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Open Water Lake Trout

Rigged Lake Trout Tubes for open water Lakers

Most Lake Trout anglers are well aware of how effective Tubes are for catching Lake Trout through the ice, but now a growing number of anglers are using them during the summer months to catch “Lakers” in open water as well.  The fishing technique is very similar with the main difference of obviously being in a boat instead of on the ice. 

Lake Trout are a suspended fish by nature, and feed on open water baitfish such as Cisco’s and Smelt.  The high protein bait fish roam open water during the summer months and are easy to locate with electronics as suspended balls of bait.  The Lake Trout themselves will show up easily as well. 

Lake Trout are an aggressive fish, and the key to fishing them is to remember that they are a vertical fish.  Once fish are located, an aggressive vertical jigging technique works best.  While some anglers use spinning gear for this, a baitcast outfit works best.  Drop the jig down to the desired depth.  You can sometimes watch this on the locator, or some anglers will use color coded line that has a different color every 30 feet to help determine how much line is out.  Another technique is to simply use a bobber stop and use the locator to set the correct depth initially and then set the stop at the depth.

Once you have the correct depth determined, drop the jig down and start with an aggressive jigging motion, followed by reeling the jig up.  Basically, a one/two step approach of jig, reel, jig reel, until you have the jig up to the top.  You can think of this almost as vertical casting.  As always, let the fish tell you how aggressive you want to be with your approach, but generally speaking, you usually want to aggressively move the bait vertically away from the fish, rather than jigging motions at one depth.  When a Lake Trout decides they want it, you won’t be able to move the lure fast enough for it to get away!  Aggressive strikes are the norm with this technique.

The Mission Tackle Rigged Lake Trout Tube comes in three sizes (1/2, ¾, and 1 oz) and size is determined by what depth of water you are fishing.  Color choices are White, White/Red Top, Glow, and Glow Red Top.  Experimentation will help you decide what is best, but it is hard to go wrong with the regular white tube.  Open water baitfish have white bellies and keep in mind that Lake Trout almost always strike the jig when it is above them, not below them.

On your next Lake Trout trip, make sure you have some Tube Jigs in your arsenal.  They are an exciting and effective way to fish!