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Theres a 200 year old 1/2 mile long canal along the river near my home that leads to a 3-4 acre pond, FULL of big pike (we call them pike in VA). I've always been good at catching them by accident , lol; but I've set a goal of catching an honest 5lbr+. Im currently doing research and gathering as much info as possible on them.

The interwebs seems to be lacking in specific tangible info on the species. Very generic descriptions like "ambush predators who eat frogs, mice, fish,etc"....Do any of you have any specific info on these Rodney dangerfields of fish? Seasonal habits, techniques you use, their reaction to fronts, etc.

I know from experience they seem to be active shallow sooner in the season than LMB, do they spawn sooner as well? i will be using artificials mostly, but will drown a minnow if need be.

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They are definitely more active in the cooler water. I have caught them on buzzbaits in December when I saw them cruising around.

My best success has been silver bladed spinnerbaits worked fast and also soft jerkbaits worked fast. They seem to be reactionary in their feeding habits more than bass. I caught one that was over 5lbs here in va and that thing fought pretty hard. He measured close to 27-28" if I remember right.

Good luck and if you do go with minnows be sure to use circle hooks cause they will try and swallow the bait pretty quickly.

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When i lived in Wisconsin we used Roland Martin big bass spinnerbaits,They chewed them up.They seemed hungry all the time.Colder water seemed to up the bite.

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I agree with what's been said so far. They like things that flash, and seem to eat anything shiny if you rip it by fast enough. Good luck!

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They will readily hit any lure you own, from topwaters to bottom crawlers and everything in-between. If I were targeting them I might choose a spinnerbait, but nothing would be a bad choice if you were in the right location. Hope you get your five-pounder; my best is 4-1/2.

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Indeed, they will hit just about anything. I've caught several big pick here in VA recently on wacky and TX rigged worms.

And also true, at least in my experience, cooler waters = more pickerel.

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Agreed, very early spring last year we would put the conoe into a pond with extensive cover... We were targeting bass but it seemed like they just were not hitting, but we caught lots of pickerel...

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x2 reaction baits w/ blades and rattles. try a cotton cordell gold rattletrap. sometimes i literally switch to chrome b/c they keep blasting it all day and i get tired of taking them off/nicking my line. if i was going to target them i would use yellow/chartreuse/gold colors

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oh and one more thing if you are targeting them you may want to invest in a bite leader of some sort. I know this past saturday i was out and lost 4 different texas rigged yum dingers to pickerel biting through my braid and then my flouro leader...

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Noted flyfisher. I personally havent had issue with break offs due to their teeth but I definetely agree if one took a bait deep enough it could be trouble. Not worth losing a good fish and or lure. Ive got a spool of 20lb Hybrid that I use for leaders around barnacle covered pilings that should do the trick.

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Pike up north will eat your shoe if you tied it on the end of your line. I've lost more lures on the account of pike than snags, hands down. They are active when the water is freezing cold to blistering hot.

A lodge owner up in Canada was telling me that they're so plentiful in Eagle Lake, and a lot of Canadian waters, that the indian reservations go out and collect as many possible and they grind up the whole fish (minus the guts) and make fish patties for the reservation schools. Imagine that instead of sloppy joes and taco tuesdays.

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Right after ice out is key time. Alot of times they will "sun" themselves. Unweighted worms or flukes on clear days. Topwater or spinnerbaits on cloudy days. During the summer we catch pike and musky on jigs and spinnerbaits while bass fishing..

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these fish will hit anything that a bass will hit; live minnows with a split shot or live minnows under a float will work fine for them

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Dead minnows, live minnows, inline spinners, spinner baits, jerkbaits, flipping jigs.

Here in ontario these fish are constantly biting me off, on just about every lure Ive thrown one time or another...

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