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GoggleEye

New to Lake Trout Fishing. Please Help!

13 posts in this topic

Hey all, I am new to Lake Trout Fishing and would like to give it a try this spring. I just have a few questions that I need help on before I give it a shot. What are the best inland lakes to go after lakers? What are some tried and true baits to use and also methods? I am willing to hike into the boundary waters with the canoe if that is where the best fishing is, but I would also like to take my big boat out in search of some lakers this spring, summer, and fall. Also, when does the season run? Any help or tips you can give me would be much appreciated. Thanks.

GoggleEye

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Well if your in the grand marais area then greenwood lake is the best for lakers...has some big brook trout too! From the opener through mid june they'll be in the shallows, sometimes you can look over your boat and see them suspended about 15 to 20 ft down, it's pretty cool.

I like to drift along the shoreline and cast spoons out towards the main lake, I let the spoon sink for about 10 or 12 seconds before I reel in. Also, you can just let a frozen cisco sit on the bottom, I'd start at about 30 ft, then gradually move deeper until you find fish.

Greenwood is a very pretty and scenic lake, about 2000 acres, and most likely you'll be the only boat out there. And if the trout aren't biting, it's loaded with smallmouths! Mostly small ones, but I've gotten my share of 2 and 3 pounders.

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Lets talk inland trout. Its been a few years since I've went after Spring lakers, darn walleye fishing gets in the way. You'll be fishing shallow with much the same gear you'd use for eyes. Sure you can go bigger but that makes fishing them clumsy. How shallow depends on water temps. Could be a few feet of water or could be on the deep side.

When they are shallow nothing beats a canoe, even in 10-15' of water. I'm convinced motors spook or at least turn them off when lake trout at those depths. Lures,

theres no reason the Lake Superior spoons and stick baits won't work on inland lake trout cause they can. Just keep in mind you have to get them to run properly at the depth your fishing. That can pose a problem when your under paddle power. My favorite spoon for inland lake trout is a Little Cleo tipped with a fathead chub. Why because it has enough weight and to get to my depths and still runs good under paddle power without adding weight! I also like and have caught many a lake trout with the Chippewa Guide Lure tipped with a fathead chub. Its a large bladed spinner actually and again perfect for trolling under paddle power.

If your if your trolling from a canoe you have to match your lures to the speed in which your willing to maintain.

Secondly, when your paddling into a head wind theres going to be times when you stuff rests on bottom. Having that fathead on is going to get you strikes when that happens. I can't tell you how many times I've snagged bottom, turn around to retrieve my spoon and a laker picked it up. Which brings up another lure, jigging. Get some 1/4-5/8 oz jigs and you guesses it, tip them with a fathead.

When you get on a reef holding lake trout start pitching jigs. You can drift a shoreline for that matter bouncing jigs along the way.

Lakes, Tucarora, Gillis, Thomas, Frost, North, South, yada, yada, yada. You'll work a little to a lot to get into them but If you can't catch a Lake trout in them you won't catch one anywhere else.

Sitting around camp, a smelt will be your best friend. Drag it out with a canoe till you get to a depth the lake trout are hanging. This will also help you figure out what depths to troll without expending any energy.

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If you don't mind a mile and a quarter portage Tuscarora is a fine spring lake for lakers. Drifting or sitting with cisco/smelt rigs and trolling Cleos and Crocs is an effective way to find a laker. If you would rather take the easy way and not have to deal with cold weather, canoes and camping, head to Canada and try either Essox / Manitou Lakes about 75 miles north of I-Falls, or Crow near Nestor Falls. Manitou has a couple of resorts, I think Camp Manitou is a sponsor of the Canada fourm. Crow has several resorts on the west shoreline. Most of the trout we catch on these lakes are on flashy spoons trolled about 3 mph.

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Going to canada is pretty spendy though, grand marais makes the most economic sense. But as I said, greenwood is your best best (especially if you like solitude), and the best part is you can always get out of the wind if the weather is bad. A frozen cisco on the bottom is the best method, but they do like shiners or nightcrawlers too. If your casting a spoon, I prefer silver w/ silver prizm or silver & blue krocodile spoons. Yeah, in the spring they're pretty easy to catch. You'll have some fun.

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Thanks for all the advice guys. I am going to give it my best shot if I can find time around my walleye fishing. I have also heard that Burnside (spelling??) lake is good for trout too. Any truth to this?? So I am getting the impression that the first lakes I should try are greenwood and tuscarora??? Thanks to all.

GoggleEye

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Goggle, Burntside is excellent trout water, winter or summer, as many here can attest to. It's where we put on the annual FM Burntside Bash in late January each year, and using the search feature to search this board and including the words lake trout and Burntside should put you into a ton of threads with great info. Burntside also requires no struggle to get to, since there are public landings for drive-to access.

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When the trout are up in the spring I've had really good luck trolling a #5 Mepps tipped with either a strip of sucker meat or a live minnow. when you have to weight it, I use a bead chain sinker about 3 feet up the line. Everybody likes to use silver which does work but I've had my best luck on chartreuse.

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I would just book a charter and fish lake superior. grin.gif

Burntside holds fish but you are limited to one rod. When trolling it's always nice to have options.

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Quote:

I would just book a charter and fish lake superior.
grin.gif


You must have money.

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I already mentioned greenwood, but if you are in the grand marais/gunflint trail area...Loon lake is a good option also, especially if you like trolling. It's the perfect lake to troll! The shorelines drop down very fast...it's literally like looking into the water and seeing a wall falling into the depths. Anyway, it has good numbers of lakers, and HUGE northern pike!!!

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Well, I really don't want to hire a charter and go out on Lake Superior. That's not really the experience I am looking for. I want to do it myself, work hard, and hopefully have a few fish to show for it. If I don't, no big deal, at least I will have had a good time camping and exploring some of these beautiful lakes everyone has recommended to me. Can anyone give me an approximate time frame in the spring when it is best to find some of these lakers in the shallows feeding heavy? Thanks for all the help guys.

GoggleEye

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I'm always up in the grand marais area in mid june and they're still in the shallows. Cloudy days are the best. So I would say you have from the opener until at least mid june.

I've caught them while fishing for smallies along the shoreline, but you'll want to concentrate on drop offs. Lakers treat them like highways. I prefer casting in and around structure, but trolling inbetween spots will find them too.

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