It’s February again and almost time for our annual trip to the Temagami area. We generally encounter the full spectrum of species available when we fish this region, but the two species that seem to go hand in hand are whitefish and lake trout. Targeting either of these fish will usually result in a few of the other. Over the years I’ve tried different methods to efficiently target both whities and lake trout with one line. Here’s a simple rig that has always worked well for me and can also be used in shallower water for pike and pickerel (walleye).
Drop shotting two hooks to the bottom of a deep lake is simple. One half ounce bell sinker on the bottom with the first hook 6 inches up, and the other 2 to 3 feet above that. Let the bell sinker rest on bottom and reel up the slack so that you just feel the weight. Then let an inch or two of slack off so that any fish taking the top minnow will not feel the pressure of the rod tip as quickly.
The only variation with the Lil’ Foxee method, is that I use a medium sized Lil’ Foxee jig in place of my bell sinker and first hook. Tip a glow in the dark Lil’ Foxee with a small minnow and let this rest just on bottom. Two to three feet above that, use a large active minnow on your second hook. This minnow should be active and large enough to attract cruising lakers and whitefish, as well as give a little movement to your jig on the bottom. The subtle presentation will appeal to those less active whitefish sulking on the bottom out of sight from your sonar.
Using a Mr. Jigger or another type of balanced system will aid in hook ups with finicky whitefish. Just make sure you’re close by when an aggressive lake trout grabs the top minnow and checks out. So leave the spreaders in the tackle bag one day this winter and give this method a try.