I've never fished for lake trout, and never for walleye in September. My goal is to catch a meal-sized fish for me and my father-in-law, including at least one lake trout. We will be in EP14 from Sep 5-Sep 10, from the entry to Oyster and back (fishing Shell, Lynx, and Hustler along the way). Long post but hope someone can help me since we leave soon.
I printed out the MN LakeFinder depth maps including bottom cover (rock reefs, etc) maps. If you want to PM me a secret spot to mark, we try to be respectful to the area and only want one fish meal out of the week. We just get skunked every year, we're not very good -- except his first and only walleye, a 30" monster on Boot that we put back.
I'm using braided line. Is that fine for trout? When ya'll say "let out plenty of line" when trolling something like a Rapala taildancer (to get it down to 30'), what's that mean exactly? How do I know I have enough line and am at the right speed? Would a leader for pike protection scare away lakers? Do I need a taildancer #11 to get to 30' or will the #9's work?
What else should I add to the tackle kit for walleye and trout? I'm OK stocking up if I need to. Current tackle for *both* of us: Rapala deep tail dancer #9 in purple and in perch (20'); #7 in purple (15'); scatter taildancer in gold perch. Shadrap assortment (7' to 15'). Husky Jerks and Floating rapalas in large sizes (4'-8'). Would one of these work for those monster pike I hear about in Hustler? Where would they be in early September?
An odd assortment of bobbers and jigs (3/8 oz) and dipsey sinkers, no spoons since I don't know how to fish them yet. Should I bring crawlers or cut bait?
Father-in-law has even less fishing experience so appreciate the tips!
We used the #11 purple Taildancers with 8lb. Trilene mono and ran them about 125 ft. back and it worked for us. 1 person paddling was the right speed and doing S curves seemed to trigger them (change of speed and direction). A portable locator helped as well. This was in June but should work in Sept. as well. Good luck!
Agree on the serpentine advice. One rod on each side and watch to see if the fish hits on the inside rod when turning (slow lure) or the outside rod when turning (faster lure) and see if a pattern develops. Helps determine speed. I've had a lot of success using Reef Runners (largest size) in Wonder Bread color and the different variations of that pattern. Its the weirdest looking pattern/color, but it really works. Gets down to about 20 feet with 100' out. To figure out how much line you have out, just open the barrel and sweep your rod pointing back then sweep to front and that's about 8-10 feet each sweep (approx).
We just got back, and my father-in-law and I had a great time. My father-in-law caught a 35" lake trout on Oyster! (Nose to tail it was the width of the yoke in my Wenonah Champlain.) It was our first fish we caught, about 45 minutes into the effort, and it somehow injured itself with some deep cuts on the way up. We tried to revive it but couldn't, so we slung it over our daypack and made the 310-rod hike from Oyster back to Hustler. An absolutely epic fish and an incredible memory hiking back with it.
Basswood, you'd be glad to know it was caught on a Reef Runner 800 in "Wonder Bread"! We were in about 50-60 feet of water when we caught this one.
For the record he has caught three fish in our two trips: a 30" walleye, this 35" laker, and a perch.
Great to hear that you were able to have success! That is a big laker. Too bad it got so jacked up that you couldn't release it since the smaller ones taste a lot better but you did the right thing to at least enjoy what the lake gave you.
quote BasswoodFan: To figure out how much line you have out, just open the barrel and sweep your rod pointing back then sweep to front and that's about 8-10 feet each sweep (approx). " Very good advice !
" I want to know Gods thoughts , The rest are details " Albert Einstein. WWJD
quote jamotrade: "Great to hear that you were able to have success! That is a big laker. Too bad it got so jacked up that you couldn't release it since the smaller ones taste a lot better but you did the right thing to at least enjoy what the lake gave you."
We still don't know what happened, two big deep cuts on one flank, in a U shape sort like a mouth, but I thought no pike in that lake, and no injuries over the back or on the other side. Bottom was soft so we don't think it was rocks. Definitely would have preferred to keep big females in the lakes, but made no sense to return her to die while we took different fish out.