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Discussion Starter #1
Well, we already have a laker thread for conservation, so I DON'T WANT ANYTHING HERE besides release all big lakers.
Now that we have that unpleasent junk out of the way, we can talk about icing the finicky mackinaw, or lake trout.

I like to fish on gentle dropoffs primarily, but some good areas are areas with a sharp dropoff and COVER, or a nice long, fairly deep flat with proximity to deep water on one side and an inlet leading in. depths in the 30-70 feet range are premium. Lakers (except occaisionally at blue and granby) are almost always right on the bottom or 1 or 2 feet above it. Lures that are good are white ttube jigs and chartreuse tube jigs (depending on the fishery), buckshot rattlespoons, and white bucktails. Lures in the 2-4.5", or the 1/4-5/8 oz sizes will be effective (spoons and bucktails are premium at 1/4 and 3/8 respectively). A slow jigging motion with gentle twiches and long pauses is the best, although with the buckshots rattlespoons you should shake it sometimes.
Always tip with some sort of fish meat, or with smelly jelly.

Lakers hit very, very gentle, with the smaller ones tapping it and the larger ones (20"+) just added weight. Drive the hook home. Hope this helps!

How do you guys catch lakers?
 

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Mackinaws usually stay shallow after they spawn in the fall and when the ice moves in. I try to locate rocky points next to deep drop offs, 20-50 ft of water. If I cant find the rocky structure I try the flats next to drop offs, around the same depths. Macks usually stick close to the bottom but not usually on the bottom, usually jigging about 3-4ft off the bottom.
What I like to use? White tubes tipped with sucker meat. I rig my tubes with jig heads that I insert partially in the tube with a little bit of space at the top of the tube. This causes the tube to spin when it falls like a dying fish. I also use a stinger hook on the tube and usually stuck into the sucker meat so that it flashes when it falls.
I also use whole suckers on quick strike rigs on tipups I am going to try to experiment with circle hooks on my quick strikes as I think may help with the light bite of the lakers.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
you are right a stinger hook is nice to have. Thanks for putting that in there.
Epic, on the tipups, try the same tubes you would normally use. I used to use a dead sucker or anchovie and rarely caught any, the same tubes you'd normally use work much better.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
kokaneeking said:
sucker meat , shiner or shad meat, and of course the spawn sac
how do you fish the spawn sac?
BTW: A warning to all new lake trout icefisherman. do not, I repeat, do not listen to what infisherman says about laker fishing, they are completely wrong for this area. Our lakers, for the most part, suspend rarely, need the tube tipped with something, and most of all hit soft instead of hard. The bigger ones are just added weight.
 

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TFB, How long have you been icefishing for lakers in Colorado? So they don't suspend in the winter here ::) Ok then ;D

Seriously at least 1/2 of the lakers I catch are suspended fish. Most of the bigger ones do tend to come from the bottom though.

And a lots the fish I have caught hit hard, they slash the bait. I sometimes tail hook fish that have slashed at my bait. Yeah, some times they do hit soft, not all the time though.

T
 

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im going to have to agree with talo. a good many of the lakers i catch are suspended, especially at places like granby.as far as being finicky i dont think so, i would guess there probally the most cooperative fish around.some bite soft but most are verry agressive.perhaps your just not quite fishing properly for them bear. maybe you might reconsider what infisherman has to say or go along with some of us more experienced fisherman.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I fish for lake trout in ruedi and taylor primarily, and there they are ALL bottom hugging, soft biting fish. In blue mesa they will occaisionally suspend.
and littlemac, I am hardly inexperienced. I have icefished for lakers since I believe 1998 and have caught hundreds upon hundreds of them.
Fish with me for macks in those two lakes and I guarantee I will outfish you 3 to 1.
 

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i fish spawn sacs with a treble hook and split shot most of the lakers i catch are right off the bottom , although i have caught some suspended in deep water
 

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wow since 1998 now i am impressed so sorry it just sounded like you were a rookie. three to one huh care to put alittle wager on that?
 
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man y do these sorts of post always turn out to be a competition when someone like me, a true rookie, is just trying to learn something

but anyway, thanks for the helpful pointers about lakers, the closest place for lakers for me is probably granby or jefferson, so thanks for the tips
 

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Dicks Sporting goods has the new extra wide gap Gamigatsu tube jig hooks in 1/8, 1/4, and 3/8 oz. They should really help make sure you get a good hook set!

I like a 3/8 oz Airplane head without bucktail or stinger hooks. Then I add a 4" Power tube. For Pike I replace the tube with a 5" Jerk shad. The Airplane head works much better if you use heavier line! The extra diameter makes it sink and circle like an Aiplane jig is suppose to!
 

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Sure lakers suspend, but they mainly hang on the bottom. I don't know how many fish I've caught, fishing 40ft of water, then about half way down, the line just stops. I found that lakers generally mouth the bait and sit there. The biggest laker I've ever caught, a 34incher (caught last year @ williams Fork ;)) hit exactlly like every other 18incer I've caught. Sure, a few will rip the rod right out of your hand, but most of my fish I'd have to say hit, as the jig is falling. This holds true if I'm getting my line down, or jigging right off the bottom. So, to any "rookie" mac fisherman, WATCH YOUR LINE!
 

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I fish one rod with tube jig and sucker meat always jigging it and the second rod dead stick with spawn sacs.
 

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I think I would agree with TFB&johnnyO most Lakers I get are all bottom feeders and hit real light, you will still have some that are real aggressive and hit half way down. Just look at your electronics stop your bait over them and play with them A little. I remember last year I brought one up off the bottom from 65ft. down and finally hooked it 3ft. below the hole sometimes that just happens I guess. I think it was the smallest laker I got all year my 4in. tube was almost bigger than he was. :D But anyways I use airplanes, jigging raps, 3 to 4in. white and chartreuse tubes tipped with sucker meat.
 

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Lakers are cruisers, they tend to cruise by themselves when not in the spawn or when not recovering from the spawn. So you will catch them suspended sometimes, but as stated threw the ice you usually will catch them close to the bottom.
 
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Whenever I'm getting light bites I switch spools and use a braided line with no stretch. Its really helps detecting light bites and gives you tons of power with setting the hook. If they are shy do to the visablity of these lines use a fluorocarbon leader of around three feet. I attach the leader to the super line with a double surgeons knot.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
hey I bought some lures at sportsmans the other day from tubes and tails. They are a hybrid tube jig/bucktail jig. They are 3-3.5" (Around in there) and white. Should be deadly on the lakers as my best two lures are bucktails and tubes.
 

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I've caught Macks on airplane jigs, but their not the most productive thing I've used.
 
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