Why I Love Trolling for lake trout, coho salmon and steelhead

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I’ve been asked many times over the last couple of years if I’m getting sick of fishing, since I turned my passion for trolling into a jobb. Many of them seem to think of their jobb as a four letter word, so they think if you spend lots of time at something (even if it’s your passion) soon you will not enjoy it and it will feel like a jobb. I happen to still enjoy it very much and cannot wait to get on the water in the spring.

What makes fishing worthwhile to me? Is it the tasty meal I take home at the end of the day or simply the fresh outdoor air? Is it the companionship of my fishing partners & clients or the anticipation of catching that big one – that “wall-hanger trophy?” Is it being out there on the lake away from the daily stresses of work and home life? It’s a combination of these and many more things that make fishing enjoyable.

There is something magical or mysterious about dropping a line in the water below the surface where I can’t see it, and getting an invisible fish to tug at my line. I never know for sure what is pulling on the other end until I see the fish break the surface of the water.

To me this was probably the biggest draw that got me hooked on fishing. Now, the lure of the mysterious is just part of what keeps fishing so enjoyable. Now I see that there is a whole lot more to a successful day fishing, but my focus has been on maximizing the catch, whether it be in sheer numbers or size.

As I get more and more involved in fishing, I have begun to keep tabs on the surrounding conditions, including water temperatures, trolling speeds, water clarity and depth, currents, barometric pressure, wave action or lack of, other weather conditions (sunny or not) time of the day etc…

Then it helps to learn more about the mechanical and electronic equipment, baits and lures, types of line to use, etc. The list goes on and on.

My whole point is, just like any sport, hobby or other interest, there is much more than meets the eye (remember the lure of the mysterious?) This never ending learning process is what makes it so interesting and keeps it from getting stale. The more you learn about a subject, the more you see you don’t know, so you keep on learning. When I’ve learned all there is to know about fishing for lake trout, coho salmon and steel head, then I’ll quit and find something else… like fishing for ocean perch, sailfish and sea trout.

So what do I do in the winter when the water is hard? I’ll do a little bit of ice fishing but lately, I have been testing and adjusting lures in order to give them more action, which makes them a more attractive to the fish. I’ve found that they are more likely to attack a lure that wobbles erratically than one that just wiggles in a consistent pattern.

Where do I test them? In my basement at home where I have built a fishing lure test tank back in 2010.

The first lures that I observed in the tank were the ones that I remember catching the most fish on; these were my “go to” lures the previous summer. I noticed that they had much more erratic action than the less productive lures AND they had it over a larger water-speed variation.

The test tank has a variable water speed from about 1.2 mph up to about 3 mph.

If you’d like to see it click here for the latest video,  or give me a call to come over to see it in action. I’ll test your lures for free and give a little instruction while we’re at it. (There are a couple more videos on youtube , search for “sand point charters” that show a little more.)

Happy fishing to all!

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About Brian Helminen

Brian is the owner and Captain of Sand Point Charters, LLC. He also owns and operates Designotype Printers, Inc. with his wife, Margaret. They have a cottage on Lac La Belle that can be rented by the week in the summertime.

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