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The Lure of Lake Whitefish

 

Perhaps the most sought after winter fish, the lake whitefish, has it's own unique appeal due to it's totally different character. Whites don't fight like a rainbow, they don't smack big baits like a pike, they bite in slow motion and rather daintily, if that's even a word. Delicate most appropriately describes their actions, as well as, their snow white flesh.

Catching whitefish is all about timing. The consistent bite is in the early morning and this seems to hold true from lake to lake. I have caught whites at all times of the day, but the best fishing has always been at first light. Get on the lake at dark. Drill holes over four to 10 feet of water and plan to be fishing as the light hits the horizon. If the fish are going, a limit of whites will be on the ice within the hour.

Catching whitefish is all about finesse. Not all whites, but most of the whites I pursue around central Alberta have a preference for small things and light lines. Whites are the most line sensitive critters I've encountered and my recommendation is to get used to running four pound mono or if you want to use a heavier line tie a thinner tippet at the end. My suggestions would be 4X tippet or 5X which is my preference. See the gang at the Fishin' Hole and they can put you into some good tippet material.

Catching whites is all about watching the action. Almost all of my fishing is done in 10 feet or less and I see almost 100 percent of the fish before they strike. Now with whites, the strike is deliberate. Many whites will come in slowly to my wireworm or fly. Some will move right to the hook and bite, others will come in, turn at the last second and make a second, third or even a forth fly by before committing to the strike. When a white is in tight, I have my best luck converting the bite by keeping the hook absolutely still or lifting it ever so slowly at a snail's pace. Any sudden action seems to spook them, so I avoid that at all costs.

Ice fishing tents are a whitefish angler's best friend as this style of fishing is 100 percent visual. If you don't have a tent, using a little blue foam mat or a tarp to lay on and look down a hole will work. But for comfort and convenience a tent can't be beat.

I've heard the whites at Pigeon Lake are going hard already and I've been meaning to make a trip to Sylvan Lake after seeing so many whites there this past summer. It looks like this winter is building up to be another great whitefish season.


Previous Fishing Tips & Facts

(1) Selecting the right fly

(2) Road Trips

(3) The Roll cast

(4) Fly-fishing for Pike

(5) Walleye Tip

(6) Mountain Lakers

(7) Hints For Dry Fly Success

(8) Survival Strategies For The Silly Season

(9) Local Advise

(10) It's A Pink Year

(11) Ice Fishin Safety

(12) Third World Travel

(13) Casting Angles

(14) The Rocky Mountain Whitefish Rig

(15) Using Sinking Leaders

(16) The Pike Fisherman's Vest

(17) Walleye Tips

(18) Trophies Are In The Eye Of The Beholder

(19) The Right Tool For The Job

(20) Respect The Weather - Expect The Weather

(21) Approach

(22) Gearing Up For Ice Perch

(23) Do It Yourself Excersions

(24) Shots

(25) Atlantic Salmon Fishing Techniques

(26) Fishing Etiquette In Crowded Conditions

(27) Swinging Caddis Flies

(28) Selecting a Fishing Rod

(29) Pike Angling Retrieves

(30) Detecting The Strike

(31) Unmatch The Hatch

(32) Off The Grid Air Travel

(33) Practise

(34) How Deep Are They Biting?

(35) Netting and Landing Your Fish

(36) Texas Travel Tips

(37) Quick Tips for Triggering Strikes

(38) Be the Last Man Standing

(39) Water Temperature & Trout

(40) Visiting Reindeer Lake

(41) Stillwater Stratagems

(42) Those Crazy Cohos!

(43) Leaders & Tippets

(44) Big Water Strategies

(45) Small Stream Stealth

(46) DO I GET UP EARLY?

(47) ACCESSIBLE PLACES TO FISH

(48) Travelling Angler Tips

(49) Choosing The Right Fly

(50) They come out at Night - Our Friends that is

(51) Fishing at Night

(52) Having Troubles Catching fish?

(53) Having Troubles Finding Fish?

