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Attractor Trolling for Lake Trout

Massive lake trout like this 20 plus fish caught by
the author are most often caught trolling attractor
rigs in deep water. Summer time is the best time
to use attractors for lake trout.
Lake trout, or gray trout as many call them, aren’t trout at all! Actually lake trout are members of the char family and like all chars they require exceptionally cold and pollution free waters. Fortunately, Algoma Country has no shortage of world class lake trout fisheries.

Because lakers favor water colder than 50 degrees they are often found on or near bottom in deep water. Deep water fish are easy to find with the help of sonar and nothing catches more lake trout than a classic fishing set up known as the attractor rig.

The term “trolling attractors” is a generic way of organizing a host of trolling hardware designed to get the attention of trout and other species. Some of the common attractors in use to target lake trout include “dodgers”, “lake trolls or cowbells” and “fish flash”. All of these attractors come in various sizes and of course color options. No single trout attractor is the “go to” answer every day on the water and most good trout fishermen carry a selection of all three on board with them.

The best way to understand these attractors and how they work is to dive into a discussion of each and outline exactly how to rig and fish them.

Okuma’s New Dead Eye Rods

By Mark Romanack

The author gets to spend lots of quality time testing
out Okuma rods and reels. The new Dead Eye
series of walleye specific rods are among his
favorites for all things walleye fishing.
Being a member of the outdoor media has some perks. One of those is getting my hands on new products months and sometimes years before these goods go to market. Recently I was invited to help Okuma develop a new line of species specific rods aimed at the growing walleye market. Known as the Dead Eye series, these rods represent all the popular lengths, models and actions walleye fishermen covet.

Announcement - Mark Romanack Joins Orca Coolers Coveted Pro Staff

Orca Coolers is proud to announce that Mark Romanack of Fishing 411 TV is joining the coveted Team Orca Pro Staff. “Orca produces “extreme” coolers that are American made by individuals who share a passion for the outdoors,” says Romanack the Producer and Host of Fishing 411. “Designed to be the last cooler you’ll ever need to buy, Orca produces five different cooler sizes including 26, 40, 58, 75 and 140 quart models. My favorite size is the 26 quart model that is the ideal boat cooler for keeping snacks, drinks and bait fresh.”

Orca Coolers will become the official cooler of Fishing 411 and the “closed captioning” sponsor for 2015/16. Fishing 411 TV broadcasts on World Fishing Network during the first, second and third 150 broadcasts annually. Host and team leader Mark Romanack is a lifelong sportsman and one of America’s most published members of the outdoor media. The author of 15 books on fishing, Romanack has also written over 3,000 full length magazine feature articles and published literally 10’s of thousands of outdoor photographs in his 30+ year career as an outdoor communicator.

“Fishing 411 aims to help others better enjoy the outdoors and Orca Coolers produces products that every outdoor enthusiast will appreciate,” adds Romanack. To learn more about Orca Coolers visit or You can also follow Fishing411, Mark Romanack and Orca Coolers on Facebook.

Manistee River Steelhead

By Mark Romanack

The Great Lakes region has many excellent
steelhead streams, but the Big Manistee is the
 author’s favorite for many reasons.
The town of Manistee, Michigan is a sleepy little tourist village with a big maritime history. At one time Manistee was one of the busiest ports on the Great Lakes shipping out timber to serve a growing nation. Today, Manistee serves visitors who are looking to get away from a growing nation, relax and enjoy life’s finer moments.

The Manistee River enjoys one of the largest runs of steelhead of any river in the Great Lakes region. In part this is true due to an aggressive stocking program. The Manistee also attracts lots of steelhead because this river system is also the natal spawning waters of literally 10’s of thousands of king and coho salmon.

Alternative Walleye Trolling Tactics

By Mark Romanack

Captain Jake Romanack captains on both Lake Erie and
Lake Michigan. On Lake Erie his “go to” method for trolling
 up walleye are small spoons like the Wolverine Jr. Streak
fished on a floating Lurk Rundown Diver.
Most of the time when anglers are talking walleye trolling, they are talking crankbaits. The crankbait is king at certain times of year. Early in the spring and again later in the fall the diving minnow crankbait bite dominates the fishing scene on many walleye fisheries. Outside of these time frames, some alternative trolling methods are often required to get the job done.

Casting Crankbaits For Walleye

By Mark Romanack

Shad style crankbaits like this are deadly when casted to
shoreline structure, points, weed edges and other places
that walleye call home.
Casting crankbaits is perhaps the single most overlooked presentation for targeting walleye. It seems that when talk turns to crankbaits, most anglers are only interested in trolling. Casting these minnow imitating lures has some significant advantages over other lure types that are commonly casted.

One of the major reasons crankbaits shine as walleye casting lures is because no other lure type can be used to cover as much water as quickly. The name crankbait says it all. Cast them out and crank them back to the boat. This simple fishing presentation is amazingly effective at making long casts, covering water and also making contact with active fish.