My buddy "Musky" Mike Philipps invited us out to Lake Champlain to troll some landlocked salmon and lake trout, needless to say, we were more than thrilled to go along for a chance to fish the "big pond" this early in the season. The Lake Champlain fishery is very maintained and stocked by both New York and Vermont, in what could be referred to as a "put and take fishery", much like the tributary rivers than run into Lake Champlain.
Mike's 20 foot Lund is equipped with a 200 HP motor, as well as a 15 HP kicker for trolling, which is ideal for a lake the size of Champlain, especially when the wind picks up. In addition, it's set up with multiple downriggers and extra rod holders for planer boards and dipsy diver rods. Mike's experience kept us tangle free all day, desptite troling 6 lines.
We launched on the New York side around 10:00 AM. As lakers fishing was slow in the morning, we headed over to the vermont side to fish Malletts Bay for landlocked salmon. The waves were considerably higher there, the water slighty warmer. Being a newby at landlocked fishing, I got to soak in some of Mike's experience with the species, as well as controlled trolling and managing the at a new level.
After about an hour or so, the clicker went off on a planer board rod, I was up for the first landlocked salmon of the day. Mike's rods were a bit big, and with the fish being kind of lethargic, the fight wasn't as good as I had expected. Nevertheless, I was happy to land my first landlocked salmon, measured about 18-20 inches, quite respectable for that lake. Into the livewell it went, and shortly after, another rod goes off. My buddy brough in the this one, noticeably smaller, not much of a fight either. We trolled for another hour or so, and as we were bringing in the rods to move to another spot, I got hit again. Another 16 incher in the livewell, it was time to head for lakers...
The lake trout outing will follow in the next post, if you are interested in trolling landlocked with Mike, contact me and I'll out you in touch with him.