no one would have thought 15 to 20 years ago that drilling a hole on the ice and fishing for what lurks below would be a popular winter sport in sturgeon bay, wisconsin. with less commercial fishing and improved water quality protections, the green bay whitefish numbers have exploded in recent decades. whitefish thrived in deeper parts of lake michigan until zebra mussels littered the bottom and disrupted their food sources called diporeia (freshwater shrimp). green bay ice fishing guides started catching whitefish by accident while fishing for walleye and perch. whitefish ice fishing has become a multi-million dollar business in the door county, wisconsin area, bringing tourist dollars to restaurants, hotels and tackle shops. [tips for ice fishing for whitefish range from a variety of tactics used by local anglers].
the famous green bay whitefish rig is one of the most popular choices when targeting these finicky biters. when it comes to picking the right ice rod, there’s no doubt that a 28-34 inch medium action rod paired with a good ice fishing reel sporting a smooth drag, that won’t freeze, is perfect for bringing whitefish out of deep or shallow water. a slow methodical tapping of your jig on the bottom and lifting slowly works well along with an aggressive pounding at the bottom depending on the fish’s mood. whitefish move in schools and their appetite depends greatly on the weather. using a fish locator is a good way to find fish and move when you’re not marking fish to stay on the hot bite. whitefish are very intelligent and adaptive fish and have been around for hundreds of years. hiring a guide service like trophy ice fish who specializes in targeting whitefish is highly recommended to increase your odds of having a successful day on the ice.
their flesh rivals the walleye’s — smoked whitefish is to die for, and sautéed whitefish livers are delicacies. then, icing ten to even a hundred or more whitefish a day, averaging 5 to 10 pounds — with 12- to 15-pound fish a possibility — is the rule rather than the exception. one of the biggest whitefish on record is a 42-pound goliath hauled from the icy waters of lake superior off minnesota’s isle royale. whitefish and lake trout also frequent many of the same structures, but the fish position themselves differently. indeed, whitefish relate to flats, whether the top of a shoal or the bottom of the lake adjacent to structure. because of this burrowing nature, whitefish have keen senses of smell and taste, and they also have eagle-sharp eyes: two factors you can exploit in the clear waters they inhabit. the 40- to 60-foot depth range is often magical, although in very deep lakes — such as lake superior and lake huron — you often can add another 10 to 20 feet.
switch it to manual, punch in the upper and lower depths, and zoom in four times so that you highlight only the bottom 15 to 20 feet on the screen. i rig the final rod with a special nose-heavy whitefish jig known as a badd boyz, and tip it with a white 2-inch berkley power grub. while whitefish are a bottom-oriented species, with a snout designed for scooping up food from the bottom, i never start fishing there. a whitefish can so annihilate your lure that, when you land it, every hook is deeply embedded in its mouth — no mean feat for a fish with such a small oral cavity. you’ll either see a whitefish streak from nowhere and attack your lure as you lift it, or you’ll spot a missile intercepting the bait as it falls. regardless, set the hook when you feel the fish, and hang on for the ride. this simulates a school of whitefish sucking up mud and spitting it out, and is a real turn-on. this means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.
weather permitting, ice fishing is available daily on beautiful whitefish lake overlooking the whitefish mountain range. fish with our experienced guides in the famous green bay whitefish rig is one of the most popular choices when targeting these finicky biters. a ¼ ounce gold spoon is tied on the a whitefish can so annihilate your lure that, when you land it, every hook is deeply embedded in its mouth — no mean feat for a fish with such a, .
whitefish thrive in the cold water conditions under the ice. since they are quite active in the cold water, they put up an excellent tussle for anglers using light spinning tackle. finally, and perhaps most importantly, whitefish are fantastic eating! many anglers associate whitefish with deep water fishing. “whitefish typically spawn on shallow, near-shore cobble substrates in november, december, and january. this means that at the beginning of ice “i open the bail and follow it down on my sonar unit,” says girard. “as soon as it hits bottom, i reel it up quickly, 10- to 15-feet, and then whitefish lake also offers excellent ice fishing beginning in late december. additional ice fishing locations in glacier country include smith, .
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