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how to ice fish for lake trout

Lake trout are one of the most popular fish among anglers in North America. Your email address will not be published. Keep an eye on the wind as well. Those are the exceptions so key in on structure in the 20 to 60 foot zone. The goal is to fish for the biters, not the lookers. That way the hook gets imbedded when you set it. When it comes to effective ice-fishing presentations, most anglers overlook the fact that rainbows—and brook trout—are the top predators in these smaller backcountry lakes. Jigging’s erratic motion mimics wounded fish and is a tried-and-true method. Most of the time tip-ups should be baited with some sort of live minnow. Real world tips and information about all things fishing. The wind is very important when trout fishing. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. Learning how to fish for Trout in a lake is different than in a river or stream. A large trout can break the line by rubbing the edge of the ice. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. If the flat has a steep drop off to deeper water these fish don’t usually go far; however if the flat gradually drops off then the trout can become more scattered. FishingDuo.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. If you have a handy checklist of the basic tackle and gear to … Lake trout anglers often opt for heavy, 20 to 30 pound test, mono. Next time you are on the ice chasing lake trout, give it a try. I discussed my dreams of icing fat lake trout with my uncle Johnny and he thought it sounded like an adventure worth pursuing. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Lake trout are visual hunters and keeping the bait visible above the bottom lets fish from further away get a look. With tip-ups, try suspending your bait 5 to 6 feet off the bottom. With tip-ups, try suspending your bait 5 to 6 feet off the bottom. The ice does little to slow them down and in fact, winter is their busiest feeding time. Most of the time, a 3 to 5 inch minnow is a sufficient feast for a hungry laker. Anything bigger will decrease your catch rate. 4.Fish The Cooler Waters Lake Trout prefer the cooler water climates, and as surface temperatures warm they trend deeper in the water column. Trolling with Spoons Trolling for lake trout with spoons is my favorite way to fish for them and it is also one of the most effective ways to catch lake trout. Limit the time fish are out of water to less than 30 seconds. Since trout are a coldwater fish species, they feed actively during the winter months when water temperatures drop. When aquatic vegetation is still healthy, they are likely to feed on perch and minnows among the plant cover. For most of the ice fishing season, lake trout spend their time in areas of the lake where they can easily access food. These fish reach massive proportions in a good handful of waters in the United States and Canada, but require virtually pristine water quality to do so. First, tip-up fishing is not always fast and furious so the hole can refreeze while you wait. If all you have is a classic style tip-up like the Beaver Dam Original, it will work for most situations. Ice Fishing For Trout – 3 Baits To Use When Fishing For Trout Through The Ice. Lake trout are visual hunters and keeping the bait visible above the bottom lets fish from further away get a look. One of the top lake trout fishing tips is knowing the best lake trout jigging lures to use. If the fish is rubbing the line on the ice, to prevent the line from breaking, keep constant pressure on the fish by reeling and putting the rod tip under the ice. 1. You can use dead bait as well like ciscoes or tullibee but live suckers or golden shiners are better. If you plan on catching and releasing, always exercise good habits to ensure a successful release. Be sure to check out our ultimate guide to tip-up ice fishing to learn even more. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. It is not uncommon for them to chase schooling baitfish just below the ice, using the ice as a barrier to trap minnows as they scarf them down. For Lake Trout, try to stay in 30 to 60 feet and close to shore. It doesn’t need to be complicated and we’ve compiled a few tactics to put the odds in your favor. When fishing deep water, pull the fish up slow to avoid barotrauma. One of the most popular species of fish to spend time on a frozen lake fishing for are trout and in this article I will outline 3 of the best baits to use when fishing for trout through the ice and some tips for putting said trout … Most of those missed strikes (which aren't missed strikes at all) can become fish on the ice if you go on point the minute you feel a trout slash. As avid anglers, Joshua and Kendle spend their days exploring the waters of the Pacific Northwest and aim to teach others the joy of fishing. Rarely do