Lake trout are a great sportfish species and many anglers spend countless hours in pursuit of big lakers. If you are looking to get into lake trout fishing, or if you are just looking for lures that can help you gain an edge on the water, we will discuss our picks as the best lake trout lures in this post!
Best Lake Trout Lures: Quick Picks
There’s a reason the flatfish design is one of the most popular out there when it comes to lake trout lures, and that’s because they work, and work well.
When it comes to trolling lake trout lures, it’s hard to beat the action of the flatfish, and for this reason, it is our top pick for trolling lures for lake trout.
Tube jigs get crushed by lakers, and the YUM tube jig looks great, works great, and just gets the job done on the water, simple as that.
The unique design of this spoon and the action it has, as a result, is the reason this is our favorite spoon to cast for lake trout.
You can vertical jig it, slow roll it, rip it and let it sink, there is no wrong way to use this lure.
Best Lures for Lake Trout Fishing: Full Reviews
The Flatfish that was originally designed by a man named Charlie Helin has been a mainstay in the lake trout fishing community.
These great flatfish lures are now made by Yakima and they still have the great fish catching capabilities that they had when they first hit the water.
The great thing about flatfish lures is the ability to troll them at very low speed while still maintaining a great tight wobbling action. As speed increases the lure thumps hard, and can call in fish via vibration from long distances.
The size choices for Yakima flatfish lures is great, with 14 different sizes ranging from 1 to 6 inches.
There is a great selection of color patterns available for the Yakima flatfish as well, so you won’t have trouble finding something that big lakers like.
Troll these flatfish lures around rocky outcropping and deep reefs and hang on!
- Great wobbling action with tons of vibration
- Time-tested classic
There is something about tube jigs that are popular among bass anglers that lake trout just love. They work very well in vertical jigging situations, and for this reason, YUM tube jigs are on our list.
The YUM tube jigs are your standard tube jig with an internal jig head cavity, and the “tentacles” on this jig move freely, undulate, and provide a ton of breathing action to entice those big lake trout.
Soft plastic lures like tube jigs are great for a couple of reasons, but one of the main reasons is that it feels real, and we a fish like a lake trout bites, that soft plastic imitates a small fish very well, meaning they hold on longer.
YUM tube jigs have some really great natural color selections to choose from that will certainly be on the menu for any big lake trout.
- Great natural colors
- Lifelike action and feel
The syclops is a unique spoon design made by one of the most legendary lure manufacturers out there, Mepps Inc.
The syclops can be used for casting and jigging alike, and it really shines when used in a vertical jigging presentation.
The unique shape of the syclops gives it a deadly side to side wobble, and the spoon is also made with brass, and some colors feature nickel plating, gold-plated finishes, and corrosion resistant stainless steel split rings.
The syclops also comes with a perma steel treble hook which provides for excellent strength and sharpness.
You have five sizes to choose from and the color options are some of the best out there for any lure.
- Unique design with excellent action
- Great colors and multiple sizes
It’s hard to beat the life-like action of a soft plastic jerk shad or fluke, and the Berkley Powerbait jerk shad is one of your favorite baits to catch lake trout.
A small twitch of your rod tip will make the jerk shad come alive and it will dart and glide just like a fleeing or wounded bait fish – something hungry lake trout tend to love.
You can also run the jerk shad on a jig head for vertical jigging presentations, and it can be worked at any depth.
Since the lure features the Powerbait name, you know you are getting a soft plastic that is infused with one of the most powerful fish-attracting scents on the market, and it has been scientifically proven that fish grab on and hold on longer.
- Powerbait scent
- Great erratic twitching action
Dick Nite spoons are a perfect example of “the simple solution is often the best solution.”
The Dick Nite spoons are versatile and will work well in any depth and all lake trout fishing conditions, whether you are trolling, casting, or vertical jigging.
Each blade is made from a combination of nickel and brass, with a composition that is made up of 50% of each, they come in some awesome colors, and features an eagle claw siwash hook for great hook-ups and reliability.
These spoons have been around for 60 years and are also very popular with salmon anglers as well, in fact, 4 different world record salmon have been caught on a Dick Nite spoon.
- Time-tested classic
- Very versatile lure
The Rapala Jigging rap is one of the most versatile vertical presentations, and they will catch just about anything that swims, lake trout included.
The rear-angled fin on the tail of the Jigging Rap makes the lure swing out and hop and glide in a circular fashion that perfectly imitates a swimming baitfish and can trigger even the most cautious lake trout out there.
The action of the jigging rap excels in open water, but the bait also performs extremely well as a bottom bouncer in a yo-yo fashion, kicking up silt and triggering bottom-hugging lake trout to eat.
The Jigging rap comes in multiple sizes varying from 1 ¼ “ to 3 ½” you have a lot of wiggle room depending on what the fish want. The Jigging Rap is available in a whopping 26 colors, so you are sure to find a color that suits your needs.
- Tons of colors
- This lure is as versatile as they come
Lake Trout Fishing Tips
We’ve put together some advice on targeting lake trout with different types of lures and presentations below.
Trolling for Lake Trout
In large bodies of water such as the great lakes, trolling is the best way to consistently catch lake trout in most cases.
Using electronics to find the depth of the fish you set out your lines with your lures of choice and use downriggers to ensure your lures are reaching the depths needed to catch suspended lake trout. Lake trout trolling is the method preferred by most experienced anglers and is responsible for most record lake trout caught.
Spoons, crankbaits, and flatfish are some of the best lures to use when trolling for lake trout but don’t be afraid to experiment with other lures like soft plastics.
Jigging for Lake Trout
Jigging for lake trout is done on both the open water and to the surprise of no one, on the ice as well.
When jigging for lake trout you will want to use lake trout lures like spoons, soft plastics (which you can make yourself), and jigs. Tube jigs can work exceptionally well, and is the go-to lure for many anglers. See here for some examples of ice fishing lures for trout.
When vertical jigging lures for lake trout search for deep structure like rocky outcrops, reefs, or steep breaks, you can also fish for suspended lake trout in the basin if you mark schools of them on your electronics.
Casting for Lake Trout
Lake trout tend to favor the deep water areas of lakes, but lake trout fishing can definitely be done from shore in the right locations.
Casting for lake trout can be done with the same lures as you would use for trolling or vertical jigging, and in some locations can be done from shore.
Spoons are probably the most commonly used lure for casting for lake trout, as they can be worked at virtually any speed and at any depth.
Spinners in some casting situations might also be the ticket to catching lake trout.
Ice Fishing For Lake Trout
When ice fishing you will obviously be using lures that excel at vertical presentations. Spoons and jigs are the most productive along with other lures like Rapala jigging raps.
The most commonly used lake trout lures for ice fishing may very well be a tube jig, as the lake trout really key in on these baits.
These selections are the best lake trout lures to use in our view. Lake trout fishing is about putting in the hours, so when you do get your in front of a fish, you want to make sure it is appealing.