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Friday, May 11, 2012

Casting River Mouths for Lake Trout and Steelhead

It's getting to be that time of year when I'm seeing fewer and fewer steelhead everyday on Lake Superior's North Shore Tributaries. The days are getting longer and people's attention are turning to warm water species, bbq's and lawn care. Some savy anglers however, are going back to where they began the steelhead season, and fishing river mouths.

 According to trout and salmon guru Gord Ellis, lakers show up when the water pushes 50 degrees. Coaster brook trout as well. I'll add drop back steelhead to the list. Like many other species in post spawn mode, steelhead will drop back out into Lake Superior and gorge themselves on available forage to recover from the spawning cycle. This period can be a short window but can still provide for some angling excitement. 

Gord Ellis recommends jerkbaits like Rapala X-Raps and Husky Jerks in sizes #10 and #12. His favorite colors are clown and silver. He likes the fact that you can work these baits slowly and not get hung up. I've had success with Krocodile spoons from Luhr Jensen in hammered brass/ fire. I replace the treble hook with a 1/0 VMC siwash hook to make it more snag resistant. 

Sometimes you've got to go natural and lakers (much like the author) can't resist a smelt fry. A Water Gremlin Snap Loc Dipsey Swivel Sinker, fished with a 25" leader and a dead smelt is going to produce fish. I simply inject the smelt with a shot of air from my worm blower to float slightly off the bottom. Floating a spawn bag off the bottom will also yield results.

Another secret bait according to Ellis is the bucktail jig. He has the most luck with black, fished with no meat attached. I might have to see if I can get the crew over at Jeff's Jigs to make me some lake trout specials.

It's not over till it's over. Get out and chase some last chance steel faces, lake trout and if your lucky a coaster brook trout. Trust me when I say it's going to be a long time till fall!

Garett Svir
Slab Seeker Fishing

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