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Alternative Tactics to Traditional Lake Trout Methods:

Lake Kipawa Lake Trout Behavior:

Lake Kipawa is a deep clear-water lake and a perfect environment for Lake Trout. Lake Trout are common but not many people bother fishing for them because they have been unsuccessful in the past using the traditional methods. Lake Trout will be around 50 feet deep during the summer, which is just above the thermocline. They hit best from day-break until 10:00 am and in the evening after dinner. They do feed during the afternoon but during the day they seem to turn on and off constantly so you can troll for 3 hours and not catch anything and then hit a couple within minutes and then they stop again. Lake Trout hit best on bright sunny days with high pressure. A low pressure system going through the area can make them stop feeding for a day or two. Lake Trout tend to hit smaller lures that are silver-&-blue, silver-&-green and in Lake Kipawa they seem to like hot pink with a silver back. Do not put fish scent on your lures. Fish scent does not work in the north and will actually repel fish.

Shallow Lake Trout Fishing after Ice-Out and Early Spring:

Just after ice-out and the first few weeks after, Lake Trout will stay shallow. Many times they will be very close to shore and casting off shore with Cleos and Mepps Cyclops' is very effective. You can also cast off a boat.

Lake Trout will be found at the mouth of rivers, in the rivers, off rocky points and shoals. The very best spot is in dark water off a sand bar. The sun heats up the water on sand bars in the spring and the minnows go up on the sand bars to enjoy the warmer water. Lake Trout will sit off the sand bars in darker water and hit minnows that come to the edge of the sand bar.

Different Methods for Fishing Deep in the Summer:

3-Way Swivel Method: The 3-way swivel method is the best way to fish deep for Lake Trout because you can use light action equipment, you can feel the bottom without snagging your lure and the method is stealthy compared to other methods. You can feel the fish hit and you can set the hook. Bringing in a Lake Trout on your Walleye stick is a ton of fun. The only downfall is you need to be in a boat that trolls slowly. If you have a bigger boat you will need an electric trolling motor or a small kicker motor. Back-trolling in a small fishing boat with a 20 hp motor or smaller is the very best.

Please reference the diagram below. You only need a light action rod and 6-pound test dark green line. With a 2 oz. weight you can troll 50 to 60 feet deep easily. This is the best depth for Lake Trout on most lakes, especially on Lake Kipawa in the middle of summer. You need a 3-way swivel, 6 pound test line, a 2 oz. weight and a light flutter lure. You only want to troll just fast enough for the lure to start working. 6-pound mono has next to zero friction with the water so your rig goes almost straight down. Using heavy line or braded line is not effective because there is too much friction with the water.

Get a troll going and then click the anti-reverse button on your reel to off and then slowly reel backwards. On most reels one complete reel is about a foot so slowly reel backwards to the desired depth. If you reel backwards 50 times you will be around 50 feet deep.

Bait Walkers & Bottom Bouncers: Bait Walkers & Bottom Bouncers work. They fit in your tackle box and you can troll as deep as 70 feet with a 2 oz. They are inexpensive and in small lakes you can troll right along the bottom and quickly reel in or lower you line deeper. The only downfall is your lure is only a couple of inches above the sinker so you tend to get a lot more snags. You also have a 2 oz weight between the lure and your fishing rod. As a result, there is a lot more stress on the line between the lure and the sinker and the line can break, especially if the Lake Trout starts rolling. The weight also takes away some of the fight, which is especially true with smaller trout. This is a very effective way of Lake Trout fishing but not the best way. If the trout starts freaking out they can break the line between the baitwalker and the lure.

Dipsy Divers: Dipsy Divers are small and fit in your tack box. They get your line down deep and when the fish hits your lure, the clips release so you are bringing in the fish free-line and can feel the fish fighting. The downfall of Dipsy Divers is it's hard to know how deep you are and there is so much drag on your line while you are trolling, you have to use heavier line and a heavier fishing rod. With Dipsy Divers, when the diver hits bottom, so does your lure thus you lose more lures on snags. The Diver itself can scare fish away. It's much better than steel wire and more fun to use than downriggers but it's not the best way.

Downriggers: Downriggers are very effective at dropping your line down to the exact depth you want. They are good for big charter boats that cannot troll slow and have multiple people fishing. Everything else about downriggers is negative. Using downriggers can be very boring. You are not really fishing; you are just driving around until you have a fish on. You can't feel the fish hit your lure, you can't set the hook when the fish bites and if you are in a big boat with multiple lines out, the boat has to keep moving so all the lines don't get tangled. As a result you are just horsing the fish in and not enjoying the fight. Also, downriggers are great for open-water suspended fish like when you are fishing on the Great Lakes but downriggers are not practical in a small lake where the fish are right on bottom and the bottom depth is constantly changing. With an iron ball screaming through the water, you spook most of the fish you pass.

Steel Wire: In the old days, people trolled using steel wire or lead-core wire and heavy tuna rods to fish for Lake Trout. Even though people still use this technique, it's actually the least effective way to catch them and it's not very enjoyable. You have to let out excessive amount of line, you have to keep jerking the line and lure and when you do have a fish on, it feels like you have an old boot on the line. As far as effectiveness and level of enjoyment, using steel line is not fun. However people still catch Lake Trout this way and enjoy the hands-on roll.


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