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Written by Wes Lavergne - Let's Talk Fishing   
Monday, 01 April 1996
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Lightly Does It For Early Season Lakers
Page 2

After a long, cold Canadian winter, I -- like most other anglers -- feel downright giddy on the first open water outing of the year. The ice has finally broken up, the sun feels good on the face and the fish are active.

My favourite fish at this time of the year is the lake trout. For one thing, it's the only species open for business after ice-out. And for another, lakers are never easier to find.

Lake trout usually live in deep, cold, rocky lakes that have plenty of forage: herring, ciscoe or whitefish. During most of the year, they haunt the depths of these lakes, and you need special equipment like downriggers and wire or lead-core line to reach them. But for about a month after ice-out, these deep-water monsters come into the shallows to put on the feed bag, and it's possible to catch them with conventional tackle.

When lakers are cruising the rocky flats along shorelines and islands, you can actually sight-fish fo them. And believe me, there's nothing more exciting than seeing a big fish inhaling your lure in seven or eight feet of gin-clear water. O you can watch for signs of the fish feeding. When lakers take insects or baitfish near the surface, they make a disturbance on the water that looks like a small splash.

The trick with shallow lakers is not to spook the fish. Lakers are accustomed to deep water, and they get a little nervous when they're out of their element. So keep the noise level down -- an electric motor is a big plus -- and try to keep a low profile in the boat. In really clear water, it's also best to stay away as far as possible, so polarized sunglasses are essential for sight-fishing.

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