The Vermont side of Lake Champlain has no closed fishing season on its salmonids, a fact not lost on early-season, landlocked salmon fishermen. From early April, when the ice usually goes out, to mid-May, the landlocked salmon fishing is superb. Pay particular attention to the north end of the lake, where the ice first begins to flow. According to Jon Anderson, fisheries biologist for the Essex District Natural Resources Office, early-season salmon are focused on minnow schools massing near inlets and in the shallows. Try Mooselook Wobblers or any lure or fly that imitates smelt. Hot spots are the Sandbar Causeway Bridge between Milton and South Hero; Hatchery Cove on the west side of Grand Isle; the outflows of the Lamoille and Missisquoi rivers; and Otter Creek. Don't pass up the smaller stream inlets that can attract smelt, and salmon, too. Contact: Essex District Natural Resources Office (111 West Street, Essex Junction, VT 05452; 802-878-1564).