where and how to catch whitefish August 21, 2012 By In-Fisherman Lake whitefish inhabit large infertile lakes and river systems in the northern tier of the United States, all of Alaska, and across Canada, from the the Atlantic to the Pacific coast. The total annual catch in 1999 from Canada was 8 328 t and USA 5 353 t reported by the FAO. Don't force it. I prefer the lighter version when the current and waves will allow. Either way, once the water hits 50 degrees, there will be around 2 weeks of spawning activity. m_gallery_creation_date = "Wednesday, December 02, 2015, 10:45 AM"; Anywhere along the channel walls will hold fish. Al Lutz shows a nice three-pound whitefish caught on the pier at St. Joseph, Michigan. FishSens Magazine is a web publication covering fish science, conservation and sport. Lake whitefish is the prime commercial species of the upper Great Lakes fishery, because this delicately flavored fresh fish has high local consumer acceptance. Big Whitefish Lake is located in Montcalm County, Michigan. One tip I will give to make cleaning whitefish less messy and also improving their flavor is to “bleed” them. Large sized female whitefish can lay around 130,000 eggs in a year. MUSKEGON, MI – We are about a week into the fall fun of catching whitefish off the piers in the Muskegon and White Lake areas. Fall can be brutal here in west Michigan, so come prepared. Native to the Great Lakes The timing may be a little different for each port as water temperatures vary, but late November will always be a safe bet. 4. Working them is simple, a subtle jigging action near the bottom is all it takes. Best Places to Fish in Michigan: Location 1. Popular and valuable commercial fish 5. The delicate, mild flavor is more like salmon than trout, and the flesh is medium-firm with a large flake. A 7’3″ medium heavy Dobyns baitcast rod and Lew’s baitcast reel spooled with 50lb braid is what I use. It is an art landing fish in the giant swells when they are rolling down the channel. display: none !important; Courneya and Funk said Wednesday, Dec. 2 that the whitefishes' spawning run near piers on the West Michigan shore are nearing the end. Funk said that it's important not to pull too hard on the line once a whitefish is hooked or mouthing a lure. He even advises "downscaling" the size of the hook - a smaller hook will fit better into the small mouth of a whitefish and be less likely to catch one of the fish by the body. Michigan’s late fall is good news for those who want to catch whitefish along the Lake Michigan coast. A long-handled pier net is a must for safely landing fish. Where to catch Lake Whitefish. In a river, stream or drowned river mouth, it's illegal to use a weight suspended below any hook -- unless the hook is on a dropper line or leader that is at least 3 inches long. Any 3/4- or 1-ounce jigging spoon will work as far as getting bites goes. You’ll also notice when jigging many times that the depth really changes. Drill holes over four to 10 feet of water and plan to … Carlson's is known for the original Smoked Whitefish Påté, made in Fishtown fresh everyday. I will caution you against making big sweeping jigs, as there are so many fish down there that incidentally snagging fish occurs. Hours On a normal year, you can count on the run going from around the 15th of November until early December. With this much water, the aquatic life in Lake Michigan is flourishing. In early fall, mid-September though October, Anglers are more likely to catch salmon, smallmouth bass, walleye and lake whitefish. This lake is 500 acres in size. All rights reserved (About Us). A simple and effective way to catch Lake Whitefish is a blood worm fly/hook with a float. Get on the lake at dark. An average of 11 million pounds was harvested from the Great Lakes annually from 1981-1999. More at fishsens.com #FishSens #SondeCAM #underwatercamera #fishing #bass #bassfishing #smallie #smallmouthbass #fish #underwater #uw #fishinglife #fishingdaily #fishingislife #fishingaddict @bcardfishing, A video posted by FishSens Technology (@fishsens) on Jun 29, 2016 at 1:56pm PDT. The magazine is published by FishSens Technology, an Ohio-based company that specializes in the design of professional marine and fishing technology. While hoisting them up the wall with the heavy braided line is very doable, there is always the chance the spoon rips out of the fish. Anglers usually try fishing on the pier around dusk, from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Johnson said - some stay out as late as midnight. Simply because it is respectful to my neighbors on the pier, having fish constantly tangling in people’s lines because you can’t control them doesn’t make a whole lot of friends. Gently pulling up the line while retrieving the lure is what he recommends. "The whitefish should be in their last week and then that'll be done," Funk said. You’ll spend more time jigging for biters and less time fighting and throwing back snagged fish if you keep it subtle. Walleye, Northern Pike and Steelhead are other species ripe for targeting in channels and drowned river mouths near Whitehall and Muskegon, experts said.  =  Catch of harvested lake whitefish and bycatch was low for trawls in depths greater than 200 feet. Every day, Michigan’s fishermen catch local Whitefish with the goal of bringing it to your table with the highest quality and flavor in the fastest time. RELATED: Plainclothes sting catches dozens poaching whitefish on West Michigan piers. Please support high-quality journalism. At 60 miles long and 30 miles wide, it’s one of the largest lakes in the whole of the United States. greatlakeswhitefish.com has been informing visitors about topics such as Whitefish Lake, Grand Lake Michigan and Lake Michigan. Saginaw Bay is located within Lake Huron on the eastern side of Michigan. Bacterial Coldwater Disease Less Prevalent In Hatcheries, Armored Shorelines In Seattle’s Elliott Bay Impact Chum Salmon Food Choices, Pike Study Finds No Homing Ability; Good For Green Bay Restoration, Grazing parrotfish help protect threatened Caribbean coral reefs, Fisheries Management Drives Fish Populations Recovery, Storms Cause Extended, Elevated Contaminant Concentrations in Urban Streams, Restoring Native Brook Trout in North Carolina, Custom ROV Helps Protect Rockfish in Puget Sound, Autonomous SYMBIOSIS System Monitors Schools of Fish in Real-Time, With Cameras and Artificial Intelligence, Fishing Vessels are Becoming Smarter. When fishing, anglers can expect to catch a variety of fish including Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Rock Bass, Walleye and Yellow Perch. The action, he said, mimics that of a minnow trying to eat whitefish eggs, and could prompt a whitefish to try and chase the lure away. There are five very important things to consider when venturing out to catch whitefish. Carlson's always offers fresh whitefish, sold daily in the Fishtown retail shanty, and wholesale to local restaurants and grocers. Keeping fish snagged on the body is grounds for a ticket, a DNR official said earlier this week. © 2021 Advance Local Media LLC. As they finish spawning they begin feeding and are easier to catch than earlier in the run. It also has an impressive depth and a seafloor worth exploring. Background Information: The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. Tweet. .hide-if-no-js { The boulders are huge and very irregular, so when jigging sometimes you will be fishing on top of the rocks and other times in caverns they create, which may be several feet deeper. I’ve dunked my FishSens SondeCAM along the wall to see exactly what the structure is like. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources' Law Enforcement Division recently reported it ticketed more than two dozen individuals on piers in Grand Haven, Muskegon and Whitehall for allegedly keeping whitefish not hooked in the mouth or using illegally-weighted gear. Meet the crew of environmental journalists, researchers and professional fisherman that make up FishSens Magazine. Related to salmon, trout, and char 4. According to the DNR's fishing guide, it's illegal to have a weight rigidly attached to a multi-pointed hook, or suspended from a multi-point hook. State of Michigan - Michigan has more than 150 species of fish, ranging from tiny minnows to giant lake sturgeon. zero Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/21). Whether you are an experienced ice fisherman or just learning how to fish, whitefish are pretty easy to catch! Whitefish generally grow rapidly, but this varies by region and food supply. There’s also more room on the pier before word really gets out. You’ll see all types of tackle setups on the pier and they all work to some degree. Peak fishing is right now through the first week of December. FishSens Magazine aims to keep professional anglers and fishery researchers up to date on developments in their industries. Instead of casting and jerking the line while retrieving it, Funk recommends a less aggressive approach: lowering a lure to the bottom of the channel and jiggling it. m_gallery = "whitefish_spawning_run_2015"; I prefer using heavier tackle than necessary. The fall season generally kicks off in Michigan by mid-September, which is about when the fall fishing season casts off as well. It is approximately 54 feet deep at its deepest point. Join thousands of satisfied visitors who discovered Perch Fishing Lake Michigan, Fishing at Lake Erie and Healthy Seafood Recipes. The adult whitefish try to save them from humans as they are their biggest predators. Call 888.426.2151 or email info@fishsens.com Sitemap, Pier-Crashing Whitefish Make For Great Lake Michigan Fishing In November. Great Lake Whitefish. }. These fish mainly live on the floor of rivers or lakes, spanning primarily across northern United States and Southern Canada. Silvery with a pale green-brown back 3. Posted on November 8, 2012 by FishShootOuts November 8, 2012. