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Scuba Steve

Could this work for lake trout?

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I'm going to northern Ontario in June. Basically, I want to try casting for big deep lakers since we are noobs and downrigging last year didn't go as expected. They were holding at 45-50 feet deep in a bay of 100-120 feet deep. 

 

My plan is to try casting swimbaits for them. I was thinking a 5-6" paddletail (strike king, BPS speed shad) on a 3/4-1oz jig head. Do you guys think bombing a long cast, then gently thumbing the spool so the bait tends to sink more than swinging back to the boat, work? Then just vary my retrieves? I could also do the same presentation with spoons, and maybe even something grub shaped? I would just need to time the countdown correctly.

 

My dilemma is I don't have much experience casting heavier baits in big open water. Maybe it's a lack of confidence thing. 99% of the time I've ever been in a boat it's either been jigging in 20 feet of water or casting in 10 feet of water.

 

Any input? It's very appreciated. Thanks!

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1 hour ago, Scuba Steve said:

I'm going to northern Ontario in June. Basically, I want to try casting for big deep lakers since we are noobs and downrigging last year didn't go as expected. They were holding at 45-50 feet deep in a bay of 100-120 feet deep. 

 

My plan is to try casting swimbaits for them. I was thinking a 5-6" paddletail (strike king, BPS speed shad) on a 3/4-1oz jig head. Do you guys think bombing a long cast, then gently thumbing the spool so the bait tends to sink more than swinging back to the boat, work? Then just vary my retrieves? I could also do the same presentation with spoons, and maybe even something grub shaped? I would just need to time the countdown correctly.

 

My dilemma is I don't have much experience casting heavier baits in big open water. Maybe it's a lack of confidence thing. 99% of the time I've ever been in a boat it's either been jigging in 20 feet of water or casting in 10 feet of water.

 

Any input? It's very appreciated. Thanks!

 

 

If the trout are relatively deep you are better off trying to jig them than casting swimbaits. Try vertically jigging just above the depth you are marking fish at on your graph. Then try jigging below them and retrieving your bait above them. The will sometimes respond to a bait that is retrieved quickly back up to the surface after being at their depth. You can jig with a spoon, blade bait or a jig. Lake trout love white colored baits so tip your jig with a white reeper tail, grub, or plastic paddle tail swimbait. If you jig below the transducer cone you should be able to track your baits on the screen. 

 

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15 minutes ago, Dwight Hottle said:

 

 

If the trout are relatively deep you are better off trying to jig them than casting swimbaits. Try vertically jigging just above the depth you are marking fish at on your graph. Then try jigging below them and retrieving your bait above them. The will sometimes respond to a bait that is retrieved quickly back up to the surface after being at their depth. You can jig with a spoon, blade bait or a jig. Lake trout love white colored baits so tip your jig with a white reeper tail, grub, or plastic paddle tail swimbait. If you jig below the transducer cone you should be able to track your baits on the screen. 

 

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Wow, thanks a lot Dwight. That is a great picture! What did that brute weigh? Can I trouble you for any advice on spoon selection? And what exactly do you mean by tip the jig? Sorry I've never heard it worded that way before. 

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Steve 38lbs.

For spoons you can use Hopkins spoons or any other spoon like an Eppinger husky devil or husky jr or a Gibbs etc.

Tipping a jig refers to adding a bait to the jig like a crawler or minnow. Also adding an artifical bait like a grub or paddle tail. Remember the color white is preferred. Also pinks, chartreuse work well. Spoon colors use silver/nickel when sunny. Switch to brass or copper when cloudy. White spoons work too.😀

Lake trout like flat fish and other banana plugs like Kwik fish. Also luhr  Jensen dodgers if you want to troll. If you can fish for Lakers early spring or in the fall when they spawn you can find them shallow & cast got them. I would catch them in the fall on Lake Erie using white jerk baits 15-20 fow.

Another thing to remember is Lake trout prefer 48-52 degree water temps. That’s why they go deeper as the water warms  and they are usually only found in deep water lakes. They will vary from those preferred temps to find bait if it isn’t present in 48-52 degree water. 

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20 minutes ago, Dwight Hottle said:

Steve 38lbs.

For spoons you can use Hopkins spoons or any other spoon like an Eppinger husky devil or husky jr or a Gibbs etc.

Tipping a jig refers to adding a bait to the jig like a crawler or minnow. Also adding an artifical bait like a grub or paddle tail. Remember the color white is preferred. Also pinks, chartreuse work well. Spoon colors use silver/nickel when sunny. Switch to brass or copper when cloudy. White spoons work too.😀

Lake trout like flat fish and other banana plugs like Kwik fish. Also luhr  Jensen dodgers if you want to troll. If you can fish for Lakers early spring or in the fall when they spawn you can find them shallow & cast got them. I would catch them in the fall on Lake Erie using white jerk baits 15-20 fow.

