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Alburgh is a small town in the northwest part of Vermont in the county of Grand Isle. While part of the United States territory, it is actually not connected to the 48 contiguous states. Instead, it is on the Alburgh Tongue, a peninsula extension originating from the Canadian border, jutting out into Lake Champlain. It is only connected to Rouses Point, New York, and Swanton, Vermont via a bridge.
Founded by Ira Allen, one of the state’s founders and the designer of the Great Seal of Vermont, Alburgh was formerly known as Alburg. Its original name, Alburgh, was changed to Alburg as a recommendation for standardization by the United States Board of Geographic Names. It went back to its original name in 2006 after its petition was approved by the Vermont Department of Libraries which is in charge of Vermont place names.
This lakeside town is part of the Islands & Farms region of Grand Isle County. The region is touted for its small-town charm, year-round fishing, hiking and biking trails, and local artisanal goods such as wine and chocolate. The county is known for supporting local small and micro businesses, making it an ideal place to live in. Alburgh itself is a popular summer destination because of its beautiful lakeshore properties, peaceful atmosphere, and great location as the only land route (via bridge) connecting New York and Vermont.
Because it is a peninsula jutting out into Lake Champlain, expect to find world-class fishing in this part of Northwest Vermont. Alburgh, after all, is home to the Alburgh Dunes State Park, one of the longest beaches on one of the biggest and richest freshwater lakes in the United States.
Alburgh, Vermont is one of the best and most convenient places to access Lake Champlain. It is, after all, surrounded on almost all corners by this great lake. Lake Champlain may not be considered one of the country’s Great Lakes, but it remains one of the most celebrated fresh bodies of water in the United States. Its waters are home to more than 80 fish species, after all.
The best spot to fish this great lake is the Alburgh Dunes State Park. The 625-acre state park has one of the longest shorelines on Lake Champlain. Here you can fish the waters of Lake Champlain almost all year round. Anglers, though, are advised to follow catch-and-release seasons when fishing in Vermont, so be sure to check with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Regulations for dates and best practices.
Lake Champlain has always been known as a top-notch bass fishing destination. So if you find yourself in the Alburgh Dunes State Park, make sure to challenge yourself with largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. These fish species prefer warm water, so expect to find them in large numbers during the summer. You will be even more successful with catching a good number of them at dawn and dusk when they are actively feeding. The best way to catch them is with live minnows. If you’re targeting them during catch-and-release season, you can catch them using artificial lures like soft plastic worms, spinners, spoons, and crankbaits.
Another Lake Champlain must-catch is trout. Some of the most common trout species here are brown trout, lake trout, and rainbow trout. As they prefer cold water, anglers will find success targeting them in deeper parts of the lake. The more turbulent the water surface, the better. Just like bass, trout are best caught at dawn or dusk when they’re actively feeding.
Lake Champlain is also home to panfish species such as bullheads and yellow perch. They form large schools during the spawning period from May to June and are best caught before or during this period in shallow waters. While they can be caught any time of day, bullheads are particularly best targeted at night.
Some parts of Lake Champlain ice over, so they can be particularly good for ice fishing. Just make sure the ice is thick enough for you to safely stand and walk on. Chain pickerel, northern pike, and the occasional walleye at the northern part of the lake are great ice fishing targets. As soon as the ice starts melting around March, shoreline fishing for Atlantic salmon and trout can be quite productive as well.
While Alburgh Dunes State Park can take up most of your time with its plentiful fishing opportunities, venture out into the Korean War Veterans Fishing Access. This fishing access is right by the bridge that connects Alburgh to Rouses Point in New York. It’s one of the best places for inshore and nearshore fishing in Lake Champlain. The area offers a universally accessible fishing platform where you can target species such as yellow perch, white perch, bluegill sunfish, smallmouth and largemouth bass, rock bass, brown bullhead, and northern pike. While it is open all year long, late spring and early summer are particularly great seasons to seek out species such as bluegill, perch, bass, and northern pike.
This part of Vermont is a year-long fishing destination, but to maximize your fishing trip, make sure to check for open seasons. There are no closed seasons for trout and landlocked salmon fishing on Lake Champlain, but the best times to target them are around April to May and October. Around summer, from June to August, you can find success jigging for lake trout. Yellow perch are another year-long catch but are best caught from March to November. Northern Pike are around from early spring around March, but reach their peak around May and September to October. Bass such as largemouth bass and smallmouth bass can only be caught on catch-and-release with artificial flies and lures from December 1 to the Friday before June’s second Saturday. The best times to target largemouth are from May to June and September, while smallmouth bass reach their peak from April to May and October to November.
Alburgh is a fantastic New England destination all year long. It has a high percentage of beautiful lakeside properties, some of which you can rent for the summer, plenty of biking and hiking trails for the outdoor enthusiast, plus a restful small-town atmosphere. Best of all, you can enjoy all these without being too secluded, as the city offers easy access to the rest of Vermont.
Fishing Lake Champlain can be an overwhelming experience, so booking a fishing charter on your first trip to Alburgh may be a more sensible way to tackle this water body.
Alburgh Dunes State Park is not just good for fishing Lake Champlain. This 600-plus-acre park is part of the Lake Champlain Birding Trail where you can watch a great number of birds all year long. Watch out for the waterfowl during spring and fall, and birds such as snowy owls and bald eagles during winter. Bikers will love the recommended bike rides in the Lake Champlain Bikeways network, while boaters can rent a canoe or kayak at the park and even bring their own boats to launch in one of its boat launches. The park supports wildlife in its diverse wetlands, including the white-tailed deer.
Goose Point Campground and Arlburgh RV Resort are two of the best campgrounds in Alburgh, both offering modern amenities to the discerning RV and tent camper alike. Goose Point is a great place to fish, whitewater paddle, play golf, hike, and swim, while Alburgh RV Resort has a number of sports fields, an in-ground pool with a diving board, plus a landscaped playground for your kids.