Northwestern Ontario Lake Trout Tradition


January 1st marks the opener of lake trout season in my zone in Northwestern Ontario. My long standing tradition is to fish for them on opening day when conditions permit.

I’m always very cautious to travel on lake trout water in my area as they are mostly clear deep water lakes that take forever to cool down in the fall. They also take a long time to freeze thick enough for safe travel by snowmobile.

In recent years, I’ve been unable to go on opening day due to poor ice conditions, this recent polar vortex had a positive effect on the ice and on the body of water we fished today in the areas we went. I saw 7” of good clear ice with another 3 of white ice. The lake had 3-4” of powdery snow and made for perfect running by snowmobile to the fishing spots.

As for the fishing, it was slow. High bluebird skies and high barometric pressure generally make for a slow bite. That’s exactly what we saw today. We did get some action though with 8 bites and some lost fish. My good friend Leo managed to land a nice 6 lb specimen. Some smoked sausage and tea on an open fire rounded out the day.

On a side note, for high pressure conditions, it’s all about run and gun style to contact as many active fish as you can. We just didn’t do that today with the bitter cold windchill's.

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