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Mad_Angler
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07/19/2010 02:28PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
There is a very good article in the Winter issue of BWJ. It is written by someone on this site. It talks about trolling for lakers.

I just got back from Quetico. We caught a bunch of lake trout following that method. Here is my summary of the technique:
- Find a lake with lakers (needs to be at least 65 feet deep)
- Buy a purple Rapala Deep Taildancer
- Get a depth map or bring a depth finder
- Cast the taildancer about 40 yards behind the canoe
- Paddle around in water that is at least 50 foot deep
- When your pole bends over and your drag screams, reel in the laker
- Repeat until you have your limit of lakers (In Quetico, the limit is one laker per license)

I had about 10 lakers hooked. I landed 4. They seemed to be able to throw the barbless hooks pretty easy.

When you're done, fillet the lakers but leave the skin on. Cook on a grate over an open fire... ah, good eats!
 
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old_salt
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07/19/2010 03:24PM  
You only hooked 10? Purple must not be the hot color...
 
07/19/2010 03:24PM  
Yup! That's "timatkn"'s article, and his method works great....this time of year you might let out a little more line.;-)
 
DTrain
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07/19/2010 06:54PM  
quote old_salt: "You only hooked 10? Purple must not be the hot color..."

So you don't know how many days he was fishing, how many hours he put into targeting lakers versus other species, but more or less knock his fishing abilities based on some arbitrary number 10? Why?

There is a very good article in the Winter issue of BWJ. It is written by someone on this site. It talks about trolling for lakers.

I just got back from Quetico. We caught a bunch of lake trout following that method. Here is my summary of the technique:
- Find a lake with lakers (needs to be at least 65 feet deep)
- Buy a purple Rapala Deep Taildancer
- Get a depth map or bring a depth finder
- Cast the taildancer about 40 yards behind the canoe
- Paddle around in water that is at least 50 foot deep
- When your pole bends over and your drag screams, reel in the laker
- Repeat until you have your limit of lakers (In Quetico, the limit is one laker per license)

I had about 10 lakers hooked. I landed 4. They seemed to be able to throw the barbless hooks pretty easy.

When you're done, fillet the lakers but leave the skin on. Cook on a grate over an open fire... ah, good eats!


I liked this article and tried the technique out myself on a day trip to Thomas in June. In a few hours I managed to catch and release my first laker on a TDD9 in bleeding pearl.

More line might help, but looking at my precision trolling book a TDD9 will run just under 20' deep at 120' of line, or just under 23' at 200' with 10# mono. Not much difference there. I like 10# fireline which will run it down to 26' and the no stretch properties really telegraphs how the lure is running. With my Thomas laker, it was odd because I suddenly could tell the lure wasn't running right. I thought something might have fouled it and started reeling in and couldn't feel any resistance. Suddenly at about 50' from the canoe it just took off straight down and started peeling off line. It was like the trout bit and just kept swimming along with the boat until it got close enough to see the canoe and then said oh s%^&.
 
07/19/2010 10:22PM  
OS is just trying to be funny ;)

Catching your first is always fun. Great job.

T
 
DTrain
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07/20/2010 01:28AM  
Oops sorry old_salt, must have soaked my brain in too much rum lately it's not working right.
 
dicecupmaker
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07/20/2010 02:32AM  
Caught my first Laker this year on Wine lake in June! What a thrill! Third year was a charm
 
budfox_mn
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07/20/2010 09:12AM  
Great tips! A couple other thoughts that may be helpful.

1. When trolling, every now and then give your line a couple nice long "rips" to change up the pace. Lakers tend to follow and will hit when the lure changes pace.
2. For the same reason above, plan your route and turn while still in Laker depth, they may nail it on the turn when the lure slows.
3. When you do get a hit, take 2 hard paddles before setting the hook. This was a good rule we came up with, because it lets your canoe partner know you may have one and the quickened pace seems to keep them on the lure better, possibly even setting the hook a bit.
4. Always handle with care. The thrill of catching a Laker is the fight they give at the canoe. They love to roll and thrash. If you have to get them out of the water, do it quickly and return them before too much damage is done. Keep those barbs pressed (in the BWCA as well), it makes it much more easy to release them without ever taking them out of the water.

Great fish and great tasting. Enjoy!

