Superior Country Trout

Lake Superior angling offers lots of excitement. Join Jeremy Smith and Jeff Simpson as they fish for trout with North Superior Charters.

Have you ever experienced a pleasant surprise? If so, you know what a great feeling it is. That's exactly what we experienced this last season on our trip to Lake Superior in Superior Country.

The plan was to drive to Red Rock, near Nipigon, to meet up with Darrell Splett of North Superior Charters. From there, head out to a camp on the barrier islands near the big water of Lake Superior. Before the trip, we envisioned staying on a bald rock near a lighthouse, with giant waves crashing in as we waited for the seas to calm enough to fish. 

This vision couldn't have been more wrong!

Superior Country Trout

In organizing the trip with Darrell, we planned to target lake trout, primarily trolling. Thinking of Great Lakes trolling, we anticipated needing down riggers, copper rods, lead line rods, dipsies and boards. Darrell said, "You don't need all that stuff. I only allow two lines down at a time on riggers. There's way too much action for more than two lines. We probably average a laker every five minutes when the lines are in."

That sounded like a story you always hear, and we were a bit suspect. Here's the deal.

Loading up 

Darrell wasn't exaggerating at all about the trout action, and the scenery was unexpected. Nipigon Bay and the barrier islands on the north shore of Lake Superior are some of the most breathtaking scenery anywhere and might be the coolest place north of the Midwest.

North Superior Charters

We loaded up our 18-foot Lund and Darrell's big Stanley and took about an hour boat ride to Moss Island, where he has a beautiful, immaculately maintained camp. The ride out is worth the trip; the scale of the landscape makes you feel tiny, and every direction is a beautiful view.

North Superior Charters

The camp is in a location that provides the opportunity to fish, regardless of the wind conditions. We unloaded gear, set up the cabin for our stay, and headed out for some trout.

On the Water 

Darrell recommended putting spoons on a couple of downrigger rods to get the game going. We made a run out to a few humps on the big lake. In no time at all, we were marking trout. We dropped the downriggers, and before we could get the second line in, the first rigger fired. Instant action.

We trolled for a bit, but having fish on nonstop was too stressful while trying to operate two manual down riggers. We quickly switched gears to jigging. If you like jigging and catching big fish, it'd be hard to find a better place!

Superior Country trout

Our approach was the same as trolling, slowly cruising around 50 to 80 foot humps. Mark fish and quickly drop down. More often than not, it resulted in a double! By lake trout standards, we didn't catch any giants. However, the average size was remarkable. There are tons of fish in the 5-15 pound range, and they catch 30 pounders here yearly. There are endless spots to target trout, and we didn't fish a spot the entire trip where we didn't catch any!

Catching the Trout

The secret to catching trout here, whether jigging or trolling, is simple. Get a lure near them. Size, color and action, didn't play much of a roll. It was simply getting something to their depth. That said, trout can get moody, and there are times when specific categories or lures or colors can make all the difference.

For trolling, a large collection of spoons was brought, from 3-inch paper-thin spoons up to the biggest Husky Daredevils. Also and hand full of hard baits, like Kwikfish. Take the barbs off your hooks or use a single hook when the trout action is as fast and furious as it was. It is better for the fish, safer for you, and lets you spend more time setting the hook and not unhooking. You catch so many that if one gets off here and there, it doesn't matter.

Superior Country Trout

With regards to jigging, we packed our bass flippin' sticks. This type of rod works great for jigging trout. We had them spooled with 30-pound braid and a 17-pound fluorocarbon leader. For baits, 1-ounce and heavier hair jigs with a plastic minnow can be really good. Jigging Raps and the Jigging Rap Mag are other great options if they want something more erratic. Our number one bait on this trip, as it has been on many, was the Luhr Jensen Crippled Herring with the single hook. We started out fishing the 1-ounce size but quickly realized the guy who gets down fastest gets the first bite. We quickly adjusted to 2- and 3-ounce sizes, which quickly got us in the strike zone.

