Whitefish fishing in winter
Even in summer, not every fisherman manages to catch such a representative of salmon as whitefish, and in cold weather the task becomes much more complicated. Perhaps that is why the number of people who want to get it increases every year.
Whitefish is not a roach or a perch, everyone has been tired of them for a long time. This is the same trophy that you are not ashamed to show off to your fishing friends. But fishing for whitefish in winter, unlike fishing for other underwater inhabitants, largely depends on luck. The fact is that whitefish is an anadromous fish; it does not stay in one place for a long time. He is in constant motion, moves through the reservoir along his favorite routes and he does not care at all that the fisherman waiting for him is freezing somewhere above the hole. The difficulty of catching whitefish also lies in the fact that he is extremely careful and fearful. He regards the slightest noise as a threat and bypasses the dangerous place by the tenth road.
To successfully catch it in winter, you need to know all these nuances and act accordingly. That is, to correctly set up the tackle, first of all, to catch those areas where whitefish trails can pass, use catchy baits, and behave as quietly as possible on the ice. This is the only way to hope for a good catch, and not for the accidental capture of a couple of small individuals.
Whitefish avoids muddy and muddy areas and prefers clean, oxygenated water. In summer, this fish often rises to the middle and upper horizons, comes closer to the coast, but in winter it is better to catch it in deep water, near the outlets from the holes.
Experienced winter fishermen advise choosing places with depths of 4-5 meters. You can try your luck and deeper. In this case, bites will be rare, but the caught specimens will delight you with their size.
In winter, when the ice hides all the landmarks, it is rather difficult to determine the places of the whitefish trails on an unfamiliar paysite or open water body. We have to drill a lot of holes, make measurements, study the bottom relief. Until you find a promising point, there is no time to fish, so it is better to focus on competitors or holes left by them.
Sometimes small whitefish are well caught in the coastal zone, at a depth of no more than 2 meters. Here they look for caddis flies, bloodworms, and daphnia at the bottom. But if the purpose of fishing is to catch a trophy weighing per kilogram, then it is better to drill holes in the deep central part of the reservoir.
Upon reaching a certain age, whitefish become predators. Their diet, which previously consisted mainly of small animals, is replenished with fry. Therefore, if medium and large individuals are found in the reservoir, excellent results can be achieved with balancers and winter spoons.
Tackle for fishing whitefish in winter with a spoon does not differ much from zander. For trolling, you need a short fishing rod equipped with an open reel and a lavsan nod, as well as a certain amount of mono line (for fishing a large whitefish – 0.18-0.2 mm, for medium – 0.14-0.16). Sometimes, if the bite is too weak, it is useful to replace the standard line with a thinner one.
In recent years, fishermen are increasingly using winter spinning rods up to 50 cm long to lure whitefish off the ice. They are equipped with light free-spinning rods and a braided cord no thicker than 0.12 mm in diameter. Since the braid can scare fish away, an invisible fluorocarbon leash must be tied at its end. Of course, on frosty days it is not very convenient to use the cord, since it freezes over a lot, but when fishing at great depths, thanks to it, the tackle acquires the necessary sensitivity.
As already mentioned, lures and balancers serve as bait for such fishing.
A hungry whitefish takes on any spoon, but still it has its own preferences. The best “provocateurs” are considered to be silvery baubles of an elongated shape, outwardly resembling a small fish.
Two-tone models work well, one side of which is silver and the other is gold. The size of the bait ranges from 4-7 cm.
There is an opinion that a larger bait should be placed on a large fish, but this rule is not relevant for whitefish. It happens that a real “monster” that does not fit in the hole takes on a miniature lure. For greater attractiveness, the whitefish tee is equipped with a bright plumage – a bunch of red threads. If it has a single hook, then its forend can be decorated with colored beads or cambric.
Balancer is another effective lure for fishing whitefish from ice. As a rule, small products up to 5 cm long are used, painted in natural colors. For example, gray, silver, blue, or a combination of both. The size and weight of the balance bar are selected taking into account the fishing conditions, especially the depth.
