Hello all, I fish a large oligotrophic lake in upstate NY and have been wanting to target Lake trout via jigging. I’ve done a lot of research but have only come up with one 18” fish in my 4-5 outings so far. I have tried every type of metal spoon / jig imaginable and smelt colored soft plastic swimbaits on a 1 - 2 oz jig head, with and without scent. I use 30 lb braid main line with a 5-10 foot 8lb fluorocarbon leader. I have tried bouncing the jig on the bottom, just above it, reeling the bait fast to the surface when a fish comes to look at it on my sonar, and jigging around the thermocline, but have had no luck so far. Is there something essential that i’m missing? Or is it possible that the lake i’m fishing only produces fish via trolling methods?
Beyond that i simply cannot figure out what i’m doing wrong, any and all suggestion are appreciated.
(Don’t need to read this - extra info that may or may not be relevant): The one laker that i did manage to get while jigging came on the spring when they were still in 30-40ft of water. I also hooked the fish on the top of its nose (not in the mouth). Now it’s summer and most of the fish that i’m seeing are near the bottom in 65-100ft of water, but i haven’t managed to find more than 2 marks in one place. Also, the fish that I have managed to get interested in my jig will not commit to it. I’ve had multiple fish follow the jig all the way to the boat on a fast reel up from the bottom but none will hit. Thanks again for any help.
Jigging lakers is one of my favorite ways to fish. I'm definitely not an expert but Ive been doing it a lot the last couple years with some pretty good luck. I use 30lb braid with 15lb fluro leader. A 2oz jighead with a bucktail and a 4" swimtail is my go to, but I've caught them on different size jigheads with different length swimtails also, never tried with a spoon before. I spend most of my time on shelves in 70-100ft of water. I don't do much actual jigging, I drop it down and bounce it a couple times then reel and usually get hit on the way up. Sometimes I pause for a second on the way up or vary my reel speed but most of the time I'm just reeling. It doesn't sound like your missing anything essential, what you've described is pretty much what I do. I've had days where I'm getting bites left and right and days where I've gone home skunked in the same spot.