Willoughby Lake Fishing Guide

Willoughby Lake Fishing Guide

Welcome to Willoughby Lake, Vermont! Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, this guide will provide you with everything you need to know about fishing at this beautiful lake. With its serene surroundings and abundant fish, Willoughby Lake offers a perfect spot for a fishing adventure.

About Willoughby Lake Fishing

Nestled in the heart of the Northeast Kingdom, Willoughby Lake is a breathtaking glacial lake located in Orleans County, Vermont. This stunning lake is surrounded by the majestic Willoughby State Forest, offering a tranquil escape for outdoor enthusiasts. Known for its clear, deep waters and scenic beauty, Willoughby Lake is a popular destination for fishing, boating, and hiking.

Willoughby Lake Fishing Details

Here are some key details about Willoughby Lake:

  • Water Surface: 1,687 acres
  • Shoreline: Approximately 13 miles
  • Average Depth: 148 feet
  • Max Depth: 320 feet
  • Surface Elevation: 1,171 feet
  • Location: Orleans County, Vermont
  • Coordinates: 44.7266° N, 72.0320° W
  • Accessibility: Accessible via public boat ramps, fishing docks, and beaches
  • Type of Lake: Glacial freshwater lake
  • Lake Amenities: Picnic areas, campgrounds, hiking trails, boat rentals, and swimming areas

Types of Fish in Willoughby Lake

Willoughby Lake is home to a variety of fish species, making it an ideal fishing spot. Here are the common types of fish you can find in the lake and where they are usually found:

  • Lake Trout: Often found in deeper, cooler waters, especially during the summer months. They prefer rocky and gravelly bottoms.
  • Rainbow Trout: Typically found in deeper waters and near the inlets and outlets of the lake.
  • Landlocked Salmon: Usually found in deeper waters and near river mouths during spawning seasons.
  • Smallmouth Bass: Prefer rocky shorelines and areas with underwater structures. They are often found in both shallow and deep waters.
  • Yellow Perch: Often found in schools near the shorelines and in weedy areas.
  • Pumpkinseed: Typically found in shallow waters with abundant vegetation.
  • Bluegill: Often found near shorelines and in weedy areas.
  • Brown Bullhead: Commonly found in muddy bottoms and shallow waters.

Best Fishing Baits, Lures, and Tackle Recommendations for Willoughby Lake Fishing

Choosing the right bait, lures, and tackle can make a big difference in your fishing success at Willoughby Lake. Here are some recommendations:

  • Lake Trout:
    • Bait: Live minnows, smelt
    • Lures: Spoons, crankbaits, and tube jigs
    • Tackle: Medium-heavy rods with strong lines (20-30 lb test)
  • Rainbow Trout:
    • Bait: Live worms, small minnows
    • Lures: Spoons, spinners, and flies
    • Tackle: Medium rods with 10-20 lb test lines
  • Landlocked Salmon:
    • Bait: Live smelt, minnows
    • Lures: Spoons, streamers, and crankbaits
    • Tackle: Medium rods with 10-20 lb test lines
  • Smallmouth Bass:
    • Bait: Live minnows, leeches
    • Lures: Tube jigs, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits
    • Tackle: Medium rods with 8-15 lb test lines
  • Yellow Perch:
    • Bait: Worms, small minnows
    • Lures: Small jigs, spinners
    • Tackle: Light rods with 4-8 lb test lines
  • Pumpkinseed and Bluegill:
    • Bait: Worms, small insects
    • Lures: Small jigs, flies
    • Tackle: Ultralight rods with 2-6 lb test lines
  • Brown Bullhead:
    • Bait: Worms, cut bait
    • Lures: Not commonly used; bait is preferred
    • Tackle: Medium rods with 8-15 lb test lines

Best Fishing Spot Locations at Willoughby Lake Fishing

Finding the right spot can enhance your fishing experience at Willoughby Lake. Here are some of the best fishing spots on the lake:

  • North End near Willoughby River Inlet: Known for its deeper waters, this area is ideal for Lake Trout and Landlocked Salmon. It’s a great spot for trolling.
  • South Bay: With its weedy areas, this spot is perfect for Smallmouth Bass and Yellow Perch. Fish near the vegetation for the best results.
  • East Shoreline: This area has rocky shores and deeper waters, making it a hotspot for Rainbow Trout and Landlocked Salmon. Submerged structures attract these species.
  • West Shoreline: This area is convenient for anglers and provides good fishing opportunities for Brown Bullhead and Pumpkinseed, especially in the evening and early morning.
  • Long Pond Beach Area: An easily accessible spot, especially for those without a boat. It’s a good location for catching a variety of fish, including Smallmouth Bass and Bluegill.

