BlogOctober 2020

Tips for Lake Trout Fishing from Shore

Tips for Lake Trout Fishing from Shore

By Andy Whitcomb

Oct 13, 2020

Trout can be caught in streams and lakes in different places across the United States. Here are some tips for fishing for trout from the shore. 

Generally, trout are thought of as stream inhabitants but there are many lakes that can provide great trout action. If an angler expresses interest in lake trout fishing from shore there may be some confusion in that they could be inquiring about targeting the lake trout, a big, deep water species, or just asking about the location of lake fishing from shore for other species such as brown or rainbow trout.

Lake trout fishing from shore (for lake trout) can be accomplished in some rocky, cold lakes. In Colorado, for example, the locals use sucker meat on the bottom much like fishing for catfish. I’ve also had luck making long casts with heavy spoons tipped with a white grub tail and then allowing it to hit the bottom before making a very slow retrieval.

Lake fishing from shore for other trout can be very productive too. When learning how to fish for trout in a lake, the mouths of tributaries are often great places to start. Keep in mind that because these fish prefer clear water, a stealthy approach and presentation will help avoid spooking fish. Fly fishing lakes from shore can be a hot technique, particularly when fishing pressure is high and other lures are refused.

In Lake Erie, brown trout and steelhead, the genetic equivalent of rainbow trout, will hammer small spoons when lake trout fishing from shore, with even the potential of a rare lake trout maybe entering the mix. Fall and winter, these trout venture up and down the streams where they were stocked. The mouths of these tributaries provide some great shore fishing opportunities, with a little more elbow room than the streams which can get crowded this time of year.

Although some anglers may argue meal worms, fish eggs, or nightcrawlers, minnows usually rank as the best bait for lake fishing. A small marabou jig tipped with a minnow, either live or dried and salted, drifting under a bobber can be one of the more effective trout fishing rigs from shore and is a good Plan B, if the fish are not hitting spoons.

Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.