How's my plan for Friday? (Still in pursuit of first lake trout)

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pnutbutter
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:55 pm
Species: Trout

How's my plan for Friday? (Still in pursuit of first lake trout)

Post by pnutbutter »

Hi, everyone. I'm still in pursuit of my first lake trout. The forecast for Friday morning is low wind so that's my next shot (I fish from a kayak, wind makes things difficult). Would all you experts please tell me if my plan is a good one?

I'll put in at Converse Bay and fish the 70-90 feet deep shelf just north of the bay. I have 2oz jigs, a 2oz spoon and a 4oz spoon. I'll jig those bouncing on the bottom, occasionally reeling quickly up to simulate a bait fish fleeing upward then drop it back down to the bottom. I won't worry too much if my tiny fish finder doesn't show fish on the bottom (I've been told bottom-hugging lakers don't always show up).

Anything you'd do differently? Fish a different place in the Burlington-ish area? Work the lures differently? I have a slide diver so I could troll if that would be better - only braid on the reels though which I hear may be a problem with fleas, and with the slide diver my depth would be approximate.

Thanks for the feedback everyone! I really want to get one these fish! I know opinions are divided about their palatability but I'd like to try one on the grill - seems like the population could sustain a couple being harvested.

Or, if anyone is headed out Friday morning near-ish Burlington and wants to teach an enthusiastic lake trout novice, I'd gladly join you!

TUnamas
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:16 pm

Re: How's my plan for Friday? (Still in pursuit of first lake trout)

Post by TUnamas »

Your plan looks reasonable. I might add a couple of 2-3 oz head rubber swim baits in case the jigs/spoons aren't getting action. Scent them all up too! I doubt a slide diver and a kayak will get you sufficiently deep to effectively troll lakers mid-summer. If you want to troll, one option might be a three way swivel with a 3oz weight and a big stick bait. Stick it in the mud!

Mike8484
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Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:10 am
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Re: How's my plan for Friday? (Still in pursuit of first lake trout)

Post by Mike8484 »

Have you been fishing out of a red/yellow kayak in converse? If so, I think I've seen you out there. Even as recently as last Sunday. I am on the creme and blue Lund. So you are spot on with the heavy jigs and spoon. You'll need it to keep those baits down on the bottom. I'd be more concerned on how you plan on staying over those lures in your kayak. Are you using a drift sock or anything to slow down your drift? It doesn't take much wind at all to push vessels clear off of their intended spots. In Converse that means a 60 fow difference at times. I think in a kayak Converse may be your best bet as the Burlington area spots tend to put you in vulnerable spots if any sort of weather comes in. Best of luck! I got on my first softwater laker this year in that very area.

pnutbutter
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Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:55 pm
Species: Trout

Re: How's my plan for Friday? (Still in pursuit of first lake trout)

Post by pnutbutter »

Thanks for the tips!

Mike 8484, I have a tan kayak, sounds like it was someone else you spotted. I do have a drift sock, I'll be sure to use it.

TUnamas, I'll throw a couple white and silver swim baits I have into the mix. Maybe I'll try dragging a stick bait around the bottom as you suggest, too. At what speed would you do that?

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Dilly Worm
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Re: How's my plan for Friday? (Still in pursuit of first lake trout)

Post by Dilly Worm »

August and September are tough months to catch lakers from a nonmotorized boat, so if you succeed, it will just get better when the water is cooler.

I will just suggest if you aren't catching anything jigging, try moving around until you see something on the fish finder - even if lakers are there on the bottom where it doesn't see them, they may not be in the mood for feeding. If you can find clouds of baitfish there's a better chance active lakers will be there too.

About trolling with the slide diver - I took out the Adirondack Rowboat this past weekend and rowed about 11 miles, caught a single SMALL laker on a magnum Dipsy Diver with 250 feet of line out, so maybe 90-100 ft deep - so it wasn't a very effective technique. Great workout, though. Jigging can work better for catching lakers if you can find a good spot.

Palatability of lakers is inversely proportional to size. The big ones that are so fun to catch are not so tasty. Personally I will release any over 25" or ~5 lbs, but I like to marinate the smaller ones in teriyaki and then grill them.

Good luck !
I do not exaggerate when I talk about fishing - I underestimate, like I say "just one more cast honey, then I'll come home" !
Keep Calm and... Fish On !
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the_doctor
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Re: How's my plan for Friday? (Still in pursuit of first lake trout)

Post by the_doctor »

Best of luck. Remember once the water gets cold around October you can catch lakers fairly easily by casting or shallow-trolling crankbaits and spoons. Tight lines!

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Detritus
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Species: Anything we can catch
Location: Vergennes

Re: How's my plan for Friday? (Still in pursuit of first lake trout)

Post by Detritus »

Program sounds pretty good, I think your biggest issue is going to be dealing with the wind. When jigging in 70-80 ft of water, it helps a lot to not be blown off of your depth, or spot that you're trying to target. Once your boat starts blowing away at 2.5 -3 mph in the wind, it's much harder to feel the bottom with your jig, since you're basically trolling.

