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Pike Fishing Question


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#1 FishFinder17

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Posted 25 May 2015 - 10:51 AM

Hey OFF,

 

After an early spring full of engine troubles I finally managed to launch the boat on my lake this Saturday, and got out for my first morning fish on Sunday. I put in about 4 hours from 6am-10am looking for pike and had a couple bites but only pulled in (and quickly released) one OOS bass.

 

The previous night temps got pretty low (had a frost warning in Muskoka area) and the warmest water I could find in my usual spots was 53-59F, even in 3-4 FOW. It's my understanding that pike prefer water between 65-75F (correct me if I'm wrong here) and I couldn't find those temps on my end of the lake.

 

This brings my questions - If the temps in the shallow back bays are too low for the pike, then where are they? I didn't cover the entire lake but the only spot I can think of that might be warmer is a large bay that has a max depth of 8ft. Would they all be moving towards warmer waters? Should I be waiting until later in the day when the air temps start to rise? Any help here would be greatly appreciated.

 

I have a feeling that the cold overnight temps brought the water temps down but not sure where that would send the fish. I will be heading back up this Wednesday - Sunday to do nothing but fish so I'm hoping to have a solid report to share with the group.

 

Thanks,

 

FF17


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#2 DILLIGAF?!

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 12:42 PM

If it's cool temps...pike can be found on shallows...pike can be found in warm or cold temp...it's their behaviour that changes a bit. they move sluggish during cold temps and would stalk their prey more - slow retrieve with some long pauses worked for me. During summer, I use crankbaits. early morning shallow divers is my go to during summer.


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#3 FishFinder17

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 01:11 PM

Thanks DILLI, I was hoping you would chime in!

 

Any thoughts on time of day? Does it make sense for me to be on the water by 5:30am if it was 5 degrees the night before?


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#4 DILLIGAF?!

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 02:15 PM

I like before sun up or sun down. I have caught pike under the heat of the sun but on shady areas too. I have caught a lot of pike during ice out. right before they close the season. Pike is my primary target, then trout then bass. 5:30 - 8am is the best time I can think of to fish for them in the morning. then 5:30 to 8pm in the evening. If there are some shady areas where you fish that's going to be ideal as well.


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#5 FishFinder17

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 04:40 PM

Ya that's typically what has worked best for me. Last weekend was the earliest in the year that I have ever fished my lake so I'm not used to navigating the cold water temps. 

 

I'm going up tomorrow afternoon - Sunday with 2 buddies and should get in 30+ hrs of fishing but with the heat these last couple days plus what's forecast I wouldn't be surprised if the water temps were up to 60+F. Might have to do some looking but we'll find them (with the help of my new hummingbird helix finder with down imaging  :cool: )

 

Appreciate your help. If anyone else has any thoughts please share. 

 

FF17


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#6 DILLIGAF?!

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 09:01 PM

goodluck dude. i love spot fishing for pike.


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#7 PUMP KNOWS

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Posted 27 May 2015 - 11:21 AM

I struggled to catch pike during those weird temps we've had.

 

Here's my last pike...

 


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#8 DILLIGAF?!

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Posted 27 May 2015 - 11:39 AM

Hey pump, I was at the wave deck...got a few follows but no takers...it was fun though. I didn't fish by the wave deck but on the side. most pikes i saw were juves...


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#9 FishFinder17

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Posted 27 May 2015 - 12:33 PM

ya pump the temps have been throwing me off. I'm interested to see what it will be like this week because it has been so warm. I should be on the water in 6 hours. I'll post pics if I have any to share.

 

Great pike btw


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#10 PUMP KNOWS

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Posted 27 May 2015 - 02:23 PM

^^^

Good luck!

 

Dilli- Good stuff... I'm still trying to figure out the wave deck.  I've had followers but no takers


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#11 Kleiner

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Posted 27 May 2015 - 10:12 PM

As the water temps get closer to 60F you'll start seeing better numbers. But you're best chance to go after the big girls was directly after ice out. The water will warm considerably during a hot day so I'd definately be fishing that 5:30-8:30pm window that Dilli was talking about. Jerkbaits are by far your best bait this time of year but I'd be throwing big plastic swimbaits too. Keep a close eye for followups and have another rod rigged ready to drop in front of them if they don't take the first bait.


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#12 DILLIGAF?!

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 08:57 AM

As the water temps get closer to 60F you'll start seeing better numbers. But you're best chance to go after the big girls was directly after ice out. The water will warm considerably during a hot day so I'd definately be fishing that 5:30-8:30pm window that Dilli was talking about. Jerkbaits are by far your best bait this time of year but I'd be throwing big plastic swimbaits too. Keep a close eye for followups and have another rod rigged ready to drop in front of them if they don't take the first bait.

