Ontario Trout FishingTrout Fishing Techniques
Ontario Brook (Speckled) Trout Fishing
Ontario brook (speckled) trout live in small streams, big rivers, ponds, inland lakes, Lake Superior, and Hudson and James bays, from which they make late-summer/fall spawning runs up tributaries.
Inland-lake brookies are most active spring and fall when cooler water allows them to cruise shorelines. Fish near overhanging trees, submerged wood, and rocky points and shoals. Shore fishing is possible, but boats or canoes provide better access and allow you to troll. As waters warm, brookies move deeper, becoming less aggressive.
River brook trout hold in spring holes and cold, aerated pools at the base of falls and rapids throughout summer, but spread out in the spring and fall. In spring-fed creeks, they can be found in pools and near cover.
Speckled 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, hellgrammites, and insects, such as mayfly nymphs. Small to mid-sized spoons, worm-tipped spinners, minnow-imitating crankbaits, small jigs, and artificial flies are also good baits. Silver and gold, accented with blue, green, and red are reliable lure finishes. White, black, or hot pink can also be the ticket some days.
Brookies gorge on insects, making them ideal for fly fishers. Dries, wets, and nymph patterns work well, as do minnow imitating streamers. Big specks especially take sculpin patterns, such as Muddler Minnows. You can read a great article for spring fishing for brook trout here.
A light-action 7-foot rod and a spinning reel holding 4- to 8-pound-test monofilament will handle brookies, including lunkers, in open water. Light- to medium-action fly tackle is also effective. For finicky lake specks, customize a large wobbling spoon. Replace the treble hook with a No. 8 single attached to a 4- inch mono leader. Pierce an earthworm through the head and troll slowly, imparting a gentle movement to the bait. Use split-shot to fine-tune depth. Lake trout inhabit cold, deep waterbodies. After ice-out they often feed near shore, but move deeper as waters warm. By summer, wire line or downriggers are required to catch them, as they congregate as deep as 100 feet (30 m) down. Depth can vary, but in most inland waters temperatures are ideal near the 50-foot (15 m) mark.
Experimentation pays off, but using electronic temperature probes narrows the range to fish in. Depth sounder/fish finders eliminate more guesswork by marking fish and bottom. Structure, such as humps, shoals, and dropoffs, within the laker’s comfort zone, are good places to start. Trolling three- to seven-inch wobbling spoons and crankbaits is standard and effective for lakers. Silver and gold are traditional finishes, but green, blue, and white also trigger strikes. A medium action spinning outfit with 8-pound test line is fine for fish under 10 pounds (4.5 kg). Trophies over 10 pounds (4.5 kg) are caught regularly in northern waters, though, so stout downrigger rods and level-wind reels with 12- to 20-pound lines are recommended.