With my friends Chad and Kelly in town this past weekend, they'd expressed a desire to go after Lake Trout on Pactola since they'd never caught one before. As I hadn't gone after them this season yet and hadn't caught one myself in a couple of years, I agreed to try to help them scratch that off their list.
Some advice from others told me that the jigging bite was very slow, and most fish were being picked off with dead sticks, so I made sure we had some shiners to put on the Clam Outdoors Arctic Warrior set-ups to complement our spoons and jigs. Plus, it was a chance to finally use the new Northland Tackle Glo-Shot jigs I'd gotten specifically for lake trout fishing. Good thing we had them too.
The spot we picked must have been what felt like the only slush filled spot on the lake! As we walked to the spot, we hit a foot of slush on top of the ice at it, which seemed to get into everything. Any reel on it froze up when it was removed so having an extra rod holder to compliment the two on my Vexilar FLX-28 was a necessity.
We drilled holes in a grid pattern covering depths of anywhere from 45' to 82' and I dropped down my three Warrior set-ups on the edges of the grid. They mostly stayed in their flip-over sled and I moved around a bit between holes. The three of us all graphed fish with our spoons and jigs, but nothing would fully commit to chasing them.
Within 30 minutes, however, the first Warrior was tripped. I reeled up a typical sized Laker for Pactola, at around 22". Still a fun fight regardless of its size. About 15 minutes later, that same Warrior was tripped, and I had Kelly go and grab it. We had some reel issues at first but corrected it and fought and caught her first Laker! Another Warrior, fitted with Cold Snap Outdoor's new rod designed specifically to be used with the Arctic Warrior, the CSAW, caught our third and last one of the morning.
After lunch, we tried to find some bluegills, perch, and rainbows among the docks on the southern end of the lake, but only managed to bring up a few. At least Kelly could say she'd caught her first Lake Trout and we could declare our morning a success in that aspect, even if the morning was slow.
Hopefully next year, Chad will be able to cross that off his list too. While I'm not the most able person when it comes to Lakers, I'm happy that we tried for them and were able to catch a few. It was a learning experience for all three of us and I'm sure they'll want to try for them again next season.