Friday, February 17, 2012

refined whitefish tactics

While our first day on Green Bay was spent in the twelve to fourteen foot range, our ride out on the second day  suggested we might try poking some holes even shallower. We fished from ten feet deep all the way in to about six with the best luck in the extreme shallows. These were fish that you didn't have to work up from the bottom. They were cruising fish that were feeding in the shallows and if they did pop up on the flasher they almost for sure were hot to bite.  With the crystal clear visibility we actually were able to get a couple of takes sight fishing.  When I first started thinking about what our first trip to Green Bay would be like, I had always envisioned us sitting out over a thirty foot hole dropping heavy spoons garnished with a variety of meats down to the bottom. Well, this certainly hasn't been the case...

early morning whitefish caught on Green Bay
Standard presentations from the research we did before this trip led us to spoons like the Swedish Pimple in a size four and gold in color. This was noted as an effective pattern used on its own tipped with waxies and minnow heads but also as a dropper fastened below a small jig and swivel. This is an effective rig for quick drops and also for pounding bottom to create quite a disturbance. Fishing such shallow water I felt that this presentation was a bit overkill. We eventually downsized to just a tiny tungsten jig head tipped with a glob of waxies, and we fished these on our ultra-light bluegill rods. This setup resulted in some of the best drag screaming fights of our weekend trip.

my personal best whitefish caught on a bluegill rod
Again, I can't say enough for the tip down fishing on Green Bay, they accounted for a third of our fish the second day as well...

our pile of keepers from a morning of fishing
This trip was a blast and is something I'm going to consider making a yearly ritual. For those who have never been or have thought about it before, I would highly recommend giving it a shot as a destination for the Chicago ice fisherman.





17 comments:

  1. Fire up the smoker baby! Nice work.

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  2. Way to strike it while it is hot! Let us know how they taste.

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  3. these last few posts make me want to go ice fishing a little bit!

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    1. Not enough to keep you off the slopes in the winter though... Any time

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  4. Sight fishing whities in less than 10' of water...totally unheard of in these parts. 80'+ is the norm here. Great story Blake!

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    1. Not what I had imagined for sure but way cool.

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  5. I am just amazed that there is ice up there. Seriously I flew over Wis the other day and half the lakes were clear and the temps were around 40. weird right?

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    1. This whole winter has been crazy warm, we road tripped it north just to find some good ice. By my house we got 2 weeks of ice fishing when normally its 2 months.

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  6. Blake
    I know the White Fish put up quite a fight on the short rod. A big fish fry in the future. Thanks for sharing

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    1. They gave those ultra light rods a good work out.

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  7. Looks like some good eats! Winter has been pretty mild this year to say the least.

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    1. seems that way across most of the midwest

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  8. Sounds like you guys had a blast! From looking at the size of those fish, I would bet they put up a hell of a fight. I would haver never thought of venturing up to GB for a whitefish bite, but now I am considering it for next year. Thanks for the input! Awesome fish!

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    1. great trip worth serious consideration, glad to see your back in town?

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    2. Thanks man! It was a great trip and of course I did some open water fishing out there as well. I have a post going up this afternoon. We caught some nice striped bass out on lake mead

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