Ol Grey

Sunday, January 7, 2018
Whitefish, Lake

Holy crap I caught a Lake Whitefish!

I've made way more attempts for this species than I really would care to admit. I tried a Lake that I've had my eye on for quite some time yesterday for the first time, located on the Ice Planet Hoth. Per usual, I had Shovelnoser47 with. We  made a LONG walk to a promising looking area of the lake where it goes from 7 to 50 feet pretty sharply. We drilled approximately ten million holes until we found a tasty looking weed line right on top of the break in about 7 feet of water. Admitedly, my hopes weren't super high, I was expecting to maybe see a few and hopefully get one to bite. But not even 20 minutes into our day and Sam and I saw a really huge Whitefish lapping between our holes and then it actually bit my spoon! I set the hook into pure disappointment as the treble somehow failed to connect in the Whitefishes mouth. That was so upsetting at the time, what if that was my only chance? 

But those worries were muffled when another, if smaller Whitefish came through about 10 minutes later. This one was less aggressive though and only sniffed the waxies on my spoon before moving on. That scenario repeated itself several times and we saw quite a few Whitefish swim by between 9 and 10:30 AM. But then it was VERY slow for several hours. I only caught a couple young Yellow Perch as my first fish of 2018. Yay. Sometime around 1:30 PM I saw a fish barely poking its head into my field of vision. It then revealed itself to be a Pike, eyeing up my spoon, fluttering her pectoral fins for a few moments before swimming away. Only a minute or two later, I see a fish come charging through my hole in full crazy batshit insane kamikaze mode as it crushes my poor spoon. I barely had time to react so for a split second I though "that Pike must have come back!" But upon setting the hook I saw a flash of silver and a tall, forked grey tail. 

Panic mode. 

It was a short but hard fight. Once I had the fish in the hole I struggled pretty mightily with getting a good grip on it to get her on the happy side of the ice. But finally I got her topside and I finally, FINALLY had my lifer Lake Whitefish. I have targeted them in very deep water, very shallow water, huge expansive lakes, and small bays, and even during their spawning runs on the Upper Mississippi River, but never scored even a bite. So seeing this fish go as crazy as it did for my spoon felt a bit weird. But it sure felt nice. After a couple photos I sent her back to keep being weird and mysterious. 

And there was much rejoicing. 


Dr Flathead's picture

Congrats man!  I put in many trips and saw a bunch of sniffers and lurkers just like you.  So I totally know how you felt and can really relate to your experiences.  Not much compares to the awesome feeling of a hard earned lifer!

Hengelaar's picture

Right on, my big dude.

Man, you fellers earned that one. That's gotta feel good.


Fishn sure is neat

FP4LifesDad's picture

Congrats buddy, glad you pegged a White!  Awesome!

Goldenfishberg's picture

Now I understand why you sent me the picture that says "your mom says Hi" Great catch,  great tale great angling and a great photo. So handsome in your ice armor bibs. Congrats on your whitfisk buddy I can't wait to get my jolly ass up there and tangle with some! And Tell Sam he takes a real nice photo! 

Ya just Can't catch um from the couch.

Hengelaar's picture

Wait, he told me he caught it for my mom.

How many angles you playin here, Erb?!

Fishn sure is neat

roughfish29's picture

I plead the 5th. But then again you wouldn't know anything about the 5th would you, ya dirty foreigner.

Mike B's picture

Yeah! You beat the assholes of the deep.

mike b

Shovelnoser47's picture

All I can add to this is that until you've seen the Erb-reaction of pure joy when he first lays his adrenaline-shooken hands onto a Lake Whitey, you ain't seen nothin yet. Smiles, fist-bumps, and Coregonid slime was the theme that day and I would have never expected it to go as such. Great story man. Couldn't have said it any better meself! Years of trial and error got me that photo.. appreciate it Goldenfishberg!

I love getting out and enjoying some time on all rivers of Minnesota whether its to soak a gnarly bullhead all night for flats, or throwing a barrage of jigs at Pink Salmon, I love all types of fishing and can't wait to learn more and catch em' all.

andy's picture

Big congratulations on icing a lake whitefish.  That's a major accomplishment!  I must admit that secretly I smile when I hear about folks struggling to catch one.  It's hard in MN.  After much research I spent dozens of hours trying with Corey before I succeeded. Everybody should have their own journey to this fish of the North.  You gotta pay your dues and learn in the process.



Corey's picture

Lake Whitefish from Whitefish Lake. That's a killer catch and very hard-fought lifer! Congrats. Big beautiful fish, too.

roughfish29's picture

Thanks everyone! 


Andy I totally hear you there, seriously difficult target here in our state. To quote our very own Eli "If you're not suffering a little bit, you're not really after Whitefish."


Corey, I've tried Whitefish Lake a handful of time but never could find any there. This was actually on a different lake system a ways further north.

Corey's picture

Cooler yet! Somehow got into my head it was whitefish.

Eli's picture

Good show!