Bud
 
Guzzard
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07/20/2010 11:29AM  
Used the method from the BWJ article as well during the last week of June on Kek and nailed the lake trout. I was fishing in 80-145 feet of water but I found "baitballs" on my graph and we trolled right through them. Nothing too big (19"-25") except the one I had on for about 15 minutes that was 80 feet down and finally snapped my line...pretty exciting. The deep diver Yo-Zuri minnow with a pink and bronze hue was the ticket. We also did well on purple and bright orange (30ft) taildancers.

Thanks timatkn for the great information! It made our trip!
 
Badgerboy
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07/20/2010 01:08PM  
We trolled Wiggle Warts about 50yds back with a single split shot 2 foot up and had a great time on Fat Lake 2 weeks ago. This made for one happy young man, my son Keegan, who caught his first BWCA laker.

 
Basspro69
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07/20/2010 04:31PM  
quote Badgerboy: "We trolled Wiggle Warts about 50yds back with a single split shot 2 foot up and had a great time on Fat Lake 2 weeks ago. This made for one happy young man, my son Keegan, who caught his first BWCA laker.


"
Awesome the only thing cooler than that laker is the smile on your kids face, Priceless .
 
Badgerboy
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07/21/2010 10:12AM  
Basspro69, thanks, I totally agree, that is the number one reason I go! Those smiles can fuel you for miles and miles. When people ask me how our trip was I send them this one pic it tells the story.
 
MNIceMan
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07/22/2010 10:15PM  
I hope these babies are biting on Pine this weekend. I have the 30' taildancers to try.
 
CampinGirl11
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07/22/2010 10:23PM  
Wow! I went on my first trip this year and caught my first lake trout trolling with a purple rapala in only 7-10 feet of water ! :) Purple is a hot color !!
 
Jeriatric
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07/22/2010 11:16PM  
Can I join the party? I caught my first laker this season too. I even had a purple Deep Taildancer in my box but I did not use it as I thought I had to get deeper than the DTD would go. The successful lure was a Blue Fox Tor-P-Do, a thick, heavy, discontinued, brass, casting spoon.
I drifted with the breeze, just paddling enough to keep pointed in the right direction.
 
CityFisher74
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04/12/2017 11:16AM  
Bit late on this thread, but can someone please help me explain how exactly to troll for Lake Trout? I get letting out 50 feet of line, with a weight on the line to get the lure down there, but how exactly does it work in a canoe? I can get rod holders, and then do you need to be going against the current to get more torque? When you turn around, I am guessing you reel in and then turn around? Again, I get the setup for trolling but hoping for advice on how to actually troll.
 
04/12/2017 12:49PM  
1. Go out to the area you would like to fish.
2. While gliding forward, drop your trolling bait and weight in the water keeping your line taut.
3. Use a rod holder, hold the rod with your legs, or prop up with a thwart. Keep the line tight.
4. Paddle around slowly, 1-1.5 mph. Your line should angle down around 45 degrees.
5. Paddle slightly faster, Paddle slightly slower. Turn left. Turn right. Repeat exactly and with variations. If fishing a large area, turn around with a large turn. If fishing a small area, turn around with a small turn. Keep your bait in the water at all times as you will catch more fish at that time.
6. Every 20 or 30 minutes do a "bait check". Reel in and inspect your bait. Return to step 2.
7. When your rod bends like you have snagged the bottom, set the hook and reel in a fish. Keep tension on your line and keep your rod tip up. Adjust drag as needed.

 
Basspro69
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04/12/2017 05:54PM  
quote dicecupmaker: " Caught my first Laker this year on Wine lake in June! What a thrill! Third year was a charm " Very nice, I love lake trout ! I also love 7 year old threads that get relived :-)
 
Nomadmusky
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04/12/2017 06:20PM  
We have also had success with this method and I think it's funny we often use the purple Tail Dancer as well. I saw someone used a Yo-Zuri and that is another one we've used and had success with, the one with the Pink hue to it. I'm trying a Live Target Perch this year, even though it's a natural pattern I wanted to give it a try...I need excuses to buy more tackle.

We have a locator, either my old Ice Fishing Clearwater Classic or my old Humminbird Piranha shooting through the hull. We paddle along trolling or vertical jig.

