How to Fish Whitefish at Sylvan Lake in Alberta – Hot Spots, Lures/Flies/Baits, and Tips

Lake whitefish is a popular game fish, for both open water fishing and ice fishing, in Alberta and the rest of Canada. It is abundant and can be found throughout much of Canada.

Lake whitefish feeds on bottom dwelling animals such as snails and many aquatic insects as well as mayflies and midges. The fish prefers cool water (i.e., 11.9 to 17 degree Celsius or 53 to 63 degree Fahrenheit) and can be caught near shore in Spring and early summer. After the lake water warms up in the summer, the fish tend to move deeper where the water could be cooler. Many fishermen go ice fishing for Lake Whitefish as well.

Check here to see a table of preferred temperatures for a variety of fish species including walleye, trout, perch, and whitefish.

Find out more about whitefish here.

Lake whitefish can be finicky, but they are very not hard to catch. The best time to catch Lake whitefish is early morning, but they can be caught through out the day.

A simple and effective way to catch Lake Whitefish is a blood worm fly/hook with a float. 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. Whitefish has very soft mouth and is fairly shy. So, try to use 6 lb or even 4 lb monofilament fishing line or Power Pro fishing line that has equivalent diameter. Another method without using a float is to tie the lure/fly using a dropshot rig, which also worked well for me, especially when I am targeting the fish in deeper water.

Below is a picture of example blood worm flies that I tied myself using Superfly worm wires, beads and #6 and #8 hooks. They worked well at Sylvan Lake, Alberta.

Fishing lure/flies for whitefish: blood worm fly pattern
Fishing lure/flies for whitefish: blood worm fly pattern

So, now you know how to catch Lake Whitefish. Let me reveal a couple locations that are great for Whitefish fishing. I am taking Sylvan Lake as an example.

You can park your vehicle and launch your boat, kayak, canoe, or whatever via the two spots marked on the map below. In May and June when the lake water is still cool, you may be able to see Whitefish within a couple hundred meters from the boat launch. It is the best to fish on a boat, kayak, or canoe etc. to increase your coverage. But it is still doable to fish along the shore when the weather is not yet hot and the fish can be found in 1 meter to 2 meter deep water near shore.

A fish finder may be very helpful, check my post below for more information.

How To Use Fish Finders and Tips for Choosing Fish Finders

Have fun fishing 🙂