Tough day to catch fish, I still got 2 Lakers, one on the Chrome-Blue stripe, 3/4 ounce KO Wobbler Spoon. The other took a 1/0 Mag Flash Jiggy fly, (White, Pearl & Silver with Blue Flash Topping). Many fish had been caught before I got there, the pier was packed and a large Ice flow had just drifted up against the middle of pier making that part unfishable. More Ice arrived and choked off the entire deep channel side of the pier. The lower 40 yards of pier only had about 40 feet of ice jammed against it. I joined a few guys casting spoons out as far as possible the retrieving them back to the ice edge. That should have worked but no body got anything.
Most people left but there was a pond like void in the ice flow with 40 feet of open fishable water along shore. I tried a dozen cast with the spoon, then tried fly casting the streamer fly and about the 10th cast got a laker. Chunks of ice were drifting into this spot of open water making it too hard to fish with flies.
Fishing was easy off the beach side of the pier but no fish seemed to be there. Back at the lower pier, I fished spoons until dusk, casting out beyond the ice jam and got one more Lake Trout.
If you go fishing for Lake Trout ion a Michigan pier, expect to see about half the trout laying on the pier to look like this one. Lake Trout bleed very easily. The large blood stains on the pier are where lakers were caught and piled up until they were taken home to be smoked or cooked up with some home recipe. Some times their throats are slit to kill them humanely or make the meat taste better. They may be mishandled while holding them up for a photo, or they could have been hooked deeply like this one. This fish was bleeding profusely while I was fighting it. Of the 21 lake trout I landed or rod tip released over 4 days, only this one bled. They were generally taking the lure or fly deeply. Of the 22 fish hooked, only one hooked fish go off, that was using the twin Siwash hooks on this same spoon.
A small sample of fishermen seemed to show that 75% were not happy about fish being released, while maybe 25%were fine with releasing fish.
I want to try fishing from a kayak for Lake Trout when the next warm up comes. They can also be caught Ice fishing.
Lake Trout at least when taken from cold do not flop violently and injure themselves when laid down on hard surfaces the way steehead and brown trout often do. They do squirm to reposition themselves to be upright on top of their bellies so it can be hard to get a good picture of them.