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Tips for Lake Trout?

  • Tom Rawlyk
    Posts: 7

    I was up at Burntside the other weekend and marked a few, nothing committed though. I used a bunch of different jigs and fished it just like I do when Lake Superior freezes where I live (Duluth). I’m not sure if the spot was off or the presentation was too aggressive?
    Here’s some of the jigs I’ve been using
    – white 1oz. bucktail
    – black/white 3/4 & 1oz bucktail
    – 4in white tube with flash and flashabou tail I tied on with my vice
    – clam super flutter spoon (silver/pink/blue color)

    Just wondering if anyone has any tips for the smaller lakers that are in the BWCA lakes and what jigging pattern seems to work best. I’m used to fishing Lake Superior when it freezes for lakers so it may be just my jigging technique or too large of jigs that are “scaring” them away, though lake trout are pretty aggressive by nature so it seems odd for this to happen. I’m going up to Ely this weekend to try again but want to at least hook up with something. Any tips or bathymetric features to look for on these smaller lakes would be very helpful. Thanks!

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    Tom Rawlyk
    Posts: 7

    Thanks Whooligan for the link. I can’t believe how aggressively he was jigging – I might honestly be jigging too light. I’m doing 2-3ft raises with my rod and erratic movements as well so similar to what was in the video, though he was raising it 5-6ft high at times. I’m not sure, maybe it’s just the spot that I was set up on but a laker should’ve come by – I was on a drop-off at 70ft.

    Reef Whooligan
    Posts: 1610

    Can also see or sign up for a weekly report here:

    One from today said:
    Lake Trout – As unusually warm temps continue, unusually slow lake trout fishing also continues. While anglers continue to see good numbers of trout, they have been reporting that lakers have been very uninterested in their presentation. Anglers seeing the best numbers have been fishing close to very sharpe dropoffs, in 40-60 feet of water. Small bucktails in the 1/2oz or smaller and small spoons have been accounting for the majority of fish caught.

    Posts: 3682

    Just my opinion but that jigging stroke is massively over exaggerated. I’m guessing Steve gets a lot of 1st timers so he teaches it that way trying to break new guys in. I mean have fun trying to hook a fish that bites when you’re rod is a foot over the top of your head. And then you’ll never feel a bite when you’re free falling it 6 feet either.

    Tom Rawlyk
    Posts: 7

    I would agree. It seemed a little too aggressive.

    NW Metro
    Posts: 979

    Deadsticks work great up there too. I have had better luck with deadstick rods during this time of year.

    Also one bait that works well for me is Rippin Raps. Especially tough days.

    Posts: 4180

    Smaller stuff works better inland (typically smaller fish and baitfish)

    As for jigging, let the fish tell you what they want.

    Some days you’re jigging a tube like a waxie in front of a picky bluegill, other days you need to burn up 40′ feet of line and play keep-away to get a bite.

    Cloquet, MN
    Posts: 530

    I’ve fished Burntside off and on for over 20 years. Which access do you go out of just to give me an idea, and what is your mode of travel? Van Vac, North Arm, or Dead River area?
    When I fish B side I am almost always in the Otter running a jigging rod with either a tube, bucktail or jigging spoon, and then about 25-30′ away, I set a tip up out with a live minnow (shiner/walleye sucker/rainbow) that is set 1/2 way up in the water column.
    I typically don’t fish deeper than 60′ out there. A couple of my favorite’s for jigging are Tingler spoons, a chartreuse #7 jigging rap, and a 1/2 oz white bucktail (i have a bunch of older northland bucktails in white and glo which i like way better than the new bionic ones).
    Good luck, lakers thru the ice can get addicting fast! Especially if you head up north of the border a few times )

    Posts: 1604

    I am up fishing now. Down sizing has been helping with fish today. Yesterday we fished baits we would typically fish on superior without much luck.

    Cloquet, MN
    Posts: 530

    For most lakers in B side, think walleye size baits. Yes there are big one’s in there, but the vast majority will be 2-5#.

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