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Troll for brook and lake trout in big rivers, ponds, and lakes around Ontario. Shore fishing and wading is possible, but boats and canoes provide better access to the fish. Many anglers choose to fish for brookies and lake trout in the spring because they are often located in the same bodies of water and locations at this time.
Brook trout are most active in spring and fall when cooler water allows them to cruise shorelines. Fish near overhanging trees, submerged wood, and rocky points and shoals, casting into small pools behind rocks in a rapids area can result in great success. As waters warm, brook trout move deeper, becoming harder to find and slightly harder to catch. Catch and release is best for this species, except in stocked lakes, to ensure the longevity of these fragile wild fisheries.
Brook trout love live bait. A hook, worm, and split-shot combination is a simple and effective way to catch them. They also eat minnows, leeches, and insects. Small to mid-sized spoons, worm-tipped spinners, minnow-imitating crankbaits, small jigs, and artificial flies are also good baits. Lake trout inhabit cold, deep bodies of water, often feeding near shore at ice-out, and moving deeper as waters warm. The best method to catch lake trout is deep-water trolling, but some anglers try their luck spin- or fly-fishing. Proven lures are spinners, spoons, plugs, streamers and wet flies. The best live bait is large minnows.
Ontario's record catch
Average size: Eight to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) in small streams, 1 to 3 lbs (0.45 to 1.36 kg) in inland lakes.
Temperature and habitat: Prefers temperatures below 68°F (20°C) in clean, well-oxygenated lakes and rivers.
Biology: Spawns in fall over upwelling areas of gravel in lakes and streams. Grows quickly and lives about five years.
Range: From southern Ontario to Hudson Bay tributaries.
Ontario's record catch
Average size: Two to 10 lbs (0.9 to 4.5 kg).
Temperature and habitat: Around 50°F (10°C) in clear, deep lakes.
Biology: Spawns in fall over boulders or rubble shoals in lakes. Can live 20 years or longer, hence can reach a great size.
Range: Much of Ontario, except James Bay and Hudson Bay Lowlands.
How to locate lake trout in the wintertime — great wintertime spots to ice fish for trout in Northern Ontario
Love at first site — backcountry brookies and rainbow trout that are worth the trek up north
Alternative trout strategies — fishing strategies to try on your next ice fishing trip to Northern Ontario