Lake Trout fishing at Trappers Point Camp on Sturgeon Lake located near Savant Lake, Ontario
Numerous anglers think or have an opinion that Lake Trout are difficult to catch, also they think that you need down riggers to get down 100′ deep. The truth is that is all a myth and very far from the truth. The average walleye/northern pike angler most likely already possesses most of or all of the gear needed, and with a little advice, can start catching Lake Trout throughout the season. Here are some simple tips that have worked for us here at Trappers Point Camp, and will work for you on your next Canadian fishing trip. Also included on most summer trips we will take you out on a 4 to 5 hour Lake Trout guided trip to help further your knowledge on catching Lake Trout. The truth is there truly is nothing better than having some grilled Lake Trout for shore lunch.
Some facts about Lake Trout that you may not know!
Lake Trout are a cold water fish that “require” deep, cold lakes that hold plenty of oxygen. Maximum depths of 100 feet are common in Lake Trout lakes. During the spring on Sturgeon Lake they will be scattered over much of the lake in shallow water and then will move gradually to the deeper water as the surface temperatures increase above 52 degrees Fahrenheit. Generally around the second to third week in June they will start the movement slowly to deeper water where they strive in cold water. During the warmest parts of the summer you will find the lake trout concentrating in the deepest sections of the lake. What is nice about Sturgeon Lake is there are several deep pools for these Lake Trout to strive. As the water temps decrease in the fall the trout will migrate towards shorelines with boulders and reefs where they typically spawn during late September and early October. Lake trout are one of few freshwater fish that are able to release air from their swim bladders and can be successfully released after being brought up from deep water. They are a slower growing fish and care should be taken to release the fish as quickly as possibly unless being taken home for dinner or to simply enjoy them on a shore for shore lunch.
Techniques that work:
Early spring: Before surface temperatures get above 50 degrees you can troll shorelines and islands with crank baits or spoons. My preferred bait is a Husky Jerk with 3 treble hooks i usually use the Blue with orange bottom. The key is to Long line with lures such as Rapala Husky Jerks, Mepps Sysclops, yellow little cleo with 5 of diamonds, and other spoons work great. Color patterns in silver or silver/blue always work great. I usually hang around 10-30 feet of water no deeper and follow the shorelines with long line and around 3 MPH no slower. A nice quality leader is all i use with quality 12 pound test line. You can always vary your speed and color of lures until you find success and once you do make sure to note what type of lure/color is working as that tends to be a pattern with Lake Trout as they will hit different colors depending on the day.
Summer: The Lake Trout are now finding the deep pockets and again Sturgeon Lake is filled with deep pools everywhere. You can start fishing them as close as 5 miles from camp to 30. At this point they are not as easy to catch but also not very hard. You need to do one of three things. You can down rig for them, a very easy technique however will take more of the sport out of it as you don’t feel the hit and just watch the rod tip move and then fight the fish. The second technique is to jig for them. This is a more slower technique but can prove to provide a very amazing fight on a medium action rod. There is nothing better than feeling the hit from a huge Lake Trout and reeling it in after jigging for them. The other technique is to use herring and motor out to a deep hole near shoreline which Sturgeon Lake has plenty of and simply wait on shore with open bail and wait for them to run with it. This technique would be better show at camp when you arrive if you are interested. And the local bait shop usually has what we need for bait.
Jigging for Trout: This technique works best when the fish are concentrated, and requires no special rod, reel or line. A basic light to medium spinning rod with 8-10 pound mono and a ¾ oz jig will work. White buck-tail jigs are both deadly. Tipping the hook with a minnow, or piece of sucker meat, can improve your odds but is not normally necessary. Jigging spoons are also a highly productive method. Spoons such as the Little Cleo (yellow five of diamonds) or Krocodile (silver) are both great lures. In the case of either a jig, or jigging spoon, the best approach is to start jigging on the very bottom and gradually work your way to the surface with pauses along the way. Trout will often follow your bait and be triggered to bite by the bait moving through the water. I like to cover ground by slowly drifting with the wind as i find this to be a very effective way for locating fish.
Bottom line Sturgeon Lake produces strong numbers of Lake Trout yearly. Which several miles of deep holes you will not find a better lake than this one to begin fishing for Lake Trout. Also in the spring time literally any angler will catch Lake Trout using my methods that i provided above. The month of May would be the best time to come for Lake Trout fishing since they are on the shorelines while the water temperature is cold.