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ate1cropy

catching pike not muskies

33 posts in this topic

So how do you target pike but not muskies when they are in the same lakes and will take the same baits?

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Try to keep the baits small. Muskies will hit small baits too, but as long as you're catching pike on them you'll be in the clear as far as the regs go. I'd say stick to size 10 xraps, no larger than 5 blade inlines or 1/2 ounce spinnerbaits.

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you don't

Ding!!!! We have a winner!!!!

If the muskie lake you are in houses big pike and you use big baits to catch 'em, muskies may hit too. It happens.

If your muskie lake is full of hammer handles and you are tossing bulldog's then you are not fishing pike. wink

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So how do you target pike but not muskies when they are in the same lakes and will take the same baits?

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I don't see many decent pike while musky fishing on the lakes I'm usually on. If I do see a pike it's a snot rocket or a PIG.

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Ironic that this topic is coming up because I almost posted a similar question the other day. I am going to Leech lake over memorial day and would like to at the very least cast a few with my new Abu Toro. I was thinking of casting some showgirls, small bucktails,spinner baits, small bulldog or maybe some bigger X-Raps. Would this be a problem? I will obviously be using my pike rod and not my 8ft heavy musky setup. I know there is a chance that I may catch a muskie, would I get flagged for this? I will not be targeting muskies, but I know I would be excited if I accidentally caught one.

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personally i think thats fine. there are pike and legally you're allowed to fish for them! as long as you don't have a 9 foot broomstick throwing a pounder out there, I'd go for it

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I'd cast the pounder...big fish like these, not just muskies! People catch hog walleyes on these stuff too! grin

no really, I don't know its tough to tell... I've used harassers for Pike fishing and a few years ago one day a couple weeks before musky season opened and the water I used it on was stocked with muskies in the 80s for experiment or something and there are none or few left. Needless to say we did have a muskie followed 1/2 way to the boat and I was very surprised and then a couple years later, I witnessed a bass fishermen catch a 53" muskie on that lake and I found it floating to my lakeshore the next day.

Anyways, we did catch 5 or 6 pike that day with the biggest being a fatty 39 1/2" Northern.

I'd keep it small lures to be safe, as long you are targeting Northerns you should be fine but if you're constantly catching Muskies (not that it happens to me!) I'd stop using the lure and switch to something else. Good Luck!

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dont bring your huge net, bring a smaller one. then you can say your not targeting them. but I myself have had the best luck on large baits aswell. or try using a sucker or largeshinner in the 6-8" range. you'll get some ski im sure but your % of northerns will be alot higher. just stay away from the cowdussa's and pounders

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I say if your targetting pike use what you want for targetting pike, but don't alter your style to try to also entice muskie. When I target crappie pre eye season I use what I think will work best for crappie and if an eye bites so be it.

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Poor Mr. Pike. Always 2nd to Mr Muskie. What you can catch a Muskie on you can catch a Pike on. The point is as long as your intention is to not catch a Muskie then such a subject shouldnt matter. Then again who cares about Muskies when you can land pigs that looks like the ones below. It's one thing to land a 50"+ Ski. See if you can land a 50"+ Pike.

idaho-record-pike2.jpg

idaho-record-pike.jpg

mysetry-pike-from-italy.jpg

pike_3_list_view.jpg

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Fisherman Andy-

Nice "pike" ....but certainly not from around here!!

Someone also mentioned using 1/2 oz spinnerbaits - but then that could be conceived as targeting bass -which also are not in season yet.

This subject has come up alot...targeting one species of fish when one of the other species around arent in season...its a fine line.

I was out yesterday on a local lake and picked up a 10 pound Northern. I was throwing a very small profile "swimmin image" - most often used for Bass. the differece is - I was targeting Pike -and had on a steel leader. I doubt any DNR guy could tag you for targeting Bass with a steel leader on.

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European brand Northerns. A little different than here :-)

But would still be a blast to catch!

