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Where the Lakers Haunt

Learn some tips and tricks from a local angler for catching big Lakers in Lake Ontario. • Credit: Rob Henry
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Where the Lakers Haunt

Fishing Tips for Catching Lake Trout in Lake Ontario

I got a call from my good friend Gerry. "Weather looks good for tomorrow, we doing this?" he asks. My answer was obviously yes! So the plans were made to hit Lake Ontario in the morning.

We began our day at 9 am. We launched the Lund and made the 10-mile run out into Lake Ontario to "Where the Lakers Haunt". We started in 40 feet of water by putting out magnum dipsy divers on each side of the boat paired with a spoon along with lowering the downriggers to about 10 feet off the bottom also paired with spoons. We set our trolling speed to 1.8 mph. Some days the trolling speed varies anywhere from 1.5-3.0 mph. You have to find out what the fish want. It wasn't long before we had our first hit on a dipsy. Unfortunately, the hooks didn't stick. Then a rigger triggers, same thing. Finally, the third time was the charm. It's Gerry's turn on the rod and he lands this beauty laker to start our day.

lakeontario laketrout2

When fishing Lake Ontario, two lines per angler may be used, so we got set up again with our four lines in the water. It wasn't minutes and one of the rigger lines starts bouncing. It was my turn on the rod. I grab ahold of the rod and pull the line out of the release and it was game on. It didn't take long to get this smaller, but still beautiful laker into the boat.

robhenry laketrout2

As the minutes ticked by the action slows so we decided to go deeper. We made our move from 40 feet of water to 60 feet. It didn't take long and Gerry was on the rod again.

lakeontario laketrout

Now that we are back on the fish and set up again after releasing the previous laker it wasn't long until we hooked into another. Now we are starting to figure out what they want. We had four different coloured spoons on and they were only hitting two. Those two were very similar in colour, shape and action. So we changed out our other spoons to increase our odds.

robhenry laketrout1

It wasn't long before the net hanging over the transom of the boat attracted attention and fellow fishermen began their troll near us. I'm not certain but pretty positive this changed the luck we were having hooking and landing these lakers. An hour went by and no more fish. Then the two-hour mark passed and still not even a hit. We had to do something. Earlier in the day, we had both noticed we could see the bottom in just over 40 feet of water. Maybe, just maybe, the addition of 2 other boats and running motors in the water has got these lakers on edge. So we said, "let's go back farther!"

Out comes the 10-colour lead core. The lead core line is exactly that, lead core. Each colour is 10 yards in length and sinks on average five feet per colour. So we let out all 10 colours, which got us 100 yards behind the boat and roughly 50 feet down, which is 60 feet of water was perfect. A fluorocarbon leader on the end of the lead core is very important in this crystal clear water. As soon as the line was out and the rod was placed in the rod holder, I hear "Fish On!"

lakeontario laketrout3

We got set up with 10 colours of lead core out behind the boat again, which we have now replaced a downrigger line with. It seemed like seconds and the lead core rod goes off. This one is a good one. After a few minutes of fighting this beast, we get it into the boat, get a quick picture and release it back into Lake Ontario. We finished the day having landed nine spectacular-looking lakers.

robhenry laketrout4

There are multiple ways to fish for lake trout in the month of May when they are feeding shallow while the water is turning over. I've caught them trolling, jigging and casting. I recently went out after this day of trolling and targeted lakers shallow while casting Rapala's Rippin' Rap. It is a thrill not only hooking up but watching these gorgeous fish following your bait to the boat in the shallow crystal clear water.

robhenry laketrout5

All photos property of Rob Henry.

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