Cold Lake Alberta Trolling for Lake Trout in the Summer


Summer lake trout fishing with downriggers was all I could think about when planning our trip up to Canada.  It had been a few years since we last fished Cold Lake and from everything I had been hearing the lake seemed to be on fire!  We flew into the Edmonton International Airport from LAX and headed out to Garner Lake where my Grandpa Les lived.  

We discussed our plans and checked out the weather forecast as this is a very big lake and heading out on a windy day can leave you stuck on shore.  For forecast looked very promising with temperatures to 28 degrees Celsius and minimal wind.  After seeing the amazing Alberta day ahead of us we got all packed up and our gear prepared for the great day of fishing ahead. 

I woke up early to make some lunch and waited patiently for my Grandpa and Wife to get ready and head out on the road.  Cold Lake is about 1 hour and 20 minutes from where he lives so it really isn't too bad to head out for some Lake Trout.  

After a short trip on Highway 28 we arrived at our destination.  We made our way through the provincial park to the boat launch and unloaded the boat for what looked to be the start of a promising day.  Grandpa fired up the engine and headed out of the bay.  We had been planning on heading down to the Saskatchewan side of the lake, but coming out of the bay we spotted a whole bunch of people fishing near by so we went over to check things out.  It appeared most people were trolling with downriggers and a few people were jigging.  We saw a couple fish caught and decided to give this spot a go. 

We were running two downriggers and three lines off the back of the boat.  Our lures of choice for the day were the Manistee, Williams Wobbler and a large silver apex behind a Hot Spot Flasher.  One downrigger was running two lines about 20-30 feet apart.  We would put one at 47 feet which always seems to be our lucky number and one deeper down at 70-90 feet.  It wasn't long before we were hauling in one lake trout after another.  

Now it is important when fishing large spoons behind the downrigger that you use a treble stinger hook or you are not as likely to catch many fish.  The lake trout are notorious for short strikes when trolling and the stinger hook will likely catch 70% or more of your fish.  So don't forget to add this extra special touch.  Also it is important to vary your speed going slower and faster to encourage the following fish to strike.  This can also be done by making turns as you troll.  

Well turns out we caught fish like crazy all day long!  We landed over 20 big lake trout and lost probably twice as many before they got in the boat.  We were catching fish from the surface all the way down to 120 feet.  The largest was probably around 12-13 pounds, but did not have a scale for definite weight.  We were trolling at a good pace in the new boat and it seemed to be working well.  What a day, an epic day! 


We only fished till 5 pm or so and the fish were still biting good when we left.  Even got some double headers including one big set fat Lakers!  

If you're planning a trip out to Cold Lake this summer get yourself some downriggers, some large flashy spoons and your are ready for a fishing trip of a life time!!!  

Check out these Youtube videos from our day of fishing Cold Lake! 

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  1. Like you, we also love to catch big fish especially when it's summer. It's so fulfilling especially the first time I caught a big dogtooth tuna. It was amazing! We usually visit the Vanuatu fishing charters to experience this. Hope we can do it again soon!

  2. Dude! I love that lake! I was up there with the Navy doing air drills with the Canadians for Maple flag in 2010 and got the chance to fish there. There is some epic pike and trout action on that lake. You are a lucky man to fish there. That lake is on my bucket list to visit again so I can fish it right.

    1. I love fishing there every chance I get which isn't that much, maybe only once a year. It is always great every time I go!

  3. Great stuff! It looks like a great trip. Well done. Great youtube page as well!

  4. Wow! Landing those big lake trouts must have been exhausting. But I can see that you had a very successful fishing trip. I also recently came back from a fishing trip with my cousin and dad. Boy, those bass really put up a tough fight! Thanks for sharing! Good luck on your future fishing trips! :)

    Bermita Sloan @ Catch Me If U Can Fishing Charters

  5. I would like to say thank you to the author of this site for spending more time and effort to make this site more interesting to all reader especially for me.

    fishing tips

  6. Fishing is definitely one of the best hobbies that you could undertake. There are many places that you could go fishing in, but Alaska is definitely the best place where you could get to catch the fish that you want. If you are not familiar with the place yet, it is definitely a good idea to take an Alaska fishing guide with you on your fishing trips.

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  7. Thanks for the post, This was exactly what I needed to see. Good list, keep up the good work.
    Fish trolling

  8. Been on the lake two days now. All the best equipment possible. Pulled in one 20 incher yesterday, 8 today. All throw backs :(
    One day left to fish, Rumble Belly is becoming impatient! Raining both days, but having a blast!

    1. Since the change in retention size the other year to 75cm it has been a bit harder to find one for dinner. If you really want something for dinner just go fishing in shallower water off the points and weedy areas and you'll catch a nice eating pike for dinner!


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