Drew and I started out the day targeting big Lake Superior rainbow trout through the ice. Fishing near shore in ten feet of water or less, we only managed some small ones.
The big ones just didn’t seem to be around in their usual numbers so we decided to pack up and head out deep to try a little lake trout bobbing. I had my hoops and wire ready to go with some fresh cut-bait for our 2 oz jigs.
Jig! Jig! Jig! Jig! Jig!
It didn’t take long before I felt a thunk on the end of my line. It felt heavy. I worked it up to the top hand-over-hand and got it through the hole. First lake trout of the day, 32″ and almost 14lbs.
After dropping my jig back down, it didn’t take long before another heavy weight yanked on my line. Another fat lake trout.
It was another one of those days.
We continued to fish for the rest of the day and iced 10 lake trout, we lost probably just as many.
A few of the larger trout measured in at 28″ to 33″ and weighed in at 8lb 12oz, 10lb 12oz, 14lb 3oz, and 13lb 7oz. There were a couple of lake trout I had on the end of my line that shook off with some powerful head shakes. These fish I am sure would have topped 20lbs. They were significantly heavier than the 13-14 lbers. Jigging for big lake trout using a bobbing hoop and hand-lining stainless steel wire can be a challenge and takes some learning and developing some techniques. I am wondering if it would have made a difference using a stout rod and reel – would I have lost as many? But it’s just too much fun pulling these pigs up from deep water by hand!
Another interesting thing, one of the lake trout had a tag in it. It came all the way across the lake from Bayfield, Wisconsin! I thought that was pretty cool.
Where can I get the hand line hoop rig
They can be kind of a seasonal thing that some local guys build. I built mine too. Marine General sometimes has them and also the River Rock Inn – Ashland, WI.