Fishing for whitefish does not imply and even excludes high, sharp strokes of the fishing rod, as when fishing for perch or pike perch. It might scare him away. The lure is stopped 10 cm above the bottom, and then smoothly throw it up to the same height and immediately return the rod to its original position. After a 5-second pause at the bottom point, another short swing, and so on. If the fish ignores the bait in the water column, you can play with it at the bottom: stir, knock on the surface, raise a little turbidity and slowly raise it. Most often, the bite occurs at the time of stopping.
Fishing with a jig
Whitefish fishing with a jig in winter deserves special attention. The most common tackle used in such fishing is either a fishing rod with an open reel, or the so-called balalaika, in which the reel is hidden in the body. The nod is lavsan or metal. The monofilament line is used, fluorocarbon monofilament is an ideal option, since it is practically invisible in the water. To avoid disappointment fishing, the thickness of the line must be selected in accordance with the size of the fish. For small whitefish – 0.12-0.14 mm, for individuals weighing up to a kilogram – 0.16-0.18 mm.
Whitefish are caught with rather heavy dark-colored jigs. Their shape does not play a special role, it can be a drop, oatmeal, pellet or any other classic jig.
Several bloodworms, maggots, mormysh or worm are placed on the hook. With a high activity of the object of fishing, you can do without bait altogether, planting colored beads and cambric instead of it.
Any fisherman who has mastered the simple technique of wiggling with a rod will be able to catch whitefish with a jig. They begin to play with the bait in the bottom layer, periodically tapping it on the ground. If there are no bites, you should reel in a little line and play a little higher. The height is increased until the fish responds and it becomes clear in which horizon it feeds. If several individuals were pulled out of one hole, but then the bites stopped, this does not mean that the flock has left. Perhaps it sank to the very bottom or, conversely, rose higher.
Instead of a jig, fishermen often use a summer version of the rig – a sliding weight, limited by stoppers, and a hook. Necessarily sharp, capable of piercing the hard palate, otherwise there will be more rejections than successful sweeps. The rod remains the same.
After finding the flock, the main task of the fisherman is to keep it under the hole. For this, bait is used, which is fed in small portions and creates a vertical feed post in the water. For whitefish, it is much more attractive than a forage spot that has spread out at the bottom. The rate of feeding directly depends on the intensity of the bite, so the angler needs to be careful. Often you have to work with both hands: hold the fishing rod with one, and throw the bait balls into the hole with the other.
If fishing is carried out in the bottom layer, then it is better to use a winter feeder, but even in this case, it must be opened at a height of 0.5-0.7 meters above the surface in order to create a cloudy cloud.
Most often, fodder bloodworms mixed with sand or clay are used as bait. Some try to trick the predator with millet flavored with a roe-scented additive. Whitefish, of course, love to feast on caviar of other species, but he is not stupid and knows perfectly well that they do not spawn caviar in winter. That is why this method does not work everywhere.
As in any other fishing, the key to success in winter whitefish hunting is a competent approach to the choice of the place. Determining where his routes are is the first thing to do upon arrival at the pond. If there are old holes, then the task is greatly simplified, you can fish on them or drill fresh ones nearby. In the absence of bites, you will have to search for a promising area with suitable depths and bottom relief on your own.
When the working point is found, you can sit more comfortably and start fishing. Groundbait is sent first to the hole, thanks to which the fish will stay in place, and after it you can serve the bait. They begin to play with both a spoon and a jig in the bottom horizon and gradually use all layers. This determines the height at which the active signal is located. At the same time, it is important to maintain silence, not to stomp, and even more so not to talk on the phone, otherwise all efforts will be in vain.
Whitefish bite confidently, sharply, grab the bait with lightning speed and immediately rush to the depth. This is where it should be hooked. It is advisable to immediately remove the hooked handsome man from the catching zone so that he does not scare away the rest of the flock with his active actions. He will show more than decent resistance, especially when he sees daylight in the hole, so it is worth preparing a small bag in advance.