Lakers- Triggering the Bite

On our last trip for lakers, a big aggressive presentation did not trigger a bite.  Luckily when you ice fish you can use two rods. For a couple years now, Kevin Siemen has been using big baits to attract lakers, then using  a more natural presentation like a white tube jig to get the fish to bite. He particulary likes the baits pictured below.

These are made by Musky Innovations. The big one is a 14" walleye model. The smaller ones are 11" walleye and golden tail sucker models. There are about 10 different colors. Here are Kevins comments on why he started using these lures.

“I use these with both a vertical and horizontal presentation. Vertical presentation while jigged triggers a more aggressive response from trout while the horizontal presentation is meant to hang on a dead stick to draw in the attention of more lethargic fish. This bait is mainly used as a "decoy". I use this bait in tandem with a 4" tube or a small jigging spoon hung slightly above the Jimmy to trigger the bite. The bite at this point is usually hard and fast from a "hot" fish. 

I discovered this method during an outing when I caught a small walleye. As I was reeling up the walleye, a Laker rocketed up from the bottom and slammed the walleye. As I was scrambling, I reeled up my tube jig to the depth of the Laker on my Vexilar, and caught the 37.5" Laker.  I thought about the whole experience on the drive home and used a Musky lure on my next outing that resembled a small Walleye, and duplicated the experience.

This has been a very successful though unorthodox method for me to catch Lakers on LOTW, and I always have one tied on my rod. “

Having fished for lake trout over the last thirty years on many of the lakes in Northwestern Ontario, and northern Manitoba, I have four different boxes of lures to match the mood of the fish that particular day. Big aggressive presentations include the airplane jig, buzz bombs and big jigging spoons.
This laker hit a walleye flyer jig fished halfway up 

For neutral fish, I like smaller jigging spoons and blade baits like a Live Target or Swedish Pimple. I have also caught quite a few lakers on a Rattlin Snakie Jigging spoon.  For inactive fish, those hugging bottom, a small jig with a dropshot Powerbait can be deadly. On the last trip a two inch gold flecked model got the job done. One of my all time favourite baits is the Walleye Flyer jig from Lindy, either in a chartreuse or orange tipped with a small power grub.