I agree with the soft plastic swimbait/eel lures with scent. Fish were mauling those two weeks ago jigging, but we never hooked up. I think they were biting the tails. But, switched to a steel shad blade bait, and started catching them.

Here's the program that has been working for us. I know you'll have to adapt somehow being in a kayak, but, you might be able to reverse engineer it somehow.

Drive around about 3-4 mph with the gas motor, bow trolling motor deployed but not running, over the 70-80 ft depth contour. Look for bait near the bottom with predators below it. Looks like a cloud with arches below. Just arches are Lakers, but, if there's no bait, like Dilly said, they may not be in the mood to eat. (Drop a jig on their heads anyway) Once we find the bait with predators underneath, GPS anchor is turned on on the trolling motor, and we drop the baits down. When you're stationary, you can watch the big jigs on traditional sonar. Falling is a long diagonal line, jigging looks like a heartbeat on the screen. Occasionally pull up, reel down, pull up, reel down, all the way up to 30 or 40 feet, then let it fall all the way back to the bottom. When reeling up to move to another spot, lurking Lakers seem to turn back down to the bottom about 30 or 40 feet, so that's kind of your fishing ceiling if you know what I mean. We have lots of fish watching the bait for a long time before they strike. You see them on the sonar chasing it around all of the time. Lakers are either attracted or annoyed by lots of dust and banging around on the bottom. It's really dark down there, so scent, noise, and glow in the dark stuff seems to help a lot. Remember, if you're banging the bottom, and it "gets really deep all of the sudden" pull up hard. A fish has caught your bait before it hit the bottom.

From a conservation standpoint, there's a few things to keep in mind. Lakers have an air bladder in them, so take your time reeling them up. Hopefully they'll burp out the air as they go. Try burping them when you get them to the surface, by holding the tail, and running your fingers from tail to head along their belly.

Some fish won't burp, and either have a hard time getting back down, or can't. We made a deep release device for them. Basically it's a rapala lip gripper that works like plastic vice grip pliers. Tie one handle to a mushroom anchor, rigger ball, or similar heavy weight. Tie or clip your fishing line to the other (top) handle, and send the anchor down preferably to the bottom, but 30-40 feet is better than nothing. Once the anchor is down, close the bail on your fishing line, and tug your lip grippers open. Fish is released in his temperature range, and isn't trapped at the surface by his air bladder.

Or, be prepared to eat it if he dies. If you do a brine overnight, and hickory smoke it, lake trout is unbelievable.

I've been meaning to do a jigging report for 2 weeks, but haven't gotten around to it. Here's a couple we've caught on this program recently.


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The lip grippers in these pictures are the same ones that I was describing for deep releasing. We keep one pair all set up with clips and loops and stuff to quickly do the deep release thing if needed, and the other pair to hold up the fish for a picture.

Keep after it, the first one is the hardest one to catch. After that, they're all over place.
"Country Angler" - '93 Trophy 2002 - Cold water boat
"Strike Three" - '04 Triton SF21 - Warm water boat
"The Dumpster" - '90 Starcraft SF14 - Camping Boat

Jack

pnutbutter
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:55 pm
Species: Trout

Re: How's my plan for Friday? (Still in pursuit of first lake trout)

Post by pnutbutter »

Really appreciate the advice, everyone. I went out this morning (Saturday) instead of Friday because today had less wind. I worked around that plateau outside of Converse Bay, saw some bait and some large fish near the bottom mostly in 100-140 feet of water, jigged using the lures discussed earlier... and caught zero fish. I was out something like 7:30-10:30. I'll try again sometime soon. I appreciate all the advice so I know I'm not way off target!

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Detritus
Posts: 379
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:50 pm
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Location: Vergennes

Re: How's my plan for Friday? (Still in pursuit of first lake trout)

Post by Detritus »

pnutbutter wrote:
Sat Aug 21, 2021 2:59 pm
Really appreciate the advice, everyone. I went out this morning (Saturday) instead of Friday because today had less wind. I worked around that plateau outside of Converse Bay, saw some bait and some large fish near the bottom mostly in 100-140 feet of water, jigged using the lures discussed earlier... and caught zero fish. I was out something like 7:30-10:30. I'll try again sometime soon. I appreciate all the advice so I know I'm not way off target!
I was out there too at the same time. No cold water fish though, it was the first Vergennes Bass Fishing Team practice.

Get a couple of these at Datillio's for next time.


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Or a similarly big Heddon Sonar. I think the ones we've been using are about 3 3/4" or so.
"Country Angler" - '93 Trophy 2002 - Cold water boat
"Strike Three" - '04 Triton SF21 - Warm water boat
"The Dumpster" - '90 Starcraft SF14 - Camping Boat

Jack

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