Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes, is known for its abundance of fish species. Among them, lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) stand out as one of the most sought-after game fish.
Anglers from around the world flock to Lake Superior in hopes of landing a trophy-sized lake trout. But just how big can these fish get? Let’s dive into the depths and explore the incredible size potential of lake trout in Lake Superior.
The Growth Potential of Lake Trout
Lake trout are known for their slow growth rate compared to other fish species. However, their longevity allows them to reach impressive sizes given enough time.
On average, adult lake trout in Lake Superior measure between 20 and 36 inches in length and weigh anywhere from 5 to 30 pounds. These sizes already make for a thrilling fishing experience, but there are even larger specimens lurking beneath the surface.
Trophy-Sized Lake Trout
If you’re lucky enough, you might hook into a true trophy-sized lake trout in Lake Superior. These colossal fish can exceed 40 inches in length and tip the scales at over 50 pounds! Catching one of these giants requires patience, skill, and a bit of luck.
The Oldest and Largest Lake Trout
As lake trout age, they continue to grow in size. Some individuals have been known to live for over 50 years!
The oldest recorded lake trout was caught in Lake Superior and was estimated to be a staggering 75 years old. This ancient fish measured over 50 inches long and weighed an astonishing 70 pounds!
Fishing Techniques for Big Lake Trout
If you’re determined to hook into a big lake trout in Lake Superior, it’s essential to employ effective fishing techniques:
- Trolling: Trolling with downriggers and using spoons, plugs, or large baitfish imitations can be highly productive for Targeting trophy lake trout.
- Vertical Jigging: Anchoring near deep drop-offs or underwater structures and vertically jigging with heavy jigs or bait can entice the attention of big lake trout.
- Live Bait Fishing: Using live bait such as sucker minnows or smelt on a bottom rig is a traditional but effective method for enticing large lake trout.
Lake Superior is home to some truly impressive lake trout. While most adult lake trout measure between 20 and 36 inches in length, the potential for hooking into a true trophy-sized fish exceeding 40 inches and weighing over 50 pounds is what draws anglers to this remarkable freshwater fishery. With the right techniques and a bit of luck, you might just land the catch of a lifetime in Lake Superior!