Cold Lake Ice Fishing Tactics for Lake Trout
We were in luck though since this year was a quick freeze and trucks were already out on the ice at Christmas time. We already knew the lake after fishing it many times during the open water season. The only thing that separated us now from the fish was a few inches of ice that our auger would help us get through in no time.
So what is the big draw to Cold Lake and why is everyone still talking about it 5 years after out first adventure out there. Well lets just say it's something in the water! A healthy population of obese, hard fighting and willing Lake Trout have created a stir all around the ice fishing sphere! I had been watching the popularity of this fishery grow the years prior and I wasn't about to let another ice season slip by without getting out there to try it out. This was also the first year I had a Marcum flasher sonar on the ice to use to my advantage.
I discussed my dreams of icing fat lake trout with my uncle Johnny and he thought it sounded like an adventure worth pursuing. We packed up and left the house early in the morning with the plan of hitting the ice as the sun came over the hill. As with most fish these lake trout will feed most heavily during the morning and evening hours. You might still pick up a few fish during the day, but it is often a slow wait till things get going again when the sun falls back towards the horizon. We hit the ice and as beginners often do followed the trail out to an area where it looked like other people had been fishing. Once we drilled some holes we realized we were on a drop off from about 80 to 120 feet of water. We later found out that this is typically the type of water people target and usually is what you want to look for on the charts.
With great anticipation I dropped down a big 2 ounce white and chartreuse buck tail jig tipped with a smelt. I watched as it fell towards the bottom on the flasher. In a matter of minutes the first mark came storming in and slammed my jig. After a great battle I landed my first Lake Trout through the ice and I was stoked! I just love it when a plan comes together like that and in a matter of minutes you're on the fish. Trust me it's not always that easy and we've struggled some days out there.
We kept on fishing and the fish kept on coming through slow and steady. The Marcum was a big help as I could see when the fish were coming through and at what depth so I could crank my jig up to their location and often trigger a bite. My uncle didn't have a flasher yet and after one day of me out fishing him in a ratio of 3:1 he was sold! Within a few weeks he had purchased his first Marcum and has never regretted it for one moment either.
If you want to watch our adventure to see how it actually went and watch one of the first videos I ever published as The Fishing Doctors Adventures, then you have to check this out!