The key is making as much noise, flash and vibration as possible
We only get two, maybe three weeks of first-ice action for lake trout, so we always make the most of our time.The big dwellers-of-the- deep have spent the last three months (in most parts of the country) protected by a closed season, while they spawn, recover and then the lakes freeze up. So the trout haven’t seen much, if any, fishing pressure.
Their fall vacation is over now, however, with the winter trout season opening in most areas on New Year’s Day.So what is the best approach to catch them?No question about it: the best choice is nose-to-toes warfare.And the much thinner-than-normal ice conditions that have prevailed this winter are playing right into the hands of the tactic.
We’re typically driving the truck, quad and snowmachines across the lakes by now, but this year we opened the season towing toboggans by hand, and sticking close to shore.Depending on where we have fished, we’ve found only about four to eight inches of ice, so while our mobility has been restricted, we have been able to punch a pile of holes wherever we have stopped. Normally we’d auger eight to 12 holes on every spot, but with the thinner ice conditions this winter, we have been quickly drilling twice that many.
And with the multitude of holes to check—cut over a variety of depths—we never spend more than five or six minutes at any one unless we get a bite, or see a fish on the Humminbird sonar. And while we’ll be finessing the big lakers soon enough, it is full on nose-to-toes jigging right now, making as much noise, flash and vibration as possible, as we explain in the following video.