Late Season Lake Trout Dream Trip Part 2!

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Here’s my long overdue follow up to a trip Grant Sorensen and I took late October to Lake Superior. Immediately following my return my travel schedule hit a previously unmatched level of crazy and I’m just now finding some weekend time to get caught back up on things.

Our laker trip this last month complete changed what we thought was possible with regards to size and numbers due to the numbers and quality of the fish caught. We knew Lake Superior had trophy capability… we just didn’t know the extent until about 30 minutes into our first trolling run when all heck broke loose and we found ourselves on top of a huge school of giant lake trout!

Now notice I mentioned “Part 2” in the title. If you missed last fall’s trip when this hunt for big lake trout all got started you might want to check out this link for the back story >>> Late Season Lake Trout Dream Trip 2011

This hunt for big lake trout has been a two year span of trial and error, gaining confidence with some presentations while eliminating others. On this year’s trip we opted to leave the downriggers behind because we felt we had a great game plan that would employ Sufix 832 Lead Core and big spoons that would be fished behind boards. Some decisions like this backfire. On this trip… things couldn’t have gone any better!

The rest of this report will rely on video to explain the rest of the trip and will be posted as replies. Do check them out if you want the rest of the story…

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James Holst

James began his fishing career as a fulltime fishing guide, spending more than 250 days a year on the water, coaching clients how to catch walleyes on the Upper Mississippi River and Minnesota‚Äôs Lake Mille Lacs. In 2000, he launched Full Bio ›


  1. Our decision to leave the down riggers at home stemmed from success we had earlier in the summer fishing spoons behind Sufix 832 Lead Core. We had downriggers on the boat at that time and the spoons behind the lead core outfished the same spoons behind the downriggers handily. Was it because the downriggers and the boat was spooking the trout or did the spoons behind the lead core have a subtle yet different action that resulted in a better catch rate? I’m not sure we can answer that. What I do know is when I see two lures fished at the same depths using two different methods and one method catches nearly all the fish… I pay attention.

    Here’s the video from this summer that highlight the Sufix 832 Lead Core and spoon presentation. Even mid-summer when the fish were much deeper the lead core was starting to show its potential and left my brain spinning on ways to improve our presentation on subsequent trips.

    Published on Aug 16, 2012 by InDepthOutdoorsTV pro-staffers Joel Nelson and Grant Sorensen catch and release fat, late-summer Lake Superior lake trout by trolling extra deep with Sufix 832 Advanced leadcore line.

  2. Here’s the results from our return trip late October. We ditched the downriggers and started out with 8 rods all rigged with Sufix 832 Lead Core. 6 rods went out on boards at 3 per side. 2 rods with 10 colors of 832 lead core were fished right off the sides of the boat.

    Outside rods ran 4 colors of 18# 832 lead core. Middle rods ran 5. Inside rods ran 6.

    What we notice immediately, beyond the fact that the pace of the action made it nearly impossible to run all 8 rods, was that the rods fished in holders right off the sides of the boat were NOT producing fish. As in none. And at the same time we had boards flying back all over our spread. Is this our first clue into why the lead core rods outproduced the downrigger rods? Maybe. Our thinking is these big lakers are spooked out to the side as the boat travels overhead (remember, Superior has 35+ foot visibility). If you’re fishing in 100+ foot of water with the fish near the bottom there’s likely little if any spooking and the downriggers work well. But when the fish are suspended 25′ – 40′ down in 60′ of water… you better believe this matters!

    Here’s the follow up video. We had more doubles and triples than singles and this bite basically lasted from the moment we deployed lines until we ran out of steam and called it a day. We didn’t count fish caught but we did measure 4 fish at or slightly over 41″ with more 38″ – 40″ than we could ever keep straight. It was, without question, one of my most memorable days of fish and I feel strongly our willingness to leave the downriggers at home and approach these fish from a slightly different slant made all the difference.

    Published on Nov 3, 2012 by InDepthOutdoorsTV

    Troll spoons on Sufix 832 Advanced Leadcore line for fall lake trout on Lake Superior. In-Depth Outdoors TV host James Holst and pro-staffer Grant Sorensen worked this pattern to put numerous 20- and 30-pound lake trout in the boat in late October, 2012.

  3. Amazing fish

    Those red fin lakers almost look like huge brook trout with their colored up fins.

  4. Quote:

    James those are some toads! You and Grant are lucky men to experiance a bite like that!

    And I know it. I don’t think I we can reasonably expect to experience anything like this again.

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