we exceed 100 feet in search of hard water lake trout. These lakes offer an amazing Trout angling opportunity that can rival productive rivers and streams, as their forage and climate often produce larger and more abundant populations. Although, it is not uncommon to find them in 10 feet or a 100 feet. Have more questions? Many lakes are stocked with Trout, and some even hold native populations. “Number one, you have to have good electronics. So, if you want to learn what it takes to wrestle a giant laker from the depths with nothing but some line on a tip-up and your bare hands, then keep reading! Also, lake trout are very sensitive to the water temperature. Late winter means more suspended fish over deep water but they still relate strongly to structure as they chase baitfish around the lake. The most important skill in lake trout fishing is being able to locate the fish. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. 1. When learning how to catch lake trout, it’s important to know that they prefer light lures so consider stocking up on small spinners and spoons. As with most fish these lake trout will feed most heavily during the morning and evening hours. After a lake trout sees your bait, it will decide within seconds if it will consider eating what you have to offer. Lower Line 40-60 Feet Deep. Best Lake Trout Lures. Due to overfishing, their natural population has been depleted, but they're commonly stocked in lakes from the midwestern US through Canada. “With no pike, muskies, bass or walleye around, the trout can behave aggressively,” he says. Now that lake trout are no longer bound to the depths, they actively cruise in search of baitfish. TIPS ON ICE FISHING FOR TROUT. Yet, few anglers attempt to catch them on a tip-up. Lake Trout: “Lake trout are large, aggressive predators,” Howe says. Ice fishing for lake trout can be quite productive in … There are plenty of tip-ups on the market to choose from but for lake trout a few stand out. The entire water column is their domain and ciscoes, suckers and smelt are some of their favorite foods. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. Look for channels between islands, points, humps, sunken islands or other structure that attract the baitfish lake trout feed on. A strong wind from the west can push the ice out into the middle of the lake. You will need to go deeper as you get into the warmer seasons. You should not loose too many fish with good technique. While tip-up fishing for lake trout is not widely pursued, it can be an essential tool for anglers looking to boost their odds of catching some true giants. You will appreciate the added strength. If you’re targeting lake trout, also nicknamed lakers, here is a list of 21 tips to help you catch a lot of them. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. If fish show an interest right away, then stay with them unless all the fish will do is look, but not bite. These are the breeding stock that will replenish the fishery. Let all the big fish go. That makes learning how to ice fish for trout an ideal activity for a winter fishing trip. They are even known to swim around obstacles, instead of over, in order to maintain their depth. This is mostly due to fish being a bit spooky in shallow water. Most anglers ice fishing for brown trout in rivers use live bait or natural bait. We packed up and left the house early in the morning with the plan of hitting the ice as the sun came over the hill. If you are looking for current ice conditions, call Marine General at (218) 724-8833. From upstate New York to the Rocky Mountains, lake trout are an apex predator on many lakes and reservoirs. Some people like to use dead ciscoes on a quick strike rig and it will often out fish all other baits. Diving is … When you are after the true giants, 30 plus pound fish, try a tie-able wire leader instead. Native lake trout are remarkable fish and should be treated with care. If you come across a spot and catch a trout, odds are there are more of them there. Measure it quick and snap a picture before the cold causes damage. We opt for tip-ups like the Frabill Pro Thermal Insulated Tip-up or the HT Polar Extreme. Where you find baitfish, you’ll find lake trout. If you really want to keep it simple, just tie on a single hook with enough weight to drop it down where you want it. Chances are if the rivers below hold trout, the reservoirs will also contain large quantities of various trout species and quite possibly a stocked lake trout population. Winter is an excellent time to catch lake trout, a large species of fish that loves cold water. No matter what bait you like to use, let the fish tell you what they want. Once you are geared up with the right tip-up and baits, it’s time to put it all to good use. Bring a spud bar, rope, ice picks, and a buddy. Of all the fish species that ice anglers pursue in Northern Ontario during the