I managed to get out a few times this week with my girlfriend Felicia to chase the kings of the cold, Lake Trout. I have become addicted to these cold-water beasts. I try and drag myself away to fish for other species, but Lake Trout just call my name.
Pactola Reservoir holds some world class fish, and being only 45 miles away it's hard to resist the daily call to go try and track a monster down. I could put a pattern together and find a few solid fish this week.
One of the best ways to maximize your chances for Lake Trout is to cover a big depth range. I like to set Clam Outdoors Arctic Warriors out across a shelf, putting each one 10 feet deeper than the next. Then, I will drill a bunch of extra holes in the gaps and other varying depths to jig in.
This will give me a general idea where the fish are running that day, either by flags going off or from marking fish jigging. Once I have dialed in a depth, I drill out a line in that depth range and re-place all of my Warriors in that 10-foot depth range where fish seem to be active.
Once I have found some fish in an area, the real challenge begins. What is it they want today? Some days they want the Clam Flutter Spoon, other days a simple jig-head and twister tail gets the job done. I like to use a lot of plastics to dial in a color pattern.
With my Vexilar FLX-28, I can get a general idea of how aggressive they are towards a particular color, just by how they act when they come in. The speed at which they come in, or how far I can get them to raise up in the column will give me a good idea on a color to use.
Chartreuse, white, silver and gold are usually the best color options. I keep 4 rods rigged up and ready to go, so I can do a quick lure change when I've marked a fish. Often, they will stick around even when they're no longer being marked if you can get a second option down to them quick enough.
When all 4 fails, I will drop a warrior down that hole and move on to the next one. This pattern was key this week as we pulled 4 great fish on warriors that I had marked jigging but just couldn't get to commit. More importantly, you get to yell FLAG!!! Who doesn't love hearing that? Even when on the ice by myself, I still feel it's needed to call out every flag.
Whether it's chasing down flags, or getting them to commit jigging, if you stay on the move and look for active fish you're sure to have a better day. Hopefully, get one of those rare days where it all just comes together and land on some solid fish.