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  • Lake Trout Fishing Tips:

    Lake Trout are a resource that few people take advantage of. One of the big reasons is people don't like to fish with the traditional equipment and don't find any luck fishing with traditional methods. Lake Trout are a ton of fun to catch on light-action equipment and they also taste fantastic and have a mild taste that is far superior to Rainbow Trout or Salmon. With the methods below you will discover that Lake Trout are not hard to catch and can be so much fun. Bringing a big heavy fish up from the depths creates a level of excitement that is hard to put into words and a great addition to the adventure-factor of your vacation.

    Spring:

    In the spring from Ice-out to a couple weeks after the Lake Trout are right under the surface. This is when guests catch most of them and have fun catching them on their Walleye rod. This seems to be the best time of year to catch them but to experienced Lake Trout hunters the spring is actually one of the hardest times to catch them because they are spread out all over the lake and not concentrated in the holes or just above the thermocline.

    If you do find yourself fishing on a lake in early spring and you know there are Lake Trout then the best thing to do is find a shoal, sandy bay or a sandbar. In the spring, the water warms up faster over sandy shallow areas and this attracts minnows. The Lake Trout don't like the warm water but will sit off the shoals or sandbars in deeper darker water waiting for minnows to venture out to the edge where they are easy to pick off. Casting with Little Cleos and spinners is the best way to get them. The Lake Trout will also be moving along the shore looking for minnows. In this case you may want to troll for them.

    In the spring Lake Trout are very sensitive to the sound of the motor so trolling behind the boat is not very effective. As you troll into the area the Lake Trout will move out to the sides and they can quickly move 50 feet or more to give your boat a wide birth. With this in mind try casting out behind the boat at a 45 degree angle and then let the boat pull the line straight and then slowly reel in and cast out again. You will catch 10 times as many trout casing out sideways vs. just dragging a lure behind the boat. Even if you are using an electric motor you will still find more success casting out sideways.

    Deep Water Summer Lake Trout:

    In late spring the Lake Trout will be in a transition stage where they are found at different depths but by the time summer rolls around the Lake Trout will move down deep. In small lakes the Lake Trout will be located in the deeper holes and spend most of the summer near springs. In bigger lakes the Lake Trout generally stay just above the 53-degree thermocline. Lake Trout will go below the thermocline but oxygen levels are much lower and the Lake Trout go dormant and do not feed as often as the trout above the thermocline. The thermocline is usually located between 45 and 60 feed deep on inland lakes.

    Traditional methods for fishing down deep are using lead-core line, downriggers, bait-walkers and Dipsy Divers. All these methods will catch fish but they are flawed and not very effective or they are not fun. If you have a small fishing boat then the best way to fish for Lakers is to back-troll as slow as you can with a 3-way swivel, 6-pound test line and your Walleye stick. 6-pound test mono line is thin and causes very little friction with the water so you can fish deep without having lots of line out. To fish 50 feet deep you need a 2 oz. weight and a light flutter spoon such as a Sutton Silver Spoon or a MooseLook Spoon. There are hundreds of light flutter spoons on the market. Dark blue & silver, dark green and silver and just silver are the best colors on bright sunny days. If the sky is little cloudy than go to a copper colored spoon. If a low pressure system comes in go Walleye fishing as the trout will not be feeding.

    Tie 2 feet of line from your 3-way swivel to a regular clip swivel and then attach your lure. Then tie another 2.5 feet of line from your 3-way swivel to your 2-oz. weight. Get a slow back-troll and slowly let line out a foot at a time. If you are traveling slow your line should be almost straight down. Letting out about 55 feet of line means you should be down around 50 feet. One full reverse reel should be about one foot of line on most reels. You will need a depth finder to mark what depth the fish are at. Lake Trout are usually around 50 feet deep in the summer but in the evening will come shallower and sometimes can be found as shallow as 35-feet deep in the summer. In a small spring-fed Lake the Lake Trout could be shallow all year.

    You want to use dark green line as it has low visibility. You want the line to your sinker to be a little bit longer than the line to your lure so that if you get a snag your lure stays off the bottom and does not get snagged as well. Just troll until you get a hit. When using a 3-way swivel you have to set the hook hard. Keep your drag set for 6-pound test line and if the fish wants to take off and rip 50 feet of line off your reel, let him.

    Lake Trout hit best first thing in the morning and in the evening. During the day they will turn on-and-off like a light switch and some times they will only feed for 10 or 15 minutes and then stop dead again. You just have to be out there trolling and hope that they start feeding. Lake Trout like bright sunny weather with high pressure. A low pressure system can cause them to stop feeding for days. They are a challenge to catch on bigger lakes. Just a short drive from camp are a number of small Lake Trout lakes that are stuffed with trout and you will find great success using these light tackle methods. There is less food in smaller lakes so the Lake Trout are more often feeding than not.

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