Summer and winter are the dead zones for us turkey hunters. With no turkey season open, the next best option is fishing for lake trout which I call the wild turkey of the deep. To me, they are like wild turkeys on a lot of points. You can catch them by sitting and waiting in a good spot with a live minnow over the side, just like staying put for hours in a good turkey set up. Or you can run and gun for them with a trolling set up.
They cover a big area searching for school of baitfish just like wide ranging turkeys. Some days lakers are ridiculously easy to catch and other days they snub every lure you dunk until you try the certain one they’re in the mood for. By then your tackle box is in a shambles from rooting around for the right bait. This is like a finicky gobbler that will only come to a certain call, usually the last one you find in your vest and by then your set up looks like a lawn sale hit by a tornado, with all your calls strewn about out on the ground.
Toms start coming in well then hang up or spook at the last minute. This is just like a big lake trout. It’ll come in steady without too much fight, and then when it sees you in the boat it hangs up and you can barely move it. If it dives back down, your drag better be set right to let it run or kiss your lure good bye. When you work it back to the boat it’ll start rolling over like a log on a steep hill. When it does that it can hook the line on its teeth and cut it. Most big lake trout are lost right near the boat, a lot like that big tom that showed up unannounced, and a few steps away, beside me and I never got a shot at him.
And of course, just like the wild turkey, lake trout are wonderful table fare.