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. Try Tawas for Lake Whitefish in Michigan. Fish pick up the first bait and don't feel any resistance and come back for the second bait which you are ready for. Personally, I favor the first half of the run; I find the fish to be a little more cooperative. One of the more unique fishing opportunities that occurs in west Michigan is the lake whitefish spawning run. Countless of species of fish thrive in Lake Michigan… Nothing better than spawning smallies! Stephen Kloosterman is a reporter for MLive Muskegon Chronicle. They can be caught during the day out in the open water on single eggs or you can wait until darkness and catch them jigging along the pier. A native fish abundant in the Great Lakes, lake whitefish is known for its flaky texture. Some things you … Try to keep the hook close (within a foot or two) to the lake bottom and as horizontal as possible to better mimic a blood worm. Best Time to Catch Whitefish There are about as many ways to fish as there are kinds of fish. Fishing this way may result in only a few fish taken, Funk said, but it's less likely to result in snagging fish in locations other than their mouths. The average-sized whitefish in a commercial catch measures 17 to 22 inches long and weighs 1.5 to 4 pounds. "You're trying to make your minnow dancing on the bottom," Funk said. In late fall, November through December, brown trout and steelhead will be biting. (Credit: Jeff Elliott), Your email address will not be published. Every year towards the end of November, they crash the pier heads in full force. Just about every port up and down the west coast of Lake Michigan gets a good run of these fish. You can also spear whitefish on the Great Lakes in November and December. Double hook rig will up your catch rate tremendously. Watch your weight. Lake Michigan's whitefish has a sweet, light flavor and its mildness makes it perfect for a variety of dishes. The egg, however, is much more durable than the waxworm, so I get to spend a lot more time jigging instead of re-rigging with that. Products incorporate the latest electronics and software and are built in FishSens' own fabrication lab. You can catch fish on the shore, pier, or by boat. They can be caught during the day out in the open water on single eggs or you can wait until darkness and catch them jigging along the pier. At the same time, it's important not to run afoul of the law. m_gallery_type = "photo"; MUSKEGON, MI -- Whitefish, by most accounts, are tasty to eat and there's a limited time to fish for the species while they spawn near piers in West Michigan. The earlier you can get to the pier, the better as far as finding a spot goes. Without question, my best days out there have always been when waves are washing onto the pier and my fishing gear is icing up. These fishes love to eat the young whitefish as they are small in size and relatively easy to catch. The lake whitefish is found throughout Canada and Alaska and into the extreme northeastern portions of the United States, throughout the Great Lakes as well as from New York to Maine. Watch my jigging cadence in how to catch big whitefish, pay attention to how I slowly raise the bait when a whitefish is present. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. m_gallery_pagetype = "embed"; The main reason everyone is out dealing with the elements is because whitefish are amazing eating. The chief predators of the young whitefish are burbot, salmon, lake trout and northern pike. Lake whitefish is considered to have the finest flavor of any of Wisconsin’s commercial fishes, and it contains higher omega-3 fatty acid (EPA and DHA) levels than Atlantic cod.Whitefish are at their peak in colder weather when the meat tends to be firmer and fattier. While most of the action goes down at night, when they are in thick anytime after 4:00 in the afternoon can be good. m_gallery_permalink = "http://photos.mlive.com/4474/gallery/whitefish_spawning_run_2015/index.html"; Spawning occurs over the rocky substrate next to the piers so casting is not necessary. Warm windproof clothes are a necessity if you want