It’s some of the most ruggedly beautiful landscape you’ll ever lay eyes upon, and if there’s anything that can pull your attention away from the Northern Saskatchewan grandeur, it’s the astounding fishing opportunities. Northern pike and walleye get most of the press but don’t overlook the unforgettable opportunity to battle giant lake trout.
As the host of Tazin Lake Lodge’s “Tazin TV” Youtube channel, Bret Amundson sees many lakers in the 30- to 40-pound range. With no commercial netting and a strict trophy fish catch-and-release policy complementing its deep, forage-rich waters, Tazin Lake offers the ideal scenario to pursue a personal best lake trout.
“Our season is short, so we have good luck all year,” Amundson said. “Our ice comes off at the end of May/early June, and we start our season June 14 and run through the fall spawn in mid-September.
“The fish move around a bit depending on the time of year, but we’ve seen trophy lake trout caught every week we’re open. We usually tell people the best time to come is when their schedule allows it.”
Where to Find ‘Em
Amundson said Tazin Lake guides fish trout on drop-offs, saddles, other ambush locations, and the deep holes tucked inside bays. For a light tackle option, smaller lake trout can be found roaming the shorelines as shallow as 1-2 feet of water and 30-60 foot holes. At times, lake trout are found lurking on the bottom at 80-120 feet.
How to Catch ‘Em
For consistent action with keeper-size lake trout (ideal for shore lunches), trolling shoreline breaks with noisy, flashy lures like a LIVETARGET Golden Shiner Rattlebait or spoons like the LIVETARGET Erratic Shiner will keep the rods bent. While this technique, along with casting across rocky points and drop-offs, will produce plenty of solid fish, you’ll also find the occasional 40-inch pike or laker.
“When it comes to the bigger fish, we’ll troll 30- to 100-foot flats and look for small structure changes where big fish will hang out near the bottom,” Amundson said. “On sunny days, we can troll those areas in the middle of the water column and get big fish to scream up from the bottom when they’re active.
“Hands down, my favorite bait at Tazin is the 12-inch LIVETARGET Juvenile Pike . It has quickly become very popular with the guides for catching big lake trout. The 8-inch Yellow Perch Swimbait is a close second for me.”
Amundson said the preference is to troll for the giant lakers without using downriggers. Furthermore, he suggests anglers forego the rod holders and hold their fishing rod to fully experience the strike.
“They’ll smack it — often on a turn or if you give the line a tug to change up the cadence,” Amundson said. “Then they’ll fight hard with powerful head shakes.”
For fish hooked in extreme depths, guides extend the fight with stops along the way to allow the lake trout to self-regulate as it ascends. Watching for air bubbles as the “burp sharks” expel gases on their way to the surface offers an entertaining visual reference.
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