Fishing Tips and Recommendations for Willoughby Lake Fishing

To make the most of your fishing trip to Willoughby Lake, keep these tips in mind:

  • Early Morning and Late Evening: Fish are more active during these times. Plan your fishing trips accordingly for better success.
  • Seasonal Changes: Fish behavior changes with the seasons. In spring, fish are closer to the shore, while in summer, they move to deeper waters.
  • Weather Conditions: Overcast days are generally better for fishing. Fish are more likely to be near the surface, making them easier to catch.
  • Local Regulations: Make sure to check Vermont’s fishing regulations before you go. This includes fishing licenses, catch limits, and specific rules for Willoughby Lake.
  • Respect the Environment: Keep the lake clean by disposing of trash properly and practicing catch and release when necessary to preserve the fish population.

Willoughby Lake Fishing Reviews

Here are five positive reviews from anglers who have fished at Willoughby Lake:

  1. “Willoughby Lake is a hidden gem! The fishing here is fantastic, especially for lake trout. The scenery is beautiful, and it’s a great place to relax and enjoy nature.” – John D.
  2. “I’ve been coming to Willoughby Lake for years, and it never disappoints. The variety of fish is impressive, and the facilities make it a convenient and enjoyable spot for fishing.” – Sarah M.
  3. “Caught my first landlocked salmon at Willoughby Lake! The thrill of reeling it in was incredible. The lake is well-maintained, and the staff at the park are friendly and helpful.” – Mike T.
  4. “Willoughby Lake is perfect for a family fishing trip. My kids had a blast catching bluegill and pumpkinseed near the shore. We’ll definitely be back!” – Laura W.
  5. “I love the peacefulness of Willoughby Lake. It’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and just enjoy some quality fishing time. Highly recommend it!” – Kevin S.

Top-Rated Closest RV Parks, RV Resorts, and Campgrounds for Willoughby Lake Fishing

For those looking to stay close to Willoughby Lake, here are five top-rated RV parks, RV resorts, and campgrounds nearby:

  1. White Caps Campground:
    • Features: 50 tent/RV sites, beach access, boat rentals
    • Amenities: Restrooms, showers, picnic areas, playground
    • Hookups: Water and electric hookups
    • Distance to Lake: Located on the shores of Willoughby Lake
  2. Willoughby State Forest Campgrounds:
    • Features: 20 primitive sites, hiking trails, close to lake access
    • Amenities: Restrooms, picnic areas
    • Hookups: None (primitive camping)
    • Distance to Lake: Within walking distance to the lake
  3. Kingdom Campground:
    • Features: 60 RV sites, swimming pool, mini-golf
    • Amenities: Restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, Wi-Fi
    • Hookups: Full hookups (water, sewer, electric)
    • Distance to Lake: 10 miles
  4. North Beach Campground:
    • Features: 137 tent/RV sites, beach access, bike paths
    • Amenities: Restrooms, showers, picnic areas, playground, Wi-Fi
    • Hookups: Water and electric hookups
    • Distance to Lake: 20 miles
  5. Ricker Pond State Park:
    • Features: 27 tent/RV sites, fishing pond, nature trails
    • Amenities: Restrooms, showers, picnic areas, Wi-Fi
    • Hookups: Water and electric hookups
    • Distance to Lake: 15 miles

Willoughby Lake Fishing Summary

Willoughby Lake is a fantastic destination for fishing enthusiasts of all levels. With its diverse fish population, beautiful scenery, and convenient amenities, it offers a perfect spot for a memorable fishing trip. Whether you’re casting your line from the shore, a boat, or the fishing dock, you’re sure to have a great time at Willoughby Lake.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Willoughby Lake Fishing

  1. Do I need a fishing license to fish at Willoughby Lake? Yes, a Vermont fishing license is required for anyone aged 15 and older.
  2. What are the best times of the year to fish at Willoughby Lake? Spring and fall are generally the best times for fishing, but summer can also be good, especially early in the morning and late in the evening.
  3. Can I rent a boat at Willoughby Lake? Yes, boat rentals are available at various marinas and state parks around the lake.
  4. Are there any fishing tournaments held at Willoughby Lake? Yes, there are occasional fishing tournaments. Check with local authorities or the state park for schedules.
  5. Is Willoughby Lake suitable for ice fishing? Yes, Willoughby Lake is popular for ice fishing during the winter months. Make sure to check ice conditions and safety guidelines before heading out.

We hope this guide helps you plan your fishing trip to Willoughby Lake. Enjoy your time on the water and happy fishing!


Directions To: Willoughby Lake Fishing Guide

Bass Fishing: Best Bait & Tackle

Best Bass Fishing Best Bait & Tackle for Willoughby Lake Fishing Guide includes the following:

Bluegill & Sun Fish Fishing: Best Bait & Tackle

Best Bluegill & Sun Fish Fishing Best Bait & Tackle for Willoughby Lake Fishing Guide includes the following:

Best Fishing Gear:

Here’s some of the best fishing gear to use by the Willoughby Lake Fishing Guide: