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Monster Lake Trout!

Fishing in and around the Great Lakes region including all tributaries and adjoining states.

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Monster Lake Trout!

Postby Jim Blue Max Charters » Wed Apr 23, 2008 11:36 pm

Monster Lake Trout!

By Captain Jim Hirt
I received this e-mail recently and thought it was a good question that more anglers would be interested in. Should you have a question please e-mail me from my Website contact us page http://www.bluemaxcharters.com I will be pleased to answer. My charter season is under way and it may take a while to get back to you.

Captain Jim:
I was wondering if you could help a novice out. I go up to Ontario to a Walleye/Trout/Pike lake each summer. We have been using Dipsy Diver #1 trolling it at about 50'. We have had a lot of success catching Lakers between 23-29" but no monsters. We like the Dipsy diver because we fly into this lake and it's a lightweight way to get down. After reading your article I think we have 2 problems.
1) We are trolling too fast 2-3 mph
2) we still aren't deep enough
3) I'm unsure how to use cowbells - can you use them behind a Dipsy? Or should we abandon all of that and replace it with your 1 lb weight method.

Any tips you could provide I would appreciate.

Hello Mark:
Sounds like your doing well on the Lake Trout. Two to three MPH is usually too fast for Lakers. I have attached my articles on Lakers and divers. Cowbells will work with divers, however, Reaper spoons in the regular or magnum size out fished all my other presentation last season. My best colors were Peacock/silver, Big Joe/silver magnum or regular. For low light or down deep use Magnum Fish Fry Glow. I would get several of each. Get your speed down to 1.5 MPH. Run the magnum diver with Power Pro braided line for maximum depth. A one-pound weight requires wire line to work best and the diver presentation described is easier to run and requires very little special equipment.

Fishing Lures for Trophy Lake Trout

By Capt. Jim Hirt
In this article we will complete the series on catching trophy fish. I would like to explore location, presentation and lure selection for Lake Trout. Fishermen everywhere covet them for their table excellence giving them a nickname of poor man’s Lobster. Lake Trout baked or poached and served with melted butter is a feast fit for a king. This slow growing member of the Char family can attain a life of over twenty years and have been known to grow to more than 50 inches and reach over 100 pounds. Lake Trout are mature enough to reproduce when they are six or seven years old. Some Lake Trout respond to a homing instinct. They return to the same spawning grounds year after year, while others do not. This trout lives in deep cold lakes. Their preferred water temperature is about 50 degrees. In the summer they stay deep and can usually be caught by deep trolling. But as the water cools with the fall season and into spring, artificial lures and flies may take lake trout fished shallower, near shore.
Finding a trophy may be a difficult task although I feel following a few rules will augment your odds for success. I have found that in twenty years of fishing my biggest have come on spoons. I believe the reason for this is spoons will maintain an attractive appearance at very slow speeds. When you think Lakers think slow. This very cold water species has the slowest metabolism of all the game fish. If you have not caught a Laker, you are trolling too fast. The bigger the Lake Trout the colder the water they prefer and the slower they move. A quality large spoon that trolls well at speeds below one mile per hour is required. Keeping in mind that you will be working in deep water below 100 feet. The color choices should be in the bottom half spectrum of the rainbow. There is not much light down there and green, blue, indigo violet colors will sustain some color at these depths. A silver plated spoon will reflect light better in low light and used in combination with the colors is a good choice. You might try the new Reaper glow in the dark spoons. They were very productive for me this last season. The lack of light has brought me to my favorite presentation. In some cases bouncing the bottom is the only way to provoke a strike. A one pound lead ball sinker will allow the contact needed. Use a wire line rod with 30 pound wire terminated with a plastic keel and lead ball. The keel provides a three way connection for wire, ball and monofilament. At the end of a two foot mono leader run an 8 inch silver or glow in the dark dodger and a 4 foot lead to the spoon. Troll with the bottom contour letting out enough wire to allow the ball to bounce on the bottom. A word of caution, some bottoms have lots of hang ups and it takes a constant vigilance on your part to avoid hanging up and still keep constant bottom contact.
As you read earlier, when the water cools in fall they return to the same spawning grounds year after year. The eggs are deposited over a boulder-strewn or rubble bottom structure, in depths from 40 feet to about one foot. This affords the angler another opportunity to get into some serious laker action. Work this shallow water with the same wire line rod. Go with 8 ounces of weight no flasher and standard Reaper Big Joe red/green or Reaper Peacock blue/green spoons. Motor troll the shallows while hand holding the rod bouncing the bottom as you go.
Let's wrap this up with my favorite Lake Trout lures. Dodgers and magnum spoons are my first choice with dodger Spin n Glows a close second. The two most productive Lake Trout spoons for me in recent years are the glow in the dark Reaper Green Fox Glow and Fish n Chip Silver both sold by http://www.badgertackle.com The standard Reaper in the silver combinations are best for shallow water.

Lake Michigan Diving Planers

By Capt. Jim Hirt
The tools out there are endless. It is a fisherman with a full *beep* of presentations that finds action when fishing gets tough. It is my experience that on any given day one presentation or other will produce better than the other. Most boats run diving planers like Dipsy Divers, Slide Divers, Deep Sixes and similar divers. This is a very simple tool that is not run to its full potential by most fishermen. Start with a clear mono or fluorocarbon 25-pound line one and a half times the length of the rod you are using. On one end tie a size 5 cross lock snap to attach the lure. Tie the other end to a snubber. They come in many colors. I prefer a clear product made by Opti-Dodger. The snubber will absorb the shock of the strike and set the hook. The snubber is then attached to the diver. On the release side of the diver tie your line from the rod. You can use a variety of different lines. The standard set up is 20 to 30 pound mono. Some other options are 50-pound Power Pro Micro-filament, and stranded wire. The benefits of these options are the smaller diameter of this product allows the diver to reach greater depths. An 8 to 10 foot medium heavy action rod with a line counter reel completes this rig. They are often called poor man's downrigger. When asked by beginning trollers on what to buy I always recommend two diver rigs. They will take lures to a prescribed depth and repeat it over and over again. The disadvantage to this rig is it does not have a release and offers some resistance when reeling in fish. All divers come with a sheet of paper to tell you how many feet of line to let out to attain the depth you wish to fish. There is also a base plate adjustment to make the diver go to the side of the boat out of the boat’s path. When fishing calm days in clear water divers offer a stealth presentation. Line counter reels give you total control of depth for repeatability. For those who do not have line counters I would measure the distance from the reel to the first eye on your rod. When setting lines pull line from the reel to the first eye. If it is 2 feet multiply the number of pulls by 2 to calculate your amount of line out. Then refer to diver depth chart to figure diver depth. Good Luck Captain Jim. Let's go fishing!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.
[url=http://www.bluemaxcharters.com]Captain Jim Hirt
Jim Blue Max Charters
First Mate
First Mate
Posts: 123
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 9:27 am
Location: Milwaukee Wisconsin

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