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Trolling Tips for Big Winter Lake Trout in Lake Ontario

Today we’re out there at the mouth of Lake Ontario, doing something I normally wouldn’t do until the spring: trolling for lake trout. This time I’m trolling right at the top of winter using the new American Smelt crankbaits.

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Trolling Tips for Big Winter Lake Trout in Lake Ontario

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Normally we would not be able to troll for lake trout in the winter, though the warmer weather we’ve been having made for the perfect opportunity.

These American Smelts are going to drive down to the perfect depth of about 16 to 20 feet deep. If you’d got thinner diameter fishing line, the American Smelt crankbait will dive about 20 feet, though if you have thicker diameter fishing line, it’ll dive down to about 16 feet. It’s surprising, but fishing line does make a difference.

If you want to get your own American Smelt crankbaits, you can get them here:

Today I’m trolling with a slow action rod. The action of a fishing rod describes the how much of the whole rod will bend when pressure, or in the case of reeling in a big lake trout, the pulling on the tip of the rob. A slow action rod has a long bend, almost all the way down to the handle.

Slow action rods are perfect for trolling because it takes up a lot of the line when you go to set the hook, and helps give that fish an extra chance to get into that bait. Similar to how braided fishing line has less give than fluorocarbon. Compared to a fast action rod would have a much faster hook set. Which would be preferred in many other fishing situations.

Today we’re going to cover a lot of ground, and as hoped, we got ourselves into our fair share of big winter lake trout!

Follow our ongoing fishing adventures

Until next time, good luck and good fishin’!

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