In North America, Lake Trout are a very popular species, especially favored highly by anglers. They are so sought out for, that most of their population have dwindled, nearly wiping out their natural population. However, you might be lucky enough to find them in some lakes around the Midwest of the United States and Canada.
Lake Trout are fascinating freshwater fishes, with their green body clad in yellow spots, and usually, prefer colder lakes. If you are looking to catch some for yourself, here’s how:
1. Choose the Right Bait and Tackle
Here, I’ll talk about how to choose the right bait and tackle.
Use A-Rod with A Light Test Line
A rod with a pound test line from at least 4 to 6 works best in this case. Make sure you use a light action rod. Using a lighter line means that your rod is facing less friction as it drops to the bottom of the lake. It also allows you to make use of various techniques while fishing.
However, if you know that the lake you are fishing at has bigger lake trout, then you might want to carry a heavier rod. The case is similar if you are catching lake trout that are 35 pounds or more. Make sure to use a spinning reel that is open-faced and is facing the right direction on when placed on the rod.
Only Use Lures in The Shape of Their Food Preference
The most effective option for this is to use lures that are a close representation of their natural food preferences. If you take the time to seek out baits that have a shiny surface, you might have a better chance at attracting the trout.
Lake Trout usually prefers native fishes, but if you are still unsure of what to get, you should ask the local bait shop. The local fishermen in the area can also help you out in this matter.
For Live Bait, Use Salmon, Minnows, Or Night Crawlers
If you are amongst the crowd who prefer using live bait instead, your best options lie in salmon, minnows, and nightcrawlers. But keep in mind that the preference of fish will differ depending on the area you’re fishing and the season.
2. Make Use of Effective Methods
Here, I’ll talk about the methods you can use.
Invest in A Depth Finder
If there’s anything you should make an investment on, it’s a depth finder. It’s bound to bring you great success while you are hunting Lake Trout since you need to know how deep down they are. The depth finder will help you give some sense of direction instead of you aiming blindly for the kill. These are the approximate depths they swim in depending on the season:
- Fall and Early Spring: You’ll find them swimming anywhere between 35 to 45 feet below the surface (10.7 to 13.7 Meters)
- Late Spring and Summer: You’ll find them swimming anywhere between 50 to 65 below the surface (15.4 to 19.8 Meters)
- Winter: You’ll find them swimming about 10 feet below the surface (3 Meters)
Jig to Catch Some Trout
If you are fishing in a relatively concentrated area, you might want to give the old jigging technique a go. Either use a white bucktail or a spoon jig and a bait with a minnow.
After dropping your line in the water, make your way up, jiggling the bait in the process. The movement is bound to catch the trout’s attention, making them think of wounded fish. To get the best results, take a boat to the middle of the lake and use a jig that weighs about 0.5 to 0.75 ounces.
If They’re Scattered, Try Trolling
If, however, you aren’t fishing in a concentrated area, try trolling in order to trap them. For this technique, you might want to use a fish finder in addition to your depth finder.
Your line needs to go deep enough into the water for this technique to work. If you can make this possible on the shore, then great. If not, take a boat to the middle of the lake.
Make sure to use a good weighted line and attach additional weight if necessary to keep the hook weighted down. The weight you will use will depend on the season you are fishing in. You can either use a bait caster or a spinning reel, that’s totally up to you.
Going out on the center of the lake, use the depth and fish finder to give you an idea of where to start. Once you get to the required depth, you can start trolling but at a very low speed. The one rule in trolling is moving very slowly.
Keep Your Eyes on The Line
You have to keep a close watch on your line, or the Lake Trout might just slip away from you. Larger lake trout will take a bite of your bait and swim away without you even noticing.
Smaller trout, on the other hand, will try to swim away quickly, tugging your line in the process. As quickly as possible, tug your line up about a foot or two to secure the trout in the hook further. Without lowering your rod, start slowly reeling in the trout.
3. Where to Find Lake Trout
Here, I’ll talk about where you can find lake trouts.
Lakes in North America
According to Ontario.ca 20-25% of the lake trout population alone is concentrated in Ontario, Canada. The other 75% is scattered around some parts of the United States, South America, Asia, and Europe. The lake trout can be seen in lakes in specific areas in the north of the United States.
There decrease in population is mainly due to over fishing, as they are highly preferred by anglers. The only reason they are still found in some places is that they are stocked due to their high demand.
Deep Lakes with Cold Water
Lake trout prefer colder water, which makes sense since most of their population is in Canada and some parts of the United States. This is also why they are seen less around warmer regions such as South America. The colder and deeper the lakes are, the higher the chances are that you’ll find lake trout. So, find a cold, deep lake near you and go fishing.
You Can Find Trout Any Time of The Year
The good thing is, you can fish for lake trout any time of the year. However, their locations change depending on the season. During the winter, you will find them swimming a mere 10 feet below the surface. This is because the water is now cool enough for them to come closer to the surface. In the summer, however, they will retreat further into the deep water to find a cooler place. Do keep in mind that this is likely the season where you will find it the hardest to catch some trout.
If you ever get lucky fishing in a certain area during a specific season, it is most likely that in the same season the following year you will find more trout.
Try Fishing Near Ledges and Drop-Offs
The water near ledges and drop-offs are not only cooler but deeper as well. It is highly likely that you will find more trout in these areas. So, if you prefer to fish from the shore, try fishing around ledges and drop-offs.
Try Around the Feeding Areas
Lake trout like feeding on smaller fish. Often, they are seen lurking under the smaller school of fish, waiting for the perfect opportunity to find a weak one to feed on. Look out for these smaller fish, and you are likely to land yourself some lake trout.
Check Out Our Other Articles about Trout Fishing:
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- Trout Jigs For Stock & Rainbow Trout
- Best Hooks for Trout
- Trout Spinners Reviews
Undoubtedly, hunting for Lake Trout is an exciting and highly rewarding activity. The key to having a successful catch is carefully selecting the region and knowing the right place to look in the right season.
Moreover, if you are serious about trout fishing for lake trout, it is highly recommended that you get yourself a depth finder and a fish finder. You will not live to re