While most anglers try and target their favorite ice fishing species in the middle of winter when temps are cold, and ice is building I love to fish for Lake Trout later in the ice fishing season when temps get mild and big Lake Trout start to move to deeper water shoals to feed heavily just before spring melt and also right after.
My strategy is to fish rattling lures over 70-100’ reefs that are surrounded by deeper water. These areas attract some of Lake Trout favorite food such as Cisco, immature whitefish and other deep-water baitfish including juvenile Lake Trout.
To fish them effectively I use a high-resolution fish finder in “flasher-mode”. My favorite is the Raymarine 7” Element that can be fished from our boat in the open-water season and in a portable ice fishing kit during the winter months.
Lake trout are fierce predators and one thing I have learned over the years is that if I’m jigging for them when I spot one on my fish finder to get them to strike, I must keep moving my lure away from them. If I stop and jig in one spot they usually leave. It’s common to have dozens of Lake Trout show up and follow my lure, but only some strike it. Once hooked Lakers like to make long runs, they shake their head violently and roll in the line. It’s best to have your drag set right and take your time bringing the fish up from deeper depths and once close to the ice hole carefully guide the fish up and land it.