Tag Archives: Lake Trout

2-28-15 – Some More Lake Trout Action

I hooked up with a few buddies for a morning lake trout bite on Champlain. It was much calmer than the last trip and the temperature was going to be warmer.

During our last trip, the jigging action was good as soon as we started after setting up a few tip ups. We figured that things would only be better if we started right at sun up! We were slightly wrong. While we marked fish, they were far less aggressive than the time frame between 8-10.

I hooked up with 3 other fish before finally landing one. For some reason they are very good at popping out treble hooks at the hole! The large slender spoons were the ticket once again!

We mainly stayed set up in 25 feet of water but we tried bouncing around out in deeper water for a while when the fish disappeared. The fishing wasn’t any better so we packed things and made way for home. I had a fishing date, night bite planned with Mary!

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2-21-15 – Sight Fishing Lake Trout

I met up before sunrise with a few buddies in search of lake trout. We trekked nearly a mile to an offshore reef where we hoped they would be.Trying to get the layout, we cut holes over a large area checking depths as we went. As we moved around, we set out a few tip ups in hopes that we could better our odds of a few hook sets.

Once we had a small spread of traps out, the high winds drove us into shacks. Within 5 minutes, I hooked up with the first fish of the day. It was on a large jigging rap and I have never had much landing fish with them. I always lose them during the fight or hook the side of the holes with either end of the bait. While I was disappointed, It was nice to know we were in the right area.

After a short while, I switched tactics and put on a Slender Spoon. The flutter drew fish in well over the course of the next few hours I saw quite a few more fish and hooked up with 3 more. Still, I was unsuccessful with landing fish but I did get several into the hole.

It was a fun day and we toughed out the wind as long as possible. Around 3:30 the snow really started to pick up so we decided gathering up out gear and heading home before the roads got much worse was the best plan.


7-23-14 – Lake Trout On Down Riggers

I went out with Captain Dan on the Lazy D & Me today with hopes of some lake trout. A wicked storm was rolling in after noon so we hoped things would happen early. With about 85 feet of water below us and plenty of fish laying right on bottom things were looking good.

Things started off pretty rough and only calmed down a little as the morning wore on. Most of out fish were caught on flatfish slow rolling the bottom around 1.8 mph. We managed to go 12 for 13 in the 5 hours we were out with several fish right around the 30″ mark.

The sky was hazy all day but we knew it was time to head home when the wind really picked up and started tossing the boat around enough to make fishing difficult.




6-22-14 – Long Day On The Water

With hopes of some walleye willing to bite, a buddy and I were on the water for sunrise. The bite was slow but with enough water to keep us occupied until he had to go to softball late in the afternoon, we figured that we would find something to save the trip. We fished spot to spot that had produced in the past with very limited success.

While the rockbass were willing to bite just about everywhere, it wasn’t until we got in some shallow water that we found some bluegill and perch. Big gills too! Anywhere that there was woody debris in the water with weeds nearby seemed to hold quite a few biters.

After locating several new spots that the panfish were holding up on, we spent the rest of the day scanning the bottom looking for new structure. We marked some new trees and bottom irregularities that looked promising. While this part of the day was just about wrapped up, I had plans to hit the water later that night with Bobby for some trout!

We motored around a good deal of the lake as neither of us had been there before. We never found much promise but after a seeing a few fish in a tight area we anchored up and submerged the Hydro Glow Fishing Lights.

Fishing before the sun set was pointless. It was nearly impossible to keep the small perch off the hook. Once it was dark things changed. Although we didn’t catch a ton of fish, the perch more than doubled in size and the water below us loaded up with smelt. Lake trout were the only trout species we caught even though rainbows were our target. The lakers that we caught were spitting up tons of smelt when we brought them into the boat.

One of the key points from the night was that lakers wanted the bait moving. Maybe only a few inches up and down but constantly. After a few hours of tough fishing we decided to pack it up and make for home. We learned a new body of water and caught a new species at night.

We will be back soon!








3-9-14 – Some More Smelt

A buddy invited me to hit the big lake today in search of some lake trout. We were on the water and had our tip ups set up in the dark. After settling down for a bit we set up a shack that we could both fish out of. I wish I could say that we caught a ton of fish or even one but it was a great morning to say the least!

At any point when we dropped the camera down, there was at least one fish cruising the edge of what we could see. Quality ones too! Throughout the course of the morning. We had two opportunities but neither successfully hooked up. Probably the best part of the trip happened when we picked up to leave. With all the tip ups loaded we sat back in the shack to warm up. A quick flash right under our feet revealed an alewife being pursued by a 8-10 pound laker. We saw the fish several times before the alewife escaped up our into our hole. Although it was frustrating, we made the trek off the ice to head out to a different location that was loaded with bass and pike. We also had the opportunity to jig up panfish.

