Located in the middle of Lake Superior is the farthest light house from shore in the United States, Stannard Rock. This lighthouse, once manned by men, was deemed "The Loneliest Place in the World," but if you go there today you may find yourself in the company of a select few anglers and some big fish!
This light house marks a reef approximately five miles long and a little over a mile wide that supports trophy caliber lake trout. One of the closest public access sites is Lac La Belle, located in the Keweenaw Peninsula, and the run from Lac La Belle to Stannard Rock is about 40 miles. Making a trip 40 miles into the big lake requires careful planning to ensure that there is an appropriate weather window to safely make the journey.
Learn more about fishing at Stannard Rock from Mark Romanack's article in the Great Lakes Angler.
Captain Travis of Keweenaw Charters is extremely cautious about planning these runs and uses real-time wind and wave information from a series of weather buoys maintained by the National Data Buoy Center combined NOAA's Great Lakes Coastal Forecasting System (GLCFS) to determine if a suitable weather window is available on any given day. If the weather is right, the run will take about 90 minutes "dock to rock" in Keweenaw Charters' Thunder Jet Alexis Pro 26'5" and Smokercraft Phantom Offshore 22'6" fishing boats. Once we arrive, we will focus on jigging near bottom and casting for suspended fish. This fishery offers unique lake trout fishing opportunities because of the fish-holding structure along the reef-- we NEVER resort to trolling at "the rock" (in fact no trolling gear is brought on-board).
BOOKING POLICY: If it is not safe or reasonable (at the professional discretion of your captain) to make the 40 mile trip offshore, we will take advantage of the Keweenaw's great nearshore fishing instead. While we'd rather fish at Stannard Rock every day of the week, reality is that we have more "no go" days than "go" days. We ask our clients to be understanding of this reality and prepared to make the most of our day on the water, even in the event that we must fish closer to shore. Weather permitting, our backup plan to Stannard Rock will be a full day nearshore (nearshore rate).
Depending on the time of day and water temperature at the surface, lake trout can be found at extremely variable depths, anywhere from 200+ feet deep to a just a few feet below the surface. Often in the morning, you will be able to see fish feeding on the surface. During the low light periods (daybreak) pods of lake trout corner baitfish such as herring, which move in to feed on the reef under the cover of darkness, and push their meal to the surface, where it is a contest between seagulls and lake trout to snatch frantic baitfish as they try to escape. This give anglers a short but sweet opportunity to cast artificial lures into the frenzy and potentially hook a trout of a lifetime just inches below the surface of Lake Superior.
Keweenaw Charters exclusively practices Catch and Release of all trophy size lake trout! Due to the extremely important role these fish serve for spawning purposes and to allow them to grow to even larger sizes, there are NO EXCEPTIONS to this policy. The unique and isolated fishery at Stannard Rock is not able to support significant harvest AND trophy potential at the same time, therefore we limit our harvest to only fatally wounded fish. All fish will be played sportingly (using appropriately sized gear to land them efficiently) and will be handled with utmost care. Fish will be handled in the water during hook removal and for measurements (over the side in landing net or in the 50" livewell along the transom of the boat) and carefully lifted for a quick photo / video of the release. We take additional measures of using barbless hooks to promote easy removal and minimize harm to the fish. During the late summer months, when lake surface temps are "warm" and marginal for lake trout survival, we also use a specialized deep water release device to release fish at depth in colder more oxygen rich water (see our video below explaining this process). If you desire to catch and keep some good "eater" size fish during your trip, please consider booking an additional nearshore charter with us for trout and salmon.
Stannard Rock Boat and Lighthouse
Stannard Rock Lighthouse
Stannard Rock Boat and Lighthouse