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Something I've always wondered is the ratio of adult pike vs adult bass. Does anyone know? I'm not asking for a scientific peer reviewed journal response, just an educated guess. I know it varies from lake to lake but is it 3 to 1, 4 to 1?

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Totally depends on the lake. Some lakes I fish it’s a thousand bass to one pike, some lakes it’s 50/50. Another has 10 pike to every bass. There is no average that can be applied to all lakes.

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Different in every lake. You could probably make a guess in your local lakes by fishing and seeing what ratio you catch.

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I have days on my home port that are 10 pike to 1 bass in the spring, then other days that are totally the opposite. 

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Where I fish, bass and pike's ranges intersect in spring and fall.  Since pike are the dominant predator, many of the top, cooler spots are seized as their territory, and bass are driven off.  I've fished prime pike spots, and never caught a bass.  I've fished other spots, not conducive to pike where it's nothing but largemouth.  Conversely, while pike will drive off smallies, it's not unusual to catch both when fishing for either.

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I know pike are top predator, unless musky are there, and will eat small bass so that makes sense. When you said smallies did you mean little bass or smallmouth? We call smallmouth smallies in MI. Are pike more prone to eat smallmouth? I've read their favorite food is perch but they will eat anything they can catch including other pike. I've heard pike are kind of territorial, is that true?

I'm new to this site but there is a lot of good info on here! Thanks for all the responses guys!

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5 hours ago, Functionalfool said:

When you said smallies did you mean little bass or smallmouth?

Yes.

5 hours ago, Functionalfool said:

Are pike more prone to eat smallmouth?

Pike will eat anything. 

5 hours ago, Functionalfool said:

I've heard pike are kind of territorial, is that true?

Pike are VERY territorial.  There's underwater footage of them attacking divers.  Same with musky.

5 hours ago, Functionalfool said:

I'm new to this site but there is a lot of good info on here! Thanks for all the responses guys!

You're welcome, and welcome aboard!

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I spend more time fishing for pike and muskies than I do for smallies. Where I fish, I'd put the ratio at 10:1 or larger. It's hard to tell, though, because nobody knows where many of the big pike go in the summer.

 

I've seen muskies chasing smallies (and pike), but I've never seen pike chasing smallies.

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24 minutes ago, portiabrat said:

because nobody knows where many of the big pike go in the summer.

👀

Check out Jim K's underwater footage.  Here's a good one:

 

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This brings up another question: How do you rig up in places where there a lot of pike (assuming you aren't fishing for pike)?  Bass don't like steel leaders, but I don't like losing 5 to 10 dollar lures to bite offs.  Do you just risk it, or take precautions?  I also don't like the idea of leaving a live fish with a hook in its jaw (or gullet).  Even braid is no guarantee against pike teeth.

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1 minute ago, billmac said:

Even braid is no guarantee against pike teeth.

Braid is the worst thing to get near teeth and sharp gill plates. I use a short heavy mono leader (30-60 lb) depending on the lure I'm using, and the size of the fish around, and don't loose many lures. BG is good, Ande is better, Momoi Diamond best I've tried so far.

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Cortland Toothy Critter leader has worked for me.  I've also use very heavy saltwater fluoro leaders.

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5 hours ago, billmac said:

This brings up another question: How do you rig up in places where there a lot of pike (assuming you aren't fishing for pike)?  Bass don't like steel leaders, but I don't like losing 5 to 10 dollar lures to bite offs.  Do you just risk it, or take precautions?  I also don't like the idea of leaving a live fish with a hook in its jaw (or gullet).  Even braid is no guarantee against pike teeth.

In the Summer, you usually can't fish jerkbaits too fast, so it's fine to use a wire leader. It will mess up the way that your jerkbait suspends, but it doesn't matter when you're fishing fast. It does matter in Spring, though, because you'll want to pause the bait. I've also caught some very big bass while deep cranking for pike/musky with 200 lb fluoro leaders. I don't think bass care about leaders on reaction baits, unless they mess with the action or the way they suspend.

 

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12 minutes ago, portiabrat said:

200 lb fluoro leaders.

How big are these pike? Is it safe to go swimming there? 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, BassWhole! said:

How big are these pike? Is it safe to go swimming there? 

 

 

Not if you're a perch, alewife, or whitefish! It's mostly for muskies. A couple of years ago, I had a ~25" pike saw through 100 lb fluoro when I attempted to swing it in the boat.

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My experience is limited to Lake of the Woods region Ontario where bass, pike and musky share the same waterways. It seems to me that pike roam around hunting prey more then musky and the two don't share areas. Bass are similar where smallmouth roam more then largemouth and can share the same areas. Pike and smallmouth bass often are caught together on outside structure like reefs if a big musky isn't home. It was my belief fishing for musky that catching pike met move on to another spot, whereas catching walleyes was a good sign a big musky was nearby.

Ratio of pike to smallmouth was higher then largemouth bass in any given area because largemouth tended to be tighter to inside weed line cover in lakes that had pike or musky. Obviously smaller pike ( hammer handle)  outnumber larger size ( jacks) as my inlaws called them.

