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Heading to Gunflint with the wife this week and hoping to give lake trout a try. We generally vertical jig for them after I locate on the graph but have not tried it on gunflint and no idea where to start looking. Maybe another lake would be better? I have an 18 ft with a 175hp so am kind of limited to deeper boat ramps. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Vertical jigging is good but where is the question.

First you'll get an idea at what depth the lake trout are at.

I use a thermometer to get started but in the end trolling tells me what I need to know.

You'll be looking for subtle changes on the bottom in the same depth you've marked lake trout in.

You will see suspended lake trout when looking. When you find a change in bottom that relates to that depth, jigging there is a good place to start. That change could be a wall, saddle, end of a point, or maybe just a small bump on a featureless flat bottom. Of coarse you'll have marked that spots on a GPS. Next is boat control to stay on those spots or a slow drift at across them.

Anchoring isn't out of the question but cumbersome with that much rope out. Jigs from 1-2 oz tipped with a minnow or plastics like Gulp.

More about the trolling. Sure your looking for spots to jig but trolling is a very effective way to boat inland lake trout. I'll be there in a month and I'll be using downriggers and Dipsys. Those jigging spots your looking for are also spots to troll over.

Downriggers will be my primary tool and when I have more people in the boat the dispys will be used. You'll have rod holders that can be set for the rod to be horizontal to the waters surface and perpendicular to the boat. Any of the Great Lakes trolling rods will work for the Dipsy. Reels will have line counters spooled with 50 lb Power Pro. I'll set boat speed to acording to lures out. More then likely I'll run Jim's Flashbacks and Monkey Puke will be one color patten for sure.


The packaging with the Dipsy will give you a chart on depth vs speed and line out.

That is only an estimate. A sure way is to gradually run let line out on a flat bottom.

When you start bouncing bottom note your speed and line out on the line counter.

Now you'll be able to duplicate that to stay at a certain depth.

You don't have to hug bottom with the lure when trolling, as I said you'll see suspended lake trout.

So its OK to run high for the suspended fish but you'd like to be set at a dept that when you make a pass over structure with fish stuck to it your spoons are relatively close to bottom.

Lastly don't get complacent, your brain should be doing most of the work here.

You'll be on a constant look out for suspended targets and those depths lake trout hold at will change up and down during the day. Keep matching that to bottom structure and troll over or jig it.

One other tool is the 1 lb ball. I have a rod dedicated for that with a line counter, 6' leader and spoon. I like this one for trolling a flat bottom with sediment. The ball should skip bottom and not drag here. I may or may not use it but point is I have it with in case I need it.

Or in your case you can use this one out the back and adjust it to hover over bottom and have your Dipsys set up for suspended lake trout. I'll add the most common mistake made while targeting Inland lake trout is not enough tools to troll or jig deep water.

Have fun and let us know how it goes.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators


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