What Line To Use Ice Fishing For Lake Trout? You Won’t Believe Which Line Works Best!

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Ice fishing for Lake Trout is a popular winter activity, but choosing the right line can be challenging. The type of line used will determine how successful your ice fishing adventure will be. Therefore, it’s crucial to choose the appropriate line when heading out on an ice fishing expedition. So what line should you use for ice fishing Lake Trout?

The best line to use for ice fishing Lake Trout would be braided or fluorocarbon lines. Braided lines are excellent in deep waters because they have zero stretch and provide greater sensitivity, allowing you to feel the slightest bite on your hook. Fluorocarbon lines, on the other hand, are perfect if you’re looking for something that sinks fast and has low visibility underwater, keeping the fish unaware of any presence.

Overall, the choice between these two types of lines depends primarily on personal preference, water conditions and where/how you plan to do the ice fishing. If you’re still unsure which line to go for, our blog post will delve deeper into the differences between the two and help you decide which one suits you better based on specific fishing situations.

If you want to learn more about the pros and cons of each line mentioned above, keep reading to find out which line works best for your ice fishing needs.

Understanding The Behavior Of Lake Trout

Lake trout are fascinating creatures that swim in the cold, deep waters of northern lakes. If you’re planning to go ice fishing for lake trout, it’s essential to understand their behavior and habits so you can have a successful catch.

One critical aspect of understanding lake trout behavior is knowing their feeding habits. As with other fish species, lake trouts’ diets vary depending on the season, water temperature, and habitat. In general, they feed on small baitfish such as smelt, ciscoes, and whitefish.

According to research by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, lake trout feed less frequently during the winter months when water temperatures drop below 40°F. However, they become more active and aggressive during spring and fall when water temperatures range between 42-56°F.

The Importance Of Knowing Lake Trout Feeding Habits

If you want to increase your chances of catching lake trout, it’s crucial to use the right bait and lure to match their current feeding preferences. During colder months, try using smaller jigs or spoons tipped with waxworms or maggots, which resemble the small insects available for them to eat in the winter. When water temperatures rise, switch to larger lures such as tube jigs, swimbaits, or minnow imitations.

“By understanding the feeding patterns of lake trout, anglers can select specific times and locations to catch more fish,” says Greg Gogolinski, a fisheries biologist at the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

In addition to selecting the right bait and lure, understanding where to cast your line is equally important. Lake trout prefer deeper water and tend to stay near underwater structures or drop-offs. Therefore, look for areas with these features to improve your chances of catching a trophy-sized lake trout.

How Water Temperature Affects Lake Trout Behavior

Water temperature plays a critical role in the behavior and movement of lake trout. As previously mentioned, they feed less frequently when water temperatures drop below 40°F, which means they also tend to move less and become somewhat lethargic during these colder periods.

In contrast, during the warmer months, lake trout are more active and will likely venture into shallower areas to feed. However, once the water temperature rises above 70°F, they may retreat back to deeper waters or restrict their feeding to early morning or late evening hours as a survival mechanism.

“As water temperature increases, available oxygen levels decrease, and lake trout prefer cooler, oxygen-rich waters,” says Jennifer Powell, a fisheries biologist at Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources.

To sum it up, understanding the behavior of lake trout requires knowledge of their feeding habits, preferred habitats, and how water temperature can affect these factors. Armed with this information, you can plan your ice fishing trip accordingly and significantly improve your odds of landing that big catch. Happy fishing!

Choosing The Right Line For Lake Trout

When it comes to ice fishing for lake trout, choosing the right line can be crucial. After all, having the wrong line could mean losing that trophy fish you’ve been chasing all day! But with so many options available, how do you know which line is best? Let’s take a closer look at some of your choices.

Monofilament vs. Fluorocarbon: Which Line Is Best?

Monofilament line has been around for years and remains a popular choice among many anglers. It’s relatively cheap, flexible, and easy to manage. However, one downside of mono is its visibility. Since it reflects light, fish are more likely to spot it in clear water conditions, potentially spooking them away.

If you’re fishing in crystal-clear lakes, fluorocarbon might be a better option. Unlike monofilament, fluoro is nearly invisible underwater, making it ideal for targeting spooky fish. It also tends to sink faster than mono, allowing you to get deeper bites. Keep in mind, though, that fluoro is also stiffer than mono, meaning it may not cast as far or handle knots as well.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that if I’m fishing in clear water, especially in shallow situations where there’s a lot of sunlight, I prefer fluorocarbon. Its light-diffraction index is similar to that of water, which makes it practically invisible.” – Bassmaster Elite Series pro Kenyon Hill.

