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Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing for Whitefish

When is the Best Time to Begin

You will find you have the best success fishing for lake whitefish early in the morning. Sunrise till about noon is your best bet. By starting early after sunrise you will find you will have your greatest success as lake whitefish feeding activity will lessen as the sun gets higher in the sky. If your weather conditions include a cloudy day chances are you can increase your fishing success past the noon cutoff. Try to locate areas with a hard bottom and with a good drop off. Because whitefish are a schooling species once you locate one chances are others will be found close by. Drill 5 or 6 holes and fish each one for about 20 minutes. If you have little or no success, move onto the next hole. An auger should be no more than 8 inches in diameter, which should be more than capable of landing any whitefish you encounter during your day of icefishing. Once you drilled your holes, take the time to clean the snow and slush from them. Many times the sound your power auger produces will spook any fish in the area. By taking the time to clean up your holes you give the whitefish time to return to their normal behaviour.

One of the best items a ice fisherman can purchase is a portable fishing tent. You will be spending a great deal of time out on the frozen lake and your comfort is a key ingredient in having an enjoyable day. Comfort will also help in your concentration.

Lake whitefish are bottom feeders in most situations and have been known to eat a wide variety of bottom-living invertebrates as well as smaller fishes. In some areas microscopic planktonic creatures form the majority of their diet. A wire worm jig is one of the most popular lure in the Canadian prairies and imitates the aquatic organisms that lake whitefish love to eat. Ensure you set the hook fast as whitefish have the tendency to spit it out fast. The key is to always be ready to set the hook quickly so it is vital you are always watching your wire worm. A nice 26 inch ice fishing rod is ideal for fishing for Lake whitefish. Ensure the rod has light to medium action as it will help you in feeling the whitefish strike. Braided line works best for icefishing as it retains no memory in the line. This can mean the difference between landing your catch and losing it.

Although Lake whitefish will bite spoons and other lures rigged up with such baits as  minnows and leeches,  the wire worm jig consistently outperforms all other methods of catching lake whitefish. The most popular colour for a wire worm is red. This colour worm mimics larvae found in most Canadian lakes. Experiment with different colours and sizes to see what works best for you on any given day or on different lakes. Carry a small journal with you to record weather conditions etc .

Bottom is Best

Again because lake whitefish are predominately  bottom feeders, make sure you are fishing  about a foot off the bottom. Start your presentation within this zone and jig your wire worm once every minute or so to entice any whitefish in the area to come on over and have a look. This suggestion is only a starting point for your day and is not set in stone. If you observe whitefish at various other depths then adjust your presentation to have a good chance at landing them. If possible rig up several rods with a variety of presentations varying the size and colour of your wire worms. This will save you time if one colour and size is not successful.

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