing opportunities in several lakes and rivers across the state.

Opportunities include Lake Champlain and its tributaries, the Missisquoi, Lamoille, and Winooski rivers, as well as Otter Creek.

In the Northeast Kingdom, Salem Lake and Island Pond also have walleye populations that are on the rebound thanks to stocking by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.

A trio of additional waters – Lake Carmi, Chittenden Reservoir, and the Connecticut River also offers quality walleye fishing.

Veteran walleye anglers employ a variety of techniques, but one of the simplest and most effective methods is to slowly troll a nightcrawler harness near the bottom.

Most nightcrawler harnesses include a rotating blade ahead of two hooks, where the worm is secured.

The blade produces a fish-attracting flash and vibration.

Shore-based anglers can catch walleyes on nightcrawlers or live minnows or by casting crankbaits or hard jerk baits.

Walleyes are generally more active at night, so fishing in the dark is often more effective.

VT Fish & Wildlife says Vermonters are encouraged to get outside to enjoy fishing provided they can do so while meeting social distancing and other guidelines.