Cisco (tullibee)

The Cisco (Tullibee) is a type of predator fish species and is considered a common member of the famous whitefish family.

The Tullibee fish species are primarily targeted during hard water periods. They are known to be a challenging species with fast & erratic encounters.


Tullibees have a long and slender body shape paired with a forked tail. Their coloration is composed of a grayish top area while the belly and middle areas are white and silver, respectively.

Their fins are entirely translucent, and at times the Cisco (Tullibee) may resemble a lake whitefish. But, it can be differentiated due to the pointed snout and protruding lower jaw of the Cisco.

Habitat and Lifestyle

As Cisco Tullibees are true pelagics that stay deep the entire year, they usually reside in deep and cold lakes. They also roam deep, open water, moving away from any structure. Thus, they feed primarily on insect larvae and plankton.

These fishes are of carnivores nature. Hence, they also feed on mayflies, crustaceans, and minnows, apart from insect larvae and planktons. They also typically stay in large schools or congregations.

Finding and Catching

This fish can be caught from an inflatable boat or kayak.

The Cisco Tullibee species occur primarily in deep and cold lake regions of North and the Great Lakes. Vast schools of Ciscos roam the depths. Hence, silty mud flats serve as a great location to detect Tullibees.

The species are more commonly caught in the open water months (June-September) as well as during the hard water months (December-April). Sinkers and ice-fishing are usually used to catch the fish.

Peak Season

The Cisco Tullibees normally spawn during fall with a large school congregating around shallow rock reefs for laying their eggs.

During this period, large schools of Tullibees are found, which sets up the perfect peak season right around wintertime.

Best Bait

Here are some of the top bait solutions while fishing for the Cisco Tullibee fish species:

  • Wax worms
  • Pickled squid
  • Gulp maggots
  • Minnow