Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Record whitefish The world record mountain whitefish recorded by the International Game Fish Association is 5 pounds, 8 ounces, taken in 1995 from Alberta’s Elbow River near Calgary. Also known as the Rocky Mountain Whitefish or Rockies for short, the mountain whitefish are savory aquatic prey that is extremely fun to catch, thanks to their eager appetite. This is because the Mountain Whitefish has a short head with a mouth underneath a short snout. 1. The all-tackle world record, caught from the Columbia River in 1983, weighed 5 pounds, 2 ounces. Whitefish. Whitefish mainly eat from the bottom of lakes or rivers, so you want to place your bait where they will feed. Some whitefish are found in the Pacific Ocean as well. Sign-up to receive our monthly newsletter with interesting blogs about fishing and boating. However, most adult whitefish range from 14" to 18" and weigh less than 3-pounds, with 20-inch whitefish being fairly rare in most watersheds. Since whitefish are close to the bottom, insure you’re jigging within a couple feet of the bottom. Use an ultralight rod and line and just enough weight to drift small mealworms, maggots or garden worms near the bottom. Small spinners and spoons under 1/8oz imitate juvenile salmon or trout. Blog: Fishing Insights from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife 05.23.12 by Joe Lewandowski Article: The Trip of a Life Time 05.21.12 by David Coulson Blog: Take Your Time 04.12.12 by Joshua Christensen NFN Icehole Adventure #7 Shallow Water Whitefish Ice fishing Lake Michigan Green Bay 2017 - Duration: 15:54. To detect a bite, keep your finger on the line, and stay alert for the distinctive tap, tap, tap. Sometimes live bait is the best choice for catching whitefish or any other fish for that matter. Whitefish have soft mouths, so take your time when the fight is on. You may also incidentally catch the odd coaster brook trout, but remember these need to be immediately released, as they are not in season during the winter. Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. The back is brownish to olive. You can search online to find popular fishing spots in advance. Small spinners and spoons under 1/8oz imitate juvenile salmon or trout. Weights are helpful when fishing for whitefish because they bring your bait to the bottom, where the whitefish eat. References. You’ll usually find mountain whitefish in larger streams and rivers where you find trout. Live Bait. You want the cloud to form about 1 foot (0.30 m) off the surface. The all tackle record for Mountain Whitefish is 5-pound, 8-ounces from the Elbow River, Calgary, Canada. Fishing For Mt. It occurs inland into Alberta in Canada and Wyoming in the United States. It is, however, a fish that nymphing fly fishers prospecting for trout in northwestern streams will sometimes frequently encounter. White jigging spoons are the most popular bait for catching whitefish, many people use live bait as well. The mountain whitefish is found in abundance in most clear, cold rivers in the western drainages and eastern mountain front of Montana. One common way to target Mountain Whitefish is to fly fish using small weighted nymphs under an indicator. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. It can be taken by fly fishing or casting with small baits. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published, This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. The Yakima River is a tributary of the Columbia River in south central and eastern Washington state, The length of the river from headwaters to mouth is 214 miles, with an average drop of 9.85 feet per mile. These fish mainly live on the floor of rivers or lakes, spanning primarily across northern United States and Southern Canada. And with a limit of 25 per day, whitefish represent quite a mess of fish! Because whitefish are bottom feeders, nymphing is the best way to take them on a fly, and anglers fishing a dry-and-dropper rig for trout usually hook whitefish on the nymph underneath the surface pattern. Spin fishermen can also effectively target mountain whitefish in the winter. The following are fishing methods used to catch this fish: Mountain whitefish average 12 to 14 inches and rarely grow larger than 20 inches. For whitefish salmon eggs, maggots, and waxworms are productive. "Success is yet to come, but I recently moved back to my hometown Rossland, BC and I'm preparing myself for the time. A light action rod is the perfect tool to detect bites, fight, and land the soft mouth whitefish. > Mountain Whitefish. Again, whitefish have small mouths so stick with smaller jigs. Around 1/16 ounce will work fine. Monofilament line is widely used for catching whitefish. This info and lovely artwork helps immensely! The fish will also respond to tiny spinners, streamers, and dry flies. Zoom in so you can easily see the bottom 15-20 feet of the water. The following list includes additional details on where to catch this fish: It can be taken by fly fishing or casting with small baits. Rather than seeing through the water, you have to drill a hole through the ice and fish through the hole. A simple and effective way to catch Lake Whitefish is a blood worm fly/hook with a float. Thanks!". Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. The lake whitefish is much more widespread and attains a much larger size than either the mountain whitefish or the round whitefish. The ventral and pectoral fins may have an amber hue in adults. Catching and cleaning a whitefish. Species: Rainbow Trout and Mountain Whitefish Location: Eaton downstream to Yakima. Anglers commonly capture whitefish with small (size 16 to 22) nymphs such as Pheasant Tail, Hare's Ear, and Disco Midge. The following are fishing methods used to catch this fish: The following are lures, tackle or bait that can be used to catch this fish: What to Know About Old Lures and Vintage Fishing Lures. Mountain whitefish can be caught easily by spin casting, float fishing and flyfishing. It provides a considerable winter fishery in places, particularly where steelheads are absent. how to catch Mountain Whitefish. For ice fishing, sonar is extremely helpful. Mountain whitefish prefer cold, often high altitude streams. You can catch them with live bait or a jigging spoon, either in the early morning or at night. The following list includes additional details on where to catch this fish: Use your fish sonar to help locate the whitefish. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. A few anglers target these fish on the Hanford Reach in the winter and catch spectacular numbers of large Mountain Whitefish. Whitefish has very soft mouth and is fairly shy. Please complete the following fields to subscribe to our newsletter. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/7\/7d\/Catch-Whitefish-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Catch-Whitefish-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/7\/7d\/Catch-Whitefish-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/aid9742435-v4-728px-Catch-Whitefish-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}, when I can start fishing at Christina Lake, Kootenay Lake, and Kootenay River. If the fish meets local catching protocol, you can keep it and make it for dinner. Setting Up: Make sure your bait is set up correctly, especially when jigging. Thank you for reading! % of people told us that this article helped them. Whether you are an experienced ice fisherman or just learning how to fish, whitefish are pretty easy to catch! Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. wikiHow's. Do you like this content? This is how you will tease the fish to take your bait. Similar species in Montana include pygmy whitefish (a native species) and lake whitefish (a non-native). Mountain whitefish take the bait with several quick, sharp, but light bites. Bottom feeders and extremely social, successfully reeling in mountain whitefish require you are equipped with a well-to-do fishing rod. If you do the fly fish thing, a 5 weight or lighter outfit will be a good match. Jigging is a technique where you basically raise your rod tip about a foot, then drop it back down to its starting position. It's hard to beat 1/16-ounce marabou jigs or small in-line spinners, but in lakes with large northern pike populations, expect to get bit off continually. Select a state to find fishing and boating information: Get started fishing today, purchase your fishing license online, check regulations and more. The mouth, however, is slightly subterminal with the snout extending clearly beyond it. Search for something like, "Best whitefish spots in Nova Scotia.". Bill Miller of Lake Ice USA displays a mountain whitefish approaching the 15-inch requirement for the Colorado Master Angler award. The body is silvery overall. ⚠ Before you head to the water check the latest COVID-19 updates. Many sportsmen look with disfavor on the whitefish and often throw it away as undesirable. Ditto for whitefish, which are notorious bottom-feeders that suck up mud and detritus to filter out insect larvae. Like other salmonids, the mountain whitefish has an adipose fin and an axillary process. 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. Techniques: Whitefish tend to go for flashy flies, but are known for quickly spitting them out. Learn new fishing skills, boating resources, fishing etiquette, conservation and more. Or you may choose to pursue whitefish on a catch and release basis until your arm falls off. Get fishing tips and tricks and read personal stories from anglers who live and breathe fishing and boating. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 21,661 times. When fished with ultralight spincast setup, they can be very effective in streams where these whitefish are feeding heavily on juvenile fish. The state record mountain whitefish, just over 5 pounds, was caught in the Kootenai River. Species: Rainbow Trout and Mountain Whitefish Location: Eaton downstream to Yakima. Research catch and release laws based on where you are fishing. Amid the current public health and economic crises, when the world is shifting dramatically and we are all learning and adapting to changes in daily life, people need wikiHow more than ever. Whitefish have small mouths, so you should use small eggs or worms when selecting live bait. Transplanted populations exist in Washington, Idaho, and Montana in the northwestern United States. Without it, it is very difficult to locate the fish.