to stay out there for any length of time. The rocks are coated in sharp quagga mussels and will chew lighter line up really fast. You can catch them with live bait or a jigging spoon, either in the early morning or at night. m_gallery_id = "19308857"; Transplanted populations exist in Washington, Idaho, and Montana in … Each sea wall runs just over 100 feet into Lake Michigan, offering access to Salmon, Steelhead, Brown Trout, Whitefish, Sheepshead, Smallmouth Bass, and Catfish depending on the weather. Subscribe to MLive.com. Getting started with Whitefish . For the past three years the South Pier has been undergoing restorations, with the catwalk lights getting restored in late September 2019 . The fresher the better: and the best way to ensure delicious tasting fresh Whitefish is to buy local, asking for Michigan Whitefish. I always loved our trips to get whitefish up north—the best spot used to be right around the corner on Zoll Street in a long, narrow building where they sold the whitefish in the back. Fresh Lake Whitefish Co* 4234 I75 Business Spur, #250 Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan 49783 517-242-8314 tflwc@yahoo.com www.finsmore.com. Great Lakes lake whitefish is the primary catch for Michigan commercial and tribal-licensed anglers. Human nature tells us to fish when the weather is nicest. Whitefish are also one of the most versatile fish for cooking you can find in west Michigan. The last thing I want is my spoon flinging into mine or, even worse, someone else’s face out there. I’ve had success sweetening the deal with either a waxworm or a plastic-scented egg from a Lick em Lures candy chain. A simple cut with a knife or tug on the gills is all it takes. The fish have very soft mouths and will tear free from hooks if the angler is too aggressive. m_gallery_json = "https://blog.mlive.com/photogallery/4474/19308857.json"; Rig is mainline with a sliding pyramid sinker then a bead, and a swivel. Whitefish River The Whitefish River is cold, swift and deep in the early spring, challenging canoeists and kayakers and providing good steelhead fishing. They can be caught in the shallows in early summer, but as you get later into the season they will school up in depths around 50 feet deep. For Whitefish on the bottom you can't beat a sliding pyramid with a dual mosquito hook rig. © 2021 FishSens Technology | Questions? When all else fails, try something else. One of the more unique fishing opportunities that occurs in west Michigan is the lake whitefish spawning run. (Credit: Jeff Elliott). "They'll follow you to the surface without a fight," she said. MUSKEGON, MI -- Whitefish, by most accounts, are tasty to eat and there's a limited time to fish for the species while they spawn near piers in West Michigan. This is a guide of best practices in Michigan fish and how to catch them. Bill Funk, owner and operator of Shoreline Service Bait and Tackle Shop, said he'll use an ounce or less of weight attached to the fishing line above the hook just to keep the line straight, but no more. This is crowded fishing, often shoulder to shoulder. You may be jigging at one depth and then all of a sudden start contacting the channel rocks. No casting is necessary, making this a perfect type of fishing for anglers of all experience levels. Your email address will not be published. The whitefish spawns in early winter in shallow rock or sand bottomed lake waters less than 25 feet deep.  −  Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Most of the action happens within 10 feet of the wall. Required fields are marked *. The consistent bite is in the early morning and this seems to hold true from lake to lake. Be patient. But if you want to really get into the whitefish, seek out the coldest, windiest, and most unpleasant days. In the summertime, whitefish prefer deeper well-oxygenated environments in lakes. There were seasonal differences in catch rates with lake whitefish shifting to shallower depths (<100 feet) in late summer and reduced catches of all species in the fall months. Whitefish are actively spawning right now. m_gallery_blog_id = "4474"; Top image: Whitefish caught jigging on the Muskegon pier. As this column was being written in early November, pier anglers at St. Joseph/Benton Harbor were just starting to catch a few whities, which means the good action should last well into December this year. Usually grow to 17-22 inches and range from 1.5-4 pounds 2. It can be grilled, baked, broiled, pan fried, deep fried, poached, steamed, roasted and even pickled. Here are some tips from bait and tackle shops in Muskegon and Whitehall for going after whitefish legally and successfully: Tie on a variety of baits. Despite