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Pike Fishing

Discussion in 'Muskie & Pike Discussions' started by Hoosierfisherman, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. Hoosierfisherman

    Hoosierfisherman Hardcore Fisherman

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    I have been pike fishing 3 times this year. I haven't caught anything yet. I know the lake in my area (Hamilton Lake in Hamilton, IN) is full of pike. I have tried suckers, spinnerbaits, slug-o's, and crankbaits. What am I doing wrong? Thursday is supposed to be a nice day. I want to try again. Anyone have any suggestions on what I should try? Do you think live bait or artificial? PLEASE help!

    Thanks for any help you can give,

    Shane

    (aka reel'eyecatcher on GFO)
     
  2. DaleM

    DaleM Original OGF Staff Member

    I'm not familiar with your lake, but in Canada in early May we do great on hair jigs. 3/4 to 1 oz. Tip these with something like a slug-o or even live bait. Like I said not sure of your lake but great bait up there. I'm guessing water temps. there now are close to what they will be in May in Canada. Good luck and let us know how you do.
    Also let me welcome you to our new site. Great place. If you have any question or need help, just ask, that's what we are here for.
     

  3. Worm Drowner

    Worm Drowner Banned

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    Right now, look for the pike to be very shallow in the weeds, spawning. Work those areas with smaller baits than you would use in the summer.
     
  4. Hoosierfisherman

    Hoosierfisherman Hardcore Fisherman

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  5. Worm Drowner

    Worm Drowner Banned

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    Either big chubs under a float or crankbaits, whichever you prefer.
     
  6. Fish fertile, (marshy, mucky), sun exposed backwaters. Areas in the headwater end of the res and or feeder areas would be your best bet. Look for marshy shorelines if any are there. Try fishing the downwind areas in confined sections of the res especially in the upper end.
    Avoid downwind areas where the wind is blowing off the main body. Areas where lots of crappies are being caught should also produce pike for the same reason- forage. Fish shallow, close to shore. Forget live bait for another 2-4 weeks. Same with cranks.You'll catch more and bigger fish with dead bait. Fresh frozen,( but thawed) or killed shiners, chubs, suckers, or smelt from the fish market. Stay away from the heavy store bought leaders. Get a spool of 17 lb. test Sevenstrand stranded wire from Cabela's and twist a treb on one end and a swivel on the other. If the baits over 5 inches twist on 2 trebs 2 or 3 inches apart. Num 4 or 6 will work. Lightly wrap your upper treb, (on double treb rigs), so it will slide after a firm hookset otherwise the upper treb may hit bone and prevent the lower treb from grabbing soft tissue. Hook your dead bait through the gill flap with the upper treb and along side the front of the dorsal with the lower treb. If using one treb hook place hook along side of the front end of the dorsal. Fish one rig on the bottom and one under a float. Let the float drift slowly in the wind to cover water. Naturally you can use both with floats to cover more water or lay both on the bottom if you nail a spot down. Pike are scavengers and will hit dead bait faster than live at this time of year. Cranks and spinner baits will get you mostly smaller pike at this time of year. Don't worry about being out there at the crack of dawn. Pike are frequently sluggish until mid day or so, especially the big ones. Like other species, once you find one there will be others. Again, focus in the section of the res where the main feeder enters the res. Areas with smaller feeders are worth a try as well. This system does work until the water warms in another 2-4 weeks, then Sluggos, spinners, cranks, (suspending jerkbaits), and livebait may produce better. Once the water temps climb into the mid to upper 60's the pike will go deep. Determine the depth of the thermocline and troll Grandma's, Cicso Kids, or
    larger floater/diver Rapalas via a 3 way on structure at or just above the depth of the thermocline. If your lucky enough to find a natural spring it could be a goldmine. Last but certainly not least, make sure your fishing a res with pike in it. They are not everywhere.
     
  7. Hoosierfisherman

    Hoosierfisherman Hardcore Fisherman

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    That is great suggestions. However, the lake I fish isn't a res. Does that make things any different?

    Thanks,


    Shane
     
  8. AndroDoug

    AndroDoug Duke of Bucketmouth

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    Fish anything that makes as much of a ruckus as possible. Pike are ornery fish and get "mad" at flamboyant displays of lures. Anything that rattles, flashes, and even splashes will work. Yes, fish the shallows as they are spawning right now. At Congress Lake Monday, we got 8 pike, 2 of them monsters, on a wind protected shore, and a wind protected mouth of a channel. All the pike were caught on either firetiger shad-raps (bright flourescent, rattle, and vibrating movement), blue/chrome ratltraps (flashy, rattle) or white spinners. The one super big one I got hit it at the boat. I was watching the spinner come into view from the depths and it was followed and hit by a big toothy face. Saw every frame of the hit. Never will forget it!!! I honestly would say go with a quad spinner or some lure you might consider a monstrocity. Big bright loud flashy. Piss em off and they'll hit it, especially when you are disturbing their "intimate time"!!!
     
  9. Hoosier,
    Sorry I took so long to get back, had't checked this particular forum in a while.
    Yes those presentation tactics will work anywhere. If the lake you fish has no feeders, coves/bays would be good places to look. Try the ones with mucky/marshy shorelines if available. Otherwise fish the weedbeds, rockpiles can produce too. Slowly drift your bait under a float to cover water. Artificials will produce but mostly smaller fish for at least another 2-4 weeks. In maybe 2 weeks try inline spinners like the Buchertails, made by Joe Bucher or Windels Pike Harrassers, made by Mark Windel, (check sites). Regular sized spinnerbaits used for bass will work too. If the water is very stained fish right at the shoreline. Soon, if not allready, points, and cove mouths should be worked as well. Andro's info is good. The only difference is that I would still place the emphasis on bait for at least another 2 weeks, then I will use both bait and artificials, deadsticking with bait while casting artificials.
    As I mentioned in the earlier post the pike will go deep once the water warms. During the transition try fishing the deeper weed edges until the water temp starts climbing into the 60's. Then go the thermocline route with cranks via 3 way. Stay with it-it works. In a way I envy you, lakes usually don't have the wood that reservoirs do which makes trolling much easier. There should be a breakline, (drop), all the way around the lake at around the 30-35 ft. depth level. If at or above the thermocline focus on that as well as the tips of points if at, above, or maybe just below the thermocline. If the lake maxs out at that depth then fish structure at the thermocline level or fish where the drops break onto the lake basin. Trolling is the best way to cover water. On hot, prefrontal days don't be afraid to speed up the trolling, 3, to even 5 mph. Slow down on post frontal days, maybe 1-2 mph. As I mentioned, springs can be super, as well as deep rock piles. You'll get 'em.