Outdoor Canada’s fishing editor, Gord Pyzer, once referred to the bucktail jig as “the best lake trout lure nobody uses.” And while the bucktail has undoubtedly proven itself on lakers, it’s also magical on brookies and bull trout. While the deer hair, polar bear hair or marabou that defines this jig as a bucktail can be dyed every imaginable colour, basic white is the standard among trout anglers. A bucktail jig’s tail gently fans out when at rest, offering a slight trout-enticing motion, then streamlines when jigged, mimicking an escaping baitfish. Just match your jig weight to the depth you’re fishing—I won’t soon forget landing lakers by the dozen in Alberta’s Andrew Lake, jigging one-ounce bucktails in 70 feet.
Catch: Brook, bull and lake trout
Where: Lakes and large rivers
When: Most effective in late summer and fall, when the trout are deeper
How: Usually vertically jigged over shoals or other structure, it’s also effective when cast and jigged back aggressively, especially in rivers