What is the Best Bait for Lake Trout Fishing? | Fish’n Canada’s Top Five Picks

Does the thought of a big fish towing you around the lake in your boat excite you? We know it excites us because we’ve had this thrilling experience. In freshwater, one of the strongest “tow-trucks” of all fish species is the Lake Trout. They pull like a low-geared winch and seemingly never give up. This article is about Ang and Pete’s lure and bait suggestions, which will hopefully help you decide what is the best bait for Lake Trout fishing.

A Unique Fish Species

The Lake Trout is a distinctive creature of the wild. First, it is not even a true “trout.” It is in the char family as with its cousin, the Arctic Char. Oddly enough, the Brook Trout, Bull Trout and Dolly Varden Trout are also in the Char family. So why are they called trout?

Another characteristic of the Lake Trout is it can not only go about its daily activities in 100-plus-foot deep frigid waters, but it has the ability to inflate and deflate its swim bladder to compensate for changes in water pressure, allowing it to rise safely (avoiding barotrauma) from extreme depths to the surface of a water body.

When fighting a Lake Trout—especially a big one—you will see air bubbles rising to the surface. Once to the surface, you will often hear the fish burping—honestly, they literally burp! It’s actually quite funny hearing it for the first time. 

Lake Trout vary in age, but some studies show that they can exceed 60 years. That, friends, is an old fish!

Angelo with BC Lake Trout
Ang holds a thick, old Lake Trout taken from frigid deep water.

Through the years, we have caught Lake Trout from Quebec to British Columbia. And in that time, we have learned what Lake Trout baits have worked best for us.

In no particular order, here are our Top Five best baits for Lake Trout:

1. Spoons

The spoon may well be the most popular Lake Trout lure of all time. We challenge you to find a more productive trolling lure when it comes to laker-capture fish stats throughout the entire band of Lake Trout waters across Canada. Some may argue this point, but they will likely lose.

Size does matter when it comes not only to spoons but to all laker baits. Depending on the location of the lake, big baits equal big Lake Trout.

If we are fishing Great Bear Lake, we will be dragging a huge spoon on one line, guaranteed. Although these big baits look intimidating, they are a mere morsel to a sizeable Lake Trout.

Important Note: Read this and remember for the rest of this article!

If you think your Lake Trout bait is too big, you are probably wrong—unless we’re talking about that gigantic three-foot Rapala that is for show and not go. We have witnessed 20- to 30-pound Lake Trout coming up from the abyss and T-boning an eight-pound laker that we were fighting at boat-side. Literally, a trout grabbed a distressed trout with full intent to kill and eat that eight-pounder. We’ve actually seen big trout tails sticking out of giant trout mouths. We’ve observed this more than once, and if you talk to any Lake Trout fishing guide from a trophy fishery, they will verify this occurrence.

Trust us; your bait is not too big!

Brand names like Eppinger, Len Thompson and Lucky Strike all produce big Lake Trout.

The two shapes we use most are the standard thick stamped and the canoe style. We will go to a wider bodied spoon every now and then, but only when the previous two aren’t producing.

 

Here’s a trolling Lake Trout caught by an enthusiastic Nik V

During the latter portion of a past trip to British Columbia, Ang and his grandson Nik trolled spoons to cover a lot of water in a short amount of time. They caught some incredible Lake Trout with this deadly, tried-and-true fishing method.

Classic Lake Trout spoons
These are all classic Lake Trout spoons; (from left to right) the chrome Ruby Eye, the Red and White Daredevil, the red dotted pearl Canoe spoon, and the trusty Five of Diamonds.

2. Flatfish or Kiwkfish

We learned about this style bait while fishing in the Northwest Territories. While pulling our aforementioned spoons, we heard stories that the spoon bite slowed down, but the Flatfish were on fire.

Flatfish or Kwikfish lures
Flatfish or Kwikfish are excellent lures to troll for Lake Trout because of their wide, tantalizing wobble.

Big, again, was the key. T-55 Flatfish in whatever colour you can find would work. When you look at a T-55 or a T-60, you will soon see why it is a big Lake Trout lure. That thick body produces a unique wide wobble that drives fish crazy.

Pete with big Lake Trout
Trolling has always been the most effective method for Pete and Ang with regards to big Lake Trout. This beast hit a Flatfish trolled in around 40 feet of water on Lake Athabasca

Since those days, we have played around with smaller sizes and have found that we go smaller on the tough days and go crazy with colour choice.

Lake Trout on a Flatfish lure
When natural colours aren’t producing, go wild!

Continue to Page 2 for the Fish’n Canada hosts’ three final picks for the Best Baits for Lake Trout Fishing.

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8 Replies to “What is the Best Bait for Lake Trout Fishing? | Fish’n Canada’s Top Five Picks”

    1. Hey Dogpatch thanks for commenting and you are correct in bringing up the Wobbler. Definitely one that has produced (I personally don’t use them much any more as I like heavier gauge metal).

      Now… I have to challenge you on your last part of the statement. Although WW’s are good, I can’t see them toppling all other spoons combined… just my “I’ve seen a lot of Canadian Lakers caught by a lot of anglers” opinion.

      Thanks again

  1. Hi Pete and Ang,
    Thanks for interesting summary. I am fishing for Lake trout for 10 years at least and every year it presents a new challenge. Every year I catch it using different technique.
    Usually trolling with Lucky strike Gang Troll produces results, but frequently lake trout refuses to bite. May be because it is end of the summer or because I am a poor fisherman.
    This year I fished lake trout at Weslemkoon lake and stayed in Hidden Cove Lodge.
    Let’s fish together next summer there or on Cabonga reservoir. Lakers are huge there.
    With my warmest wishes.
    Livebaitpro.

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