Although jigging for lake trout can be quite effective in winter it is trolling that is the most productive year round.
Lake trout lures are wither trolled or jigged. Occasionally you may end up casting in the shallower waters but the real trophy trout are almost always caught on the troll.
Armed with the right lake trout trolling lures and a either a good knowledge of the lakes bottom contours or a fish finder you can target large lakers most effectively whilst on the move.
Trolling allows you to cover more water, plain and simple. Once you find the depth that the lake trout are feeding at it is merely a matter of trolling along that depth at various structures and drop offs.
The best lake trout trolling lures all have one thing in common in that there have some form of attractor built into them. That can be either a reflective color or a very pronounced swim action that gives off a lot of vibration.
Best Lake Trout Trolling Lures
Using a trolling spoon for lake trout is one of the oldest methods out there. Spoons are incredibly simple yet still highly effective.
A spoon is nothing more than a shaped piece of metal with a hook on it.
However, it is the shape that gives the spoon a very distinctive wobble. That wobble sends out very strong vibrations. These vibrations combined with the flash from the metal are a very strong attractor for lake trout.
Traditionally made from a thin piece of copper, spoons are now available in lots of different shapes, sizes and metals.
A long thin spoon will give a very different action to a shorter fatter one. And in certain light conditions a gold or copper spoon will beat out a painted or sprayed on pattern one every time.
2. Flatfish Lures
Flatfish lures give off an action that is quite unique as they are trolled behind the boat. They dodge and dart from side to side giving off a lot of vibration as they move.
Probably the most famous flatfish lure is the Worden's or Luhr Jensen Flatfish lure. Although it may have a slightly odd look to it, once in the water it moves in such a way that drive lake trout crazy.
One of the best approaches to using a flatfish lure for lake trout is to troll it in such a manner that it bounces off the bottom.
This bouncing action off of a rocky bottom can result in some very violent strikes from a big lake trout.
You need to fine tune your trolling speed in order to get the correct swim action. Too fast and they tend to roll in a loop, too slow and they will not give out much vibration.
Available in a huge range of colors and quite a few sizes. The colors range from plain single colors to brightly colored fluorescent bodies with contrasting spots on.
Crankbaits are designed to give off a natural swimming action. They vary widely in size and shape.
Although sometimes called a stickbait or minnow bait the Rapala is easily the most successful brand of crankbait available.
All crankbaits have a small lip protruding from the front. This lip makes the head move from side to side. This side to side movement gives a very natural like swimming motion to the lure.
On some crankbaits you can adjust the lip. Adjusting it allows you to fine tune the lures swim action and how quickly it dives.
Smaller crankbaits will usually be in one single piece with two small treble hooks, one at the tail and one one third down from the head.
Larger crankbaits can be what is called "jointed". A jointed crankbait will have the body cut in half and joined be two small metal eyes. This join allows the body to move in a very natural way just like when a small fish flicks it's tail.
Crankbaits can be bought in either a floating, neutral or a sinking design.
The floating will rarely dive more than ten feet without the use of lead core line or a downrigger.
A neutral buoyancy one can be fished a little deeper. The are best used when casting as you can allow the lure to dive and then stop it in the water. A lot of the times you will get a strike when they are suspended in the water.
Sinking crankbaits have added weight to their construction. This means you can run them a lot deeper without specialist tackle such as a downrigger or lead core fishing line.
A cowbell rig is usually a series of blades that are attached along a wire leader. At the end of the leader is usually some of flashing lure like a spoon of a spin-n-glo.
The aim of the cowbell rig is to attract a lake trout from a large distance away. The long leader with four or five spinning blades creates a lot of flash and vibration. For some reason lake trout seem to love this.
Once they have been drawn in by the team of spinning blades they then usually home in on the lure at the end of the rig.
More often than not a cowbell will be used with a downrigger setup. The downrigger allows you to get the rig down to the correct depth.
Cowbell rigs were once very common on the great lakes but there use is beginning to die out somewhat.
Flashers just like a cowbell rig are used to attract the lake trout. Once in range of your rig they will generally strike at whatever lure you are pulling at the end.
A flasher is a flat piece of either metal or plastic that has a reflective surface on it. It is added several feet from your lure and it's only function is to produce a very visible flash.
Behind the flasher you may attach a spinner or a spoon. Another popular setup is to trail a large worm on a single hook behind the flasher.
Again you will need to use a downrigger to get you rig down to the correct depth.
Just like cowbells the use of flashers is beginning to lessen.