Since 1856. • Credit: Gord Pyzer, While most ice anglers “pattern fish” for walleye, northern pike, yellow perch, black crappies and whitefish, don’t do it for lake trout. Lake trout are definitely a deep-water species, and reside in the depths because they prefer cold water. However, when the water is slightly deeper—say, 10 to 12 feet—rainbows behave quite … Trout do feed in winter, especially if water temperatures climb above 40 degrees. To the point, where you can often unfold your map of the lake, or turn on your contour chart embedded GPS unit and identify all of the similar looking structures. Please see our privacy policy. For instance, young-of-the-year trout need safe havens from floods, mergansers, and anchor ice that are totally different than the needs of adult trout. It's the reason you always want to fish a pattern for lake trout in Northern Ontario. If you catch another trout reasonably quickly -- say within the next 15 to 20 minutes -- doing the same thing, the chances are good that many, maybe even most of the trout are relating to the bottom zone of the water column and that they will bite the silver spoon if you present it the same way. As long as they remain ice-free, these can provide trout fishing bonanzas. Trolling Technique for Brown Trout. Groundwater is warmer that surface water during the winter. In-water cover, especially logjams. Baits to use for trout. The right hook set with the right line can mean more lake trout. During winter, you can catch lake trout in any depth of water In lakes such as southern Ontario’s legendary Lake Simcoe, you’ll find the trout on the bottom when you also find invasive round gobies scurrying around like mice on an abandoned farmhouse floor. Burbot resembles nothing else that swims in our northern lakes and rivers. In other words, did you have your bait close to the bottom, in the middle of the water column or just under the ice? So, to determine if you're on the brink of a method you can replicate throughout the day, try duplicating what you were doing when you caught the first trout. During this time, opportunistic trout will lie downstream of the reproductive activity for drifting egg clusters. Trout will use rocks for winter cover but because there is usually more turbulence... Water depth over three feet Slow but not stagnant currents. Like … Comparing this pool to all others in the area, I noticed the one thing it offered was lots of protection from predators and the current. White Shoal Lighthouse in northern Lake Michigan. I think what sparked at least some of the interest, and subsequent one-on-one conversations, was an observation I made while up on the Megatank that lake trout are one of the easiest fish to pattern in Ontario in the winter time. So look for them where you find: In-water cover, especially logjams. By the end of the summer I was confident that I knew where 80% of the fish on my property lived (my confidence level of catching them was much lower). Ice fishing for crappies on a lake in Northwestern Ontario. I’ve had too many memorable winter lake trout days to even recount. • Credit: Gord Pyzer. Across many fisheries, braided line has dominated winter lake trout fishing because of the depth. Our endorsed fly-fishing partners are researched, vetted, and selected by Orvis experts. The onset of cooler conditions brings these fish up from the depths as they initially feed up prior to spawning, then look for somewhere (in vain in these lakes) to spawn, then feed up again post spawn as we head into spring. I've sunk a number of brush piles in eddies and backwaters where young trout can find refuge, and hopefully next year I'll be rewarded an abundance of healthy yearlings. It is important to wear a face mask or covering, practice physical distancing, and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Well, drop your lure immediately back down to the same depth, 20 feet off the bottom and jig the spoon the same way. The answers to all of these questions -- and many more -- will allow you to move around the lake, fishing systematically rather than randomly, piecing together the various parts of the pattern puzzle. Sure, … Now, to be sure, one fish does not a pattern make, but every pattern does start with a first fish. Were you jigging your lure aggressively or did the trout strike when you paused your bait and let it hang motionless? Most types of leadcore line are metered so that fishermen can estimate the depth of their offering. Fish behavior slows down so much in the winter, and the days get shorter. And it gets even better because as long as the weather remains stable and consistent, your pattern will usually hold up and even improve. Easy to follow, step-by-step instructions with user-friendly interactivity. E-mail podcast@orvis.com, leave a message at 802-362-8800, or follow Tom on Instagram @rosenbauert. But there is plenty of life in a January river. Usually, springs betray their presence by patches of green plants growing in the warmer water. But wherever they are, they’re prized as both game and table fare. Every time you catch a fish, you need to ask yourself, what was I doing when I hooked it? Lake trout fishing is very different from catching browns/rainbows in rivers and streams on light tackle. They can't handle fast current and need to stay away from older trout that might eat them, so these little guys need lots of protection in the gentle currents of backwaters and shallows. As soon as the leaves fell, though, their habits changed. Have you ever wondered how fish survive in cold winter weather, or where they go when lakes and ponds freeze over? So look for them where you find: Drawing on a sporting legacy that stretches for more than a century and a half, Orvis is proud to equip anglers with the best fly-fishing rods, reels, clothing, and gear in the world. Lake trout inhabit cold, deep bodies of water, often feeding near shore at ice-out, and moving deeper as waters warm. In other words, did you catch the trout when you were fishing 20 feet off the bottom of a long sloping underwater point? 5. Water that is nearly still does not bring food to the fish. The diet of a trout varies depending on location. JAN 20, 2021 - When one thinks of winter, getting outdoors does not necessarily sound enticing. I do not own a pair of downriggers, so to get my baits down to the desired depths and in the faces of fish, I use leadcore line. I still remember the excitement of watching the rod bend down furiously and my dad scrambling to pull it out of the rod holder. During the spring and summer, the need to capture food is equal to or more important than protection from enemies-as long as there is some cover close at hand when danger threatens. We will never spam you and will never share your e-mail. Lake trout like deep waters and your only real choice is to follow them there. And as with brookies, I typically find the rainbows cruising just above the bottom when the water is less than five feet deep. And there will be no doubt in your mind as to the depth over which you need to drill your holes, the lure you should use or where in the water column you should jig it. Now check your email to confirm your subscription. All of the trout on my property had congregated in one slow (but not the deepest) pool, the one with two massive logjams in the center. Proper preparation is key to ensuring a safe day on the hard water, 3 essential tips for maintaining your shelter this ice fishing season. Due to their preference for deep, cool waters, lake trout are most accessible to anglers immediately after ice-out in the spring, or during the winter months when they become a primary target for ice-fishermen. There are about eight pools and a half-dozen riffles on my property, and all of them hold trout in varying densities during the trout season. And let's assume, too, that on your sonar screen you spotted the trout rush in and then felt it hit, after it had reached its maximum descent. Inexpensive, bullet-proof suggestions for the ice angler on your Christmas list. As the food supply dwindles and water temperatures drop and streamside vegetation recedes, the need for protection from winter floods, anchor ice, and predators becomes the primary factor in a trout's existence. Do your part by following public health advice. And when it does all finally come together, it is lights out and game on. This shallow water activity can change from day to day, dependin… I've been known to leave a house full of guests to do this when the light is just right, but I don't advise it unless you crave a reputation for eccentric behavior. Slow but not stagnant currents. The best cliffs and walls have no shoreline, whatsoever, plummeting straight down into water that is often … Laker, Greaser, or Grease ball are a … If the law allows, try winter trout fishing in your area. Trout will use rocks for winter cover but because there is usually more turbulence around rocks, logjams offer better habitat. Success! Places that held fish every day in summer were barren. Please try again. That actually might not be the best approach and in this post, I'm going to be talking about the best way to catch lake trout in the summer. When it comes to trout, wintertime is the best season, while crappie and bass go dormant. 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