Visit North Superior Charters!

This lake trout fishery is comparable to some of the top destinations in the far North. It might produce giants with less consistency, but the scenery, the quality and the quantity of fish are remarkable. Not to mention, Darrell is an amazing host!

The mission of this trip was Lake Trout; there is also opportunity for king salmon, coho salmon, pink salmon, colossal brook trout, and even walleyes and pike.

From where we live in central Minnesota, it is only a seven-hour drive to this amazing destination. It's hard to believe a place like this is so close yet remained unnoticed all these years.

Do yourself a favor, visit the Nipigon area of Superior Country, and give Darrell a call at North Superior Charters. It will be one of the most incredible fishing experiences you'll have!

About Jeremy Smith

Jeremy has been fishing since he was old enough to hold a rod and reel. From an early age his passion for fishing as never stopped growing. He has an education from Gustavus Adolphus College (Biology/Business) and Bemidji State University (Education). Throughout the summers of his college years, Jeremy was a fishing guide in northern Minnesota, specializing in musky fishing. Upon graduating from college he bypassed using his education to become an educator and dove head first into the fishing business.

Since then Jeremy has worked in almost every element of the business: magazine sales, television sales, magazine writing and editing, television editing and producing, tournament organization, still photography, videography and on-camera talent to name a few of the hats he as worn.

Jeremy loves to catch anything that swims and tries to take full advantage of the best bite going. Given the time he is going searching for new water off the beaten path. Whether it is for largemouth, smallmouth, muskies, cats, sturgeon, lake trout, whitefish or carp, anything is fair game.

At Lindner Media, Jeremy serves as Sales and Media Director and co-hosts Angling Edge and Fishing Edge. 

Recommended Articles

10 Reasons to *NOT* Travel the Lake Superior Circle Tour

Travel this scenic Northern Ontario tour at your own risk: no other destination will ever compare to this journey of a lifetime!

The Anishinaabe Legends

Learn about the The Crying Woman of Manitou Falls and the Little People of Doghead Mountain

Highway 17 Treasures through Superior Country

A locals' guide to a righteous road trip in Northern Ontario

Chasing Waterfalls

8 incredible waterfalls to check out in Superior Country

Anishinaabe Stories

Learn about the Wendigo and Nanaboozhoo the Trickster

Is this the hockey capital of Canada?

Discover why this town is known for churning out amazing players.

6 Amazing Facts About Red Rock, Ontario

Located just off Highway 17 along the shores of Lake Superior, this tiny town is packed full of interesting history!

5 Interesting Facts about Loons

From their calming presence on the lake to their haunting songs, everybody loves loons.

Ontario Crown Land Camping

Camping on Crown land (for free) is a right afforded every Canadian citizen. Learn how this incredible experience can benefit your mental health.

4 Taste Bud Tinglers to Visit in Superior Country

Plan your culinary road trip this Spring!

Fish Kenogamisis Lake in Greenstone

Home of the Geraldton Walleye Classic!

11 Things to Do in Silver Islet, Ontario

Submerged mineshafts, Sea Lion Rock, and black sand beaches await in this historic mining town.

Lake Superior Lighthouse Weekender

Experience the life of a lighthouse keeper on Lake Superior

9 Facts About Lake Nipigon

Did you know it's the largest lake fully within Ontario's borders?

Sunrise to Sunset: The Best Hikes & Lookouts in Superior Country

From the dawn to the last golden hour, these spots offer photographers the best scenic views.

Natural Wonders of Superior Country

Natural attractions that you should cross off your bucket list

4 Winter Waterfalls in Superior Country

Superior Country has unprecedented access to some of the most incredible ice formations and frozen waterfalls in Canada!

A Superior Flying Experience

The thrill of flying over the world's biggest lake—and 4 natural wonders to spot from the air.

9 Amazing Day Trips from Thunder Bay

Day trip adventures and local evening dine ins.

16 Best Places to Paddle the North Shore

Explore Lake Superior from these iconic spots.