One day we were traveling, but had the locator on when we saw a big school down deep. We threw out the Purple Tail Dancers and it didn't take long and we had a hit, what a blast. Now we always stay rigged even when traveling.

Nomad

 
04/12/2017 11:00PM  
quote CityFisher74: "Bit late on this thread, but can someone please help me explain how exactly to troll for Lake Trout? I get letting out 50 feet of line, with a weight on the line to get the lure down there, but how exactly does it work in a canoe? I can get rod holders, and then do you need to be going against the current to get more torque? When you turn around, I am guessing you reel in and then turn around? Again, I get the setup for trolling but hoping for advice on how to actually troll."

Wow a blast from the past. I feel obligated to answer :)

No weight, let out 75-125 feet of line. Tail dancer, minnow rap, yo-Zuri or similiar lure. Troll 1.5 to 2.5 miles per hour, rod holder or no rod holder what ever is easier. I don't reel in when I turn around--sometimes that is when they bite because you are varying the speed/trolling method. The lure will dive deep enough. Lakers feed upwards---better to be too shallow than too deep. This pic is of a laker I caught in the first week of August in 30' of water in 80 degree weather. I was actually trolling for big walleyes. It is a big misconception you need to go deep for lakers. You need to be near or in deep water but you don't need to fish super deep.

 
mastertangler
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04/13/2017 05:06AM  
Nice fish Tim......Reminiscent of my biggest laker which was also caught in August trolling for walleye.

Yup simple is good. Throw back a large Taildancer (I give an edge to the Rainbow trout color) and paddle around, its that simple.

but here are a few things for consideration.........let out what you think is a lot of line, and then double it. 50ft is perhaps way short....... If you are using mono that means line stretch (especially with a lot of line out) and that means it is crucial to keep that stretch to a minimum. I advocate angling the rod back at a 45 degree angle to help absorb some of this stretch. If you are using braid it is less of an issue.

Also bear in mind that the thicker the line the less the lure will dive. That line diameter is an impediment to the lure as it it will have to pull the line down with it. Capiche? I have oft used 8lb trilene green XT to good effect on Lakers in Basswood. Other guys may use braid...........straight braid vs braid/leader is a good discussion but one I have limited experience on with Lakers. These fish can really pull so an excellent knot is of utmost importance. If you take my tack with the 8lb green XT then tie your line off to the split ring where it is only one thickness of wire and not where the split ring is doubled. Or swap out the split ring to a small snap of sorts. Personally I would be reluctant to fish straight braid with these fish as their eyesight is quite keen.

I like to fish Lakers mid day when perhaps other types of fishing are less productive. Roll out of the tent at 9a.m., have a leisurely breakfast and go troll around for dinner. But you MUST have confidence you are going to connect.......and that means perseverance. Don't troll for an hour and throw your hands up and say its hopeless. Or for that matter troll for a day and do likewise. Lakers may only really throw out the feedbag every 3 days (or not)......I have heard it so. Do try a few hours each day and then Bingo! Someone threw the switch.

A few further thoughts..........if you have a small reel then letting out a lot of line may be a hard thing to do. Bear in mind that as the line on your spool diminishes (as you let line out) the drag tension will increase........sometimes substantially. In other words you might set your drag in camp but after you let out 100 or 150 ft of line it WILL be much tighter. The drag needs be tight however in order to set the hook especially with lots of line out (remember the stretch!). The correct concept is to check your drag occasionally as you troll by reaching out to your rod, (which is easily reached due to your rod holder and your rod being angled towards you at a 45 degree angle ;-) and give it a pull. Line should not come off easily but with substantial force.

Focus your efforts near and over deep water. Try not to paddle to fast........as has been suggested 1.5 to 2 MPH. That is a steady rather leisurely pace. 2 people paddling may be to fast and in fact I had to tell my pal to stop paddling altogether as he knows only one speed.

I know the whole Laker thing sounds foreign and exotic and a mystery but its not. They like to eat and they will. You just need to believe and stick to it. They are truly a blast to catch and pull very hard. When I finally got my aforementioned buddy hooked up he kept saying that he had a twenty lb fish on but I assured him it was likely just another 8lb laker (we had them dialed in that summer) which it was.

Aw geez, another long post. I hope this helps you out Cityfisher, you can do it!
 
rpike
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04/13/2017 10:59AM  
Great tips above. +1 on keeping the lure in the water while making turns.

