The fact that lake trout school up over deep water and feed aggressively in the fall is no secret, at least not to me. The last two or three weeks of September are my favorite time of the open water season to fish for lakers. It's a vertical jig bite in over 100' of water and often, for the lake trout, a race to see which one can eat a jig first.
To me there is little as fun as vertical jigging from a kayak. I love it, so I planned a long overdue trip to Lake Winnipesaukee. It's not a trip I like to make too often since the fishing grounds are at least 1.5 miles from the nearest launch. I have the Predator XL Minn Kota, so it's not like I'm worried about paddling that far. It's how early I have to get there and the fact that the wind can come up and blow you off the lake in seconds.
I arrived on the lake at 5:30am and made my way to the spot I picked out just as the sun was rising over the trees. The morning fog was thick over the water, but quickly burned off as soon as the sun rose. Like clockwork, or magic, the fish appeared and they were hungry. I was fishing in 150' of water and the lakers were suspended 100' - 110' down.
I dropped a Daddy Mac Lures 1.4 Albie jig (same as the 1.4 Elite only with a treble rather than single hook) and a group of lakers shot up and met my jig at 60' down. Sure enough, my line stopped paying out, so I closed my bail, tightened up on the reel, and set the hook. It was 6:30AM, and that's how my morning would go until almost 10AM. It was one fish after another ranging from 3 pounds to 6 pounds. My total for the morning? 51 lake trout landed and only three lost. I wouldn't want to throw out the word "epic" too loosely, but it was nothing short of it. Not long after 10AM, with the sun high in the sky, the wind came up and the bite shut down. That was fine with me. I'm not greedy. I had my fill and headed for home with a few photos, a sore shoulder, and a great story to tell. Lake trout season closes after September 30th and you can bet I'll be making another trip out there for them.