Ice-Fishing Friday: The 3 must-have lures for big lake trout anywhere in Canada



Spoons are the ultimate flash baits because they reflect even the smallest amount of sunlight, imitating the scales of the ciscoes, smelt and shiners that lake trout devour. They excel on massive waterbodies where you can often entice trout from a distance, with a modest two- to four-inch spoon usually attracting more lakers than a larger one. I suspect it’s a match-the-hatch proposition.


I prefer heavier spoons, but whatever weight you use, remember that these lures elicit unpredictable responses. When you spot a lake trout on your sonar screen streaking after your spoon, it’s sometimes more effective to reel it away quickly, as though the lure were a fleeing baitfish. Other times, letting the spoon fall and flutter works best, while still other times, pausing and keeping it motionless is the key.

My single most memorable day on the ice, for example, occurred many years ago on Lake Superior. I was snapping up a half gold/half silver Williams Ice Jig (above), then pausing before letting it flutter back down and pausing again. I couldn’t interest the trout into hitting it, however, until I let it hand dead still in the middle of the water column instead. I can’t tell you how many trout I’ve since caught doing just that.