Fishermen everywhere covet them for their table excellence giving them a nickname of poor man's Lobster. Lake Trout baked or poached and served with melted butter is a feast fit for a king.
Lake Trout Charactistics
This slow growing member of the Char family can attain a life of over twenty years and have been known to grow to more than 50 inches and reach over 100 pounds. Lake Trout are mature enough to reproduce when they are six or seven years old. Some Lake Trout respond to a homing instinct. They return to the same spawning grounds year after year, while others do not. This trout lives in deep cold lakes. Their preferred water temperature is about 50 degrees. In the summer they stay deep and can usually be caught by deep trolling. But as the water cools with the fall season and into spring, artificial lures and flies may take lake trout fished shallower, near shore.
Use Spoons and Go Slow
Finding a trophy may be a difficult task although I feel following a few rules will augment your odds for success. I have found that in twenty years of fishing my biggest have come on spoons. I believe the reason for this is spoons will maintain an attractive appearance at very slow speeds. When you think Lakers think slow. This very cold water species has the slowest metabolism of all the game fish.
If you have not caught a Laker, you are trolling too fast. The bigger the Lake Trout the colder the water they prefer and the slower they move. A quality large spoon that trolls well at speeds below one mile per hour is required.
Keeping in mind that you will be working in deep water below 100 feet. The color choices should be in the bottom half spectrum of the rainbow. There is not much light down there and green, blue, indigo violet colors will sustain some color at these depths.
A silver plated spoon will reflect light better in low light and used in combination with the colors is a good choice. You might try the new Reaper glow in the dark spoons. They were very productive for me this last season.
Bounce The Bottom
The lack of light has brought me to my favorite presentation. In some cases bouncing the bottom is the only way to provoke a strike. A one pound lead ball sinker will allow the contact needed. Use a wire line rod with 30 pound wire terminated with a plastic keel and lead ball. The keel provides a three way connection for wire, ball and monofilament.
At the end of a two foot mono leader run an 8 inch silver or glow in the dark dodger and a 4 foot lead to the spoon. Troll with the bottom contour letting out enough wire to allow the ball to bounce on the bottom. A word of caution, some bottoms have lots of hang ups and it takes a constant vigilance on your part to avoid hanging up and still keep constant bottom contact.
As you read earlier, when the water cools in fall they return to the same spawning grounds year after year. The eggs are deposited over a boulder-strewn or rubble bottom structure, in depths from 40 feet to about one foot.
This affords the angler another opportunity to get into some serious laker action. Work this shallow water with the same wire line rod. Go with 8 ounces of weight no flasher and standard Reaper Big Joe red/green or Reaper Peacock blue/green spoons. Motor troll the shallows while hand holding the rod bouncing the bottom as you go.
Let's wrap this up with my favorite Lake Trout lures. Dodgers and magnum spoons are my first choice with dodger Spin n Glows a close second. The two most productive Lake Trout spoons for me in recent years are the glow in the dark Reaper Green Fox Glow and Fish n Chip Silver both sold by Badger Tackle
The standard Reaper in the silver combinations are best for shallow water. This completes the trophy variables series I hope you enjoyed it and it leads to your fish of a lifetime.
Good Luck let's go fishing!
Copyright© 2007, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.