Vertical Jigging for Monster Spring Brown Trout on the Big Pond
It seems like spring has always been synonymous with walleye fishing. Yes, now is the time to chase monster pre-spawn walleye on the rivers...but what's going on out on Lake Michigan?
Jigging with light tackle for big brown trout has to be one of the most fun things to do this time of year. With drag peeling runs and potential to catch fish over 20lbs, you'd be crazy NOT to try it! These fish hang out near shore through about April (depending on water temperature) making them easy to target before they head out to deeper water for the summer.
No, you don't need oversized beefy equipment to catch these fish, in fact, I use the same tackle I jig walleyes with for these big browns. Medium power fast action rods like the Vexan 7' 4" meduim, extra fast walleye rod paired with a 30 sized spinning reel spooled with 20lb braid is perfect. In clear water a flourocarbon leader (usually 10lb test) tied to the braid with a small swivel can make a big difference.
As far as the business end of the rig goes it is hard to beat a darter head jig with a fluke. 3/8 oz is a good place to start rigged with a 5" fluke. Color doesn't seem to make too much of a difference, however when in doubt go with white. Also, you may find that the flukes twist your line after a while if you don't use a leader. Should that happen, switch over to a leader with a swivel. As far as locations to fish are concerned, structure is key. Water discharges, rock bars, and even piers will hold these fish until the water warms up too much.