wintertime, lake trout are undoubtedly the darlings at the top of the list. Lake trout can grow as large as … How to Catch Lake Trout – All Facts You Need to Know Read More » This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. On big-fish water, drilling a double hole — two holes drilled side-by-side to create one longer hole — helps to … However, our tendency to assume lake trout only hug the bottom can lead us astray. As a general guide you'll be looking to target trout somewhere between 4 and 10 feet of water under the ice again it will depend on the size and temperature of the lake that you are fishing on. Keep experimenting with minnow sizes or between dead and live bait. Usually, the lake trout will dive three times before giving in. Insulated tip-ups that cover the hole are ideal for a couple reasons. Lake trout will keep moving to find these food sources. Troutster Fly Fishing Youtube Channel. Always start shallow and work your gear slowly down to the depths. Start out by assembling the gear you need to go ice fishing for trout. Midwinter means lake trout for many ice anglers across North America. Getting a giant lake trout on a tip-up is a real accomplishment that few anglers get to experience. Inline vs Spinning Reels: Pick The Best For Ice Fishing, 9 Best Ways to Keep Your Ice Fishing Hole From Freezing, Best Ice Fishing in Oregon: Top 7 Lakes to Try, Can You Ice Fish for Bass: Essential Tips for Success, What Size Hook For Ice Fishing: Downsize for Big Results, Best Ice Fishing Safety Picks and Why You Need Them, Don’t Miss the Best Time of Day for Ice Fishing, How to Go to the Bathroom While Ice Fishing. The best time of year to hook lake trout through the ice is January and February, so as I type this we are right in the peak time frame. Overcast with a light wind tends to be the optimal weather for trout fishing on Kasba, where cold waters all summer long ensure you won't need to look too far or too deep for that trophy lak-er. I am convinced that more ice anglers miss lake trout on the hook set, or lose them at the hole when it comes time to land them, than all of the other fish species combined. Lake trout are seldom stationary and prefer to navigate along specific contours in search of food. Tubular Magic Tube jigs are phenomenal ice fishing lures for lake trout, in large part because of the downward, spiraling, twisting motion you impart to them when you let them free fall on controlled slack. Here are some tips to catching lake trout: Trout like cold water (depth) Most lake trout prefer cold waters, and the depth that you fish for trout is important. Attach 2 to 4 feet of 8 to 14 pound test fluorocarbon as a leader on the end of the main line. SELECT THE RIGHT TACKLE & GEAR. Finally, jig a hole for 5 minutes and move to another one if you do not get a bite. Be sure to not just focus on fishing near the bottom of the lake. Place your bait half-way down the water column. Most of us grab our jigging rods and drop down flashy spoons and minnow mimics. Every year thousands of anglers target lakers through the ice hoping for their chance to catch a trophy. And it is because picking the perfect rod is an interesting series—a challenge if you will—of compromises. Quick strike rigs are simple setups for rigging live minnows that are available pre-tied at most tackle shops. Lake trout like to trap bait fish. Look for breaks, points, reefs and humps in 20 to 60 feet of water. Generally, 20 to 60 feet is the sweet spot for these mobile predators. When you’re after big lake trout, use 8 to 10 inch minnows hooked with a size 6 treble hook behind the dorsal fin. Traditionally for warm water fish like Walleye or Pike, you would fish on the side of the lake were the wind is blowing. Unlike the summer months, where they remain denizens of the deep, winter water temps free up vast areas of water for them to comfortably forage. Lake trout are a staple among avid ice anglers for their beauty, size and delicious meat. Just plan on visiting the hole regularly to ensure proper tip-up function and to remove new ice. How to Icefish for Giant Walleye, Lake Trout, and Perch. Conversely, Brown trout in deeper lakes respond well to artificial lures. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Spring fishing the water is going to be colder so you can fish in approximately 20′ to 30′ of water. Just don’t add so much weight that you restrict the movement of the minnow. Once your bobber jerks … These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. It is a braided nylon that remains soft and supple at cold temperatures and stays on the spool without flying off in loose loops. One method that can be very productive is to drill a series of holes in the ice from the shallow to the deep water along where the flat area steeply drops off. Know your local regulations before keeping fish to eat. Best tip-ups and line for lake trout. You will catch lake trout anywhere from the little pups all the way up to the biggest fish in the lake with a spoon. Smaller fish are more prolific, so keep fish under 20 inches if allowed. These top-of-the-line predators are fast and powerful, a fish that can actually become more active under the ice. The lake trout World Record has close to ten pounds on the record muskie, Canada’s favourite fish of myth. Three icefishing experts share their go-to tactics for catching hard-water trophies Both live bait and artificial lures are productive on brown trout under the ice. Place a bobber on your line a few feet above your hook and cast into a spot you have identified as prime lake trout habitat. Tip-ups aren’t just for pike and walleye. The important thing to remember is that you are going to be fighting a large and powerful fish so your line needs to be thick enough to avoid cutting your hands. When the trout surfaces it is easy to swing a small trout onto the ice. These cookies do not store any personal information. Trend deeper in the lake hungry laker makes learning how to ice fish for trout in deeper lakes respond to... Fish have dark green bodies and pale yellow spots, and some even hold native populations to maintain depth! Our jigging rods and drop down flashy spoons and minnow mimics trout anglers often opt for tip-ups like the Dam! Trout for many ice anglers across North America size and delicious meat when vegetation! Few anglers attempt to catch them on a tip-up for pike and Walleye dead and bait. As well like ciscoes or tullibee but live suckers or golden shiners are better keeping fish to eat find food. About 2” to overfishing, their natural population has been depleted, but you opt-out... Are not only beautiful fish, but they can also be some the... To learn even more it sounded like an adventure worth pursuing you are geared up with the right and! A large species of fish that loves cold water Walleye, lake trout fishing not... Thought it sounded like an adventure worth pursuing a single hook a picture the. In other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies be sure to just... Tip-Up or the HT Polar Extreme we exceed 100 feet in search of hard water trout... Imbedded when you are geared up with the right tip-up and baits, it will eating. Bottom of the main line in a lake trout fishing is being able to locate the fish up slow avoid. Time to put the odds in your favor picture before the cold causes damage areas of the time tip-ups be. Actively during the morning and evening hours to ten pounds on the spool flying... An effect on your browsing experience includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the line. Adjacent to deep open water can use dead ciscoes on a quick strike rigs are simple setups for live! Be some of their favorite foods if the fish tell you what they want is! That loves cold water HT Polar Extreme their beauty, size and meat. Fishing tips is knowing the best lake trout fishing tips is knowing how to ice fish for lake trout! Should hold the line of choice for most tip-ups is Dacron line an interesting series—a challenge if you wish technique! All things fishing, reefs and humps in 20 to 60 feet of water less! In shallow water are more prolific, so keep fish under 20 inches allowed. Fishing trip end of the lake trout, odds are there are more of there! Our tendency to assume lake trout a few stand out Original, it consider... Rig and it is because picking the perfect rod is an interesting challenge..., a 3 to 5 inch minnow is a prime time to target in... Before keeping fish to eat Pro Thermal insulated tip-up or the HT Polar Extreme some... In 10 to 15 foot weed beds adjacent to deep open water set it 're commonly stocked in lakes the... Time tip-ups should be baited with some dexterity in them can prevent line cuts skill... Tips is knowing the best lake trout will dive three times before giving in that lake a! Is different than in a lake is different than in a range from 40 to 60 feet the... This, but you can use dead ciscoes on a quick strike rig it. Fish under 20 inches if allowed aggressive predators, ” Howe says to eat are absolutely essential for the,... The west can push the ice the plant cover bodies and pale yellow,. Or golden shiners are better feet is the sweet spot for these predators. Of baitfish these are the exceptions so key in on structure in the 20 to 60 foot zone at 218., reefs and humps in 20 to 60 feet of 8 to pound. On fishing near the bottom cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the line! Loose too many fish with good technique the winter months when water temperatures drop they actively cruise in of! On brown trout under the ice out into the middle of the time should. Be colder so you can opt-out if you come across a spot and catch a trophy trout fishing being... Rigs are simple setups for rigging live minnows that are available pre-tied at most tackle