Some other thoughts:
1. I much prefer braid to mono for trolling - smaller diameter line as MT said. I always use a fluoro or mono leader, 3-5' long. Partly because the trout may be line-shy, but mostly because you *need* a fuse. If (when) you get snagged, and the wind is blowing, and you decide it's time to sacrifice another lure to the fish gods, you need to be able to break off. Sometimes because of the wind you need to be able to break off in an instant. Doing that with 20-50# braid is nearly impossible. The 14# leader will break.
2. Don't set your drag too tight. Absolutely follow MT's recommendation of checking you drag while you are trolling with your line out as far as it needs to be. The drag should not slip from the drag of the lure, but a not-very-hard tug should cause it to slip. When a good-sized fish hits, the very initial strike should not pull drag, but head shakes should. A too-tight drag can pull the lure free, or cause your line to break; especially light line like 8# mono.
3. +1 to taking two hard strokes with the paddle after you get a strike. That should set the hook, and it gives your canoe more momentum as you take the rod out of the holder. Remember you are trolling very slowly. If you set your paddle down the instant you get a strike, the boat can slow down enough the fish is gone before you can reach the rod holder. Been there, done that.
4. Sometimes, especially in May and early June, you only want your lure 5-10 feet down. You may be over 90 fow, but your lure is riding high near the surface.
5. Patience is a virtue!
 
04/13/2017 11:53AM  
quote rpike:3. +1 to taking two hard strokes with the paddle after you get a strike.... "

As an option if you miss a few strikes, grab your rod and set the hook immediately when you get a strike. Don't waste time! They either are on your bait or not. Not like giving time to a finicky walleye under a slip bobber.
 
mapsguy1955
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04/13/2017 12:19PM  
I use 6 lb braid with 10 lb fluoro leader, about 3 feet. Like the purple taildancer as well... Great for lakers in September! Pay attention to your depths though, easy to hang the bottom if you don't and the lures aren't cheap.
 
mastertangler
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04/13/2017 01:03PM  
Wow 6lb braid sounds a little terrifying to me for lakers but I like the #10 lb floro leader more than #14 which I think is a bit much for canoe country. But who knows, I am no laker expert that is for sure and completely struck out last summer in WCPP although I devoted much time to their pursuit. I routinely catch them in the Quetico on 8lb XT including a very nice 15b fish and numerous 8lb fish. I have found they typically hook themselves if your set up is right and I usually just look at my rod for about 5 to 10 seconds to see what sort of adversary I have on before doing anything. Big head shakes mean a nice fish......little fish can pull hard but only big fish can make big head shakes. ("oh, thats a nice one" ;-)

But my advice Cityfisher is to fish the green trilene 8lb XT and forego all the braid and floro leaders which add much complexity and required expertise. The Taildancer will reach 28ft with lots of line out which will certainly put you in the ball game. Add a little stretch, which can often be your friend, and a little patience and a fish in the boat is assured.

Rpike has made an excellent point (actually several) about fish maybe being shallower than 30 ft on occasion particularly early in the year. Trout and most other fish look up for food and typically not down. Fishing below them will result in zero bites. It may behoove you to run 2 different lures until you get a bite. Perhaps a shallow running husky jerk? Or a hot N tot? Watch for tangles on the turns.

Bobbernumber3 also made some good points........vary your paddle speed by making slight turns.......maybe dig hard on one side for several strokes which will slow one lure down and speed one lure up........then alternate as he suggests, that will speed the other lure up which is on the other side of the boat etc. etc........my understanding of lakers is that they will often follow lures for quite some distance and these erratic movements will often trigger them.


 
mapsguy1955
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04/13/2017 01:51PM  
We haven't got any fish bigger than 5-6 pounds. We typically fish smaller lakes in the Q for trout. The 6 lb braid works fine for everything I catch, though my son fishes 8 on one reel. Did get one 39" pike last year from the campsite on the 8.
 
bassnet
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04/13/2017 04:17PM  
Some manufacturers will list trolling depth of their lures. A SR9 Shad Rap will troll at 20 ft with 100 ft of 10 lb test, a 3/16(1/4) oz Hot-N-Tot will go 14ft, a 3/8 oz will go 25 ft. I use 10 lb fireline...works foe me. A tip: have a jig tied on another rod, sometimes another fish will be following the hooked fish, trying to take it. A double? Then it becomes a free-for-all!
 
rpike
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04/13/2017 04:33PM  
quote bassnet: "A tip: have a jig tied on another rod, sometimes another fish will be following the hooked fish, trying to take it. A double? Then it becomes a free-for-all!"

