Tips From The Pros: Targeting Lake Trout In Canada

Up here in Eastern Canada, more precisely in Quebec, winters are long and harsh. Most lakes are frozen from late December all the way to mid-April. Every year is the same. Once April starts, all I think about is rigging up my Lure 11.5 and hitting some open water. Springtime offers some unique fishing opportunities in some of our clear water lakes up here. As soon as the ice melts away, rainbow smelt go in creeks to lay their eggs. Not far behind them are the fish we’re looking for, the beautiful lake trout. These unique predators usually hang out in deep water. In the summertime, I usually target them in 60-80 feet of water. They don’t like warm water. 

But in the springtime, they go feed in the shallows right at the mouth of creeks. They get predictable and they get very active, especially early in the morning. It is a very magical time of the year and everyone can’t wait to go out on the open water after months on hard water. For decades, in some of our popular lakes, we have seen hundreds of motorized boats stacked in the same spots, all looking to catch a big laker. 

But in the last few years I have brought something new and different. In the middle of a hundred boats you can find me catching trout in my kayak. Everyone seems impressed and surprised by how efficiently I can fish from my Lure 11.5. It offers the comfort and stability needed to let me fish in confidence and catch just as many trout as the bigger boats around me. I like to use my overdrive system or a little trolling motor, fixed in the sonar pod, to keep me in perfect position to vertically jig, using my sonar. 

Vertical jigging is one of the best ways to catch lake trout. We like to use anything that imitates a rainbow smelt like paddle tail swimbaits or bucktail jigs. We use our sonar to drop our lure to the bottom. Once we see a fish chase it, we start to reel our bait back to the kayak and see the trout smash it, live on the sonar. This is a unique time of the season, and the bite window is quite short because once the water stabilizes in the 50’s, the trout goes back in the depths. It’s a very exciting and efficient way to catch them. It requires a lot of patience and focus, sitting down most of the time. The gravity seat of my Lure 11.5 lets me fish all day in comfort without getting tired or uncomfortable. 

People all round often ask questions about my kayak. I have seen a lot of interest in some of the boaters around me as well. I can tell people are getting more and more interested in trying kayak fishing for lake trout. It’s great to see the keen interest in the sport. I think it’s way more fun to catch them in my kKayak than in a big boat. Plus, I have more points of access to our lakes than most boaters. The wheel in the keel makes it easy to launch anywhere I want. It’s great to see kayak fishing grow here in eastern Canada. I like to show people how well the Lure 11.5 is designed and how well it catches fish, from early spring too late fall.


Written by Antoine Desrochers-Gagnon, Feelfree Competitive Fishing Team Member

Edited by Jake Smith, Feelfree Marketing Team