After setting up our tip ups again in shallower water, the jigging bite was good. Seeing 6, 7, or 8 bass in a hole at a time was common. Many times we would be catching crappie and bluegill while bass were inches from our bait! As dark approached we set up the Hydro Glow. The bite was slow but we had some decent sight fishing action. When things winded down, we headed our separate ways and I headed to another pond for some more smelt.


Arriving at the smelt grounds, I was greeted by several buddies of old and new. The fish were there and they were biting. The depth they were biting at constantly changed but it didn’t take long to know if they were active or not. Aggressive jigging seemed to be the key. The smelt were some of the biggest ones that I have seen outside of Lake Champlain!



1-20-14 – It’s Getting Cold

The temperature has been dropping the last few days and so far I have stuck it out but have had a tough go at it. Yesterday my buddy left the keys to my truck in the bed, under the hardside tonneau cover and somehow locked the tailgate. Out of cell service and miles from the nearest store, it took about 5 hours to get the situation resolved. Having to wait for assistance, we stayed close to the truck and made the most of it. During that time I was able to stick a few smelt and lakers while fishing shallow. By shallow I mean less than 3 feet of water. Probably the toughest part of the day was the numbers of lakers I hooked up with and wasn’t able to land. While I was gone trying to find a phone to use my rod ended up in the water and the reel froze up solid. With no access to a backup rod, I was trying to lift lakers with no drag. It was probably comical to the people watching me! The smelt were thick but the bite was tough. Not being able to trek out to my coordinates with the bucket of smelt sure was disappointing!





2-13-12 – Lakers And Perch

I guess I have been slacking on keeping up with this blog thing. Fishing is getting in the way…Sorry!

I went up to fish for lake trout and perch on an inland pond in the north east kingdom on Monday with a buddy that I met through work this summer. We had made plans to stay all day but knew the day revolved around the availability of smelt for bait. Fortunately, over the last few years I have developed a relationship with a guy on the lake. The last two years, we have had our shanties next to each other so we have spent a fair amount of time together. This year, he put his shanty where I usually fish because I don’t have access to a shanty and it was a good way to mark it. Plus, he gets to catch loads of lake trout and slab perch! His wife is quite the smelt fisherwoman. She can catch them by the bucket full while no one else is getting a bite. I got a call the night before that gave me directions to his stocked bait cache.

We were on the ice at 5am and were quickly setting up. It didn’t take long for the flags to start popping. My buddy doesn’t care for perch so I tried to have him set up in the traditional trout areas while I was in the perching grounds. One problem with our set up was that we didn’t pinwheel out our tipups from the location that we normally do. Therefore, most of his flags were in the perch holes and mine were either dead or in lake trout holes.

The morning run in the dark was decent. Not many fish but a fair number of flags that the fish had dropped the baits or were missed while setting the hook. The best fish from the morning was a laker around four pounds. It came from six feet of water. The first perch that came through a hole was 14.5″ and 1.4 pounds shortly after sunrise. It was the smallest perch of the day but still a dandy!

Pretty much the whole day was spent in my buddies hardside. The temperature wasn’t terribly cold but the wind was whipping. Boy, did the propane heater feel good! Usually when I fish, I don’t eat much if at all. On this trip, we planned ahead. We had bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches for breakfast around 10 and venison steaks around 2. I think I should start eating like that more often on the ice!

As usual, mid day was slow. We didn’t have any real runs other than one flag that tripped whenever the wind was blowing. That occurred pretty often! With all the dead time we decided to move some flags around that hadn’t produced anything all morning. The direction was deeper. Usually, fishing trout on this lake we run our traps in water less than 30 feet with the bait a leader length below the ice. We began staggering our baits and found that the bottom was just as productive if not more.

The evening started slow. As soon as the sun started setting the flags started to pick up. Some were dropped baits, some were fish, and some were missed opportunities. We thought we were going to be leaving earlier than we did so the remainder of live bait we had we but back in the shack and locked it up. We kept a few dead smelt out just in case.  Good thing we did because the fish were into it! We went round and round on what we called “the track” checking flags with lights. Several more lake trout and two more jumbo perch over 15″ were iced before we packed it up at 7.

It was good to get out fishing for trout but it isn’t quite as much fun as jigging… I think I have two more trips for lakers in my planner. One 2 weekends from now on a different lake. We will start fishing for lake trout but switch over in search for cusk for the evening.  The other at the start of march with a bunch of guys who want to see the perch and hopefully a few lakers mixed in!

There was a good perch run after dark!

This is what the perch usually are puking up as they are pulled in. I asked my buddy to check the stomach contents while he was cleaning his fish for a more detailed analysis. He reported that they all had crayfish, smelt, and some had other unidentified (partially decomposed) minnows.

One of the lakers

Here’s the best part of the day!

Check out this video!