Tips for Catching Lake Trout
Lake trout is one of the largest freshwater char, or cold freshwater fish. Lake trout is most often fished for sport, and in many areas of the world, has been overfished, so check your local area for any fishing limits. This fish is quite delicious to eat, and it’s known for putting up a fight, so catching lake trout is a pleasure for most fishermen. You can have success fishing for lake trout all year long, but they are most commonly found in lakes throughout North America, with the highest concentration being in Ontario, Canada. There are a number of tips and ideas you can use to improve your chances of catching lake trout.
Location, Location, Location
First, make sure you’re in the right location. As already mentioned, lake trout can most often be found in North American lakes, with the largest concentration found in Ontario. Lake trout prefer a water temperature of about 40-52 degrees, so deeper lake waters are their preferred habitats. For this reason, waters near drop-offs and ledges are ideal to fish for lake trout. During times when lakes are ice-covered, these fish are usually found in more shallow waters, often in the first few feet under the ice. In the warmer months, lake trout seek out deeper, cooler waters for their ideal temperature. During the summer months, lake trout might be as deep as 65 feet.
Rod, Lures, and Bait
Lake trout have preferences for certain kinds of fishing lures and bait. Knowing these preferences will give you a better chance of catching lake trout. Look for fishing lures that mimic live bait fish. The best lures for lake trout are weightless spinners, particularly if they are shiny lures. If you’re using live bait, the best one to use is a night crawler. Minnows are also a good choice for live bait. You might also ask what bait is best at a local tackle shop. Sometimes the locals have good fishing tips.
You also need the right kind of rod in order to maximize chances of catching lake trout. The suggested rod is a light action rod with a test line of 4-6 pounds. This allows for a quick response to a bite. A dark green, thin line is suggested, to minimize its appearance in the water. If a fish can see a line, it’s not going to bite. You will have to watch the line continuously. Large fish will slowly start moving away after biting, so the line movement may not be obvious. Smaller fish will try to swim away more quickly and will jerk the line in the process, so pay attention for any movement. You’ll only have seconds to respond. If you’re fishing in an area that is known for having very large lake trout, you’ll probably want to use a heavier rod and test line.
Methods of Fishing
There are different techniques that can be used for catching lake trout, but there are certain things to remember with each technique. If you opt for trolling, do it very slowly. If your boat has a really small engine, you may be able to troll forward. Otherwise, you may find it best to troll backwards. Cut the boat engine as slow as it can go, so that fish aren’t scared off by engine noise. One specific method of trolling is the 3-way swivel technique, which requires the use of three-way swivels and either a 1-ounce or 2-ounce weight. Trolling is most successful in areas where the fish are scattered about, instead of being close together. If you have a larger boat with a larger engine, you may have to use downrigging instead of trolling, due to the engine noise. Jigging is another method, if you know the waters well, and this is often the best method in areas where there’s a large number of lake trout. Make sure you find the bottom of the water with your line before you release it. It’s always easier to bring your line up slowly if you’re in too deep, rather than trying to go deeper to get a bite. Jiggling the line as you slowly reel it in will trick the fish into biting.
Choose the best time of day and weather to fish. Overcast days are often better for catching lake trout. In the summer, the best time of day to fish is usually in the morning. As the sun warms the water, lake trout tend to go deeper into the water and become more difficult to catch. Look for feeding areas with lots of minnows and plankton. Lake trout will often be close by. If you catch one lake trout, chances are good that you’ll catch more. Lake trout are not school fish, meaning that they don’t travel in groups, but they tend to stay in the same general area.
Purchase a Fishfinder
Another great tip is to invest in a fishfinder. Fishfinders are great for many things, including locating schools of bait fish. Where there are bait fish, there are lake trout and other larger fish looking for meals. Fishfinders can also determine the depth of water, which will allow you to figure out just how deep the lake trout are located. Some more expensive fishfinders can reveal water temperature data, information that will help you find the depth of the preferred temperature of lake trout. Remember, lake trout prefer waters that are 40-52 degrees Fahrenheit, so knowing the water temperature and depth can give you a tremendous advantage when it comes to fishing.
Lake trout are fun fish to try to hook, and they are one of the preferred species for sport fishing. These tips should help you improve your chances of landing one of these tasty fish.