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Tulibee, how do you fish for them?

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What is the best way to approach them. Deep water, sharp breaklines to deepwater, islands that are surrounded by deepwater. Bait, lures time of day?

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I'm no expert, but I've caught many over time. I typically catch them in relatively deep water at the basin of a dropoff (typically steep now that I think about it). I am usually fishing for walleyes, and I always have a small rig geared up and within reach for when I see suspended fish come through. Sometimes crappies (depending on the body of water I'm on) but normally tullies. They are a blast to catch. In fact, a number of years ago, I had my brother out on Winnie perching, and it was one of those 60+ degree days in late March. At the time he didn't ice-fish or have any intention of getting into it. We started with the perch, but then got into the tulibees and his small kids were there too. We probably caught 30 of them in a few hours, and the next year at the ice-fishing show in St. Paul, he was fully setup and is now an avid ice-angler.

Typically a genz worm or fat boy with waxies or gulp.

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Tullies cruise around eating bugs and plankton for the most part. I have only caught them in the daylight about half hour after sunrise to sunset. I use a hali with the chain almost exclusively so I can move through the water column fast. Tipped with spike, waxie, gulp or minnow chunk. Jig fairly aggressive to attract them once attracted determine if they are will to bite by raising your jig 6 inches or so and fish much like a crappie. They will bite finicky or aggressively same as any fish. I have seen them just under the ice hitting my bait with closed mouths and making my spike lose chunks then the others would eat the chunks falling. Once you find them they are a blast to catch. If you search on youtube I have a video taken with my digital camera of my father jigging one up. Sometimes it is easier to see it done than explain.

Aaron

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I would try anything you use for panfish. The ones that i have caught this year were on small buckshots and small forage minnow pimps. I tip them with waxies or gulp alive on all three hooks of the treble. the ones i ran into would only hit loaded with bait. Man they are fun to catch. And they zoom up and down in the water column, had some start on bottom and follow half way up in 60' of water. They are fun to catch.

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I was taught to take a big spoon type. take off the treble and tie a 12 inch dropper with a teardrop attatched. tip with a waxworm.. jig with long strokes. the spoon flashing looks like tullibees feeding and attracts other tulibees. They see the teardrop and waxie and kinda just suck it in

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Droppers are fantastic for tulibee's, and with how deep they sometimes are, and with how fast they come and go through your cone, the spoon helps you move up and down after the quick little buggers!

Steep breaks or in the main basin itself are great spots. We've been doing well on them this year anywhere from 2-50 feet off the bottom in 55' of water. I've had them chase from 50 feet down all the way up into sight fishing distance. When I get a chaser who's willing to dance I'll run him up and down the water column until he strikes. The less you move, the less interested they seem!

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I'm going on friday. Was wondering if you were on mille lacs. That is where i am going for my b-day. I have never fished mille lacs for tulibees before. Heard about tulibee hole. and center or greg flat.

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Tullibees and whitefish have finished their spawn. You will find them near their spawning areas(sandy humps and points) off the steepest breaks over the deepest water that is soft(mud) feeding on insect larvae as Matt said. I use waxies on the smallest spoon or on a small pan fish jig. I have also had them shoot up some 30ft to hit my lure.

Start out on or near the bottom and keep working up until a line appears. Pull your bait up as the fish comes up after you. The higher you can bring them, the more aggressive they become. If you can get a couple lines then the competition thing kicks in and you're good to go.

Also a very lite rod helps as the whitefish I caught this weekend I never felt bite. I would just see the rod tip move ever so lightly and set the hook.

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once you catch one see if it burps out some "wigglers"(mayfly larva) if not there will be some in their stomach. slice the stomach and put the larva in water and soon you will see some live ones if your lucky. they swim just like a leech.hook one gently and drop down. usually they cant resist cause thats what their feeding on. otherwise i use a small ratso to be more quick with the dropper style a foot or 2 above. tis time for the tullies! grin

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Thanks for all the info I have caught a couple the last few days still have not found a big concentration of them. They are a blast to catch.

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I've caught a lot of them out from Libeks on Mille Lacs on the place called the Tulibee Hole. My favorite lure is a willow leaf spinner blade with a six inch dropper hook, baited with a wax worm. Use a #6 or 8 dropper hook. Have a flashy spinner blade and the dropper hooks I use have a small bit of floatation to make them sink slowly. Twitch them a couple of times, then raise the about 18 inches and let them set back on the bobber. When the bobber moves, set the hook and hang on. They're fighting fools.

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it has been bad everywhere there slow and finicky they dont want to chase must be to much snow on the ice in the last week i have been to many lakes in the pelcan and fergus falls area. but i had cauht one that the belly was full of mayfly laurva

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I caught the junk out of Tulibees on LOTW this weekend using a Chubby Darter. They also ate minnows and jigging spoons. I have 3 in the freezer for smoking right now, two were 16-17" and the other was 14". The little guy though musta been hit by a muskie or big gator cause he had one heck of a gouge on his back near the head.

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We were catching them on Winnie a couple weeks ago. Over 40 feet of water, they would come in suspended anywhere between 23' and 35'.

Like others have said, a jig that you can move quickly through the water column tp their level when you see them come through works the best. We couldn't get them to hit minnows...just maggots and waxies.

We found that if you moved your lure up to get it to the fish's range, they would hit it...if the fish was below your lure and you moved it down, you could spook them away. In that case, let the jig drop quickly below the fish and bring it back up slowly to the right depth. That worked...

Three of us would catch a couple dozen each in the course of a day. Lots of tulibee for the smoker this spring...

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I will usually use a forage minnow or buckshot tipped with some euros. I'm heading up north this weekend for some of them. Man are they tasty when smoked!

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