That would be a hoot to cast back to a second, following fish! One magical evening after dinner three of us trolling out of one canoe caught about thirty 20" trout. We had multiple triples. Fun chaos! We knew all the trout were small, so we quickly made the rule that the boat would not stop if someone hooked up. Bring it in on your own, the other two would keep fishing.
 
rpike
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04/13/2017 04:46PM  
quote mastertangler: "Big head shakes mean a nice fish......little fish can pull hard but only big fish can make big head shakes. ("oh, thats a nice one" ;-)"

+1 - Only a big fish can make the drag go "zip - pause - zip"; that pause is when a big fish is swinging its head side to side. The weight of a small fish may pull some steady drag as you continue paddling; the zip-pause-zip is music to my ears!
 
ZaraSp00k
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04/13/2017 07:50PM  
Anybody use the method Mike Furtman discusses in his book BWCA fishing? It is jigging with a Hedon Sonar. But sorta like trolling, because you let the wind push you.
I have had very good success using the technique, it is also fun.
They nearly always strike just after you start to lift the lure up, in fact for me, 100%.
In May I like to troll a jointed Rapala, I have had good success with that as well in shallow water.
 
mastertangler
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04/14/2017 05:21AM  
quote ZaraSp00k: "Anybody use the method Mike Furtman discusses in his book BWCA fishing? It is jigging with a Hedon Sonar. But sorta like trolling, because you let the wind push you.
I have had very good success using the technique, it is also fun.
They nearly always strike just after you start to lift the lure up, in fact for me, 100%.
In May I like to troll a jointed Rapala, I have had good success with that as well in shallow water."


Good subject Zara and worthy of another thread (thumbs up inserted "Here")
 
05/16/2017 12:57PM  
I'm looking forward to trying some of these methods out on Cherokee later this week.
 
lundojam
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05/18/2017 05:10AM  
I'm no trout expert, but I have given it a try from time to time. I will say that trolling the big tail dancers on 8 pound line was hard on the line; it got fatigued and stretched out after a day or two. I do not remember if it was XT or XL. 10 pound mono and MH rod is what I recommend.
 
mastertangler
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05/18/2017 05:42AM  
quote lundojam: "I'm no trout expert, but I have given it a try from time to time. I will say that trolling the big tail dancers on 8 pound line was hard on the line; it got fatigued and stretched out after a day or two. I do not remember if it was XT or XL. 10 pound mono and MH rod is what I recommend."

I would not troll for lakers with 8lb XL unless all was perfect. Fresh line, 100% knot strength (which means no split ring connection).

But green 8lb XT is another animal entirely and has more in common with 10XL than with 8lb. Of course the question needs be asked "why not just use 10XL"? The reason being, IMO, that the characteristics of the XT makes for better knots.

I have trolled many hours, days and even weeks with fresh green 8lbXT and have caught numerous lakers and walleye (nice ones typically as I tend to fish deep) and line/knot failure was not a factor. Considering that in August trolling is my #1 method and I typically troll fast with hard pulling deep diving cranks it says much about 8lbXT. I cannot speak for XL however as I have very little experience with it and go with co-polymer lines like Gamma when I go with clear lines.
 
HappyPaddle22
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06/29/2020 01:17PM  
mastertangler: "quote lundojam: "I'm no trout expert, but I have given it a try from time to time. I will say that trolling the big tail dancers on 8 pound line was hard on the line; it got fatigued and stretched out after a day or two. I do not remember if it was XT or XL. 10 pound mono and MH rod is what I recommend."


I would not troll for lakers with 8lb XL unless all was perfect. Fresh line, 100% knot strength (which means no split ring connection).


But green 8lb XT is another animal entirely and has more in common with 10XL than with 8lb. Of course the question needs be asked "why not just use 10XL"? The reason being, IMO, that the characteristics of the XT makes for better knots.