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I throw spinnerbaits all the time for pike before bass, the difference is I am throwing them around main lake structure and not hitting the spawning areas, those are the people that have no scrupels. I was out on a lake on monday and boated twice as many pike as bass because I stayed out of the shallows!

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River rat...good point but not always that easy...

When I was out last Monday the water temps were only 58 degrees - no where near the temp needed for the bass to be in the shallows yet spawning...they were no where in the shallows at all...on the other hand the Norts we caught WERE in the shallows!! Found them just off the emerging weeds in like 4 feet of water - but no bass there :-)

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RR has is right. If you're knowledgeable about catching pike this time of year you're probably not going to catch too many bass or muskies.

Downsize!!!!! Pike generally want smaller baits then muskies to begin with (one reason why tigers do too). My go-to bait for pike is a Fudally Candy Spin. Yes pike will eat bigger things, but if you're truly going after pike and WANT to catch them in numbers start small.

Right now stick to the new weed growth in the 6-10' range of weedy bays. There are areas on a local lake like this where I could never catch a muskie but tons of pike. Then one opener it hit me like "duh" and now I go out and hammer pike. We caught over 30 in 2-1/2 hours one day. I've caught 100's of pike and never a muskie on these spots.

Generally the pike and muskies are not in the same places this time of year. So if you plan on going out to main lake points throwing Cowgirls and Mag Dawgs you're muskie fishing not pike fishing. You're just fooling yourself or a bad fisherman.

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So if you plan on going out to main lake points throwing Cowgirls and Mag Dawgs you're muskie fishing not pike fishing. You're just fooling yourself or a bad fisherman.

Guess I am just a bad fisherman then.

Deep water pike on big waters such as LOW, Red, Mille Lacs, Vermillion etc etc target big food year round,. Plain and simple. An entire wall of pictures tells me that. Most of my pike arsenal is big baits and we do use Mag Dawgs and Cowgirls along with an assortment of BIG slow moving baits to target big deep water mid lake pike. Not to mention running the big lures when targeting trophy class fish drives up the quality ratio discouraging walleye, small pike and who knows what else from hitting the smaller baits.

But what do I know.

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...and to answer the original question Fish how you would fish pike and don't let the fact that the lake has muskie in it change how you fish. If you are not targeting muskie you are not targeting musky plain and simple even if special interest groups feel you may be stepping on toes or acting unethically.

I personally have no problem pulling onto to ANY lake targeting pike as I feel fit.

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Downsize!!!!! Pike generally want smaller baits then muskies to begin with (one reason why tigers do too). My go-to bait for pike is a Fudally Candy Spin. Yes pike will eat bigger things, but if you're truly going after pike and WANT to catch them in numbers start small.

True but for me...it's the size I am going after, not the numbers. So I stick to bigger baits but nothing like mag dawgs though, just the bigger bucktails.

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One way to show you arent targeting bass, if you have a steel leader on your probably arent targeting bass.

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......unless you're me throwing a chatterbait in midsummer on a heavy pike populated lake, but know the bass just love that lure. I'll almost always have a leader on with a chatterbait no matter what I'm targetting if I know theres pike nearby. They inhale those things. :-p

Btw, I still throw a chatterbait before bass opener, and typically catch many more pike than bass when not targetting bass, you just gotta pick the right lake and right areas according to conditions. Its touchy, but I know what I'm doing is legit.

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Just one little thing to point out here. The special interest groups you mention are also in favor of managing trophy Pike in lakes that can support them.

MI and the the Pike guys all worked together for many long hours, to help get the new long range Pike and Muskie management plan put into effect. So please, check your facts, before you start blasting special interest groups.

"Ace"

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what the heck?

I just re-read all the above posts and dont remember seeing anything about 'special interest groups" ??

Nobody was blasting anybody :-(

Just a friendly conversation about the issues when targeting one species when another species might also get caught - but isnt in season yet...

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