In the spring, the lake trout will be right up to the surface. As the water starts to warm up with the changing weather, the trout start to go deeper. Here is an approximate depth for finding the fish at different times of year. This is not true of all lakes. Some smaller spring fed lakes will have trout shallow all year. But this is a general guideline for finding the trout in various seasons:
- Just after ice-out: between 10 feet and the surface
- Mid spring: about 20-30 feet deep
- Late spring: about 30-45 feet deep
- Summer: summer is the tricky part. Many believe that the lake trout go to the deepest part of the lake and stay dormant. In actuality, the lake trout stay suspended in 53 degree thermal layers or concentrate in shallower holes where a natural spring pumps cold water into the lake. Why are they there? That’s where all the baitfish are. There will be trout deeper than 60 feet or on the bottom in the deepest part of the lake, but they are not feeding. When they do feed, they come in shallower.
It’s good to have a depth finder so you can map the schools of baitfish that are suspended. When you do come across a school, troll around the outside of the school. The lake trout sit right underneath the school waiting for weak or injured fish to venture outside the school. Out in the middle of the lake, you will find these schools of baitfish in the 30-60 foot range. It’s different on most lakes but this is a good place to start.
Middle of Summer Lake Trout
The middle of summer is the time when people spend the least amount of time hunting down lake trout. With the 3-way swivel method, the middle of summer can be the best time because the lakers are concentrated in the deep holes and not spread out all over the lake like they are in the spring. Once you find a spot in the summer where you are catching lake trout, keep going back because they will stay in the same spot the whole summer.
A lake trout’s feeding turns on and off like a light-switch. You can find a spot where you are mapping fish on your depth finder and fish that spot for days without catching anything. Then all of a sudden, they start feeding like crazy for an hour or two and then stop dead again. You have to keep trying. Perseverance is a major factor in successful lake trout fishing.
Until next time.