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Ice-fishing Friday: The #1 factor for locating lake trout

Scott Gardner

In season: lake trout

To find suspended lakers, you need to find their food. Here’s how

Whenever you’re ice fishing for lake trout, which frequently suspend in the water column, pay close attention to where you find open-water, pelagic baitfish—and adjust your tactics accordingly. If you spot schools of baitfish on your sonar screen that are confined and swimming in 30 feet of water, for example, locate some nearby structures, such as sunken reefs, humps and rock piles, that top out around the same depth.

Scott Gardner

You don’t have to be precise, just in the same ballpark. Predatory fish such as lake trout love to patrol the hard edges of structure, using key pieces of isolated cover to conceal themselves while they wait to attack their prey.

Every Friday this winter we’ll be sharing Outdoor Canada’s coolest ice fishing tips for 2018. Check back regularly to learn about the latest tackle, tips and techniques for icing more walleye, perch, northern pike, lake trout, crappies and whitefish.

Gord Pyzer

Gord Pyzer

Fishing Editor Gord Pyzer is widely regarded as Canada's most scientific angler. Known in fishing circles as Doctor Pyzer, he worked for 30 years as a senior manager with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources before devoting all his energies to fishing. A member of the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame, the award-winning writer is also an internationally sought out speaker, tournament angler and field editor with In-Fisherman Magazine and Television. As well, he co-hosts the Real Fishing Radio Show with Bob Izumi. Catch Gord on the Outdoor Journal Radio Show live every Saturday morning 8:05AM EST. If you're in southern Ontario, tune your radio to Sportsnet 590 The FAN AM or visit and listen live online.

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