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Discussion Starter #1
Is there anyone on this board that targets lake trout?
I have never caught one and I am very interested in giving it a try this spring.
Any help on what kind of lures to use would be great.
I expect to be trolling from a boat and would like to try for the bigger ones -- i.e. 10 lbs + although any help on catching the smaller ones would be helpful as well

Thanks,
Mauser
 

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Mauser,

I have a wall hanger that went 37 inches and was a little over 18 pounds(skinny because it was a week or three past ice off). I caught it and a bunch of smaller ones trolling a deep diving rapala sweetened with a strip of sucker meat on a single hook of the front treble hook. Tricky because you need to make sure that the lure is swimming correctly after you add the sucker meat. I made sure that the lure was getting down by giving the pole a tug every now and then as we trolled along.

T-Fin
 
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Discussion Starter #3
thanks -- any preference on rapala colors
also ,where do you get sucker meat -- other than heading to one of the local lakes with a bunch of worms and catching a few
 

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probably the best way to start catching lakers is going to a lake that has lakers, Jefferson, Granby, Williams Fork, Green Mountain, and trolling stuff like rapalas, kastmasters, taz devils, nothing super secret color wise, but natural is more confident for me. Main thing would be getting them down deeper by using a downrigger, leadcore, or 3 way rig and trolling along drop-offs. Jigging white tube jigs from the boat is another option. Unfortunately, there is no short cut to get the big ones to go, so you gotta put in your time.  :(
 

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So what are the chances of catching a mackinaw without using a downrigger, leadcore or 3 way rig? I'm quite sure that's not unheard of.
 
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I like to vertical jig for them. It's very similar to ice fishing, but your fishing platform is a boat instead of the ice surface. My favorite lures are 4" to 7" tubes in various colors on 3/8 to 1.5 oz. jigheads. Biggest so far is 26+ pounds but I'm working to break 30 this year!
 

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Mauser-Grubs on a football or standup head. Fish points deeper during the day and shallower early and late. Just hop it along the bottom. When you feel a thunk, thats a fish. ;) Ed
 

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Like Don I like using tube jigs tipped with sucker meat. If I am not mistaken the State record Mack was caught with a tube jig out of Blue Mesa. It weighed around 42lbs. They have it on display at Sportmans Warehouse over here in Grand Junction. A real monster!
 

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I have a 40 replaca mount of one i caught in canada a few years age went 35lbs
caught her jiging a chartruse tube jig tip with frozen minnow.
Ihave big one mostly on tubes and down riggers big spoons jointed rapalas silver.
good luck
 
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Thanks for the info. sounds like I need to go catch some suckers and get some big tube jigs and lures
 

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I would agree with the others, tube jigs tipped with sucker meat are your best bet. Gander Mountain in Aurora has frozen sucker meat and live suckers if you decide not to catch your own. If you're going to troll try big Rapalas or Flatfish off of a downrigger. There are quite a few lakes with lots of big macks in them: Blue Mesa, Flaming Gorge, Granby, Taylor Park, and Twin Lakes are at the top of the list. Good luck!
 

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Beginning Memorial Day, they'll let you use cartop type boats at Gross. Might make for some interesting fishing, as they've never allowed it before. There are supposed to be some pretty nice macks and tiger muskies in there.
 

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I think as much as the type of method used,the time of year is more critical.most of your big lakers are caught at ice-off and in the fall when theyre spawning.Both times they come shallower and are easier to target.Draggin stuff at 50 or 60 or 80 or even 100 ft deep is a real pain in the ars!Just my 2 cents!
 

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Caught a 34incher @ Williams Fork this winter, plus you've got the chance of some nice pike as well! Tube jigs are the way to go. It's actually pretty easy fishing them in 40-50ft. of water. Come ice off, they'll come in pretty shallow. With the rainbows spawn, they like them eggs, so they're already coming in, in some places, I'm sure.
John
 
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Discussion Starter #16
Another good way to catch them is by pulling a hook with a crawler or chunk of sucker behind some gang trolls. Dragging it close to bottom like you would for walleyes with a spinner.

Another good way is to use a dodger in front of a tube (squid) with a chunk of sucker on it.
 

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EricCO said:
Another good way is to use a dodger in front of a tube (squid) with a chunk of sucker on it.
I use a similar technique when fishing pike, have a crankbait out front with a leader instead of a hook hooked to the rear hook hole then a larger spoon hooked to the leader, pike cant stand other fish eating other fish when its not themselves and will strike out of spite.
 

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I generally use tube jigs or marabous tipped with sucker or anchovy. Colorado used to have so many big macks it most lakes it wasn't funny. Now 90% of the big ones are gone, but their are still some around. We need to do our part by releasing the big ones and keeping the small ones, and start hoping the CDOW does theirs.
In fact I'm heading up to Blue Mesa on Sunday with my friend in his boat. Will let you know how I do.
 

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I think part of the problem we lose so many lake trout is not just that everyone keeps them, its that people hook them at 60+ft and fight them like mad to the surface. This screws up their swim bladder and they dont survive when released.
 

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ePiC said:
I think part of the problem we lose so many lake trout is not just that everyone keeps them, its that people hook them at 60+ft and fight them like mad to the surface.  This screws up their swim bladder and they dont survive when released. 
Actually, Lake Trout are a "ductless" species, meaning they can control they amount of air in their swim bladders. The reason you hear a gurgling sound when you land one sometimes is because it is simply controlling the amount of air in the bladder. So lakers and trout in general are releasable from all depths, unless they die of other causes.
Bass, walleyes, perch, and crappies are not this way and fish brought up fast from deeper water may blow their swim bladders and not be able to survive.
 
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