Tom

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3 hours ago, WRB said:

My experience is limited to Lake of the Woods region Ontario where bass, pike and musky share the same waterways. It seems to me that pike roam around hunting prey more then musky and the two don't share areas. Bass are similar where smallmouth roam more then largemouth and can share the same areas. Pike and smallmouth bass often are caught together on outside structure like reefs if a big musky isn't home. It was my belief fishing for musky that catching pike met move on to another spot, whereas catching walleyes was a good sign a big musky was nearby.

Ratio of pike to smallmouth was higher then largemouth bass in any given area because largemouth tended to be tighter to inside weed line cover in lakes that had pike or musky. Obviously smaller pike ( hammer handle)  outnumber larger size ( jacks) as my inlaws called them.

Tom

This has been mostly my experience fishing Georgian Bay for the last 4 years. Always find pike and smallmouth in proximity, largemouth seem to prefer any type of cover/structure. I heard from a Musky guide, if you're targeting musky and catch a pike you need to move along, when there's pike there's no musky.

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I grew up on a stretch of river.  When I was a kid I fished nearly every day throughout the summer.  Tons of smallmouth, lots of walleye, and the occasional musky.  Never caught or even saw a pike.  Never.  I think I read somewhere that since pike spawn earlier than musky, pike fry will eat musky fry and that's why they are often not in the same places.  I don't know how true it is.

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Here in Minnesota, we have a pike problem. It’s so bad, the DNR has increased the daily bag limit to 10 per day in most of the state. The problem is that there’s so many small ones and they are very aggressive, and there’s not enough big ones left. The big ones have been speared in the winter or kept during the fishing season. And since the primary predator of small pike are big pike, the small ones have nothing to keep them in check.

 

As far as interaction between these fish, I feel like muskies are at the top of the food chain. But since they are generally not present in dense numbers like the other three, they do not have a significant impact on other fish populations.

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23 hours ago, billmac said:

This brings up another question: How do you rig up in places where there a lot of pike (assuming you aren't fishing for pike)?  Bass don't like steel leaders, but I don't like losing 5 to 10 dollar lures to bite offs.  Do you just risk it, or take precautions?  I also don't like the idea of leaving a live fish with a hook in its jaw (or gullet).  Even braid is no guarantee against pike teeth.

Doug Strange from in fisherman advocates for using braid mainline to a long fluoro leader and a short section of tieable leader connected to the lure.

 

A local guide recommends a 20lb fluoro leader to eliminate most break offs by pike

 

If I'm fishing a moving bait in high density pike and musky water I'll usually use a premade pike or musky leader with snap and swivel.  Straight wire or 100+lb fluorocarbon

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I can't understand why anyone thinks FC line is more cut resistant then mono, it's less.

100 lb FC leader....what knot us being used? The Knot I can tie is perfection loop knot with 100 lb FC or use crimp sleeves.

80 lb braid should work. If you think a clear leader is an advantage then Soft Steel coploymer line is extremely abrasion/cut resistant for toothy fish and 60 lb would be ideal and easy to tie several knots. 

Tom

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6 hours ago, WRB said:

I can't understand why anyone thinks FC line is more cut resistant then mono, it's less.

100 lb FC leader....what knot us being used?

Because they've read that it's more abrasion resistant. While technically correct, mono is a better option because it will retain more of it's strength when compromised.

 

There are a few variations of the slip knot, figure 8, and Jack's knot  that do a really good job with heavy (200-400) leader. The tarpon guys are usually the one's that know the best ones.

.

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8 hours ago, WRB said:

100 lb FC leader....what knot us being used?

You need a crimper for over 60#.

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7 hours ago, BassWhole! said:

Because they've read that it's more abrasion resistant. While technically correct, mono is a better option because it will retain more of it's strength when compromised.

 

There are a few variations of the slip knot, figure 8, and Jack's knot  that do a really good job with heavy (200-400) leader. The tarpon guys are usually the one's that know the best ones.

.

Having spent over 35 years Marlin fishing you don't use knots on 200 to 400 lb test mono leaders, you use crimp sleeves. The only reason heavy leaders are used for Bill fish is the abrasive bills and the leader is used to hand line the big fish next to the boat to tag them. 

I have used the perfection loop knot on 100lb mono leaders for live bait hooks using wind on leaders, ok for big tuna but risky for billfish.

Tom

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12 minutes ago, WRB said:

Having spent over 35 years Marlin fishing you don't use knots on 200 to 400 lb test mono leaders, you use crimp sleeves. The only reason heavy leaders are used for Bill fish is the abrasive bills and the leader is used to hand line the big fish next to the boat to tag them. 

I have used the perfection loop knot on 100lb mono leaders for live bait hooks using wind on leaders, ok for big tuna but risky for billfish.

Tom

Oh no, I'm not suggesting one not crimp heavy leaders, or that crimps aren't the preferred method. I have crimped a few (insert sarcasm icon thingy here) in my time. I was just pointing out that one can tie knots in heavy mono if necessary, like when the crimper goes overboard, you find your self somewhere remote, or need to for whatever other reason. 20-30 years ago in Panama and the rest of Central America, being inventive and resourceful was a necessity. That was some crazy billfishing, not to mention everything else to catch. I also tied some heavy leader while trolling home from the dive boat off the coast of Djbouti a couple of years back. You never know when it will come in handy.

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