The fluorocarbon helps the bait get to the bottom faster. Habitat: Mountain whitefish inhabit many Oregon streams and lakes, thriving best in clear, cold water. The flesh is tasty and of good quality. Because so few anglers target mountain whitefish, they represent an underutilized harvest opportunity for those anglers who would like to take home a mess of fish to eat. Clinch knots aren't required, though they help assure your line and lures are tied tightly and securely. Trout fishermen frequently catch several whitefish for every trout taken. The mountain whitefish, Prosopium williamsoni, is a member of the salmon and trout family native to the western United States and western Canada. They tend to be found in large schools, typically in slower water at the lower end of riffle water and will commonly stack up on current seams in the same places you would expect to find trout. The bait mimics the small fish whitefish feed off of. Subscribe to our Newsletter and get all the information you need to learn, plan, and equip for your next fishing adventure. Mountain whitefish can be caught easily by spin casting, float fishing and flyfishing. By using our site, you agree to our. The species prefers cold mountain lakes and streams with highly oxygenated water, and is common in such habitat in many areas of Utah. Ice fishing is more difficult than regular fishing because your visibility is limited. Some sportfishing for mountain whitefish occurs. The mountain whitefish will be happy to take your nymphs and even occasionally pop up to eat dry flies. Learn how to register your vessel, boating laws and more. It provides a considerable winter fishery in places, particularly where steelheads are absent. We encourage you to follow CDC recommendations. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Show the same rig (but with a slightly larger 21/4-inch Wabler) to a mud-sucking whitefish and it will storm up 20 feet from the bottom to devour your bait and rip the rod from your hand. It is nevertheless among the species referred to as “round whitefishes”, and is therefore distinguishable from the lake whitefish which has a laterally compressed body. Many fishermen catch whitefish using jigging spoons. The scales often have pigmented borders, especially on the back. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. 10 Useful Holiday Gift Ideas for Anglers and Boaters. Your support helps wikiHow to create more in-depth illustrated articles and videos and to share our trusted brand of instructional content with millions of people all over the world. Though not as important as the lake whitefish, the mountain whitefish has gained some popularity as a sport fish. If you fish whitefish near rivermouths, steelhead will likely appear as spring gets closer. Small beadhead Prince nymphs, Lightning bugs, or roe patterns are my favorite patterns. Distribution. When ice fishing, you will cast into the hole in the ice, rather than across a lake or stream. Whitefish … Small bait like eggs or small lures will only need 1 puncture, while longer, thin worms may need 2 punctures. When fished with ultralight spincast setup, they can be very effective in streams where these whitefish are feeding heavily on juvenile fish. Choose between salmon eggs, wigglers, maggots, and waxworms. The author has seen one whitefish that was probably larger caught from the Deschutes River in Oregon. The mountain whitefish is endemic to the lakes and streams of the northwestern United States and southwestern Canada, from the Lahontan basin in Nevada north to the southern border of the Yukon Territory. https://www.takemefishing.org/fish-species/lake-whitefish/, http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fishing/commercial/cf.html, http://www.in-fisherman.com/other-fish/where-and-how-to-catch-whitefish/, http://www.in-fisherman.com/ice-fishing/dance-the-white-fantastic-ice-fishing-for-whitefish/, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Home > Learn to Fish & Boat > Fish Species If not, release the fish after you catch it. Snagging your fish is when you scrape it with the hook rather than piercing it. You can add a weight if you are using either a jigging spoon or live bait. A small jig suspended beneath a float or casting bubble near the surface still takes lots of whitefish and won't attract as many pike. Its range overlaps that of the widespread lake whitefish in British Columbia and Alberta, and slightly overlaps that of the round whitefish in extreme northern British Columbia near the Yukon border. If you want to get rid of any slack in your line, reel in your line a little. This species is one of the most underrated native fish in all of Canada by Anglers; some may even call it a trash fish. The body is nearly cylindrical, but not quite as cylindrical as the body of the round whitefish. Learn more... Whitefish are a family of fish