Let's let the numbers speak for themselves. These are musky numbers on Lake Vermilion.
Here's a good number -- 44 inches. That's the average size of musky caught, according to two full-time guides on the lake.
How about 52 inches? That's the largest fish musky guide Tom Wehler caught last summer. One of Terry Sjoberg's clients caught one 52 inches long last summer.
Let's talk 54 inches. That's the largest musky that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fisheries officials found in their surveys last summer.
Sjoberg, a 51-year-old guide from Tower, has caught 20 muskies between 48 and 49 inches. Wehler, a 47-year-old guide who lives on Mallard Island all summer, caught seven muskies last year from 48 to 49 inches.
So, how's fishing?
"It's fabulous," says Sjoberg, who's been guiding on Lake Vermilion for 14 years. "It's probably one of the top five destinations anywhere right now."
Musky season will open June 7 on most waters in Minnesota.
Stocked with Leech Lake strain muskies beginning in 1987, Lake Vermilion's muskies are now coming of age, says Duane Williams, the DNR's large lake specialist in Tower. And Vermilion has been discovered.
"It's getting a reputation for a real fine musky fishery," Williams said. "We're getting a lot of fishermen from all over the state and different parts of the country."
Sjoberg has clients this summer coming from Maine, New Hampshire, Florida and California.