Ice fishing lake trout in Lake Simcoe

Date added:
Tuesday, 27 December 2016
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Question and Answer


Hello Wil, I hope you are keeping well.

Can you share some of your knowledge and expertise on ice fishing Lake Trout in Lake Simcoe.  Looking at fish movements throughout the winter season, early, mid and late seasonal movements.  What depths are they at throughout the season and why?  What structure do I look for on my charts and how do they relate to these structures/baitfish.  This information will narrow down my quest in locating them through the winter.  Any help is appreciated.

Thank you, and have a Wonderful Christmas Season.

Tony Miceli


Hi Tony,

I begin my trout fishing on Simcoe as soon as safe ice will allow after the Jan 1 opener. I look for areas where I think lakers were spawning last fall … so shoals, extended points etc. My experience has taught me they hang around these areas long after the spawn – sometimes lasting until end of January. I focus up top of the shoal in about 30-40’ early mornings and then slide off to fish the deeper edges later in day.  Structure to focus on is really not much of a factor as lakers don’t care if they’re in 40’ or 100’ , near bottom or suspended way off  because in winter water temps are uniform at just above freezing and Dissolved Oxygen counts in that cold water are typically high throughout.

The key is baitfish! Almost think of it as the replacement for the structure you’d normally think of looking for. Hard substrates however are better than soft for lakers.  They often position themselves below the pods of baitfish …cisco, shiners and the few smelt that are left.  In some places even perch will do as they too are roaming deeper and are ok forage for big trout. 

I typically employee the 3 hole method- middle hole for transducer and two on either side. In one, I jig a spoon to attract lakers to the area, and the other with a set line housing a swim bait or tube resting about 10’ off bottom.  If baitfish are seen elsewhere in the water column on my Lowrance Elite Ice Machine- I move that set line up to that range.  I let the fish determine which bait they want but will reel in once he’s in view and make him chase it.

This method can drive you crazy with lakers that chase your bait forever, only to turn away suddenly and head back to bottom.

Hope this helps Tony in your quest for lakers this winter on Simcoe!


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