Tips For Lake Trout Fishing In Grand County

As Grand Lake’s premiere bait & tackle shop and trusted lake fishing guide service, we know a thing or two about fishing for trophy lake trout. With ice-off quickly approaching in Grand County, it is time to get prepared for one of the hottest times for Grand Lake fishing. If you are planning on staying in Grand Lake this summer, we are the nearest bait store to town, and are within a 15 minute drive of three lake trout fishing lakes here in Grand County; Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain Reservoir, and Lake Granby. Our guides are also very familiar with Williams Fork Reservoir, and can keep you updated with the current fishing report for any of these locations. 

May and June are a special time for fishing for Lake Trout, because it is when these unique fish are feeding most heavily in shallower waters. It is not out of the question to catch the Lake Trout of a lifetime in 10-15 feet of water during the first weeks immediately following ice-off. As the summer moves along, the big boys will move into the depths of the lake and wise-up as to what they feed on. Because of this, it is important to optimize your window of opportunity. 


For many guides, vertical jigging is the preferred method for targeting big lake trout. This technique certainly takes some practice to get a feel for your jig hitting structure at the bottom of the lake, as well as being able to detect and set a bite from a laker, but is highly effective once mastered.

The basic setup is simple. We typically use 6-7 foot rods with braided lines for backing. Fluorocarbon leaders are essential, but they don’t have to be very long. When targeting lakers, we will use 15-20 lb fluorocarbon leaders, typically only 4-6 feet long. As far as the bait, you’ll want to use a 3-5 inch tube jig. Depending on the conditions, olive or white are typically good options. To better imitate any kind of crawfish, shad, or minnow, an extra step you can take is to tip your jig hooks with sucker meat. The added scent and oil can go a long way in attracting big lakers.


Early on in the season, trolling can also be an effective option. There are hundreds of different combinations and styles of trolling that you can pursue, and many of them will produce great sized lakes in less than 30 feet of water during May and early June. An effective technique that we will often use is to utilize Sufix lead core line to get flutter spoons down to the appropriate depth. Using a combination of weights with a three-way swivel to sink traditional spoons such as Kastmasters into the feeding zone can also be effective. Having intricate flashers and too much shine under the surface can often be effective for rainbow and kokanee, but will typically scare off the bigger lakers that you are looking for. 

Updated Fishing Information At Our Shop

Along with being one of Colorado’s most trusted fly shops for over 20 years, our newly opened bait & tackle shop in Grand Lake is happy to serve as your one-stop shop for gear and current fishing reports. Give us a call or stop by today!