Lake Trout Jigging Guide & Tips, All You Need To Know

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Jigging for lake trout is one of the most famous methods to catch lake trout. This method is widely used in most large lakes around the country. It is the perfect method to target fish when in the middle of a lake you find a good spot. Unlike trolling if when you constantly keep moving around in a lake, in jigging its a bout spotting the area where fish concentrate.

This leads to success when angler choose the perfect lures and baits to attract the fish. This way they have no choice but to bite on the hook. Lake trout jigging anglers mostly come up with the pretty big fish which is hard to catch with other fishing methods.

However anglers still need experience finding the a reasonable spot and a handful of good lures to throw. But going through this article you will most likely find your favorite jigs, lures and baits. Which anglers love to throw for lake trout jigging.

We will also share the different ways to find biggest fish in your current spot. Tips and tricks and methods you should apply when jigging for lake trout are also in this article.

Lake Trout Jigging Spots

There is no doubt that finding a good place to jig for lake trout is crucial. Without a good spot any angler can have a very hard time catching some of them.

By a good spot we mean a good lake for the species and also a hotspot of fish inside that lake. Even if you are fishing in a lake that is famous for big trout you may face challenges finding that fish. Water temperature plays important role in the depth of lake trout. Jigging for lake trout targeting the right depth also has good impact on how many hits you get.

As soon as the ice melts late March to April and early May you will find the fish right near the surface. This is the best time if you want to target the fish near the surface. As the weather and water temperature starts rising the fish go more and more into the depth of the lake.

Anglers who are vertical jigging during the months of June through August lake trout is always at the bottom or somewhere near the bottom or at least under the thermocline.

Other than temperature levels its also important to know the lake structure to confirm the presence of lake trout. Here is how to find a specific lake trout jigging spot to stay afloat on and start targeting them.

Lake Structure and Trout Jigging Hotspots

As lake trout live at the very depths of a waterbody. It becomes pretty important to know where the lake trout is hiding and where is the food source. The structure of the bottom makes it easier to successfully target lake trout jigging.

Mostly in jigging lake trout anglers stop on a spot and start testing the waters. When they find whether or not the place is worth their time. They then move on to the next point or keep jigging for trout in the same spot. This is because the fish is not equally distributed in the entire lake.

But in some places lake trout will be very concentrated which will be a great hotspot for jigging. While other places might not contain the minimum numbers of fish. Here is how to identify which places anglers can expect to be good for jigging.

Mostly lake trout are around hard muddy bottoms, under water heights, rocky bottoms and greenery. If you can’t find one of these you should be looking for any kind of irregular structure like drop-offs etc.

These are the areas you would feel better than all jigging spots for trout in a lake.

Anchor or Spot Lock

So when you are done finding a good lake trout jigging rod in a lake its important to stay afloat on there. Most of the times there are schools of lake trout in a good place when. And as they hangout near around the area they spread in a wider area. Anglers often want to keep searching in all the area and don’t want to be at a single point for the entire time.

Many jigging anglers use the spot lock feature in some trolling motors to keep them limited to a certain area where trout are living. Some features even allow users to explore the entire area and catch the best fish possible in the lake. Even if an angler is at a perfect spot and want to stay at one spot can use a the GPS features to keep himself from flowing away.

Anchor mode is a useful when fishing in a single spot and the water current is a little stronger.

Following are the lures, baits and other gear items you should be using for lake trout jigging.

Lake Trout Jigging Tackle

If you are casting or trolling for lake trout then it really doesn’t matter what rod you’ve got. But for jigging lake trout the rod and all the setup is pretty sensitive due to the vertical nature of jigging.

Using a big rod may lead to excessive action or movement on your jigs. And a smaller rod may not create enough motion to attract the fish.

Here is exactly what size and sensitivity rods you should be using when throwing a jig for lake trout.

Rod for Vertical Jigging

Smaller rods are preferred over long and heavy rods for jigging lake trout. It is because of the long holding and bouncing durations. It also highly impact on the bounces of the jigs you have thrown. You don’t necessarily need rods that can bounce the lure several feet. But instead its better to pull less at the same spot.

The best length for lake trout jigging rod is around 6 to 7 or even 5.5. The longer you will go the harder it becomes to handle and pull it perfectly.

It is a personal preference if you want to use a bait caster rod or a spinning one.

Lake trout really love a medium action rods and you will see so many anglers using them all the time. Whether a smaller size or a larger size and whatever material rod you use. The action of the rod should be medium action almost all the time. It just suits very well with the vertical movement of the jig.

Lake Trout Jigs and Lures

There are so many jigs and lures for lake trout jigging an angler can use. You would probably need several different jigging lures to be ready for any kind of situation. Generally when there are larger than usual fish in water the size of the jig is going to be at least a little larger.

Which makes fishermen keep at least two different sizes of a lure and use them in an accordingly situation.

Most of the times hair jigs, several types of crankbaits and tube jigs are ideal for jigging lake trout. Following are the top baits to use in for jigging lake trout.

  • Tube Jigs
  • Blades
  • Hair Jigs
  • Spoons

Unlike trolling where lures which makes action with a speed motion, in lake trout jigging all the lures used are those which makes action with very little motion. The best example of which is hair jig and tube jigs.

Here is a full guide about jigging lures with names. And in this article its just an overview.


This one is a great lure for jigging lake trout. Its shape similarity to small fish also the body shines in the water. Which attracts lake trout very effectively and makes it bite on it. Some anglers attach a little blade below the lure, which is just a great thing to add.

This lure is very effective when you have to locate lake trout while jigging. The small balls inside the lure body makes noise when bouncing inside water. This property attracts the fish from far away places in the lake.

Tube Jigs

Tube jigs are such an amazing way to target lake trout. It creates very great action and drives the trout crazy when they see it. The shiny body of this lure makes flashes when it moves in the water.

Here are some great trout baits for river fishing.


There are several types of blades famous for lake trout jigging. Blades are always effective way to target them no matter what type of blade you are using. Unless there is something very different than a usual fishing blade. Just keep the size according to the fish size in the lake. This is an absolute trout killer when you are jigging for them.

Hair Jigs

Hair jigs are one of the simplest way to target the fish. Even the size of lure doesn’t matter a lot. There is so much flexibility in this type of lure that you can literally pick up any color and nearly matching size and that’s it you can go throw it into the water. It is always as effective as a top lure for jigging, and lake trout love biting on them.


Spoons are also good for jigging, they often prove to be very effective. However they aren’t as effective as the above options. You may try them to see how they work but if you find any of the above, set the spoons aside.

There are other great jigs and lures you should try for jigging lake trout. Here is a full guide about specific lures with names you should be using for jigging lake trout.

Lake Trout Jigging Line

Line is also pretty important factor that can impact your fishing day. Especially for a fish like lake trout it becomes crucial to take the best line possible. Any mistake in choosing a good line may lead to line breaks or fish avoiding the line. Line tangling problems are also very common.

Lake trout are line shy and may avoid going near your lure. Also lake trout weight can vary from 6 pounds all the way to 40-50 pounds in an average lake. Which is why the line should be capable of hooking to a 50 lb fish.

Fishermen use both monofilament and fluorocarbon lines for them. And the best practice to have a fluorocarbon leader at the end of this line any line you use to avoid fish seeing it.

Braid is never an option for this fish except when using a very long fluorocarbon or monofilament leader at its end. Also the line weight should be according to fish size in the water.

Line with too much memory would hurt when you try to bounce the lure at the bottom of waterbody.

Final Word

Jigging for lake trout is not that hard. It just needs very little experience in the overall process of finding fish and throwing line for it. In general circumstances using the tips we have shared in this article you should easily succeed in your trip. Using the right tackle is crucial, its hard to make it without the right equipment for lake trout jigging. Best of luck jigging for trout, have great time there on the water.