There are several milestone trips for me as the open water season progresses and just so happens that the first one is a lake trout trip as soon as Mother Nature releases us from her icy grip.
Not only are lake trout one of the sportiest fish to catch, they also present the opportunity to fish before the walleye opener, as lake trout season remains open in Spring and closes in the fall for their spawn.
The ice just left Sunset Country this week, and with favorable weather conditions in the forecast, a Lake Trout trip was put into action.
Lake Trout are a reliable bite in the spring and congregate in shallow water before water temperatures rise and drive them to deeper depths. There are several techniques that put trout in the boat, such as long lining spoons or cranks in addition to vertical jigging. I typically slowly back troll in a zig zag pattern at various depths until I contact fish where I change things up and jig vertically.
Saturday brought blue skies and South winds blowing at 10-15 mph. As goes with any fishing, the wind can be used to stack the odds in your favor and trout are no different.
We found the fish to be holding on windblown points in 24-45 feet of water and caught them on a variety of baits with the best being a Northland Slurp jigs tipped with a large minnow.
The only thing better than watching a trout peel line on a buckled rod is to reap the rewards with a shore lunch and we did exactly that!! I always looked forward to a trout boil from my guiding days and to me, that meal is synonymous with spring.
Here’s the recipe:
1/2 cup salt
¼ pound butter
The amount of each ingredients is based on the number of people and how hungry they are. Remember that most eat double at a shore lunch! Three big fellas typically eat one 5 pound lake trout with no problem.
Add salt to water in a large boiling pot and bring to a boil, preferably over an open flame (the salt is twofold, seasoning the veggies and draws the oil from the fish, leaving it very mild and quite simply delicious)
Add potatoes and carrots (any other veggies can be added to preference such as turnips or cabbage)
When potatoes and carrots are almost done, add onions and fish
Bring water back to a slow boil for about 5 minutes or until fish is firm and flaky (I use a lid to assist with how hard the water boils)
Add butter and melt on the fire
Serve with tartar, side of baked beans and fresh bread
Don’t be insulted if there is very little talking during lunch!! We caught several fish on Saturday, but as always, the highlight was the hour spent sitting on the shore with a steaming plate of fresh fish.
Hope everyone South of the border enjoyed a great walleye opener, I know I’m sure looking forward to ours this weekend!