Whitefish

The Whitefish is sometimes referred to as a "humpback" fish due to its disproportionately small head in comparison to the length of its body. On average, Whitefish weigh around 4 lbs (2 kg). They can grow to 31 inches but are more frequently seen around 20 inches in length.

Whitefish caught at Andorra Lodge, Ontario
Whitefish caught at Andorra Lodge

Where to Find Whitefish

Whitefish are cool water fish. They are found in many inland lakes and they have been known to enter brackish waters (where saltwater and freshwater meet) as well. They are found throughout much of Canada and parts of the northern United States, including all of the 5 Great Lakes.

Understanding Whitefish Behavior

Whitefish like cold water. They spawn around the first ice on shoals where Northern Pike will quickly chase them into shallow water. There they will predominantly feed on crustaceans and insects. Whitefish like to feed along the bottom of the drop-off near the shore where a nice shelf forms. In the summer, they can be seen on the shoal on the lake side of a weed bed (as opposed to the shore-side) and use the bottom edge of the drop-off to congregate where there is an inflow, bringing a steady supply of nutrients to support their prey and of course the prey themselves .

How to Catch Whitefish

Many anglers enjoy catching Whitefish in the months of June, July and early August. A simple line and jig is adequate enough to catch the fish as they feast on mayflies and midges. In winter months, catching Whitefish through the ice is very popular as well. Effective ice fishing techniques include using a jigging spoon, with one or more "slider hooks" above and separated from the spoon with a barrel swivel. All hooks are then tipped with wax worms. Be sure to check to local/provincial websites for the specific conservation guidelines and regulations

Cold Water Whitefish