(54) Stay Skinny To Catch Fish

(55) Tips For Fishing With Kids

(56) The Wonderful Woolly Bugger

(57) Wading Safely

(58) Double Your Fun

(59) More About The Red River

(60) Rookie Rod Buying Tips

(61) Hook Sharpening

(62) Going Light

(63) Hopper - Dropper Rigs

(64) Tips For Buying A Pontoon Boat

(65) Fishing Tips and Facts for Sturgeon

(66) Three Flies to Live by

(67) Reading Rise Forms

(68) Tips and Facts for Early Season Success

(69) A Fly for All Seasons

(70) Ice Shelters – Seeing is Believing

(71) Effective approaches to working small streams

(72) Unburdening the Travelling Angler

(73) 5 Flies for Anyones Fly Box

(74) Road Trips

(75) Dry Flies for High & Dirty Water

(76) Tips For Dealing With Biting Bass

(77) Summertime and the Fishin’ Ain’t Easy

(78) Depth and Light

(79) Rigging Large Dry Flies

(80) Best Rod for Spring Angling

(81) Stream Etiquette for Floaters

(82) Tackling Whites Through the Ice

(83) Angling Tips for Finding Books

(84) Winter Smart Open Water Angling

(85) Fall Primer for Pike

(86) Packing Tips

(87) Tips and Tackle for the High Country

(88) Hunt them Shallow

(89) Polarized Sunglasses
The smart anglers’ advantage.

(90) Fishing Tips for Early Season Flyrodding

(91) Know Your Knots

(92) Alternative Thoughts about Ice Fishing

(93) Tips for Mexican Bonefishing

(94) Techniques for Tantalizing Grayling

(95) Understanding Fly Leaders & Tippets

(96) Catfish on the Fly

(97) Get Your Backswimmer On

(98) Reading the Sonar

(99) Insect Identification Made Easy

(100) The Sinker and Floating Plug

(101) GADGETS & GIZMOS for "OLD GUYS"

(102) Fishing Drop Offs

(103) Stay On Fish

(104) Landing The Big One

(105) Fighting Fish on a Fly Rod

(106) North Saskatchewan River - Be River Aware

(107) Backswimmer Pothole Trout Frenzy

(108) Hunt for Suspended Fish

(109) Reading Your Waters Before You Cast

(110) Setting Up Your Bait Casting Reel

(111) Fishing Journals

(112) First Casts of the Season are at a River Near You

(113) The Crazy Whitefish Days of Last Ice

(114) The Bait of Choice

(115) Shallow Water Jumbo Perch

(116) Getting Started on the Ice

(117) Plan an Ice Fishing Getaway

(118) Brookie Season

(119) River Fishing is Heating Up

(120) Become a Better Angler

(121) The Forgotten Pike

(122) Get Out Your Plugs and Spoons

(123) Slip Bobber is King in Spring

(124) See You at the Show

(125) Red Hot Whitefish

(126) Staging Walleye

(127) The Lure of Lake Whitefish

(128) Great Rainbow Fishing At First Ice

(129) A Simple Approach to Ice Fishing

(130) Big Pike Combo Approaches

(131) Gearing up for Fall Whitefish

(132) River of Gold

(133) Bottom Bounce Your Way to Success

(134) Small Stream Fun

(135) Consider the Spawn and Water Temperature
for Early Season Fish

(136) I Believe - The Glow in Glow Jigs

(137) Tricks to Improve Your Ice Fishing

(138) Trout Fishing is Red Hot

(139) Dealing With Fishing Pressure

(140) All I Want For Christmas

(141) Staying Warm on the Ice

(142) Hunting Big Browns in Lakes

(143) Where Did All Those Walleye Go?

(144) Keep an Eye on the Weather, Fury of a Storm

(145) Great and Affordable Fishing on the West Coast

(146) Lake Whites in the Summer? You Bet

(147) Prime Time for Lakers

(148) A Slip Bobber is so Much More

(149) Ice Fishing for Pike and Walleye

(150) Catching a Big Pike

(151) Purchasing a Rod

(152) Catching Rainbows through the Ice

(153) Gearing up for the Snow and Ice

(154) Gearing Up For Pike

(155) Getting the Most out of Your Fly Fishing Set Up

(156) The Bottom’s Up in Fishing

(157) Fish Where They’re Biting

(158) Three Standard Walleye Presentations

(159) Two Early Season Presentations for Pothole Trout

(160) Tackle Tips for Catch and Release Fishing

(161) Keeping Your Head Above Water

(162) HEALTHY BAIT CATCHES FISH!

(163) Beginner Baitcasting Tips