Lake Trout Of The Inland Sea

Across the road from our campsite at Red Cliff, a couple guys were rigging laker tackle on a small boat. Mary said, "Maybe they know something," and walked over to strike up a conversation with Lake Superior as a backdrop. Gitchigoomee was unbelievably calm during the two days we camped there, and a long, sunny day on unfamiliar water produced very little action for us. Mary's not the kind to take that sitting down around the campfire.

She came back with JW in tow — a young fellow who swore Yakima Wobble Glos behind little 6-inch dodgers were the way to go. So I shelled out 5 bucks and bought a couple from him. It made Mary happy and gave her confidence after a tough day, so why not? Personally, it feels like retreating in the face of strong opposition. A 6-inch dodger? We put 10/0 Siwash hooks on the biggest dodgers Luhr Jensen made (they don't make them that size anymore) to catch lakers on AthabascaGreat Bear, and a variety of other lakes.  A 6-inch dodger sounds like surrender to me. You want big lakers? Fish dodgers with  big, single hooks. Argh.

We didn't have any 6-inch dodgers anyway. My good friend, Tim Dawidiuk always told me he targets the biggest Lake Michigan lake trout with Howie Flies behind small dodgers.  I'm like, "You're kidding." No, he wasn't kidding. But you would be laughed off the boat of every serious guide north of 60° latitude with anything that small. In the interest of appeasing friends like Tim, I've suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous snickering. The worst thing is, the guide's always right about tiny baits and big lakers.

So, of course, Mary trolls the little Wobble Glos behind 8-inch dodgers on wire line with 12-ounce monkey ball sinkers on 3-way rigs and smokes 4 or 5  more lakers than I do with everything else in the boat. But the key to it all was the tip on depth. Active fish were biting in 90 feet of water or 90 feet down over anything down to 13o feet around the Apostle Islands all weekend long.

Thanks, JW.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You


Buzzbaits for Bass

Dan Johnson - February 02, 2015

To help you get a handle on it all, we offer the following rundown of top choices on the...


Topwater Lure Secrets for Bass

Jim Edlund - April 26, 2018

These secrets will put more and bigger bass in your boat!


Deep Cranking Confessions from the Pro's

John Neporadny Jr - December 18, 2017

Here's some important crankbait lessons from the big leagues.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

From rugged reliability to smooth integration of cutting edge technology across several different platforms, OSG's Lynn Burkhead learns that there's much to like about the new Optimum and Optimum TS downriggers from Canon.

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

In the booth of one of fishing's all-time great reel makers, Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead and Andrew Wheeler of Pure Fishing discuss one of the brand new baitcasting reels from Abu Garcia being released at ICAST 2019.

13 Fishing Inception SZ

Florida angling pro Jessie Mizell knows that the saltwater found in Sunshine State coastal fisheries can wreak havoc on even the best fishing gear. But with 13 Fishing's new feature laden Inception SZ saltwater baitcasting reel, tackling inshore and light tackle saltwater game fish just got a whole lot easier!

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


Understanding Spring Walleye Migrations

Gord Pyzer - June 02, 2018

'Walleyes spawn in spring and understanding spring walleye migrations, whether you live north...


Catfish Pole Rigs

Richard Peterson with In-Fisherman - April 28, 2016

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and...

Pike & Muskie

How To Catch Pike In Spring

Dan Johnson - April 26, 2016

Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at...

See More Stories

More Trout & Salmon

Trout & Salmon

World's Best Lake Trout Waters

Matt Straw - September 07, 2017

A look at the best lake trout waters on the planet.

Trout & Salmon

Tactics For Tailwater Trout

Chris Hoffman - October 13, 2017

Don Wirth: When cold water rushes through the turbines of a dam, an incredible, albeit

Trout & Salmon

Rock Solid Trout Strategies

In-Fisherman - May 19, 2015

The In-Fisherman staff uses proven trout strategies to catch fish in deep river pools.

See More Trout & Salmon

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.