Meet Your Species: Lake Trout

Lurkers of the Deep: The lake trout has a deeply forked tail. You’ll find light spots on a background that can be either light green or grey, dark green, brown or black. Lake trout need cold, clear, well-oxygenated water. In summer they often move to depths of 50 to 100 feet, but in spring and fall you can find them at depths of 20 feet or less. In most waters, lakers rely heavily on small fish like ciscoes, perch or sculpins. But in some lakes, they feed almost exclusively on plankton, insects or crustaceans.

Pull hard; keep pulling: Lake trout do not leap, but instead wage a strong, determined underwater battle. Most are taken by trolling with spoons or minnow-like plugs attached to wire-line rigs or downriggers. They can also be taken jigging with whole or cut fish, or with a variety of spoons suited for deep water jigging. They’ll often come almost to the surface, only to deep dive again. Get ready for a long, hard fight.

Eat ’em fresh: Lake trout is excellent when eaten fresh or smoked. But the high fat content causes the flesh to turn rancid when frozen for long periods. Depending on the fish’s diet, the meat can vary from off-white to reddish orange and has excellent texture and flavor.

Manitoba Record: In 2001 on Nueltin Lake, the record laker measured 137.16 cm (54”) and was released. Get the all-time records information from our Master Angler records.