By: Capt. Sean McDonald
Heading out to the Big Lake in June can offer a variety of species. Taking a close look at the offshore thermal breaks on the satellite map can save you some gas and put some nice mid day fish in your cooler if near shore fishing is slow. A typical day in June is to start bouncing bottom for lake trout in 60-100 feet of water.
Having your wire divers tick bottom and your down rigger balls on or just off the bottom is the standard. Trolling dodgers and whirly gigs or cowbells are best baits near bottom for the golby eating trout. Lakers can be found anywhere in the water column when actively feeding so putting a couple of lead or copper lines out with spoons can pay off. You also have a chance to catch a spring king or coho on any of the baits including the dodgers. If you find that lake trout fishing is slow you can head offshore and set up short of the cold pocket of water you found earlier on the surface temperature map.
Steelhead will be found near the surface at around 52 degrees. The kings will be found near the warmer edges outside of the cold pocket where the warmer water sits (temps in the 60s). You have the option of setting up in the warmer 60ish degree water with some downriggers and deeper copper lines and trolling toward the cold pocket for kings and coho or just running further out closer to the cold area and just running high lines for steelhead. When targeting steelhead you should be able to see the surface break and it may have debris in it. The best breaks are normally where 52 degree and 46 degree water meet.
If you can find this abrupt break you should have some great fishing on orange spoons just below the surface with a small weight or just a clean spoon normally run on planer boards with a 125 foot lead off the board. Remember trolling speed for steelhead is normally faster around 2.8-3.2 mph. Offshore lake trout will be found in the cold pocket feeding on the surface and suspended in the water column and will be happy to eat your orange spoons. If you see some deep marks send a downrigger down with a chrome spin doctor and whirly gig to them and you might catch one of the biggest lake trout of your life. The chrome spin doctor works better than dodgers at faster speeds for suspended offshore trout. Good luck on the lake in June as the daylight hours are long and a variety of fish can be targeted.
Capt. Sean McDonald
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