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

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#2  SWIMBAITS

With swimbaits, meanwhile, I’ve had stunning success with a three- to six-inch paddletail on a 2/7- or 3/7-ounce Nishine Smelthead (above left). I just drop the bait to the bottom, then retrieve it at a leisurely pace. When a lake trout appears out of nowhere on your sonar and closes in on the swimbait, the key is to not stop your retrieve. Instead, maintain the same speed, let the trout overtake the lure, and hold on.

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If you want to make your swimbaits even more effective, drop them into a pot of gently boiling water for 20 seconds, then dunk them in ice water. This will straighten out any kinks, making the bait run absolutely true, dramatically wagging its tail and swaying its belly more. And if I’m using a hollow belly swimbait, such as the Basstrix models pictured here (above right), I fill it with scent so that a trailing laker will be convinced it’s real.