How to Catch Lake Trout Trolling, by Blue Mesa Fishing Network
2012-2013- If you're tired of this page, that makes two of us! Right now this page is being expanded with real information on how to troll for Lake Trout. I will include lure selection, structural approach and peak seasonal fish movements. By 2013, you'll be gearing up for big trips and we are glad to help. Read on, and apply your knowledge with ours, and create your own approach. There is NEVER only one way to catch a Lake Trout... but there are better approaches than others!
Blue Mesa Reservoir in Gunnison Colorado is home to a large population of Big Lake Trout. The Genius' at the Park Service AND the DOW have tried to kill this beautiful species in Blue Mesa Reservoir. Together, they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars hanging nets on the very hot spot that we fish, and lake trout spawning grounds, to catch, kill and filet all classes of Lake Trout. On a positive note they do have the white, fatty filets of 20 year old fish available for anyone to take home and eat........ BLAH!! This practice has outraged most anglers and no efforts have been effective in stopping this initiative to Kill Trophy fish! Ultimately, this waste of money, effort and wildlife has brought more, different and bigger lake trout up from the depths to occupy the new available niches that the murdered lake trout used to frequent. Also, the kokanee population has increased according to studies by these organizations, concluding that the lake trout murdering has been successful. The goal is this: To Turn Colorado Fisherman into Small Fish Fisherman, and Decrease the Trophy Lake Trout Fishery Blue Mesa is Known for!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, whatever the case or cause, we hope the netting slows down with the rise in kokanee population. We hope anglers can continue to fish without the threat of nets in their way and low paid government employees in boats watching for you to pull big fish on new hot spots they can hang nets on!
Wow, was that enough?- I think yes, let's get into trolling. If you study your GPS throughout the day of fishing, look deep, and you will see marks. In Blue Mesa Reservoir, many of these marks are Brown Trout and Lake Trout. These fish are always on the graph and most people don't even recognize them! Take note of these marks and look for bigger marks, and create Waypoints. IMPORTANT! Always make waypoint using a description of species and or depth. Numbered waypoints don't help, and your memory will not serve you in a sea of waypoints on your graph. Back Again: Trolling for lake trout fishing on Blue Mesa Reservoir. Trolling can be very productive, but also challenging. Others describe it as slow, boring, but many times rewarding. We describe all lake trout trolling as ' periods of excitement, followed by periods of tested patience.' Remember that phrase and you're half way to a good day.
The more time you spend on the water, the more will learn about lake trout. You need to see them, watch them and catch them. For the 20 times you see lake trout, you may only catch one fish. Lake trout tend to bite in infrequent windows which leave you staring at them a lot of the time. But, persistence pays off and having caught a few 30 pounders will settle the anxiety of future trips to come. First, you have to find them and past experience is a great start. If you haven't any experience, start on points, sandy flats or look at the Blue Mesa Fishing Guide report pics and look for our hot spots :) You want to look for feeding areas for these fish, that are holding forage. Then, try to match the hatch with whatever it is you think they're eating. Every lake has a good lure but I've seen some skilled Anglers catch lake trout using whatever they have at the time.
Trolling basics: Speed. Speed is very important and although there is no perfect speed- try trolling at 1.5mph to start. Some lures work better at 2mph and others slower. It poses a problem because big lake trout are eating trout and kokanee salmon, generally in the upper water column where you are fishing. These fish tend to swim a lot faster than 2mph but most lures won’t handle it. Now large spoons will handle speeds up to 3mph and although we have caught some great fish using spoons, it has been less frequent than other lures. Standard Rapala-like lures will take 1.5 to 2mph and this is a great start. Now, it’s a known fact will lake trout will follow a steady lure for over 100 feet. This ultimately breaks up a potential school feeding in a spot and eliminates the competition for your lure among the fish. In conclusion, it’s best to constantly change up the speed and path of presentation- change it up, make the lure look more natural.
Location is also very important. Some spots just hold fish all the time and this is mostly because the fish lakers eat are close by, and the spot offers easy access from and to the deep water, to the feeding grounds. This is a very important concept for Blue Mesa Reservoir where the fish tend to move around the lake a lot. Now for instance, there are over 30 great points that extend into Blue Mesa Reservoir. I know every point holds fish at sometime, you just have to commit to a few points a day and be persistent. Points are good to fish. Fish around them, on them, off of them and don’t be afraid to dig into a few. Lake trout will wait on either side of points to attack baits or bait fish. Sandy flats are also great. The lake trout nose around in the dirt looking for dead or injured fish, suckers spawning and crawfish. Troll your baits within a few feet of the bottom and change up the speed. It helps. Also, make sure you are looking for fish and fisherman. The fish will move around when multiple boats are trolling so try not to follow or mimic anyone’s path. Always try to show fresh baits to fresh fish.
If you see fish all over the graph, that aren't biting, try varying the speed and angle. Keep working the area until you're about sick of it, and then move on. Repetition is the only secret to learning how to catch more lake trout. They can be so stubborn sometimes. The redeeming qualities are few and far between when it comes to lake trout. But, there are days when the fish are hungry, and they eat everything that comes their way. This is when all the rules are thrown out and you just catch! We will elaborate more as this page develops.