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Archive of 2013 reports
from "The White Lake Fisherman"

February Report

Targeting panfish when there's lots of ice: Fishing for panfish can become quite difficult at certain points during the winter, particularly when ice and snow are at their thickest. Thick ice and snow hinder fish habitat as a result of decaying vegetation and low oxygen levels, which result in changes to the food cycle.

There are a few things you can do to overcome these obstacles:
    1. Look for areas on your chosen water body that have new ice, allowing for more light to penetrate.
    2. Search for areas where the wind has blown the snow off, as opposed to heavily snowed areas.
    3. Consider finding a new water body to fish, particularly one that is larger and deeper, and likely to have frozen later than other lakes.

Just focusing on the location you chose to fish can help your panfish outing be that much better!

What you need to know to catch walleyes this winter: Many anglers love to target walleyes during open water fishing, but they're leery to target them once ice arrives. But fishing for walleyes in the winter can be just as fun, if you follow some of the tips below!

Where to fish: When ice is new plant yourself on top of shallow shelves that have sharp drop-off points. Then, as the ice thickens, head to deeper water but still stick close to those drop-off locations. You might also want to find places with structure that appeal to schools of bait fish.

When to fish: Since walleyes are fairly photosensitive, the best time to target them is during periods of low-light. That means cloudy days will probably be perfect for an all-day trip, or sunrise and sunset work great as well.

How to fish: Consider jigging for this species very close to the bottom with a good lure or a nice minnow or two.

I was ice fishing yesterday on the northern end of the south part of White Lake. I fished 12' to 21' of water. We marked a number of fish, but 4 hours of fishing did not result in one bite or strike. The cold water and lack of oxygen make the fish very slow. Result: another bust of success. Better luck tomorrow.

The White Lake Fisherman


April Report

The ice is finally gone on White Lake. March provided quite a challenge for anyone who ventured onto our lake, since the ice was questionable at best, and most catch reports were not too exciting. But spring is finally here, and the lake is open and ready for a new season. April is not open for game fishing except for perch and pan fish, so be aware if you venture out. Also, you will need a Michigan fishing license as of April 1st.

I have a major announcement: there will be a 2nd Annual White Lake Citizens League Fishing Tournament again this year. The date is Saturday June 8th. We will be meeting at the White Lake Inn starting at 6:00 am for registration of all boats that will be participating in the event. Each boat will get a yellow WLCL flag for the event, to identify that they are in the tournament. The tournament will start promptly at 7:00 am. The final weigh in time is 1:00 pm back at the White Lake Inn.

Cash prizes and trophies will be awarded for the biggest fish, best catch of three fish, and the biggest walleye or northern pike caught. A flyer will be posted at some of the businesses around White Lake, and details will be on the website. There must be at least one resident of White Lake on each boat to participate (White Lake or Highland Township). June 8th is is part of a Michigan Free Fishing Weekend, so a Michigan fishing license is NOT required to fish in the tournament! More information is forthcoming in my next newsletter.

Good Fishing.

The White Lake Fisherman


May Report

The 2nd Annual WLCL Fishing Tournament is Saturday, June 8th. All of the rules are available below. Good luck!

White Lake Fishing Tournament
Rules and Regulations

  1. Tournament is open to all species of fish
  2. All fish caught must be caught in White Lake, Oakland County, Michigan
  3. All fish catching methods are acceptable
  4. All fishermen must abide by MDNR regulations for licenses*, fish size, and boating safety
  5. Only fish caught between the time of 7:00 am - 1:00 pm Saturday June 8, 2013 are eligible for prize entry
  6. Fish must be live for measurement if possible
  7. There is no limit to the number of fishermen per boat, however the boat owner must be a resident on White Lake
  8. Combined weight of 3 largest fish per boat only for prizes regardless of the number of fish caught
  9. Tournament starts at 7:00 am (with air horn sound)
  10. Tournament ends at 1:00 pm at the docks of the White Lake Inn (with air horn sound)
  11. Tournament registration will be from 6:00-6:55 am at the White Lake Inn
  12. Registration tournament entry cost is $25.00 per boat (cash only)
  13. Each registered boat will receive a YELLOW WLCL FLAG that MUST be displayed to help identify the boats in the tournament
  14. The tournament director reserves the right to inspect any boat for fish prior to tournament
  15. Prizes will be awarded for the following catagories: Largest one fish, largest combined weight of 3 fish or less per boat (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place prizes)
  16. Special prize: Largest walleye
  17. Tie breaker is overall length of largest fish
  18. The YELLOW WLCL FLAG must be returned upon fish weigh in
  19. $5.00 of each registration is for tournament expenses
  20. Tournament Director: The White Lake Fisherman

*NOTE: This is is part of a Michigan Free Fishing Weekend, so a Michigan fishing license is NOT required to fish in the tournament!

