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Best Lake Trout Lures

Hunting for big trophy trout deep down in the colder waters of a lake requires that you choose the best lake trout lures for the job. Trying to get lightweight lures down to where the fish will most likely to be is a waste of time.

Using the correct tackle and approach to how you target these legendary lake trout takes careful planning and ultimately patience!

  • Flatfish Lures
  • Spoons
  • Rapala
  • Jerk Baits

There is a huge selection of lures that you could use to target big lake trout. But it is better to stick the old tried and tested lures that have produces trophy fish time and time again.

The following lures are a solid addition to any tackle box and the have proven themselves as consistent performers.

Lure TypeDescriptionIdeal Conditions
Flatfish LuresTime-tested, available in various sizes/colors. Unique wobble action. Used for trolling in shallower waters. Require down-riggers/lead core lines for deep lakes.Shallower waters; Deep lakes with down-riggers or lead core lines
SpoonsLarge spoons with slow wobble. Gold and silver colors are traditional, effective when trolled slowly. Modern versions come in bright colors/patterns.Slow trolling, especially effective in deeper waters
Rapala’sTop baitfish imitators made from Balsa wood, hand-tuned for swim action. Available in floating/sinking varieties, suitable for different scenarios.Versatile for different scenarios, especially good in shallower waters and along drop-offs
Jerk BaitsEffective in shallower waters for younger trout near drop-offs/structures. Lures like Rapala Husky Jerk are useful in summer.Shallower waters near drop-offs and structures, particularly in summer

Best Lake Trout Lures

1. Flatfish Lures

Flatfish Lures

One of the best lake trout lures to stand the test of time the original Worden’s flatfish lure has landed many a trophy trout when trolled from a boat.

The two main brands available today are the Yakima Bait Flatfish and the Lure Jensen Kwikfish.

Available in a huge range of sizes and colors there is one to meet every water type. The action on these lures drives trout wild. The very distinctive wobble combines with a bright color becomes a very strong attraction for trout.

These can be trolled in shallower waters. You will need to adjust the trolling speed to suit the depth you are trying to get down to. 

If you want to target really large lake trout that live in the deepest lakes then a down-rigger will be required or you can also use lead core line.

2. Spoons

trout spoons

Big spoons trolled slowly from a boat are another all time classic lake trout lure. 

It is the slow wobble that attracts the trout. Lake trout that are down deep will generally try to expend as little energy as possible when hunting for food. Slow trolling here can be very effective.

Traditionally the most popular colors would have been gold and silver. The gold can be used on brighter days and the silver is best used on dull days. The Cotton Cordell C.C. Spoon above has a perfect action.

More modern spoons are available which include a lot of very bright colors and with a lot of different patterns on them.  

3. Rapala’s


Rapala are the ultimate baitfish imitator. Made from Balsa wood each Rapala is individually hand tuned by the manufacturer to ensure that each lure has the correct swim action.

Rapala’s are available in either a floating or sinking variety. Each has a particular use and having a few of each in your tackle box will make sure you are ready for almost any scenario.

Floating Rapala’s are a great lake trout lure for shallower water and fishing along drop offs. 

4. JerkBaits


Lake trout can be found in shallower waters too, however these will tend to be the younger trout and will rarely weigh more than 10 lbs. The much bigger older lake trout tend to prefer the deeper cooler waters.

If you are looking to target trout in shallower waters near drop offs and other structures then a jerk bait can be use to great effect.  

Lures like the Rapala Husky Jerk pictured above can prove deadly for summer trout.

Fishing For Lakers

Trolling is definitely the preferred approach when you intend to catch a big lake trout.

A fairly typical lake trout fishing setup might include the following depending on what type of lure you are fishing and what depth you intend to fish at.

  • Medium to heavy action spinning rod
  • Spinning reel in 3000 size depending on line used or a trolling reel
  • Line 20 lb main line and a lighter leader depending on the fish
  • Downrigger
  • Fish finder or depth finder

However, you can still target lakers by casting in shallower water near to drop offs and other submerged structures. As mentioned above you will generally find the younger smaller fish in the shallows.

However, some of the larger lakers have been know to enter the shallower warmer water when there is a lot of smaller baitfish available. They can be seen moping up large amounts of insects too such as mayfly and other common nymphs and hatches.