The bottom line? Both monofilament and fluorocarbon have their advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, the decision will depend on your specific fishing situation and personal preferences. If in doubt, experiment with both types and see what works best for you.

The Advantages Of Braided Line For Lake Trout Fishing

Braided line is another popular option among ice anglers, but it tends to be less commonly used for lake trout fishing. So why might you consider using braid? There are a few reasons.

Firstly, braided line is incredibly strong and abrasion-resistant, meaning that you can afford to go lighter without sacrificing performance. This can be especially helpful when targeting big lake trout that require finesse to coax into biting. Additionally, braided line has virtually no stretch, which allows you to transmit even the slightest bite more quickly and accurately than other types of line.

“Braids have become increasingly popular over recent years because they offer incredible sensitivity—making it possible to feel changes in bottom structure or light bites from fish—as well as superior strength-to-diameter ratios.” – Outdoor Life Magazine

Another advantage of using braided line is its durability. Unlike mono or fluoro, braid doesn’t degrade as quickly through exposure to sunlight, so it can last longer on your reel if stored properly.

However, one downside of braided line is its increased visibility in clear water conditions. If you’re fishing in stained or murky water, this may not be an issue, but it’s important to keep in mind that fish may be able to see your line more easily with braid than with other options.

In conclusion, there are many different lines available to choose from when ice fishing for lake trout. By weighing the pros and cons of each type, you’ll increase your chances of success on the ice and land those elusive trophy fish!

Factors To Consider When Choosing Line

Choosing the right line when ice fishing for lake trout can make all the difference between a successful catch and a frustrating day on the ice. There are several factors to consider when selecting your line that will increase your chances of catching these elusive fish.


One important factor in choosing the right line is sensitivity. Lake trout have subtle bites, so using a line with high sensitivity will allow you to feel even the slightest nibble. The more sensitive your line, the easier it will be to detect those delicate touches from lake trout.

“Sensitive lines help anglers detect light strikes and movements underwater. For best results, choose a thin monofilament or fluorocarbon leader.” – Outdoor Canada Magazine


The strength of your line also plays a crucial role when ice fishing for lake trout. These powerful fish require sturdy gear that can withstand their resistance without breaking. Choose a line with a strong pound test that’s capable of handling anything from small to large-sized lake trout.

“For lake trout, go no lighter than 10-pound test, but if you’re targeting trophy-size fish, step up to 12-, 14- or 16-pound test to avoid break-offs.” – In-Fisherman Magazine


The visibility of your line can also affect your success rate when fishing for lake trout. Since they’re known to be cautious and skittish creatures, an overly visible line may spook them away. On the other hand, a transparent line may be difficult to see against the snowy backdrop of the lake. It’s essential to find a balance between line visibility and subtlety.

“A clear monofilament line is often the best option because it provides a measure of invisibility in clear water conditions. Fluorocarbon line is even better as it’s virtually invisible underwater.” – Angler Spy
  • Sensitivity, strength, and visibility are three crucial factors when selecting a line for lake trout.
  • A high sensitivity allows you to feel even the slightest nibbles, while a strong pound test can withstand the resistance of these powerful fish.
  • When choosing your line’s visibility, opt for a balance between subtlety and visibility, allowing you to spot the line amidst the snow without spooking the sensitive lake trout.

By taking these factors into account when choosing your ice fishing line, you increase your chances of landing that elusive trophy-size lake trout this winter!

Factors To Consider When Choosing Line

When it comes to ice fishing for lake trout, choosing the right line is crucial for a successful trip. There are several factors to consider when selecting your line, and we’ll cover some of the most important ones below.

The Importance Of Line Strength And Sensitivity

One of the most critical factors to consider when picking out your line is strength and sensitivity. Lake trout can grow to impressive sizes, so you’ll need a line that can handle the weight of a big catch. However, strength isn’t everything; sensitivity is equally vital when it comes to feeling bites and detecting movement under the ice. A sensitive line will allow you to stay on top of subtle movements and prevent you from missing out on potential catches.