The White Lake Fisherman






May 4 - July 7, 2013

CABELAS'S has planted specially tagged fish that can be worth $1 million dollars in lakes across the country. White Lake in Oakland County was picked as one of only 3 lakes in Michigan! This is just great, and is a tribute to the fishing quality of our lake.

Eligible Species of Freshwater Fish include: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Spotted Bass, White Bass, Black Bass, Walleye, Perch, Cutthroat Trout, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Lake Trout, Striped Bass (Striper), Wiper, Crappie, Blue Gill, Panfish, Channel Cat, Muskie, and Northern Pike.

Visit the special Cabella's website for all of the details and contest rules. Good luck!

The White Lake Fisherman


June Report

Here are the final results from the June 8th White Lake Fishing Tournament:

BEST CATCH of 3 fish
1st Place7.0 lbs - Rob Walkerdine and P.J. St. George
2nd Place5.6 lbs - Marcie, Tom, Alex and Paul Carline (family)
3rd Place5.2 lbs - Kyle Selakowski, Jason, Giles, and Erin Clark and Eddie Hanselman

1st Place21" Walleye - Rob Walkerdine and P.J. St. George
2nd Place18" Large Mouth Bass - Kyle Selakowski, Jason, Giles, and Erin Clark and Eddie Hanselman
3rd Place18" Large Mouth Bass - Marcie, Tom, Alex and Paul Carline (family)

1st Place21" Walleye - Rob Walkerdine and P.J. St. George

Saturday June 8th could not have been a more picture perfect day for fishing White Lake. The weather was just great - low 60's temperatures in the morning with low 70's in the later part of the tournament. The sky was overcast with clouds, but the sun peaked in and out at will. The water temperature was in the upper 60's and the fish were biting.

Personally, my boat used the trolling method with lures and crawler harnesses. We got 3 nice keepers but only good enough for 4th place (5 lbs of fish). We caught 7 nice fish in all, but 3 were pike and undersize. Note, I caught a 25" pike last Thursday on a practice trip, but hey it was practice and not the tournament. It would have been the tournament winner. Oh well, that is fishing.

There were 12 boats entered in the tournament, and from the feedback I received, everyone had a great time. I would like thank the White Lake Citizens League for their sponsorship of the tournament, and the White Lake Inn for the use of their docks. Their support makes this event possible.

See pictures from the tournament on our Facebook page by clicking here

The White Lake Fisherman


July Report

I am sure you are aware that the deadline is quickly approaching for Cabalas Fishing Contest and the $1,000,000 tagged fish in our lake. July 7th is the last day of the contest. The species of this fish is unknown, but one can assure you that it is a legal size fish. My guess is that it is a walleye, northern pike, or a large mouth bass.

On another note, I have noted that there are professional fishermen on our lake trying their luck in catching this fish. Hey, a million dollars and other significant prizes are a big deal. Professional fishermen know this and would love to get the media attention and to please their sponsors. I have noted that they are fishing late into the evenings and in the dark. Go for it!

Below are some pictures of some nice fish that have been caught recently - but no tag. Either fish would have won our fishing tournament earlier this month.

Fish Fish

The White Lake Fisherman


August Report

Fishing for bass is fun at night! With summer in full swing and temperatures frequently reaching their peaks, fish can become quite lethargic. No need to fret! For certain species, such as bass, you just might want to tweak the time of day you set out to target them. 

Some of the best bass fishing this time of year occurs during the first hour or so after dark. Dusk and dawn can still produce fish, but that first hour or two after dark can be exceptional.

After dark, bass tend to move shallow in search of an easy meal. Target them near the same areas you would during other times of the day, while also casting and targeting the shallows. You'll definitely want to also change your technique. Since after dark you can't see the weed line or other underwater structures, fishing subsurface lures is not recommended. It is time for surface presentations. After the cast, work them aggressively with a jerking motion, making sure they pop and gurgle across the surface of the water during your retrieve. Pay close attention during the retrieve, watching and listening for the strike which can be explosive.

If you're feeling adventurous, get on the water at 10:00 pm and fish the shallows for bass until midnight or 1:00 am. The results can be spectacular!

Fishing with crankbaits: Many anglers love to fish with crankbaits (also known as plugs), a type of hard-bodied fishing lure. Below are some criteria to think about when selecting a crankbait:

Body Shape:Fat-bodied crankbaits that are shorter will displace more water and create more vibration. Many anglers prefer this type of crankbait when fishing in dark water or at night. Thin-profile crankbaits glide through the water with minimal resistance. This option is great when fishing clear water and targeting species that are sight feeders.

Buoyancy: Crankbaits with less buoyancy are better suited for water with minimal cover and clean bottoms, while those with more buoyancy are better for fishing around cover.

Crankbaits can be a great lure option when targeting walleyes, bass or muskellunge (among other species). Consider trying one out during your next fishing trip!