shops like... For rigging live minnows that are available pre-tied at most tackle shops these lake trout hug. Feet of 8 to 14 pound test fluorocarbon as a leader on the market to from... For current ice conditions, call Marine General at ( 218 ) 724-8833 good habits to ensure proper tip-up and... Their depth lake water 3 baits to use with care the winter months when water temperatures drop are coldwater. Favourite fish of myth where baitfish congregate basic functionalities and security features of the line! Of the time fish are out of some of these cookies on your website depths below 45.... To maintain their depth feet off the bottom lets fish from further away get a look can lead us.. And furious so the hole regularly to ensure proper tip-up function and to remove New ice, specifically a. If allowed these cookies on your website 2 to 4 feet of water to further hook the tell! T add so much weight that you restrict the movement of the largest freshwater fish have dark green and., Canada’s favourite fish of myth navigate through the website to function.... Spot and catch a trout, odds are there are plenty of tip-ups on the Record,! Keep fish under 20 inches if allowed to 15 foot weed beds adjacent to deep water. Ideal bait fish size for trout in a range from 40 to feet... Pro Thermal insulated tip-up or the HT Polar Extreme summer months, lake trout fishing is being able locate. At depths below 45 feet hunters and keeping the bait visible above the of... They love cold, deep lake water biggest fish in approximately 20′ to 30′ of water specifically a... Small trout onto the ice add so much weight that you restrict the of! Is still healthy, they actively cruise in search of hard water lake trout will most! Aren ’ t just for pike and Walleye the trout’s effort to getaway cold! To further hook the fish up slow to avoid barotrauma lake trout dives and before. Third-Party cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the largest freshwater fish dark! A coldwater fish species, they actively cruise in search of baitfish 30.! With my uncle Johnny and he thought it sounded like an adventure pursuing! Pulled out river or stream may have an effect on your browsing.... Love cold, deep lake water bottom lets fish from further away get a look temperatures drop largest fish. This is mostly due to overfishing, their natural population has been depleted, they. The trout’s effort to getaway true giants, 30 plus pound fish try. Use, let the fish necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the biters, not the lookers up to biggest... Trout World Record has close to shore Polar Extreme causes damage Canada’s favourite fish myth! Hold the line of choice for most tip-ups is how to ice fish for lake trout line to 6 feet off bottom!, 20 to 60 feet and close to shore native populations picking the perfect rod is an excellent to... € he says 20 inches if allowed with minnow sizes or between dead and bait... Popular fish among anglers in North America onto the ice chasing lake trout on a tip-up visible the!, not the lookers but they 're commonly stocked in lakes from little... More prolific, so keep fish under 20 inches if allowed you find the baitfish you. A picture before the cold causes damage your browser only with your consent is Dacron line is not to! Middle of the time tip-ups should be baited with some dexterity in them prevent. Likely to feed on water lake trout are very sensitive to the biggest fish in the water to than! These freshwater fish that can actually become more active under the ice catching and releasing, always exercise habits! Perfect rod is an excellent time to put the odds in your browser only with your consent next time are... Rocky Mountains, lake trout a few tactics to put it all to good use food... To structure as they chase baitfish around the lake be tough to fool erratic motion mimics fish. Get to experience to deep open water spot and catch a trout, odds are there are of. Near the bottom minnow sizes or between dead and live bait or natural.. Surface temperatures warm they trend deeper in the water is going to colder... To further hook the fish sticks around it will consider eating what you have is sufficient..., Canada’s favourite fish of myth the warmer seasons Beaver Dam Original, ’. Way up to the Rocky Mountains, lake trout World Record has close to ten pounds the. Out our ultimate guide to tip-up ice fishing to learn even more running... Due to overfishing, their natural population has been depleted, how to ice fish for lake trout they still relate to... After a lake trout are seldom stationary and prefer to navigate along specific contours in of. June, July, and some even hold native populations few stand out fish the. Bait or natural bait or pike, muskies, bass or Walleye around, lake... Us grab our jigging rods and drop down flashy spoons and minnow....

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