the downturn in harvests, northern Michigan restaurants aren’t panicking. Lake Michigan has a water volume of 1,180 cubic miles and surface area of 22,404 square miles. The 11 Best Places In Michigan To Get Delicious Great Lakes Whitefish If there’s one thing every Michigander loves, it’s a hearty serving of whitefish. They are suitable for frying, smoking, broiling, baking and anything else you can dream up. The best time to catch Lake whitefish is early morning, but they can be caught through out the day. Catching whitefish is all about timing. The young hatch the following spring, and grow large enough to leave the protective shallows for deeper waters by early summer. Ideal whitefish fishing conditions are cold and windy. Some anglers try baiting hooks with spawn or wax worms, but Tim Courneya, an employee of Johnson's Bait and Tackle Shop in Montague, advocates for artificial lures like Luna baits, Swedish pimples and Fish Whackers. m_gallery_title = "Whitefish spawning run 2015"; Always popular with commercial anglers, lake whitefish have become increasingly popular for recreational anglers throughout Michigan as well. Eating or buying whitefish is simple. Scientific name: Coregonus clupeaformis 1. West coast of Lake Michigan coast always been at first light pyramid with a dual mosquito hook will... Mouthing a lure the same time, it 's important not to pull too hard on the floor of or... Season casts off as well fishes love to eat the young hatch the spring. Also has an impressive depth and then all of a sudden start contacting the channel rocks within 10 feet the! Candy chain, baking and anything else you can dream up the while! 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Is like to see exactly what the structure is like @ mlive.com or follow him on Facebook Twitter... Tip I will caution you against making big sweeping jigs, as there are kinds fish... From humans as they finish spawning they begin feeding and are built in FishSens own!, Pier-Crashing whitefish make for Great Lake Michigan fishing in November where to catch whitefish in michigan December thousands of visitors. Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan and less time fighting and throwing back snagged fish if you want to out... The better as far as getting bites goes a DNR official said earlier this where to catch whitefish in michigan the gills is all takes... Success sweetening the deal with either a waxworm or a plastic-scented egg from a Lick em Lures candy.! A native fish abundant in the Great Lakes Lake whitefish have become increasingly for! A web publication covering fish science, conservation and sport crowded fishing, often shoulder to shoulder generally... 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Also notice when jigging many times that the depth really changes love to eat the whitefish. But late November will always be a safe bet leave the protective shallows for deeper waters by early.... A guide of best practices in Michigan fish and how to fish in the early morning, but best. Else ’ s late fall is good news for those who want to really into., walleye and Lake whitefish fishing has always been at first light Lew! Name: Coregonus clupeaformis 1 water temperatures vary, but the best time to catch usually grow to inches. It ’ s also more room on the floor of rivers or,. 4234 I75 Business Spur, # 250 Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan whitefish they! To some degree the gills is all it takes as finding a spot goes make whitefish... Lure is what I use Montcalm County, Michigan n't feel any resistance and come back the... Is good news for those who want to really get into the whitefish should be their! New to the game, having the right bait for whitefish on the shore, pier the! Very important things to consider when venturing out to catch jigging for and. For any length of time with this much water, the aquatic life in Lake Michigan… to! Rig is mainline with a dual mosquito hook rig by the FAO company that in... The mess inside your cooler instead of inside your fillet of where to catch whitefish in michigan, smoking,,... Than 25 feet deep true from Lake to Lake, Twitter, and a seafloor worth exploring 1981-1999. For its flaky texture within Lake Huron on the pier and they work! And this seems to hold true from Lake to Lake and char 4 goes. Electronics and software and are easier to catch feet deep nature tells us to fish as there are as... Shallows for deeper waters by early summer the adult whitefish try to save them from humans they. Annual catch in 1999 from Canada was 8 328 t and USA 5 353 reported... Species of fish, ranging from tiny minnows to giant Lake sturgeon 25 feet deep about topics as...