Good Fishing.

The White Lake Fisherman


September Report

September is truly PRIME time for fishing our lake. Yesterday, September 3rd, proved this for me again. My fishing buddy and I went out on our lake and just cleaned up on fish. 10 northern pike and 3 bass was our count. We caught a fish just about every pass. The water is still warm (about 77 degrees surface temperature) and the mornings are cool. The lake is getting ready for the fall turnover, when the water temperature will change things - until then have fun.

This has been an exceptional year on the lake for fishing. The weed growth has been well managed and we have not choked off the fish habitat. My compliments to Bob Pisoni and the weed control team for a job well done! I suggest you take some time and enjoy the fishing. Live bait appears to be the best lure right now, but the hard lures work too. Have fun.

Buying minnows for your next fishing trip: Minnows are a popular bait option for many anglers, but do you know the difference between the various species? Understanding these differences can help you excel during your next fishing adventure!

Fathead: These minnows are usually one to three inches long and are available all year long. In particular, fatheads are great for targeting yellow perch in the fall and are considered excellent walleye bait as well.

Golden Shiner: These minnows are usually around three inches long and are effective during winter, spring and fall months. Many anglers use these minnows for targeting walleye.

Spottail Shiner: These minnows are usually between two and a half and three inches long and have a limited availability, usually during the spring. These minnows are great when walleye fishing.

Sucker Minnow: These minnows are usually between three to four inches, but they can grow to nearly a foot long. They're available at all times during the year and are considered a top bait choice for northern pike in the summer.

The White Lake Fisherman


November Report

The beginning of October was a banner start for those who tried fishing our lake on a cloudy overcast day. Following 2+ weeks of Indian Summer of warm temperatures and blue sky causing the fish activity to drop off to almost nothing for most fishermen. The weeds are down. The lake level is down and rainfall is half of what normal is. These variables contribute to the fish activities. (Darn it.) The lake has turned over for temperature and the fish will be scattered now, although the edge of weed beds should still work in the big lake.

The canals are basically done now and the fish have moved out until the water warms again in the spring. Most people like myself are preparing to remove their boats and winterize. Now don't get me wrong. Fishing can still be productive if you want to brave the elements and you can pick your day. Good luck.

Here is an article I thought you may enjoy:

What to do when you're looking for crappie in the fall

This time of year can bring some of the best results when it comes to fishing for crappie. Want to target these panfish when you head out in the coming days or weeks?

These fish often stay in deeper water longer than other panfish - and they also tend to move around more as they target large schools of baitfish. If you use baits that imitate a crappie's food of choice you'll be more likely to find them.

Keep in mind that crappies will get less and less active as the water cools off and they slow down. You'll then want to slow your presentation and offer smaller baits to keep seeing success.

The White Lake Fisherman


December Report

The cold weather has arrived here on White Lake. Damn cold now. The ice is safe for walking, and snowmobiles should be appearing soon. Get your ice shanty ready and let's fish. I have added some great info to help with your winter fishing.

Equipment: You'll need some special equipment if you head out ice fishing. Take stock of your spud/auger, skimmer, shelter, and apparel to have an enjoyable experience out on the water.

Techniques: Pick your preferred ice fishing technique and the species you wish to target and brush up on your skills - whether that is hook-and-line fishing for bluegill, sunfish, perch or crappie; using tip-ups for northern pike, walleye or trout; or spearing for northern pike, muskellunge or sturgeon.

Safety: You should always stay safe when heading on the ice. These five tips can help: 1) Never fish alone; 2) Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return; 3) Always test the ice with a spud; 4) Take the appropriate emergency items, such as a lifejacket and ice picks; and 5) Take a cell phone with you in case you need to call for help. Keep it in a plastic, sealable bag to make sure it doesn't get wet.

Walleye: Early-ice walleyes are known to be active and aggressive. Use tip-ups at varying depths around the lake (anywhere from 15 to 35 feet deep) to appeal to this species. Regardless of the depth, always set the live minnow under the tip-up to swim 12 to 15 inches off the bottom.

Crappie: Consider using plastic bait, rather than live bait, when fishing for crappie. Focus on weed lines to find them. A lot of times crappie will hang out in the middle of the water column, half-way between the ice and bottom.

Northern Pike: You'll find these aggressive fish near off-shore structures and weed lines, so try these types of spots on your favorite pike lakes first.

Yellow Perch: Attract bigger perch by using tip-ups with minnows, that's what they're primarily eating this time of year. Sticking a minnow on an ice fishing rod is also very productive.

Happy Holidays!

The White Lake Fisherman


for more information e-mail
communication@wlcl.org (Bob Parrett)
president@wlcl.org (Bill Maine)
weeds@wlcl.org (Frank Dyson)
White Lake Citizens League
P.O. Box 851
Highland, MI 48356

Copyright © 2019 Robert Parrett, All rights reserved