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5150bass

Pike protection

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I fish lakes up North here that have a lot of Northern Pike.  I do not want to loose my cranks, jerkbaits, topwaters and spinnerbaits to toothy critters.  Is it ok to use a six inch steel leader on the end of my line?  Will this have any effect on my ability to catch bass?  Is there any other options to protect against bite-offs?

Thank you,

5150bass

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I use thin wire 5" or 6" leaders when needed. Whether they hurt chances of catching bass is debatable. A lot of guys think they ruin the lure's action; I don't feel that way and have caught numerous bass with leaders. Would I have caught more without a leader? I have no way of knowing, but suffice it to say that I have confidence while fishing with a leader.

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I'm all too familiar with your dilemma (note the avatar).

Unfortunately there's no way to totally prevent cut-offs without using a metal leader.

Yes, the wire tends to reduce the number of strikes you get from bass, for that matter,

it tends to reduce the number of pike strikes as well.

If you're willing to forfeit a few lures, you can fish without a wire leader.

Very often the line will settle between two adjacent teeth, which will protect the line during the fight.

Needless to say, if there's a moment when the line gets between an upper tooth and lower tooth,

it will be instantly severed.

If you decide to use wire leader, although it's extremely expensive, go with titanium leader.

Titanium leader can be attached using an albright knot which eliminates the need for wire sleeves.

Best of all, titanium wire is not kink-prone such as Sevenstrand braid and single-strand piano wire.

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i also have the same problem..i don't use a wire leader and just take my chances...i figure the wire affect the action somewhat so i lose a few crankbaits everynow and then..plastics too but i don't mind that...although i did buy a luckycraft and may buy 1 or 2 more but i won't be using them at that particular lake..

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not to change the subject,but seeing that you guys also fish waters with pike do you know how it affects the bass when the pike are feeding heavily on the surface..do you think the bass are feeding also or do the bass avoid the pike...and do you think they share the same weed beds..

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not to change the subject,but seeing that you guys also fish waters with pike do you know how it affects the bass when the pike are feeding heavily on the surface..do you think the bass are feeding also or do the bass avoid the pike...and do you think they share the same weed beds..

I've never known pike to feed heavily on the surface, unless you're talking about hammer-handles

(or right after ice-out). I can tell you this, between bass and pike the northern pike is the dominant predator.

When pike aggregate in an area of the weedbed, the bass will move shallower than the pike, that you can bet on.

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one area i fish is a big flat about 6ft with the weeds growing pretty much right to the shoreline.i would assume the bass are moving out to the 8-12 ft depth near the deeper weed edge..what is a hammerhandle..if it's muskie,we have those too...the fish feed pretty much all summer long on top,the splashes are so big and vicious they have to be pike or muskie...either that or i'm missing some very big bass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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A hammer-handle is just a small, annoying pike.  (That's what it means around here anyways)

I've also never known pike to feed heavily on the surface, especially not in summer.  Were the big splashing fish in shallow water?  A big pike won't be in shallow water in the heat of summer, unless you live somewhere where the water is pretty cold year-round, or there is a coldwater spring or stream feeding into the shallows there.

I would guess that the splashing fish were probably carp.

Back on topic.  Using a steel leader will reduce your bites a little bit, especially with smallmouth.  If you use a thin steel leader though, there won't be much difference, and the action of your lures won't be affected very much.

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A hammer-handle is just a small, annoying pike.

Yep

If you're fishing for pike and you hear a loud splash in the shallows, nine times out of ten

it's a largemouth bass. I don't why, but feeding bass up north sound like they've fallen out of a low tree.

I always have an outfit rigged for bass that betray their shallow presence (they're usually good fish).

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Another compromise would be to use a special florocarbon leader. Just change it often and you can get most of the safety of steel with most of the advantages of florocarbon.

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Another compromise would be to use a special florocarbon leader. Just change it often and you can get most of the safety of steel with most of the advantages of florocarbon.

I've tried that route. Just when you think you're getting away with murder,

the line suddenly goes slack and your fish and lure are gone.

With a titanium leader (not steel), you can fish the same jig all day long.

In the avatar is a bluefish and bonito. With bonito you can get away with 50 lb mono,

because they have small well-spaced teeth, but it's Russian Roulette with bluefish and pike.

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I have fished for and caught a lot of Northern Pike and I never use wire leaders.  The reason is that Pike are followers...they follow body baits and attack from behind.  9 times out of 10 Pike are hooked on the rear hook of a body bait and normally stay there.  Sure there are time where the bait is deep in the mouth but not very often.  I personaly hate any thing other then the line between me and the bait.  I don't use leaders, snaps or anything like that.  Plastics are a little different story but they are cheap and you are probably going to break a few of them off anyway.   :)

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I have fished for and caught a lot of Northern Pike and I never use wire leaders.

I don't like hardware anymore than you. I too have done a lot of pike fishing by tying direct to my line.

However, the extent to which we get away without using wire leader depends on three things:

1. Size of your Lure

2. Size of the Pike

3. Mood of the Pike

If I'm trolling a 6" plug or spoon, the chances are very good that the pike's teeth

will never reach my line during the fight. On the other hand, if the pike is 18 pounds

and in an aggressive mood, my luck may run out. Sadly, it's usually the trophy pike

that will cut us off, not the hammer-handles.

In my post above, I said you can fish the same "JIG" all day. When fishing a jig and minnow

(a highly effective method) a wireless rig is an invitation to problems, regardless of the size and mood

of the pike. The jig & minnow is a finesse delivery that generally requires time to coax the pike

to engulf the lure. With a wire leader this is a piece of cake, without any wire though, especially

with big aggressive pike, it's like spoon-feeding jigs to the pike.

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