These coldwater fish are a favorite of many anglers. Lake trout prefer water in the 48 to 52 degree range and they will find very deep water to stay in these temperatures. Lake trout are often caught in water 50 to 100 feet down. Because they need colder water to survive, they are found in a few states out west, and some northern states including the northeast and throughout most of Canada. They have light spots on a darker background that can vary from light green or gray to dark green, brown or black. Many 30 to 40 pound lake trout are caught every year in northern lakes and the world record is over 100 pounds.
Finding Lake Trout
Lake trout are tough to locate for the average angler because they are found in very deep water. During the spring and fall, you can find lake trout in water less than 20 feet deep, but once the water starts to warm up, they will head into very deep water. In some Canadian lakes, the water temperatures remain in the 48 to 52 degree range in the shallows throughout the entire summer. In these lakes, you can catch lake trout in 15 to 20 feet of water all summer. For the lakes that have warmer water in the shallows, you’re going to have to go deep to find these fish. You will find lake trout anywhere from 40 feet to 100 feet of water. Prime locations for lake trout in the spring-time are extensions from islands and points, rocky points, rocky humps, shallow reefs, and river mouths. In mid-summer, deep drop-offs and deep humps are ideal spots for lake trout.
Catching Lake Trout
In the spring and fall, anglers will cast for lake trout with spoons and crankbaits. Some fishermen will still fish with dead bait. In the fall, catching spawning lake trout in the shallows is extremely easy. Cast spoons in 5 to 20 feet of water around rocky points, shallow humps, shallow reefs and river mouths and you will catch fish. When the fish go deep, trolling and vertical jigging are the best methods for catching lake trout. Locate fish on the graph in deep water and try jigging directly above them. Make sure you get your bait to the bottom if you want to catch fish vertical jigging. When trolling for lake trout, you are going to need to use downriggers to get to the proper depths. Find fish on the graph first, then set your lines to the proper depths and you will catch more fish.