Adventures Northern Trip to Great Bear Lake, NWT

Hi Tom/Gord – thanks again for the product support on my recent trip to Great Bear Lake, NWT. Lakers up there love the Rhys Davis/Baitrix Herring rigs just like we knew they would. We had incredible fishing – big numbers – with size averaging 4-12#’s, some 12 to just over 20#’s. I caught 75 trout on one herring and I could still have used it. Second herring caught about 50 trout again could still have used it – these plastic baits are virtually indestructible by some of the hardest hitting freshwater fish! We had fishing like this throughout the trip and almost all of our fish, and all of our largest fish were caught on these rigs. Catching that # of fish with one Rapala for example – would probably never happen?

Besides teaching Great Bear Lake’s Lake Trout how to bite the rigs, we did some underwater work of the baits in action and with fighting fish attached to them enroute to the boat.

The day after a cold front/change the trout would barely hit the rigs – they preferred the flash of big spoons for most of that day – until late in the day – and then they remembered how to hit them again. During this several hour period the spoons and other lures outfished the Herring rigs by a wide margin – but the rest of the trip over 5 days – no other lure even came close to the #’s of trout we caught on the rigs.

The special rigs you tied for me worked great – trailer hook hookups – but again the small treble hook size permits even 8#’rs to deeply swallow the whole bait. The standard supplied hooks are too small for Lake Trout fishing. The perfect size is 4/0 although a 3/0 would work where only small-medium size Lake Trout are found, but for big water trolling the rig needs a 4/0 hook – otheriwse they can and do swallow the whole thing quite deeply and fairly regularly. Also I think the larger hooks actually hook more fish since the hooks stick out further. I like the bronze (welded or soldered) hooks as they are flexible enough for bending out a bit. If you were to make the Ultimate Lake Trout ready-to-use rig I would recommend the following Super Herring Teaser colors that are my favorites;

  • Watermelon (clear water)
  • Pink (clear water)
  • Blue/Silver scales (clear water)
  • FireTiger (clear+stained water)
  • Chart/Orange (clear+stained water)

  • The rig would have a 4/0 bronze hook, inserted further back on body of 6″ Herring (Natural) to allow the longer shaft of the hook to still have a bit of room to adjust line for roll, up to a 10 foot long 30# mono snell – tied directly to a beaded line weight (1/2, 1, 1-1/2 or 2oz) tied directly to your line – (no swivels, snaps or leaders)

    Any hope for even larger Baitrix Herring in the future? Like 10 inch?

    I recently went into Wholesale Sports in Winnipeg where the manager was quick to grab me and show me the ‘wall’ of Baitrix/Rhys Davis products and accessories like beaded line weights and hooks now carried. This is after my visit there a year ago and an in store discussion about how their Lake Trout assortment was weak and that they didn’t have much of anything I would ever use. So when I walked in there last month he was proud to show me they had a comprehensive Lake Trout assortment, and a big display of all the right Baitrix/Rhys Davis stuff and tell me that people were using – liking – and catching a bunch of fish on them.


    We at Baitrix participate in other Outdoor activities in addition to Fishing.

    These activities include Hunting (Big Game & Waterfowl), Flying and Off-Roading. Every now and then we discover a unique high quality Outdoor Product that we have found to be very effective and useful.

    Here are links to a some of these neat products.