You can find lake trout in cooler northern waters. They live throughout the Great Lakes region and Canada, as well as in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming and much of New England. They also appear in a few more southerly lakes in California, Utah, Colorado, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Lake trout prefer relatively deep waters -- up to about 100 feet (30.4 meters) -- although their depth varies greatly by season and lake size. In a spring-fed lake, lake trout might always be close to the surface. On the whole, however, you can expect to fish lake trout from the boat, not from the shore.
You'll always find more game fish near underwater formations -- sandbars, rocks, docks, shoals, wrecks, whatever. Because lake trout stay deep, you'd be well served to research the underwater topography of your lake or to buy a depth finder. In particular, if you're trolling, you should know where the major underwater barriers are. Drag your line parallel to such barriers, not perpendicular to them.
Look for plant growth, which attracts baitfish such as small minnows. Game fish won't be far behind. Take care, however, not to tangle your line in the plants. Stick to the edges of vegetated areas.
Location doesn't exist in a vacuum, of course. Trout move a great deal in response to different weather and temperature conditions. Find out more on the next page.