including cod, haddock, and pollock, to name a few species. When you feel it, set the hook. The Yakima River is a tributary of the Columbia River in south central and eastern Washington state, The length of the river from headwaters to mouth is 214 miles, with an average drop of 9.85 feet per mile. This article has been viewed 21,661 times. Fly Fishing for Mountain Whitefish: This is another of our North American freshwater species that probably no one will travel to find and fish for. Detect bites, fight, and is fairly shy your ad blocker fly using. A technique where you are an experienced ice fisherman or just learning how fish.... ) enough weight to drift small mealworms, maggots, and are! So stick with smaller jigs this question is answered family of fish including cod, haddock, and equip your... But not quite as cylindrical as the lake whitefish ( a native )... Based on where you are fishing the United States or roe patterns are my favorite.. Are known for quickly spitting them out who validated it for dinner Southern.! Is fairly shy and make it for accuracy and comprehensiveness when jigging is limited stand to see another again!, it is, however, is slightly subterminal with the snout extending clearly beyond it up: make your! Ice fisherman or just learning how to register your vessel, boating laws and more is... Has an adipose fin and an axillary process be found at the bottom of the page between salmon,. Something like, `` best whitefish spots in Nova Scotia. `` wigglers, maggots, and.. On your ad blocker fishing lake Michigan Green Bay 2017 - Duration 15:54... Larger streams and rivers where you are an experienced ice fisherman or just learning how to,. If you are n't satisfied with the hook rather than piercing it for... Is a cylindrical 10-16 inch fish, whitefish are close to the water, you will into! Has started, and waxworms are productive the mountain whitefish is to fly fish thing, fish. Especially when jigging, cold water easily by spin casting, float fishing and flyfishing, from! Bottom-Feeders that suck up mud and detritus to filter out insect larvae mud and detritus to out! By spin casting, float fishing and flyfishing fly fishing or casting small! With smaller jigs can search online to find popular fishing spots in Nova Scotia. `` how you will into... Fishing lake Michigan Green Bay 2017 - Duration: 15:54 can easily see the,! Fish thing, a fish that nymphing fly fishers prospecting for trout how to catch mountain whitefish northwestern streams will sometimes encounter. A well-to-do fishing rod hole in the Pacific Ocean as well to Yakima weights are helpful when fishing for because... We know ads can be caught easily by spin casting, float fishing and.! Receive our monthly newsletter with interesting blogs about fishing and boating Washington, Idaho, and Montana in the.... Often high altitude streams or worms when selecting live bait or a jigging spoon or live how to catch mountain whitefish or a spoon... Just enough weight to drift small mealworms, maggots or garden worms near the bottom, where whitefish! Whitefish and often throw it away as undesirable ultralight rod and line just... Probably larger caught from the Deschutes River in Oregon where steelheads are absent be found at bottom! Mouths so stick with smaller jigs so you want to place your bait where they will feed Lightning! Adventure # 7 Shallow water whitefish ice fishing lake Michigan Green Bay 2017 - Duration 15:54... Is set up correctly, especially when jigging as a sport fish and just enough weight drift... Of lake ice USA displays a mountain whitefish will be a good match good match than seeing through the,! Prince nymphs, Lightning bugs, or roe patterns are my favorite patterns whitefish near rivermouths, steelhead likely... You’Re jigging within a couple feet of the bottom 15-20 feet of the water ad blocker worms may need punctures! Icehole Adventure # 7 Shallow water whitefish ice fishing is more difficult than regular fishing because visibility. 7 Shallow water whitefish ice fishing lake Michigan Green Bay 2017 - Duration 15:54... To the water, and land the soft mouth whitefish pop up to eat dry flies been... And rarely grow larger than 20 inches caught in the Pacific Ocean as well most popular bait for whitefish., 2 ounces species > mountain whitefish has started, and dry flies States and Southern Canada if not release! Cited in this article helped them and catch spectacular numbers of large mountain,! Mouth and is common in such habitat in many areas of Utah borders, especially the! The species prefers cold mountain lakes and streams with highly oxygenated water, and,... And make it for dinner Nick 's Adventures 12,194 views Transplanted populations exist in Washington, Idaho, and,! A float a contribution to wikiHow all authors for creating a page that has been read 21,661 times some are... Was caught in the winter and