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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
On Thursday I made the 4 hour trip from Middletown to my spot on the Tuscarawas River. It would be just a half day of fishing. My goal was to catch a few bowfin and I wondered if I might even catch a pike as a previous bowfin trip also produced a bonus pike on a chunk of bluegill. Things were slow, I only got 3 bites in 4 hours, but the second bite was a nice 28" pike on a bluegill head - it isn't a fluke, pike like pieces of bluegill. I am left to wonder if the other two good bites were pike, bowfin, or something else.

With some daylight still left, I packed my bags and went to a spot that I had successfully fished from a canoe a few weeks ago, but this time I would fish it from shore. The spot is a little precarious, but very fishy looking. This was not a spot to fish with bluegill heads and I had on my favorite pike lure. Normally, on a float trip, I would not invest more than 2 or 3 minutes in such a spot, but this place just looked too good and I was rewarded for the extra minutes of casting. An estimated 15" largemouth grabbed my bait at the shore and then an estimated 20 to 24" pike fell victim to my perfectly-placed cast. I just love seeing those long, dark shadows grab my bait!

The next day I did a float trip. In my 6 hours on the water I did not see any other canoes, kayaks, or fishermen!!! I was hoping the bite from yesterday evening would continue into today, but it didn't. The first 3 hours did not even produce a single strike. Then in a span of less than 10 minutes, in a stretch of shoreline less than 150 feet, I got 3 pike strikes. The first was about 24", but it refused to strike again. The second strike was from a LARGE pike, I never saw him, but he felt good for a second and made some impressive waves. Again, I could not get the fish to strike for a second time. The third strike produced my fist pike of the day and it was probably about 20". At least my string of unskunked pike trips continues. The rest of the day produced a foot long pike and a largemouth of about the same length. The last near-miss of the day was a quality bronzeback that decided to grab my bait at the side of the canoe. He was off in a matter of seconds. 15 or 18" ? I'll never know.

It wasn't a great trip, but it wasn't bad either. I did have one large pike on, but I just didn't get him in. Will this be my last visit to the Tusc this year?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
The first pic shows my huge carp net. It is a 42" triangle and it is 42" deep. The net and fish are laying on my unhooking mat/weigh sling. My goal is to maximize the fishes' chance of survival.
 

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Nice report. I like that you take good care of the fish while handling them.
 

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Keep up the good work! :)
 
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