How To Catch Trout In Deep Water

Most people I know fish off the shore and can only get their cast out so far, and even when we see people in boats, they are still pretty close to shore fishing, and I hardly ever see anyone out in the middle of the lake fishing for trout, so I have always asked myself if you could catch trout in the deeper water of the lake I was fishing.

Can you catch trout in deep water? Well, of course, you can. That is if you know what you’re doing because, in this particular fishing setup, flukes do not and never will count. However, once you finish reading this article you’ll be pretty close to an expert on trout fishing in deep water. What we are going to do is look at the gear, the place, and how to fish for these yummy lake swimmers.

The Gear

Use a light line such as a 4 or 6-pound test. The lighter the line, the easier it is to slice through the water. When it slices through the water, it looks cool and with less friction, will go down deeper. On your line, you will need 3-way swivels and a lightweight. Depending on how deep you intend to fish for trout, aim for 1 or 2-ounce weights.

The Method

Trolling is not for old men who are afraid to leave a wake. Trolling is what smart anglers do if they want their lines to get into deep water. In fact, the whole idea behind trolling is to get your boat moving as slow as possible which gives your line a chance to plunge below and if you go slow enough you may even hit the bottom of the lake you are on.

The Weather

Did you know that the weather has an impact on fish feeding? If you didn’t know that, what are you doing on this website? The hot days of summer present some interesting trout fishing. Because the body of water you are on heats up during the day, your best bet to succeed in trout fishing in deep water is to fish early in the morning. We’re talking when the sun comes up early and to about 10:30 or 10:35 AM. We tossed in the last time to see if you are paying attention. The calm water surface with clear skies really gets trout excited and they will strike most anything in their path.


The Place

If you can read a topographical map, you may finally have a practical use for that skill. Reading the shoreline and the way the water moves over sandbars, rock features and more all have a part to play in your attempts to catch trout in deep water. What you are looking for is deep channels or drop-offs between islands or whatever you have in the body of water you are slowly trolling in. The trick is to find the bottom without spending too much time figuring it out. Sure, you could cheat and use some fancy handheld measuring device or you could do what real sportsmen do slowly let outline, and keep doing it until you reach the bottom.

The Depth

Spoiler Alert: In spring, trout will be near the surface. Since we are talking about deep water trout fishing, ignore that point. As the days get longer and warm up during the approach of summer, the water gets warmer (as noted in Point #3) and the trout go deeper. In the interest of time, here’s a simple guideline of approximate depths you’ll find trout at different times of the year:

  • Early Spring – From the surface to about 10 feet
  • Mid Spring – Between 20 and 30 feet
  • Late Spring – Between 30 and 45 feet
  • Summer – Um, well, this is where things get a little bit interesting. How deep is the lake you are on? Chances are, the trout are below you but really, really down there.

The Secret Weapon

Here’s the equally tricky and interesting part of the entire process. Because trout will seek the coolest places to hang out and we mean temperature here? it means they are going to get into places so far away from you on the surface that the lake temperature drops to the place where trout will become dormant. You read that correctly.

fishing on deep water

Sleeping fish way down there. But you have a secret weapon. If you use a 3-way swivel, you’ll be able to catch deep water lake trout long after everyone else has given up and gone home. Imagine the lake all to yourself, your trolling boat, lightweight line, and 3-way swivel. That’s a Kodak moment right there.

Important Considerations

Lake trout are funny. We are not implying that they are humorous, but they do have some rather odd characteristics. Probably the oddest of them is the way in which they feed. You could say that the feeding mechanism in the average trout has a hair-trigger. It can go off instantly. Conversely, that feeding frenzy can end just as rapidly. As if that’s not enough, this can happen without warning.

You could map the times, dates, weather conditions, color of your hair, and length of feeding time on a topographical map of the lake you fish at. After collecting this data for a few weeks you?ll discover something truly amazing. There is no pattern. There is no special place where all the action happens. It’s so random that even the word random doesn’t really explain it well. It’s, well, odd. What’s the point? We are just trying to explain that you could try to establish some kind of method and you will probably not succeed. However, with your 3-way swivel, you have a fighting chance.


Trout fishing is fun. In deep water, it’s a lot more fun. On hot days, most fishermen give up and retreat to the camper. Those are the days you can catch a bunch o? trout because you know they will seek the deep portions of the lake, bay, stream bed, and beyond.

All they want to do is stay cool and quite honestly, that keeps ’em fresh and tasty. Your only way of snagging some primo trout for dinner is to fish deep. In other words, go where they are and you’ll be rewarded. You need to use lightweight gear, a small weight, and a 3-way swivel in order to get your hook down to the business end of a school of trout. Once you master locating the bottom, and you don’t end up pulling up old boots or tree roots, you’ll be snacking on trout before you know it.

Keep in mind that they have oddball feeding habits but if you are fishing deep, that shouldn’t really crimp your game any because trout are going to strike at your bait because it’s interesting and is down deep where they are. In fact, before one of them can say, Hey, what are you doing down here?? Another one will have taken the bait and you are proving to the naysayers that even on a hot day on the lake, trout fishing in deep water can be done. Just don’t rub it in too much or you’ll find other anglers stealing your ideas and doing the same thing. Any questions? Okay, then. Get out there and go deep!

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