Pro Talk: Jigging Shallow for Trophy Lake Trout

Pro Talk: Jigging Shallow for Trophy Lake Trout

We spent 15 minutes with Capt. Ross Gallagher, sales director at Hogy Lure Company, and guide Bernie Keefe to discuss jigging for trophy lake trout in Colorado with the Hogy Originals. Here's what we learned... 

Capt. Ross Gallagher - The Intrepid Angler
Guide Bernie Keefe - Fishing With Bernie

Location: Lake Granby, Colorado

Tides: Frozen tundra

Approach: It’s essential to have a good underwater chart and hand held GPS to locate underwater humps and flats when fishing on the ice. The most productive shallow areas were less than 7 feet deep, within 20 yards of a shore line and had water deeper than 30 feet within close proximity. Lakers bite all day, they are more sensitive to pressure (fishing) then anything else. I like to use a run and gun approach, hit an area hard. If the fish are there we stay a little longer, if we do not see anything we move through quicker. We find structure then “drill it up” sometimes drilling 50-60 holes on one hump.

Rigging Selection: The jig head depends on the depth and how fast the fish want it to drop. Generally a 1/2oz – 3/4oz Barbarian jig head works fine.

Bait Selection: The Hogy 10inch Original

Why This Bait? The bait fish in the area (trout, salmon and suckers are 10”).

Colors: White, lakers love white, amber it’s a good natural color up here then black everything contrasts with black.

Retrieve:  Two different retrieves were used for shallow jigging. An active 10″ – 14″ lift off the bottom, then letting the bait fall on a slightly slack line will cause the bait to dart randomly to the extreme edges of your hole. Keeping the bait higher in the water column makes it visible to fish at a considerable distance. A great technique for drawing fish into your bait.

The second technique is very subtle. Resting the bait on the bottom, use a short 1″ – 2″ shaking action with the rod tip. This will pound the bait into the mud and rocks, stirring up puffs of mud and sediment, very similar to a trout or sucker rooting for insects. This can be very effective if fish are especially finicky.

I prefer to use a combination of the two retrieves, alternating styles every 2-3 minutes. If your not showing any fish or having any bites, move to another hole after 10 minutes.


Rod: Jason Mitchel 40” heavy rods long sensitive rods to bury the hook in a bone hard mouth.

Reel:   Wright McGill Sabalos 25: Best drag on the market.

Line: Trilene 100% fluorocarbon 10 lb test, braids freeze up and fishing under 60 ft deep flouro works great

Shallow Jigging For Lake Trout Ice Fishing Video



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