Catching the Great Lake Trout | Mackinaw Trout

Piscifun fly fishing reels

Great Lake Trout | Mackinaw Trout Cristivomer namaycush (Walbaum)


The method of capturing the lake trout is by gillnets, poundnets, hook and line, and, in winter, by spearing through the ice. The majority, however, are taken by means of gillnets operated by steam tugs. Some of these tugs carry 5 or 6 miles of nets and catch in one lift from 1,000 pounds to 4 or 5 tons of trout. Fishing is done from the time the ice breaks up in the spring until late in the fall.

Lake trout spawn on the reefs and live in deep water at other times. The spawning season begins in Lake Superior late in September, in Lakes Huron and Michigan, the height of the season is in early November and spawning continues into December. The spawning grounds are on the reefs of "honeycomb" rock, 10 to 15 miles off shore, and in water 6 to 120 feet deep. The number of eggs produced is not large; a 24-pound fish produced 14,943 eggs, but the usual number does not exceed 5,000 or 6,000. As a game-fish the lake trout is held in different degrees of esteem by different anglers. There are those who regard it with slight favour while with others it is rated as a fish which can give the angler a great deal of sport. It is usually taken by trolling either with the spoon or live minnow, and, as it is a powerful fish, strong tackle is required. Thaddeus Norris most delightful writer among American anglers, mentions hooking several trout on stout o o Kirby hooks baited with a white rag and a piece of red flannel, and the hooks in every instance but one (a small 8 pound trout) were straightened or broken and the fish lost.

Namaycush Trout

From American Game and Food Fishes. Jordan and Evermann, 1902.