I have trolled many hours, days and even weeks with fresh green 8lbXT and have caught numerous lakers and walleye (nice ones typically as I tend to fish deep) and line/knot failure was not a factor. Considering that in August trolling is my #1 method and I typically troll fast with hard pulling deep diving cranks it says much about 8lbXT. I cannot speak for XL however as I have very little experience with it and go with co-polymer lines like Gamma when I go with clear lines. "


Do you use Trilene Green 8lb XT? Also, what kind of knot do you tie? And if im understanding you right, you do not use any kind of leader? Tie directly to the lure without the split ring?

I have never targeted lake trout before. Does anyone ever just drop a heavy jig down and jig for them? If so, what kind of jigs and do you use any live or plastic bait?

 
06/30/2020 07:34AM  
8lb Trilene will work but I prefer 10lb Fireline for sensitivity. Personal preference.
I tie to a snap. Always attach to the split ring unless you want to deaden the lure action intentionally. The only time I use a leader is if I want to put a weight in line. Others will have their opinions on that.



Jigging is not a good search technique but when you find a school it is very fun. Many options there. I've caught them on hair jigs, jigs with many different types of plastics or blade baits.
 
passthepitonspete
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01/19/2021 10:10PM  
Yous guys are, like, fishing for lakers during the wrong time of year. The easiest time of year, by far, to catch lakers is in the springtime.

Having fished for lake trout and brook trout mostly in Algonquin Park, Ontario virtually every single spring season in May since the mid-80s, I can tell you that the correct time to start is about seven to ten days after "ice out". This is how long it takes for the surface waters to warm up enough to attract the fish.

You don't need a fish finder, you don't need sinkers, you don't need deep divers, you don't need to do anything except "flat line" troll body baits and spoons in shallow water. If you can't see the structure, then it's too deep, because the lakers [and the specks] are up near the top. Look for shallow water structure - points and shoals especially - and keep trolling past. Troll along the "break line" where you can just not quite see the bottom.

Every lure will work, and every colour will work! The trick is to keep switching up lures until you find what catches the most fish. When I'm fishing in Quetico and Algonquin, I'm almost always trolling, especially on travel days. You can't troll spoons when you're paddling more quickly, so switch to body baits when you're moving from campsite to campsite.

The #1 top producer of lake trout for me over all these years has been the chartreuse J11 jointed Rapala, a floating body bait that only runs about four feet deep. But try all the colours, and try all your other shallow-running body baits and spoons. The lakes in Algonquin are more unenriched than those in Quetico, and the lakers grow slowly. An 18-inch 2-pounder is 8 years old. I would say the average size is only about 2 or 3 pounds. My biggest was 15 1/4 lbs by 33" back in the 80s. Oh yeah, and I caught a 13-pounder once too. Always fun getting those monsters into the canoe.

Man oh man, would any of you MInnesotans happen to have an ORIGINAL Flashbait spoon stamped "Minneapolis, MN" on the back? The orange/gold Blue Box spoons you get these days don't have that same distinctive "thump" that the good ol Flashbait has. So if any of yous Merricans would be willing to trade me a Flashbait for something, fire me a message, eh?

Here are a few shots of Algonquin Park "ice-out" lakers. Note that Quetico lake trout lakes are virtually the same.

Cheers, eh?
Pete



 
yogi59weedr
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01/20/2021 02:34AM  
Look at the mouths on those things.
 
thegildedgopher
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01/20/2021 09:12AM  
passthepitonspete: "Yous guys are, like, fishing for lakers during the wrong time of year. The easiest time of year, by far, to catch lakers is in the springtime."

There is literally not a bad time to fish for lake trout. Some times are more successful than others, and an ice-out laker trip is definitely a bucket list item for me. Until then, I will just keep doing it the "wrong" way and fishing for them whenever I get the chance.
 
passthepitonspete
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01/20/2021 11:34AM  
^^ True dat.

But if you love lake trout fishing, why not set aside a couple weeks, starting a week or so after ice out, and go have some fun catching them the easy way? You just troll around the lake looking for structure. It's super fun and easy. You will most likely have the place to itself, and when the bugs start to bug you, it's time to head out.

It's just soooooooo much easier to catch lake trout and specks after ice out, and up here in Algonquin Park in Ontario [north of Toronto] it's a May Tradition. I'm genuinely surprised not to see anyone here on the BWCA board speaking of springtime ice-out fishing. Why not I wonder?
 
