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Summer Time and the Lake Trout Fishin's Easy

11 year old Liam Whetter beams with pride over the 10-pound lake trout he caught trolling with a Jet Diver in a small lake in Northern Ontario. • Credit: Gord Pyzer
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Summer Time and the Lake Trout Fishin's Easy

Why anglers visiting Northern Ontario love to catch lake trout

Talk to most anglers visiting Northern Ontario on a fishing vacation and they'll tell you they'd dearly love to catch some of the magnificent lake trout for which the province's North Country is justifiably famous.

I mean, the biggest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Superior, is filled with giant trout. Ditto for all of the other stellar lake trout hot spots like Lake Temagami, Lake Huron, Georgian Bay, Lake Nipigon and Trout Lake to name just a few.

In fact, the "big boys" offer such phenomenal fishing, they often, unfortunately, overshadow the thousands of small and medium-size gems that dot the Northern Ontario landscape, like a string of exquisite pearls on a necklace, from east to west.

As a matter of fact, let me share a little secret with you. I often prefer to fish these hidden lake trout haunts for a whole host of reasons, not the least important of which is the fact that I rarely have to worry about the weather. No matter what Mother Nature decides to throw your way, you can almost always easily fish these smaller, more manageable waters.

And you don't need a big fancy boat and motor, either.

The truth of the matter is I haul the 14-foot aluminum Kingfisher, powered by a 9.9-horsepower Mercury tiller handle outboard on a small trailer I reserve just for these occasions, behind the truck and launch it into my favourite trout lakes by simply backing it over some flat rocks at the shore.

How simple is that? You don't even need an access point!

ten-pound lake trout Eleven-year-old Liam Whetter beams with pride over the ten-pound lake trout he caught trolling with a Jet Diver in a small lake in Northern Ontario. (Photo credit: Gord Pyzer)

And most days, my 11-year old grandson, Liam -- who adores fishing these trout treasures -- and I have the entire lake to ourselves.

Of course, the other reason we love trolling these picture-postcard Northern Ontario wonder waters is that the lake trout fishing is, well, how do I say this, ridiculously easy.

"Ah, but you guys have portable downriggers on your little boat," I can hear you saying. "I just have my standard walleye, bass and pike tackle."

Well, guess what? Most days we leave the 'riggers at home because we really don't need them. Instead, we rely on two trolling aids -- Dipsy Divers and Jet Divers -- that cost at the very most, $10.00 each and let you use your standard fishing tackle to catch more and bigger lake trout than you ever thought possible.

lake trout While modest size lake trout tend to predominate the catch in the smaller, pristine backwoods waters that dot the Northern Ontario landscape, trophy trout also abound. (Photo credit: Gord Pyzer)

Indeed, a good part of the success is that these trolling devices are so spectacularly simple to use.

Especially, Jet Divers are hollow plastic tubes with wings that you attach to your mainline before adding your spoon or light lure behind it via a leader. When you start to troll, because of its design, the Jet dives straight down behind the boat, taking your lure into the deep cold abyss where the lake trout live.

Dipsy Divers do the same thing, but because Dipsies come with an adjustable disc at the back, you can rotate and set them to run off either side of the boat on a series of different angles and depths. This is particularly helpful when there are three or four anglers trolling, as you can adjust the slant and low point of your lure to avoid tangling your lines.

To make it even more undemanding, Jet Divers come in five different sizes -- from the tiny Jet 10 to the bigger Jet 50 -- the last number corresponding with the depth to which the device will dive and carry your lure.

Dipsies, on the other hand, come with an instruction page that outlines how deeply they will run, depending on your settings and the amount of line you let out.

Suffice to say, we're talking about trolling for lake trout here -- it's not rocket science. The devices are "easy peasy" to use.

About the only thing I would recommend is employing baitcasting equipment - especially the longest 7-, 8- or 9-foot heavy or medium-heavy action rod that you own. And spool the reel with a fairly strong 20- to 40-pound test braided line because the bigger the trolling aid you use the more pressure it will exert. Seventeen- to 20-pound test Maxima fluorocarbon line, on the other hand, is what I favour for the leader between the diver and my lure.

lake trout(Photo credit: Gord Pyzer)

Just don't make the mistake of using too long of a lead. Remember, when you hook a lake trout and reel it in, the diver will stop at your rod tip, so don't make the leader any longer than the length of your rod or else you will have problems netting the fish.

Spoons like the Williams Wabler and Williams Whitefish -- two Canadian lake trout classics -- are my "go-to" baits when I am trolling for summertime lake trout using Dipsies and Jets. I favour the dimpled, two-tone gold-and-silver spoons, and I always remove the treble hook, replacing it with a single siwash hook on which I have threaded a 4- to 6-inch long, white or silver, Mister Twister or Exude scented curly tail.

The combination has never failed to produce lake trout from the pristine waters of Northeastern Ontario, across Algoma Country and North of Superior, into my home region of Sunset Country.

Give it a try over the next few weeks, even if walleye, pike and bass are what has attracted you to this wonderland we call Northern Ontario.

Follow Gord on Twitter @gordpyzer

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