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Arctic char are a very popular species among anglers that live in high latitude. They are similar in salmon and migrate up rivers to spawn from the ocean and do so in very large numbers. There are a few great presentations anglers use to catch arctic char, with spoons and spinners being the best option in most scenarios.
Top 5 Best Lures for Arctic Char
Mepps have been designing premium, top-quality spoons for a long time. The Syclops is available in a variety of proven colors and is available in 5 different sizes. The Mepps Syclops is versatile and can be trolled at almost any speed, can be fished as a vertical jig, and is effective when deep-water vertical jigging and ice fishing.
The Mepps Syclops can also be used to target panfish, trout, walleyes, and pike. It offers an attractive, side-to-side wobble, and all components are corrosion-free. The Mepps Syclops has a brass body, nickel or gold plated blade finishes with stainless steel treble hooks and split rings. My favorite is the #3 Hot Orange Mepps Syclops.
It’s a bold statement, but I think this could be the best lure in the world. Most believe it catches more trophy fish than any other lure out there. The Mepps Aglia Spinner is the original French spinner and is a work of art. Apart from being an ideal lure to target Arctic Char, you can almost catch many saltwater fish species and just about any species of freshwater fish.
The Mepps® Aglia® Flashabou offers a highly reflective, hand-tied flashabou tail, which gives the lure an attractive, shiny action in the water. Combined with the flash and vibration of the legendary Mepps Aglia, this lure is deadly.
This Gem from Berkley is a “gem” of a hard-bodied lure, with beautiful colors and extremely realistic swimming action. The X-Rap XR Silver Fluorescent Chartreuse UV has a weight of 13 g, a length of 10 cm, and comes rigged with #4 and #5 hooks.
The X-Rap XR Silver Fluorescent can achieve running depths of 4 – 10 ft. The lure is beautifully painted Silver Fluorescent Chartreuse and gives off loads of flash.
The Deep Tail Dancer TDD09 Red Tiger is another special lure from Berkley. The designers gave loads of attention to this lures sleek body line, which offers an incredible swimming action.
The Deep Tail Dancer TDD09 Red Tiger has also has a weight of 13 g, a length of 9 cm, and comes rigged with two high-quality, super sharp #3 hooks. It can achieve a running depth of 18-20 ft and is painted in the classic “Red Tiger” colors.
How Do You Fish for Arctic Char?
There are a number of ways to target Arctic Char. They thrive in cooler water and can be successfully targeted by trolling spoons on large lakes in the summer months, at depths of around 30-90 ft. When the water is cool, the Arctic char may be inclined to feed a little closer to the surface.
On large mountain lakes, the most reliable lures to catch Arctic Char are spinners and flies. As the ice breaks and the season starts, You can catch Arctic Char by casting from the shore. Like most fish, the best times to fish are early morning and late afternoon, going into the evening.
When the heat is up, the fish may lie quite deep in smaller bodies of water, so allow your lure some time to get down to the bottom. Small Dry Flies are effective at night because the fish feed on the surface. Ice Fishing for Arctic Char can be frustrating at times.
There are periods when they attack your bait on every cast, then long periods (sometimes days) where you get no action whatsoever. Arctic Char has been known to attack spoons and lures at 30 – 60 ft in the summer and warmer months.
How to Attract Arctic Char when Ice Fishing
When ice fishing, generally, anglers catch a number of fish as soon as you start, but almost always the action slows down. It’s not necessary to change your fishing hole or go home. There are a few ways to attract the fish back to your fishing hole:
- Get a proper drill and ice auger and ice fishing suit.
- Change things up a little, instead of fishing a vertical jig, try a horizontal version, sometimes some variety can kick things off for you.
- Most anglers fish by moving their rod up and down but fish become wiser to this action. Offer some variety and twist your line between your forefinger and thumb.
- Covering up your fishing hole with ice shavings is a great way to attract fish. The fish feel safer swimming in that area, as the light shining through your fishing hole has been blocked out by your ice shavings.
- As with any type of fishing, it is imperative to always be in stealth mode. Speak softly and move slowly.
What Are Arctic Char?
Arctic Char are close relatives of Dolly Varden, Arctic Grayling, and Salmon and are a fascinating cold-water species in the Salmonidae family. Arctic Char are native to coastal-arctic and sub-arctic waters as well as alpine lakes.
They have the ability to live in both saltwater and freshwater (anadromous). Char are in no way threatened by overfishing and the population is looking extremely healthy. This is due to the fact that their range is remote and unpopulated.
Arctic Char are plentiful and are found along the Northern coastal areas of Iceland, Canada, Alaska, and the Scandinavian countries. In North America, Char are a popular game fish along the Labrador and Quebec coast.
Arctic Char Lifespan
Arctic Char are relatively slow-growing. They take longer to mature sexually (up to 20 years) when compared to their southern cousins. This is due to their extremely cold and challenging habitat. Being selective in which fish you decide to keep is a great practice to ensure this amazing species continues to thrive for future generations to enjoy.
Arctic Char have a healthy diet that consists of small fish, clams, shrimp, snails, and insect larvae. You can catch Char in numerous ways. Target them using flies, shiny metal spoons, and artificial lures, so what are the best lures for Arctic Char?
Is Arctic Char Safe to Eat?
Arctic Char, like most fish, has small levels of mercury. However, they are not only safe to eat but could possibly be one of the healthiest eating fish around. Arctic Char is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, good for brain development, and keeps the heart-healthy.
Author Note: Arctic Char are also a great source of protein, which is needed to build and repair numerous parts of the body. Their meat is an excellent source of vitamin D, and the skin is an excellent source of calcium.
How Do You Clean Arctic Char?
Cleaning Char is similar to cleaning salmon and trout. It’s relatively easy if you follow these simple steps:
- Ensure that your filleting knife is sharp. This is vital for a quality end product
- Make a large cut right behind the gills and cut down until you reach the spine
- Run the blade down along the spine of the fish, from the head down towards the tail
- Remove the first fillet, turn the fish over and repeat
- Once you have both fillets off, you will notice tiny “pin” bones in the flesh. These tiny bones can be left in meat while cooking, or you can remove them before with a pair of forceps or tweezers
Tasty Arctic Char Recipe
Arctic Char: Pan-fried with the Skin On
It is advisable to fry your delicious Char fillets with the skin on. This method helps keep the fillets tender and moist while producing a crunchy, crisp outer layer. This recipe serves four and takes around 15 min to prepare:
- 4 x Char Fillets (with the skin on)
- 3 x tablespoons Butter
- 2 x tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 x cup freshly chopped Parsley
- 2 x Lemons, cut into equal wedges
- 1 x tablespoon Capers
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper
- Heat a large skillet to medium heat and add olive oil
- Using salt and pepper, season your 4 Char Fillets
- Once the skillet is hot enough, add the four fillets and cook for around 6 minutes with the skin side down
- Turn the fillets over and cook for just 2 min
- When ready to serve, place the fillets skin-side down and cover with the remaining skillet sauce
- Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and enjoy.
There are numerous ways to target Arctic Char. A 2-inch metal spoon, which has orange on both sides of the body, is the most effective lure. Arctic Char are fairly aggressive and fun to target. They are also extremely healthy with many health benefits, particularly Vitamin D, Calcium, Protein, and Omega-3 fatty acids.
The Arctic Char population appears to be extremely healthy, with no indication of overfishing. Arctic Char can take up to 20 years to mature sexually, so please consider each catch, pay attention to bag limits and practice sustainable fishing.
We hope you enjoyed this article on the best lures for Arctic Char.