Another thing to remember is Lake trout prefer 48-52 degree water temps. That’s why they go deeper as the water warms  and they are usually only found in deep water lakes. They will vary from those preferred temps to find bait if it isn’t present in 48-52 degree water. 

Awesome info man, thanks a lot. So I can vertical jig that spoon? I'm still lost on how you're describing the jig. My initial question was about adding a paddletail to a jig. Are you saying to add an artifical bait to the actual spoon? Haha sorry I just want to be on the same page. What all is being used on this jig set up?

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Yes you can vertical jig a plain spoon. Best not to add anything to a spoon but you can add a grub on a single hook replacing the stock treble. Try it plain to start. The grub sometimes gets foul hooked during the jogging motion so beware.

When your using a plain jig you want to add some kind of attraction to it. Like a grub or paddle tail. If your using a buck tail jig you fish it as is or add a trailer. Remember a jig is nothing more than a weight attached to a hook. 

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2 hours ago, Dwight Hottle said:

Yes you can vertical jig a plain spoon. Best not to add anything to a spoon but you can add a grub on a single hook replacing the stock treble. Try it plain to start. The grub sometimes gets foul hooked during the jogging motion so beware.

When your using a plain jig you want to add some kind of attraction to it. Like a grub or paddle tail. If your using a buck tail jig you fish it as is or add a trailer. Remember a jig is nothing more than a weight attached to a hook. 

I appreciate the feedback but I haaave to be missing something lol. A 1 oz jig head with a 6" paddletail on it... jigged and not retrieved? Thats all id be using as a "swimbait." So don't cast it? 

 

I'm good with the spoon thing haha.

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I troll for and catch a lot of big lakers on Georgian Bay every year, but when conditions are right ( calm, flat water), this, is the absolute number one bait around here for vertical jigging. 

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23 hours ago, Scuba Steve said:

I see you both agree on white being the color! Hmmmm...

It’s a pretty easy match to the smelts and herring they feed on here. Lots of colours will work, especially when trolling spoons but white is almost always the best choice around here. 

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1 hour ago, Way north bass guy said:

It’s a pretty easy match to the smelts and herring they feed on here. Lots of colours will work, especially when trolling spoons but white is almost always the best choice around here. 

The lake I'd be fishing for them has walleye, whitefish, and pike. 

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12 hours ago, Scuba Steve said:

The lake I'd be fishing for them has walleye, whitefish, and pike. 

If it has whitefish, there’s a real good chance it has herring (Cisco) in it as well, which look almost exactly like a small whitefish. If not, they’ll be eating whitefish a fair bit, and that’s where the white matches. 

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49 minutes ago, Way north bass guy said:

If it has whitefish, there’s a real good chance it has herring (Cisco) in it as well, which look almost exactly like a small whitefish. If not, they’ll be eating whitefish a fair bit, and that’s where the white matches. 

Very good. So, my biggest rod is my medium heavy legend tournament bass. And the lake trout hold at 45-50 feet deep. Do you think a 1 oz spoon or tube jig would be heavy enough? 

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Should be plenty heavy, I often use a 1/2oz tube on a 7’ medium spinning rod, and we jig as deep as 100’ in the summer and do just fine. If it’s calm enough or your anchored etc. sometimes a lighter rate of fall will get you more strikes than a fast drop down, it just takes a bit more patience to get it there. Try the heavier ones first, as it covers the depths quicker but if they’re a bit finicky, don’t be afraid to lighten things up a bit. And it’s way more fun fighting a big laker on lighter gear than heavy stuff anyway, just make sure your reel is full in case they decide to make a big run to the depths!

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3 hours ago, Way north bass guy said:

Should be plenty heavy, I often use a 1/2oz tube on a 7’ medium spinning rod, and we jig as deep as 100’ in the summer and do just fine. If it’s calm enough or your anchored etc. sometimes a lighter rate of fall will get you more strikes than a fast drop down, it just takes a bit more patience to get it there. Try the heavier ones first, as it covers the depths quicker but if they’re a bit finicky, don’t be afraid to lighten things up a bit. And it’s way more fun fighting a big laker on lighter gear than heavy stuff anyway, just make sure your reel is full in case they decide to make a big run to the depths!

Never thought vertically jigging a big tube would be the ticket for the species I'm after lol. Thanks for the info!

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Yup, works pretty good on hard or soft water. Good luck 👍🏻

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