This winter’s ice fishing has been about trying to catch different fish species than what we typically catch and trying new waters along the way. Recently, was asked by fellow Clam Pro, Chuck Fritz, to come up and try fishing for Lake Trout and hopefully White Perch as well.
Without hesitation, quickly accepted and planned for a day on the ice. Having never fished for either of these fish, anticipation was high and really looked forward to the trip.
Areas that we were working were, inside steep drop turns that these fish cruise along looking for the smelt that they were feeding on. Basically, only drill a few holes and wait for them to come cruising by as these fish are always on the move looking for a meal.
Baits of choice were the Clam Epoxy Drop Jig that was tipped with either spikes or Dillies and the Clam Leech Flutter Spoon tipped with a Maki Plastic. Most of the active fish were found in a 50-foot hole and they were cruising the outer edge trapping baitfish up along the sides of the steep drops.
We fished about 10 yards apart from each other and these Lake Trout would swim in pairs, so when one of us was marking a fish, it wasn’t long and the other was as well. Fished these baits about 3 feet off the bottom with long upward lifts, imitating an injured minnow that was falling.
The Lake Trout typically will run up from the bottom, straight to your bait. Key was to keep moving your bait upward, imitating a minnow trying to get away and the Trout would smoke the bait. Took a few misses before I finally figured out the pattern of the swing of the bait and we caught these fish with a double or two as well.
We couldn’t locate any White Perch, but, they haven’t started schooling up yet so they are more scattered and at times may come through as you are fishing for the Lake Trout. After spending the day on the ice catching these fish, I have found something that I want to catch more often. Is really amazing the power these fish have and they do not want to come to the top of the ice.