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Dan:

a first.

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Went out to my normal bass spot in Bridgewater, VA tonight. The area is usually filled with grass to the surface of the water so I normally use texas rigs and topwaters. Well I got there and lots of the weeds have died and are much more sparse. I ended up fishing a shallow crank, walking bait, swimbaits, ika, and a fluke. Got a bass on the first cast with the paddletail (about 3lbs) run over the dying weeds. Then I went without a fish for a while, switching back and forth between baits. I decided to make one last cast to an area down river and my line got hung over a small branch. I reeled a little bit and then I felt a hit and set the hook, with the line still hanging over the tree branch. I ended up fighting the fish over the branch and eventually the weight of the fish pulled the line free. When I was fighting it I realized it wasn't a bass, it was shaking more than it was swimming. Ended up being my first PIKE! I wasn't sure if it was a big pickerel or a pike but some guys in the "Other Fish" section told me it was a pike.  Very cool. It was about 2ft long and I would say 4-5 lbs.

post-5950-130162941741_thumb.jpg

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Nice fish Dan, I have yet to catch a Pike.  I have heard that they put up an awesome fight.

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That's great!  I've heard there were a few Northern's down here.  Up north they're a dime a dozen.  You can always expect to catch one while bass fishing.  They love big spinners.  Fun fish to catch but hook removal can get sketchy!

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yeah, I was kind of fumbling around when I was landing and photographing it because I was worried about getting bit. Luckily I had some pliers. I did end up dropping it because when I grabbed it, it started flailing around and it almost got its teeth back to my arm. They can really get a lot of leverage with their long bodies.

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Up north they're a dime a dozen.

Very true, the current policy on my "home" lake in NE Ohio is to kill any pike caught, much like the current snakehead policy here in NOVA. This is due to fish stocking mismanagement, i.e. a lake that already had pike in it was overstocked w/ more pike, in detriment to the populations of other fish (including, but not limited to, bass).

Congrats on the fish! Thats bigger than any pike I've caught this year while in Ohio: I caught two back in June, each at 1.5 lbs. They are a great fight: the initial strike is often very savage. When I was a kid, my next door neighbor caught a two-foot pike in our lake and that absolutely made an impression: no more little bluegill for me.

Was this caught in the Shenandoah, or a tributary?

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It was caught in the North River which combines with the South River to create the SF of the Shenandoah.

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Good catch.

Great picture, too.  :)

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