CRL
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01/20/2021 04:15PM  
Shhhh... It really isn't that good. The water is cold, hypothermia risk... Why would anyone want to paddle and fish then?

 
thegildedgopher
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01/20/2021 04:56PM  
passthepitonspete: "^^ True dat.


But if you love lake trout fishing, why not set aside a couple weeks, starting a week or so after ice out, and go have some fun catching them the easy way? You just troll around the lake looking for structure. It's super fun and easy. You will most likely have the place to itself, and when the bugs start to bug you, it's time to head out.


It's just soooooooo much easier to catch lake trout and specks after ice out, and up here in Algonquin Park in Ontario [north of Toronto] it's a May Tradition. I'm genuinely surprised not to see anyone here on the BWCA board speaking of springtime ice-out fishing. Why not I wonder? "


Personally I just can't make it work with family responsibilities. Getting the kids to school in the morning is my job, so I can't take any trips until June. This year we're headed up the day after school is out.
 
01/20/2021 08:11PM  
passthepitonspete: "^^ True dat.


But if you love lake trout fishing, why not set aside a couple weeks, starting a week or so after ice out, and go have some fun catching them the easy way? You just troll around the lake looking for structure. It's super fun and easy. You will most likely have the place to itself, and when the bugs start to bug you, it's time to head out.


It's just soooooooo much easier to catch lake trout and specks after ice out, and up here in Algonquin Park in Ontario [north of Toronto] it's a May Tradition. I'm genuinely surprised not to see anyone here on the BWCA board speaking of springtime ice-out fishing. Why not I wonder? "


It is easier but usually illegal :). Here in MN Lake Trout season opens the second or third weekend in May. Ice out can be as early as March...so we gotta up our game or go to Canada eh?

T
 
passthepitonspete
member (26)member
 
01/20/2021 09:18PM  
timatkn: "It is easier but usually illegal :). Here in MN Lake Trout season opens the second or third weekend in May. Ice out can be as early as March...so we gotta up our game or go to Canada eh?

T"


No kidding, eh? That is strange. Lake trout and brook trout [technically char, not trout] spawn in the fall, so no need to close the season in the spring. They close the lake trout and brook trout season in the spring in Algonquin Park, because they don't want white people ice fishing for them. If you are indian, however, it is ok to net them through the ice. In lakes that produce 500g of fish per surface hectare per year.

So in Algonquin Park, the fishing opens the fourth Saturday in April, the same time as rainbow/steelhead fishing opens on the Great Lakes.

Opening the second weekend in May in MN should be OK? Similar latitude and ice-out date to Algonquin? Anyway, watch the satellite images I linked above, and get yer asses onto the laker lakes starting 7 to 10 days after ice-out, and you can't miss.

BTW, you wrote, "so we gotta up our game or go to Canada eh?"

That was, like, almost perfect. Except you need to add a comma between the 'Canada' and the 'eh', eh?

Have a beauty night.
 
thegildedgopher
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01/21/2021 02:35PM  
timatkn: "passthepitonspete: "^^ True dat.



But if you love lake trout fishing, why not set aside a couple weeks, starting a week or so after ice out, and go have some fun catching them the easy way? You just troll around the lake looking for structure. It's super fun and easy. You will most likely have the place to itself, and when the bugs start to bug you, it's time to head out.



It's just soooooooo much easier to catch lake trout and specks after ice out, and up here in Algonquin Park in Ontario [north of Toronto] it's a May Tradition. I'm genuinely surprised not to see anyone here on the BWCA board speaking of springtime ice-out fishing. Why not I wonder? "



It is easier but usually illegal :). Here in MN Lake Trout season opens the second or third weekend in May. Ice out can be as early as March...so we gotta up our game or go to Canada eh?


T"


Are you sure on that timatkn? I don't think the 2021 season dates have been posted yet but last year I believe it was May 9th opener for both lake trout and stream trout in lakes. According to DNR data, the median historical ice-out date for Saganaga is May 6. So it seems like it could be managed.
 
