Lake Trout are Addicting

Water Body

After returning from our last trip at Crawfords Camp on Whitefish Bay on Lake of The Woods, I was left with wanting a little more.  It seemed like we had just started to really figure them out towards the end of the trip and we felt like their was a lot of potential for catching a trophy fish.

My new PB Ice Laker!

My new PB Ice Laker!

Between losing a few magnums and missing a few fish that we knew were good ones, we had to make a return trip.  Plus it’s not very often that you get 20-30 degree weather on LOTW in late January.  The weather really is key up there because it allows you to be much more mobile.  Usually when we pull up to a spot you will likely have an encounter with a trout that is in the area within 5-10 minutes.  You can always camp on these “high odds spots” for the duration of the day and catch a number of trout, but it’s nice to be able jump around from point to point or wall to wall and give it 10 minutes then move on.

I should say too that some of the spots that were good one day you might not mark a fish your first 10 minutes the next day.  What I like to do is leave for another spot, but then return at a different part of the day. Trout are roamers and just because there wasn’t a few fish hanging out there at one point in the day, doesn’t mean there wont be a fish there an hour later.

These spots that I am talking about are rock points and walls that are adjacent to deep water.

another nice fish

another nice fish

The rock walls are typically good since the trout both cruise these edges, and also chase bait fish up against them trying to get an easy meal.  Now the points are good because you get the cruisers that are following an island and run into a point which they have to either turn around or go around them, creating a funnel.  I either target the inside corner of these points, or the tips.  Both of them yielding a lot of encounters with trout.  Its all about trying to get your bait within sight of a trout, and more often than not they will at least come take a look.

Like I said in my last report the part of the water column that we were targeting was 20-30 feet down.  Which made complete sense since most of the clouds of bait fish were also running in that depth.  I have found that true on most lakes that I have fished for trout, but paying attention to where the bait is coming through can definitely give you an advantage.  As far as depth of water, we found that 40-60 feet was the best, but some of those ledges are so steep that you could be 15 feet of shore and be sitting in 100 feet of water, in which case as long as you were right on the edge of where it falls off you were good.

Overall we had another awesome weekend at Crawfords Camp.  The average size was awesome again with most of the fish in that 7-10 pound range.  I feel a little more satisfied now and i’m not quite as mad at trout!

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Pat McSharry

Growing up in the mecca of Walleye and Muskie fishing, Pat has been able to grow up with a rod in one hand, and a big fish in the other. Specializing in toothy critters, Pat has accumulated an immense repertoire Full Bio ›


  1. Thanks! I was jumping up in down like a school girl when Chris grabbed her out of the hole. We had no clue it was that big until her head cleared the slush.

  2. Good God what a beast! And thanks for such a detailed description of what was helping you to get on the fish. Keep up the good work.


  3. Real nice Fish, ~ how much did they weigh, look to be well over 10 pounds?

    You ever go back and fish for them at ice-out. That’s usually another time for a hot bite and they are in shallow (5 to 15)’ below the surface, often along a drop-offs in the lakes I’ve fished for them.

  4. You’re making it hard for me not to go up again!
    Crystal Harbor Resort is another great place to stay as well, they have a restaurant in the same location and gas station, and you can drive sleds right to the door from the lake.

  5. @jimchyba
    Is there a direct trail from Crystal Harbor out to Snake Bay?
    Or do you have to go onto Regina and then take the trail to Fickas and come out at Paradise Point?

  6. We have a group that fishes lake trout in Whitefish Bay in March as well. Best time to fish them as you can get anywhere on the lake and typically you get some nice weather. I’ve been going up to Crawfords for 5 years-those spots look familiar!

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