Lake Trout Ice Fishing

Few things call to the hearts of ice-fishing anglers like that of a rod bending from the strain of a Gunflint Trail lake trout. Answer the call by joining us for the lake trout opener on Gunflint Lake this year on Saturday, Jan. 13.

Reports are making their way back to the Lodge that fishing has been outstanding during the early season that opened Dec. 29 for lakes located entirely within the BWCA. Many anglers expect the strong bite to carry over when the season opens for all lakes up the Gunflint Trail.

Lake trout love cold winter days with high pressure, and our staff at Gunflint Lodge have all the knowledge you’ll need before venturing out on the ice. Fishing through the ice for lake trout often means drilling an abundance of holes and bouncing from spot to spot. There’s about 10-14 inches on most deep water lakes up the Gunflint Trail right now in early January, though by late season it’s not uncommon to have more than 2-feet of ice.

Lake trout are aggressive fish, so jigging vigorously with spoons or jigging Rapalas often leads to success. We tip ours with a minnow head or tail to add some scent, making the lures irresistible to hungry lakers. As anglers can use two lines while ice fishing in Minnesota, putting a tip-up out with a live minnow or chub swimming on a red-colored hook is a good idea. Another option for a tip-up is to drop a piece of frozen/dead smelt through the ice and let it rest on the bottom.

Keep in mind that Gunflint Lake is home to the annual Gunflint Trout Derby, which takes place this year on March 4. The Gunflint Trout Derby is sponsored by a local snowmobile club and proceeds go to promote trail grooming and development of the local trails. Indeed there is a sense of spirited competition in the air during the Derby, and we’ll point you in the right direction to take bragging rights (and perhaps a prize or two) back home following the event.

In addition to the excellent fishery found not far from our base of operations on Gunflint Lake, we can also steer you in the right direction for lakes located entirely within the BWCA. The possibilities are endless for where and when you’ll catch the first lake trout of 2019 up the Gunflint Trail, and after you’ve caught one, we hope you’ll stick around and catch another.