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Lake Trout Fishing Tips

Lake Trout are spectacular fish—they can grow to incredible sizes as they slowly feed on bait fish. You can catch Lake Trout with live bait or artificial lures. You can catch them year-round. You can ice fish, troll, or jig for them.

In other words, you can fish for Lake Trout in any way you like.

We want to help you catch as many Lake Trout as possible—here are some of the things you need to know, along with our best Lake Trout fishing tips:

Lake Trout's Appearance

Lake Trout are fairly unique-looking fish. Their bodies can be grey, green, or brown, with a white underbelly. They’re spotted fish, with the spots ranging from cream to yellow-coloured. They have deeply forked tail fins; their other fins tend to have an orange tinge.

Typical of many cold-water fish, Lake Trout are slow-growing. They vary dramatically in size—while most adults range from 0.9 to 4.5 kg (2 to 10 pounds), the largest Lake Trout ever fished have weighed over 45 kg / 100 pounds (though these were caught in nets, not on lines). Most adults are anywhere from 30 to 80 cm (12-31 inches) long. They are the largest fish of the Lake Char family.

Where Lake Trout Spawn

Lake Trout are found in northern North America; most are found in Canada, but you can find some in the northeastern United States (especially in the Great Lakes) and Alaska.

These fish spawn in the lakes and rivers they live in—typically, they spawn in shallow water over rock rubble, retreating to deep water when the spawning season is over.

Lake Trout prefer cold water; they tend to be found in lakes where the water hovers around 10℃ / 50℉ or lower. They also prefer deep lakes, in part because these lakes tend to be cooler. This makes Lake Trout a popular target for anglers who enjoy ice fishing.

All of these traits mean that Northern Canada is an amazing place to fish for Lake Trout—our lakes tend to be quite deep and quite cold. Munroe Lake is surrounded by wilderness here in Northern Manitoba—it’s a hard place to reach, which means our Lake Trout haven’t been overfished. That gives them the opportunity to grow to a massive size—expect some big catches!

When To Fish for Lake Trout

You can fish for Trout year-round. Most anglers find that late spring is the best season to catch Lake Trout; they tend to be at their largest in this time of season, and they can be found in shallower regions of the lake.

Fortunately, you can also catch Lake Trout in summer, fall, and winter. Trout tend to migrate to deeper water in the summer—the sun can hurt their eyes, as they don’t have eyelids, and deep water provides the cool environment they prefer to hunt in.

The best time to fish for Lake Trout varies depending on the time of season:

  • In spring, you can fish around the clock.

  • In the summer, it’s best to fish from dawn until before noon. You can also start fishing again in the evening, right before sunset and during dusk.

  • Fall is somewhat similar to spring—you can fish around the clock, but before noon and near dusk are best. Trout are quite aggressive in the fall.

  • Winter is similar to summer—your best bet is before noon and near dusk.

These aren’t hard and fast rules; Trout don’t tell time the way we do. When conditions are overcast or temperatures are above or below their normals, the best time to fish may change. Not sure when to fish at our lodge? Talk to our guides!

Best Lake Trout Lures

Lake Trout are feisty—live bait, like minnows, make for excellent lures, as Lake Trout spend most of their time hunting for bait fish.

Artificial lures are another great bet for lake trout. Here are a few of our favorites:

Spoons: They’re versatile (you can also use them to catch northern pike), they’re simple, and they’re effective. We recommend using heavy metal spoons, then jerking the spoon toward the surface. Great for trolling!

Jerkbaits: Use soft jerkbaits combined with jig-heads to jig for lake trout. The Z-Man Scented Jerk ShadZ is one of our favorites for this technique.

Bucktail jigs: When casting in the spring and fall (when trout move to shallower waters to feed), bucktail jigs are a great pick.

Crankbaits: Deep-diving crankbaits are perfect if you’re trolling for Lake Trout in the summer months when they prefer slow-moving, deep-water prey.

We recommend using versatile baits - bring lures that will work on trout and any other kind of fish you’re angling for (like pike).

Best Equipment for Lake Trout Fishing

Opt for a medium-heavy rod for jigging or a medium rod for trolling. A 2 meter / 7’ rod tends to be the best all-around, though 2 to 2.7 m / 7’ to 9’ is a great option for trolling. Moderate to fast action is best.

Fly-in Lake Trout Fishing in Canada

We offer some of the best Lake Trout fishing in Canada. Visit our lodge—you’ll get the opportunity to catch some truly incredible trout. We’re nestled in the wilderness of Northern Manitoba on the shores of Munroe Lake—visit Munroe Lake Lodge today!

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