Lake Trout and Cisco Fishing Guide

Lake Michigan

The Great Lakes are iconic for Michigan. One of the world’s largest freshwater ecosystems, these lakes are home to a variety of fish. While Saginaw Bay is home to Walleye, the lake area around Traverse Bay has Cisco. This fish is popular in the Traverse City area for its amazing taste. Because of their taste, they are also called ‘Lake Harring.’ However, there are more than just Crisco in the bay. Lake Trout also live there. Although these Trout are found in all five of the Great Lakes, they are unique.

The Lake Trout

The Lake Trout

The Lake Trout is indigenous to the Great Lakes area. Between the 1930s to 1960s, their population was reduced because of parasitic sea lamprey and contamination. However, the Trout have been returning to the Great Lakes. Although these fish are found in all of the Great Lakes, the trout have a lot of unique subspecies that make fishing fun! Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources has documented all the fish in the region. This includes a variety of trout!

Types of Trout

  • Rainbow Trout is lives, grows, and spawns in the Great Lakes. Its name comes from the reddish and pink strip on its body.
  • Steelhead Trout is a name given to migratory Rainbow Trout. These guys spend their early years in rivers before moving into the Great Lakes or other large bodies of water.
  • Brown Trout was introduced to Michigan in 1883 as an exotic species. Unlike other trout, Brown trout can handle warmer waters. Because of this, they are now statewide, living in the Great Lakes and small trout streams.
  • Brook Trout is the state fish of Michigan. Native to the region, these fish have many color variations and are found in major trout streams throughout the state. It lives in the Great Lakes but also lives in other water sources like lakes and streams
  • Splake is a hybrid of a Brook Trout and a Lake Trout. These guys are common in fish hatcheries and rarely seen in the Great Lakes.

Those are a lot of Trouts. And they all belong to the Lake Trout family. Most of these trout love the cold water, which is why the depths of the Five Great Lakes are ideal. With the Brown Trout being the state fish, trouts are definitely iconic to the Michigan region. However, how do you fish for Lake Trout?

Fishing Tips for Lake Troutlake trout fishing

The fishing season for trouts is year-round in the Great Lakes, with a few locations inland having a specific time. Because the Great Lakes’ season is year-round, fishing in these cold, freshwater lakes is ideal. While you are fishing, it is important to use different techniques to help you catch.


This technique is perfect for fishing in the deep waters of Grand Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan. It causes fish at the coldest part of the lake to react. Jigs create jerky, vertical movements that allow you to capture a fish. Jigging uses special hooks to help pierce the fish with the momentum from the jigging. This fishing method is used on local and industrial levels, making this a well-rounded approach. Although, it is a bit labor-intensive. Especially if you catch a feisty fish.


The bread and butter of the angler’s arsenal. It involves using a flexible rod to sent bait and the fishing line over the water. This fishing technique helps get your hook into cover areas that would usually be difficult. This is beneficial considering some of these Lake Trout like to hide in natural cover.

Hire Walleye King

Whether you are new to fishing in the Great Lakes or experienced, having a guide can be helpful. Fishing guides can help you find the best locations for your catch. They can also tell you where to avoid. That is why you should hire the Walleye King. Unlike other guides, we take a proactive approach to make sure you get the best experience. We can’t fight mother nature but we can keep an eye out to see where the fish are at. For novices, you will have an experience of a lifetime. Meanwhile, experts will learn the dos and don’ts of an area.

Our guided fishing tours are all year-long. Outside of spring/summer/fall seasons, winter is our ice fishing season! So you can get a variety of experiences. Not to mention, depending on what fish you are wanting to angle, you will get to explore different Great Lake regions! Find out about Walleye King’s services and learn about Walleye, Salmon, and Cisco guided tours.

Unsure on how to cook Lake Trout? Check out this amazing recipe for TROUT WITH GARLIC LEMON BUTTER HERB SAUCEWe are hoping to update you with great recipes on how to cook your catches!