01/21/2021 03:07PM  
^^^^ lake trout opens when walleye-bass-pike open , the 2nd saturday of May , March for ice out in northern minnesota is a stretch early , not to say it hasn't happened , most years it's late April to may 10, easy lake trout fishing on the opener ;)
 
01/21/2021 06:34PM  
Just speaking from personal experiences on trying to time Laker fishing with ice out on the lakes I fish. It is possible to get it timed out, but a lotta things have to I go your way. It is still good fishing 2-3 weeks after ice out, just not as good. But you guys are right I looked up Seagull and Sag and they have been trending later iceouts the last 10 years so on those lakes you can seem to be pretty close at opener.

T
 
passthepitonspete
member (26)member
 
01/21/2021 06:56PM  
timatkn: "It is still good fishing 2-3 weeks after ice out, just not as good."

My experience - every Algonquin Park ice-out since the mid-80s - is that you want to begin your trip about one week after ice out. The fishing is good for at least another two weeks, to the three-week point after ice-out.

If you start any sooner than a week or ten days after ice-out, the fish can still be deep and hard to find. You want them up close to the surface near the visible structure. Sometimes you can even catch lake trout casting into cover like brook trout!

Of course, the "week to ten days" is based on sort of average springtime temperatures. A further week of cold weather directly after ice out could extend that time another five or six days. Similarly really hot weather could get things heated up a few days faster.

If you are a dirtbag like me, you have the luxury of leaving when you want, without having to worry about changing holiday plans with your employer. Of course, in May in Algonquin - or Quetico - anything can happen. Stuff like this, so you'd best be prepared.

Be sure to click on the photo of my 85-year-old dad. He continued doing the hardest-ass canoe trips to the centre of Algonquin Park right up to age 90, though on that last one we just about killed him!



 
thegildedgopher
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01/22/2021 11:14AM  
Love the pics. You're a fun dude to have around the board. We need personality. At first I thought you were a plant from an episode of Letterkenny or some such, but I can see you are, like, dedicated to the bit. And I appreciates that, Eh?
 
ericinely
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01/22/2021 12:36PM  
The MN DNR hasn't released the 2021 regulations book yet, but the website says walleye, sauger and pike opener are May 15th this year, which would be the third Saturday of the month. They don't mention Lake Trout on the website...Not sure why they would make this change, other than the fact that the first Saturday is the 1st and second is the 8th, which would be pretty early. This will make ice out trout fishing even more difficult this year, unless there is a super late ice-out.

The bright side, however, is that Mother's everywhere will rejoice as fishing opener no longer coincides with Mother's day (2022 opener will be May 14th).
 
thegildedgopher
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01/22/2021 12:47PM  
ericinely: "The MN DNR hasn't released the 2021 regulations book yet, but the website says walleye, sauger and pike opener are May 15th this year, which would be the third Saturday of the month. They don't mention Lake Trout on the website...Not sure why they would make this change, other than the fact that the first Saturday is the 1st and second is the 8th, which would be pretty early. This will make ice out trout fishing even more difficult this year, unless there is a super late ice-out.


The bright side, however, is that Mother's everywhere will rejoice as fishing opener no longer coincides with Mother's day (2022 opener will be May 14th)."


Whoa! I can't remember a MN opener not being on Mother's Day weekend. I never cared all that much about the opener as I live 5 minutes from year-round walleye fishing on pool 2 of the Miss river, but once the kids are older I'm putting ice-out trout fishing on the list for sure.
 
moustachesteve
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01/22/2021 12:55PM  
thegildedgopher: "once the kids are older I'm putting ice-out trout fishing on the list for sure."

Got any room on that tab for me, Clark?
 
thegildedgopher
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01/22/2021 01:01PM  
moustachesteve: "thegildedgopher: "once the kids are older I'm putting ice-out trout fishing on the list for sure."


Got any room on that tab for me, Clark?"


We need to connect this year for sure. I sold all my ice fishing gear to finance some boat upgrades. I just had no motivation to get out and do it this year. If you're looking for someone to tag along and jig for stupid stockies around here, i'lll bring the hamm's and minnow heads -- but I need a loaner rod!

My oldest is only a couple years away from a driver's license and potentially being able to relieve me of some family chauffeur duties. Until then, plenty of time to plan for that ice out laker trip.
 
passthepitonspete
member (26)member
 
01/22/2021 08:29PM  
thegildedgopher: "Love the pics. You're a fun dude to have around the board. We need personality. And I appreciates that, Eh?"

Thanks, eh? And, like, there is no capital "e" in "eh", eh?
 
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