According to Fishing Booker, “The best line option for catching Lake Trout is Fluorocarbon or Braided Lines.” These types of lines provide maximum strength and sensitivity while still maintaining their durability in cold water conditions.

Consider using a leader with heavier fluorocarbon to keep your line from snapping as well. It’s essential to match the size of your line and leader to the size of your lure when targeting larger fish.

Matching Line Weight To Lure Size And Water Depth

Selecting the correct weight of line is also an essential aspect of ice-fishing for lake trout; this will vary depending on the specific situation. The general idea is to pick a line that maintains enough weight to reach your desired depth. For example: if you’re fishing in 30 feet of water, choose a line that’s heavy enough to sink quickly like a braided line because they offer rapid sink rates at most depths.

You must also select a line weight that matches the size of your lure. In general, larger lures will require heavier line weights and vice versa. Matching your line weight to the lure size is crucial for achieving a proper presentation that entices lake trout.

How To Choose The Right Color Line For Lake Trout Fishing

The color of your line may seem like an insignificant factor, but it can make all the difference when ice-fishing for lake trout. When selecting the right color line, you need to consider the lighting conditions within the body of water you’re fishing in as well as the activity level of the fish. Visibility can vary greatly on different lakes depending on water clarity.

If the water is relatively clear or shallow, lighter colored lines such as white, yellow and pink provide better visibility, increasing sensitivity which results in more bites. On the other hand, if the water has low clarity or is deep, using darker colors (black/blue/green) will produce less-spooked fish that are feeding deeper than normal due to light penetration limitations,

“Don’t overthink line color too much, Though contrast against sky/lighting is frequently necessary. So you can see out there where the line runs up through drilled hole/snow/ice,” – Zach Burgess, OutdoorLife.com
  • Choosing the right line based on strength, sensitivity, depth and visual properties of your desired target species increases chances of success while fishing under any condition.
  • Match your line strength to the size of potential catches to prevent breakage.
  • Choose your line’s color based on water clarity and penetration levels—keeping visibility in mind throughout preparation.

Keeping these factors in mind, with some research, practice, as well as experimenting with different set-ups will ensure that you’re giving yourself the best chance when fishing for lake trout this winter.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of line should I use for ice fishing lake trout?

The best type of line for ice fishing lake trout is fluorocarbon line. It has low visibility and sinks quickly, making it ideal for fishing in cold water. Fluorocarbon is also abrasion-resistant, which is important when fishing around rocks and other underwater obstacles. Monofilament line is also a good option, but it tends to have more stretch than fluorocarbon. If you’re using a spinning reel, consider using a braided line with a fluorocarbon leader. This will give you the sensitivity and strength of braided line, while still having the low visibility of fluorocarbon.

What pound test line is best for ice fishing lake trout?

The pound test line you should use for ice fishing lake trout depends on the size of the fish you’re targeting. A good rule of thumb is to use a line that is 2-4 pound test for smaller lake trout and 6-8 pound test for larger ones. If you’re fishing in an area with particularly large lake trout, you may want to use a line with a higher pound test. However, keep in mind that heavier line can be more visible in the water, which can make the fish less likely to bite.

Should I use braided or monofilament line for ice fishing lake trout?

Both braided and monofilament line can be used for ice fishing lake trout, but each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Braided line has low stretch, which makes it more sensitive to bites and easier to set the hook. It’s also stronger and more durable than monofilament. However, it can be more visible in clear water, which can make the fish less likely to bite. Monofilament line has more stretch, which can make it harder to feel bites and set the hook, but it’s less visible in the water.

What color line is best for ice fishing lake trout?

The best color line for ice fishing lake trout depends on the clarity of the water you’re fishing in. If the water is clear, use a clear or low-visibility line, such as fluorocarbon. If the water is murky or stained, a high-visibility line, such as green or chartreuse, can help you see when a fish is biting. Keep in mind that lake trout can sometimes be finicky, so if you’re not getting any bites, try switching to a different color or type of line.

How long should my line be for ice fishing lake trout?

The length of your line for ice fishing lake trout depends on the depth of the water you’re fishing in. In general, you should use a line that is long enough to reach the bottom of the lake, plus a few extra feet. This will help you keep your bait at the right depth and increase your chances of catching a fish. If you’re fishing in shallow water, a shorter line may be all you need. As a general rule, use a longer line in deeper water and a shorter line in shallower water.

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