Lake Trout have been stocked in Raystown Lake since the mid 1980's. Smelt were also introduced as the main forage for this deepwater predator. Smelt prefer colder water and deeper depths than most baitfish. The Smelt population has declined in recent years and the Lake Trout will regularly move shallower to feed on Alwife and even sunfish & bluegills. Lake Trout will move up and down the water column great depths in one day's time. Lake Trout can be marked and caught on the bottom in 70 feet or deeper around mid day. These trout will move from the bottom and are more difficult to mark in the evening hours. Trout will commonly feed on shallow water baitfish in the late evening hours and will be caught in shallower 20 feet depths in late day. It is common to catch a trout in the mid day at 70 feet that had ingested a bluegill the evening before in shallow water.
Lake Trout prefer spoons presented on downriggers. They can be marked by sonar following or chasing lures before they actually strike. Lake trout are a high percentage fish to guide for and fun to catch with the correct equipment. Most trout average 5-15 lbs. Soon, we will have a population in the 20 lb. class. Under certain conditions, very large trout can be caught using live bait.
Atlantic Salmon and Brown Trout can also be caught as a bonus when fishing for lake trout. Salmon in small numbers exist today through limited stocking efforts. The current record was caught incidentally while fishing for stripers with live bait. This record is approximately 20 lbs. Brown Trout can also be caught from time to time and can push the 20 lb range. These trout have made their way into Raystown by feeder creeks stocked for spring. Many local tackle stores offer Brown Trout as baitfish for Stripers. Fisherman commonly put their unused bait in the lake. PA claims to have never directly stocked Browns in the lake but explains population is by native descent.
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