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Who’s fired up for spring pike fishing?


The Baron

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2 hours ago, Dwight Hottle said:

Yes I agree but my point was there are big pike in the US if you know where to look for them. The big girls are only found shallow for a short window after ice out then they are only found deep. 

Esox chasers are well of that...

Those of us who don't like to fish deep find something else to do until the big girls come back into shallow water int he fall.

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1 hour ago, Further North said:

Those of us who don't like to fish deep find something else to do until the big girls come back into shallow water int he fall.


That’s me.  Big pike in (relatively) shallow water is a lot of fun.  But once bass is open, I’m done with pike until maybe late fall when the big girls start to come up again.  If we start “accidentally” running into them on a late fall bass fishing trip, I’m happy to switch gears and land a few gators. 

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2 hours ago, The Baron said:


That’s me.  Big pike in (relatively) shallow water is a lot of fun.  But once bass is open, I’m done with pike until maybe late fall when the big girls start to come up again.  If we start “accidentally” running into them on a late fall bass fishing trip, I’m happy to switch gears and land a few gators. 

We shift a lot of our esox chasing to shallow rivers (a deep hole is six feet) after the water warms up.

This means mostly muskies where I live, but muskies don't suck...

Lots of smallies in the rivers doesn't hurt either.

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What was better, Baron: Catching those fine pike or not having to wait until April to fish?

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18 minutes ago, ol'crickety said:

What was better, Baron: Catching those fine pike or not having to wait until April to fish?

 Yes.  😁👍🏻

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You know, I think I ate some chain pickerel we caught in lake Toho and they were good , but that was a long time ago and can’t recall. Wouldn’t mind trying again but we don’t have any 

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I'll be on the water in the next few weeks probably catching more pike than anything while technically targeting bass since they've got the open catch and release season. I accidentally caught a 31" last spring. Lake Mendota is unique in that it doesn't get muskies stocked and has no natural population, so pike are the top dog. The pike limit is one over 40" so everything goes back.

 

I've got another trip to Lake of the Woods planned this year as well. Last year the group had a 35" and 36" which was a lot of fun.

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On 2/29/2024 at 4:29 PM, Susky River Rat said:

I have never caught a pike. Snakeheads and pike are on my bucket list. Honestly, I will probably never get into a pike. Ironically  two of the most hated fish.

 

I like to catch big pike and snakeheads. They are not hated here. 😉

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15 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

You know, I think I ate some chain pickerel we caught in lake Toho and they were good , but that was a long time ago and can’t recall. Wouldn’t mind trying again but we don’t have any 

 

I never ate pickerel but I have eaten a lot of pike and I imagine they taste similar. Pike are very good especially cubed and deep-fried.  

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/29/2024 at 10:11 AM, casts_by_fly said:

we only have 2 or 3 lakes with decent populations of pike.  NJ F&G concentrated more on muskies than pike.  That said, my early season lake is one of the two and my second favorite lake is another.  I'll end up with one or two a year.  My early season lake is actually the lake they trapnet breeders from for the hatchery.  At ice out every year F&G puts in 3-4 big trap nets and pulls out quite a few 10-20 lb pike from a 250 acre lake. They also publish the rest of the trapnet results and crappie feature highly.  I always felt bad about keeping crappie from there until I read that each net would have hundreds and they would end up trap netting a couple thousand every year.

Hello fellow NJ angler. Would this lake happen to start with an 'F' and feature a few bistros on the waters edge? I lived in that town.

 

While I know NJF&G does the trap net there, I and many people I know have never caught a pike out of there. Even when F&G posted 30# pike from there. I've seen more 5+# bass come out of there than pike. And it doesn't produce a whole lot of 5+# bass.

 

That being said, if this is the same lake, I absolutely hate it. It sucks 99% of the time, then has a few spurts that keep me hoping and then regret not driving an hour to fish elsewhere. 

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21 minutes ago, osummerer23 said:

Hello fellow NJ angler. Would this lake happen to start with an 'F' and feature a few bistros on the waters edge? I lived in that town.

 

While I know NJF&G does the trap net there, I and many people I know have never caught a pike out of there. Even when F&G posted 30# pike from there. I've seen more 5+# bass come out of there than pike. And it doesn't produce a whole lot of 5+# bass.

 

That being said, if this is the same lake, I absolutely hate it. It sucks 99% of the time, then has a few spurts that keep me hoping and then regret not driving an hour to fish elsewhere. 


No. It’s not the ‘F’ lake. I’m further north than that.  Lake number two is spruce run. Some big pike in there. 

 

Rick
 

 

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1 hour ago, casts_by_fly said:


No. It’s not the ‘F’ lake. I’m further north than that.  Lake number two is spruce run. Some big pike in there. 

 

Rick
 

 

Ah lol, I hate Farrington. Spruce is one of my favorites too. For as much pressure as it gets, there are quite a few coves that I never see other fisherman in. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm excited about spring Pike. Last year my biggest was 35" but I'm aiming to beat that this year. I only fly fish for them. The ramps on my favorite places are just about to open so things start to get going next week. I can't wait.

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First day out, fishing the new moon major. Water was 41.5 degrees (it was up to 46 degrees before the most recent weather tantrum) and way too much current. Oh well...

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I thought our late winter pike season was gonna be on fire.  We were out March 8 and water temps were still a bit cool -

40-43F in the back bay - and we caught a couple.  Went out two weeks later and max. temp we could find was under 40F.  Tried a smaller lake with same result, and caught zero.  Now pike is closed until May 4. 😕

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2 hours ago, The Baron said:

I thought our late winter pike season was gonna be on fire.  We were out March 8 and water temps were still a bit cool -

40-43F in the back bay - and we caught a couple.  Went out two weeks later and max. temp we could find was under 40F.  Tried a smaller lake with same result, and caught zero.  Now pike is closed until May 4. 😕

Bummer. Our seasons have been closed since late February and I thought winter was over here in early March too. I was wrong.

 

At least May 4 isn’t that far off. Less than a month. May 11 is our big date. T minus 32 days.

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One of my favorite childhood memories is fishing with my dad in Escanaba, MI and catching my first smallie and my one and only northern pike. What a great day it was!

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