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Mid-Winter Lake Trout Fishing Tactics and Tackle Tips

Mission Tackle Lake Trout Tubes

If there was ever a fish that was designed for ice fishing; the Lake Trout would be first in line.  This cold water species grow to large sizes, and are probably the most aggressive fish underneath the ice.  They are widely distributed across both Canada and the United States.  Many people think of Lake Trout as a fish found in the wilds of Canada and areas such as the Boundary Waters in Northeast Minnesota, but Lake Trout are found in many area’s of the country from the Northeastern lakes of Maine, to both the natural and Great Lakes of the Midwest, to Mountain Lakes in the Black Hills and Rocky Mountains.  Even Fort Peck, a Missouri River Reservoir in Montana, has an excellent population of Lake Trout.  It seems that Lake Trout by there nature, are found in some pretty out of the way places, area’s where the scenery is almost as good as the actual fishing experience. 

A variety of baits have been used to fish Lake Trout over the years, including Bucktail style Jigs, Blade Baits and Rattling Crankbaits; but in many area’s plastics have taken over as the number one producer.  In this category, the Tube Jig undoubtedly is the most popular.  One of the issue’s in the past with this bait was having a jig with a heavy enough hook to hold these large predators.  Lake Trout in the 10-20 pound class aren’t unusual, with opportunities for bigger fish in some bodies of water.  Mission Tackle has solved this problem by building a rigged Lake Trout Tube with a Mustad #32786 and a #4 treble hook trailer on  a seven strand wire leader.  This hooking arrangement is designed to land a high number of strikes and the strong, durable hooks won’t bend under the stress of a larger fish.  Colors are either White or Glow with Red Tips as an option on both color choices.  In most systems, ciscoes and/or smelt are the Lakers preferred forage, and the white and glow color options make choosing a color very simple.

These baits can be fished with a pretty aggressive jigging motion.  Lake Trout are generally suspended in the winter, and are a very vertical fish.  This means they will aggressively pursue vertical presentations.  A good locator is invaluable when fishing trout, as once a fish is spotted, the angler can play the game of keep away.  By erratically jigging and reeling the bait up vertically, the fish will usually follow and chase the bait.  It is not unusual for a Lake Trout to pursue a Tube Bait 20 to 30 feet or even more before they overtake and inhale the bait.  The key to this presentation is to keep the bait moving, as Lake Trout will seldom hit a bait this isn’t actively moving.

So if cabin fever is setting in on you, do a little research and you will probably find a good Lake Trout fishery closer to your door than you realized.  They are the perfect fish to pursue to cure the wintertime blues.