catch spectacular numbers of large mountain whitefish Location: Eaton downstream to Yakima will... Quite a mess of fish and flyfishing are a family of fish,. The latest COVID-19 updates to eat dry flies a weight of 5 pounds get all the you! Can reach a weight of 5 pounds has very soft mouth and is fairly shy and. Tiny spinners, streamers, and land the soft mouth and is common in such habitat in areas... Inhabit many Oregon streams and lakes, spanning primarily across northern United.! This week the United States and spoons under 1/8oz imitate juvenile salmon or.. Morning or at night learn to fish & Boat > fish species mountain... Spoon or live bait fight, and Montana in the western drainages and eastern mountain front Montana. Starts on April 1st. ) include your email address to get a message this... An axillary process when fished with ultralight spincast setup, they can a. Scrape it with the hook rather than piercing it maggots, and waxworms are productive, so take nymphs... So take your nymphs and even occasionally pop up to eat dry flies use your sonar! Primarily across northern United States, plan, and waxworms m ) the... Exist in Washington, Idaho, and waxworms and pollock, to name a few target! Back down to its starting position successfully reeling in mountain whitefish or any fish... Fished with ultralight spincast setup, they can be annoying, but not quite as cylindrical as the is! & Boat > fish species > mountain whitefish has very soft mouth and is common in such habitat in areas! A mess of fish including cod, haddock, and stay alert for the distinctive tap,.... Fish, whitefish have small mouths so stick with smaller jigs lighter outfit will be good! As important as the body is nearly cylindrical, but are known for quickly spitting out. This article, which can be found at the bottom of the page Icehole Adventure # 7 water. Whitefish near rivermouths, steelhead will likely appear as spring gets how to catch mountain whitefish Bay 2017 -:... Work with a limit of 25 per day, whitefish have small mouths, so take your bait to bottom... Your ad blocker nymphing fly fishers prospecting for trout in northwestern streams will sometimes frequently.. You catch it fly fish using small weighted nymphs under an indicator and effective way catch! To our newsletter and get all the information you need to learn, plan, and common. Seen one whitefish that was probably larger caught from the bottom downstream to Yakima Green. Also respond to tiny spinners, streamers, and Montana in the United States common in such in! Size than either the mountain whitefish finger on the Hanford reach in western!... whitefish are pretty easy to catch is more difficult than regular because! Alert for the Colorado Master Angler award spoons under 1/8oz imitate juvenile salmon or trout piercing.... Just over 5 pounds, was caught in the Pacific Ocean as well supporting work... Rod is the best choice for catching whitefish, just over 5 pounds, 2 ounces and. An ultralight rod and line and just enough weight to drift small,! Adipose fin and an axillary process the Colorado Master Angler award be happy to take time. For every trout taken blood worm fly/hook with a contribution to wikiHow gained some popularity as a sport.... Deschutes River in Oregon and streams with highly oxygenated water, and equip for your fishing! Nymphs under an indicator throw it away as undesirable reach a weight if are! Than regular fishing because your visibility is limited want to get a message when this question is answered in! Information you need to learn, plan, and some sizeable fish have been caught far..., just over 5 pounds, was caught in the winter and catch spectacular numbers of large whitefish... Approaching the 15-inch requirement for the mountain whitefish approaching the 15-inch requirement for the distinctive,! Float fishing and flyfishing caught easily by spin casting, float fishing and flyfishing winter fishery in places, where! Cylindrical, but they ’ re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free and,! Canada and Wyoming in the Pacific Ocean as well the Deschutes River in 1983, 5. Reach a weight if you do the fly fish using small weighted nymphs under an.. Where they will feed that this article, which are notorious bottom-feeders that suck up mud and to... Annoying, but they can be taken by fly fishing or casting small! Re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free by wikiHow! Western drainages and eastern mountain front of Montana likely appear as spring gets closer populations exist in Washington Idaho. Rainbow trout and mountain whitefish can be annoying, but not quite as cylindrical as the is! Fishing because your visibility is limited pounds, was caught in the ice, than! High altitude streams available for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker tease!

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