Preach brother. Exactly my style of fishing. Always have that 2nd rod handy and keep your eyes open. Watch your lure and scope 5 feet away from it from every direction. Sometimes there are 1 - 3 pikes but only 1 will get really close (probably the bigger). Some people would advice you to do the figure 8 but this usually works when you're in a boat. I've never done that on shore and letting my lure sit at bottom works for me.


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#13 PUMP KNOWS

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Posted 29 May 2015 - 12:57 PM

I tried for pike yesterday and it was frustrating that none of the six that I saw weren't interested.

 

I also some big steelhead cruising the waters.


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#14 Cyphus

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Posted 31 May 2015 - 10:51 AM

FishFinder17, check shallower bays for sure and also near the mouths of any rivers and tributaries running into the lake, they tend to be a little warmer and have baitfish in them so pike will hang out around them looking for an easy meal. I lived in Gravenhurst on Lake Muskoka for a few years and this was almost always where I found them in temps like that. I know a particular bay that's really good too if you wanna PM me (no idea where on the lake you are, might be a bit of a jog.)

You guy's should check out Bridling baits. Saltwater guys have been doing this for years for big tuna, marlin and such, but for cold water pike it's killer (or any slow day really).

 

You use a big thill slip bobber with a flouro leader snelled to a circle hook (3/0 or 5/0) under it, then you take a bait needle and floss or dacron and attach bait. It keeps live bait alive MUCH longer, or you can use dead bait.  I use store-bought frozen Sardines, (which I called and checked with MNR to see if I could use, so don't bitch lol) and cut them in half or thirds. I chose sardines because they're an oily fish and the scent they release it very strong, draws the fish in like crazy. When water temps are cold and fish are slow moving, this is an unbeatable. 

 

Basically, you bridle your chosen bait, cast it out (gently, if like me you're using a MH baitcaster) then just let it sit, maybe jigging it a bit since i use a slip bobber. The scent draws the fish in, fish swims by and chomps on a free meal and swims away. Your bobber will dip and disappear (or if it's a big fish, it'll probably just be gone lol). Now here's the important part for those of you who haven't used circle hooks; DO NOT reef on the rod to set the hook. Instead; count to 7 (mississipi's if you have too) and then reel in and tighten up on the line, the hook will get stuck in the corner of the mouth every time and when the fish feels the prick of that hook it'll take off.

I've been doing this for a couple years and have caught more than a few 40" pike when guy's around me are bitching because fish wont take anything. AND since you're using circle hooks it's super humane! Unlike traditional quick strike rigs with treble hooks which can kill a fish by getting taken too deep or getting caught in the gills, the single circle hook slightly separated from the bait will get caught in the corner of the mouth every time and wont be swallowed (unless you're really dumb and count to like... 30 or something lol). I've never used it for musky, but i imagine it would work just as well, and I've used some smaller baits for other species too.

Here's a video to show you how it's done.

https://youtu.be/FRk9bGSj-rU


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#15 FishFinder17

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 10:06 AM

Thanks for all of the tips guys. Much appreciated!

 

I'm happy to share that I caught my first fish of 2015 last weekend!

 

We got up to the cottage on Wednesday night and immediately hit the water. I was up fishing the previous weekend and water temps were in the mid 50s. Well after 3-4 days of warm weather surface temps were up to the low 70s! We came up empty handed on the first night with the exception of a few OOS bass but went right back out the next morning. We were throwing everything from top water chug bugs, to husky jerks, and jointed x-raps with no real luck. I ended up switching to 5" Yamamoto senko worms rigged with a band on a single hook. After three casts I pulled in a 34" pike to start the season off! Slow presentation was critical and clearly we weren't slow enough with out hard baits. It was our only fish from the weekend that was worth talking about...half the battle was avoiding the bass. They were hitting EVERYTHING in the shallow back bays. Caught a 8" bass on a 5" jake....crazy stuff but I'll take it as a good sign leading up to third saturday in June.

 

pike_zps9tetxg3s.jpg

 

Thanks again for all of the help. I'm heading back up tomorrow for the weekend and hoping for something bigger!

 

FF17

 

 


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#16 DILLIGAF?!

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 10:57 AM

sweet pic dude. always have a senko handy. And I have the same dilemma. OOS bass always beat pike for food. very aggressive strikes.


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#17 PUMP KNOWS

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 01:40 PM

Great tips here...  I can't wait to try it on the water.


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#18 Cyphus

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 12:17 PM

Great pic buddy, glad you were able to come up with something!


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#19 PUMP KNOWS

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 02:47 PM

What are you guys throwing now that the water has gotten warmer?


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#20 Kleiner

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 05:31 PM

On Saturday I was still throwing jerk baits (shadow raps) with lots of success (water temp 64f) even caught a nice wally. But saw other guys getting the pike on spinner baits.
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