Fishing for Lake Trout on Lake Winnipesaukee with the Hogy Epoxy Jig Lure
Angler: Davis Lambert
Targeted Species: An unintentional Lake Trout. At first, Davis, 17, was targeting white perch but while he was on his way to another fishing spot on Lake Winnipesaukee, he was marking a lot of fish schooled up on the bottom. He knew they were lake trout because they often congregate in depths around 100 to 140-feet, which is about the depth he was passing over while en route to a secondary location.
Location: Residing in Massachusetts, Davis summers in New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee. His family has a house up there and despite being an avid bass fisherman, he recently begun to dabble in a different area of expertise. He also loves saltwater fishing as it’s something different for him and more accessible during the summer months.
Tides: Being one of the largest freshwater lakes in the New England region, tidal dependency is not a factor when heading out for a day on the water. Typically, with any sort of freshwater body of water, early morning sunrise and right before sunset are the best times to target your desired species.
Approach: Due to an accidental marking, Davis decided to stop in his 16-foot Alumicraft to investigate the bottom activity he was marking. He initially dropped down a swim bait but when nothing hit it, he switched to spoons and even soft baits before resorting to the only Epoxy Jig Lure in his tackle box which he deemed his final choice and last ditch effort. As soon as he dropped the Epoxy down, he hooked up repeatedly with multiple Lake Trout around 7 to 8lbs, which Davis explained is over the average size of standard Lake Trout on Lake Winnipesaukee. Throughout his one week of fishing the lake, he caught 70+ Lake Trout all on the Epoxy Jig.
Rigging/Lure Selection: 3/8oz Epoxy Jig Lure
Why This Bait?: For Davis, this became a last resort option. After trying multiple freshwater baits, he switched to something a little more unconventional and found that it worked best. The Epoxy Jig does match the profile and length of smelt, which are usually 2 to 2.5-inches in length. Similar to saltwater fishing, the Epoxy Jig accurately simulates an injured bait fish when jigged properly and left to flutter down through the water column.
Colors: Olive although Davis remarked that he probably would have done better on more of a purple coloration, which Hogy Lures carries as one of their many color choices, because of the smelt in the lake which is their forage.
Retrieve: Davis began by dropping the lure down to the bottom and left it suspended in the water column before ripping it up hard and letting it fall in a controlled manner. Lake Trout usually hit on the top of the sharp jig or on the fall. This technique might be considered a modified vertical jigging technique as it is repetitive and a slowed down version of traditional, saltwater vertical jigging. The lighter weight of the lure helps it to flutter when falling which often entices the aggressive and finicky fish schooled up on the bottom.
Rod: Davis and his brother purchase their rods from a local custom rod business called Revelation Rods. He normally uses a drop shot rod but this set up is good because it has a soft tip for the Lake Trout and their vicious head shakes. It is a 7’2” medium light action rod rated for 1/16 to 3/8 ounces.
Reel: Shimano ST2500HGFK Stradic FK Spinning Reel
Line: Sufix 15lb Braid
Leader: Seaguar Gold Label 20lb Fluorocarbon