Mastering Whitefish Fishing in Green Bay: A Guide to Goby-powered Success

Captain Zach Fishing with some friends putting a hammering on the whitefish in Door County

Welcome to the world of whitefish fishing, where the thrill of the catch meets the beauty of Green Bay in Door County, Wisconsin. If you're ready to dive into the secrets of reeling in these prized fish, you've come to the right place.

Why target catching whitefish?

Captain Zach Fishing with a Green Bay Whitefish

Whitefish used to be viewed like carp and sheepshead in the early 2000's. No one wanted to catch them, especially keep them. Whitefish have bones similar to a Northern pike and can be very difficult to clean. They are also very slimey, and if they freeze the meat can turn soft. So why has it become so popular to fish them?

In Wisconsin, the limit for whitefish is 10 fish per person, so you can put allot of fish on the ice. There are also tons of whitefish in the lake, and they cover a very wide area. When ice moves in, you can catch them nearly anywhere in Green Bay, however there are certain areas that hold more fish. 

My favorite part about catching whitefish is the technique and skill required to catch them. It can be difficult when first learning, until you find the right lures and techniques. A bonus is catching these fish in 80 feet of water. That is allot of time fighting them to get into the hole, compare to catching bluegill in 6 feet of water!

Where to Find Whitefish:

Whitefish love the company of trout, making lakes with trout populations their preferred habitats. Seek out rocky bottoms and areas abundant in shells, as these are the hunting grounds of the whitefish, who follow the delectable gobies in search of their next meal.You can search anywhere from 5 feet of water, to 100 feet+. Again, you are looking for a rocky bottom. A sonar with GPS and maps, or the use of a tool like Navionics can be very useful for this. 

What Whitefish Feed On:

The whitefish diet revolves around one particular delicacy - the goby. These small fish diligently pick at shells and navigate the rocky lake bottom in pursuit of food, drawing the attention of whitefish in the process. They are actually an invasive species, but that has had benefits to whitefish because they have such a great food source. 

Fishing Techniques:

Traditionally, anglers swear by the gold tungsten jig with a slider, gold hammered swedish pimple, jigging rap, and other tackle, enticing whitefish with a waxworm. Because most of those baits have a treble hook on the bottom, you will commonly snag clams on the bottom ruining your presentation, and they do not represent a Goby well. Anew wave of fishing enthusiasts is opting for a simpler approach. We have seen great success catching more fish, and larger fish by skipping the slider hook and using a weight forward jig like the Baddboyz jig in a BB1 or BB2 size tipped with a 2" Micro Goby. The whitefish go crazy for these things. All you have to do is pound it around 1-2 inches off the bottom returning it to the bottom each time. When you feel any change in consistency in the line, set the hook and reel in your fish! 

What kind of rod, reel, and line do I use for targeting whitefish?

How to setup for whitefish through ice

I use a 30" walleye rod with a medium weight. That is stiff enough that you can feel the jig on the bottom and when a fish bites. I pair that with 8lb braided ice line. This is because it doesn't stretch, but also doesn't have the curling/twisting issues of fluorocarbon line. (No mono, we don't want stretch in the line or you can't feel when fishing deep).I also included in my diagram a setup with a slider and without. 

1. No Slider: For this setup, you will want to add 2-4 feet of 10lb fluorocarbon line before adding your BaddBoyz jig. This is because the line is clear, and much harder for whitefish to see than braid. Then tie on your BaddBoyz jig and add a micro 2" goby and you will be set! 

2. With Slider: You will want to string a hook on your line, (make sure the hook faces up the line), followed by a swivel. Then add 1 foot of fluorocarbon line. Tip the hook with a waxworm and you will catch some fish on that. I tend to have more consistent catches without the slider, but feel free to experiment! After the leader, add your BaddBoyz jig and add a micro 2" goby and you

Tips for Success:

Mastering the art of jigging is key. Swift, deliberate movements mimic the goby's movements, attracting whitefish with every motion. Choosing a weight-forward jig not only enhances the imitation but also minimizes the risk of snagging, especially crucial when dealing with thick ice.

Get the best tackle so you are ready to catch Whitefish!

Magz BaddBoyz and Goby Size Comparisons

Ready to elevate your whitefish fishing game? Look no further than Baddboyz lures and Goby plastics. Don't miss the chance to bring home your next trophy catch.

Armed with the knowledge of whitefish habitats, diets, and the latest fishing techniques, you're well on your way to becoming a whitefish aficionado. Head to Green Bay, armed with Baddboyz lures and Goby plastics, and let the adventure begin. Happy fishing!


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