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fishkid

early season pike

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Hi i was wondering where you try to catch northerns early in the season. like what depth different structures. and also what kind of lures would you throw at them to make a trip more successful.

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Well, the pike season doesn't open until May 14 so you shouldn't be using anything before then. But around the opener I always have good luck casting a 3/4 oz. daredevle in weedy areas that are around 5 feet deep. I also replace the treble hook on my daredevles with a single Siwash style hood. They hook just as good and are easier to get out. A 1/4 or 3/8 black or white spinner bait is a good bet, too.

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Hey Kid,

Even after they are though spawning some very big Pike will stay in the shallows. As long as there is food and comfortable water temps you have some great opportunities for Monster Pike, in shallow water. Mainlake points directly adjacent to these shallow spawning bays are also a good location in the spring.

There are a good variety of baits that will catch these fish, but not all of them will work all of the time. Spinnerbaits are great in cold water in most situations and if I could, that is all I'd throw. Unfortunately as good as they are, the're times when they can't get bit. Spoons are also at their best in cold water, and with the variety of

models and sizes you can handle most situations.

Another great cold water bait is the minnow bait or stickbaits. Husky jerks, Rouges, long A's, the

oringinal Rapalas and a host of others. There are times when these baits are "stone killers" on big

Pike. There are also a number of "soft plastics"

that catch a lot of cold water Pike, many of them work similar to a stickbait, however they seem to have that action that will trigger strikes, when other baits won't work. smirk.gif

"Ace" cool.gif

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I use three methods pretty much year around. The daredevil is always hard to beat. As others have mentioned, stick to the shallow weed beds. If you have a six foot flat with cabbage on the bottom, you're almost guaranteed to have some slimers.

In addition to the spoons, look to inline spinners for a little more flash/noise. I also usually save a few of the too-small-to-fillet perch and bluegills and toss one out under a *big* bobber to let it roam on its own. Big round plastic bobbers work, but a 12" or so pencil float provides less resistance.

-rus-

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Just a reminder,

Using perch or other panfish for livebait is not leagal in Minnesota. If there ever was a fish you never needed livebait to catch it's the Pike. You can catch them on any number of baits at any time during the summer season. grin.gif

"Ace" cool.gif

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You might also try dead bait. Smelt, pickeled creek chubs, sucker chubs. I usually fish dead bait right on the bottom since pike are as much scavangers as they are predators. Especially in the early season right before they spawn or right after they get done spawing and don't like to use to much energy chasing a live or moving bait. Of course you can only fish them this early in places that don't have a closed season on them. I've also had very very good luck with dead bait later in the season especailly in rivers. The biggest pike I ever saw came off a dead bait rig sitting right on the bottom. It was a 45 incher from over in SD. (I have been sworn to a vow of silence on teh exact location) That's a big big way to fish pike over there especially early in the season since there is no closed season on them over there except for a few rivers and creeks that don't open till like May or somtime around there. It's also a very relaxing way of fishing.

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I always forget that most of you are on the wrong side of the river :-) Using perch and whatnot for bait is legal on my side, so I forget it isn't in MN. Maybe you could paint some green stripes on a big shiner? :-D

-r-

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How big of fish are you looking to catch? I've caught 3 pounders on small inline spinners. My biggest last year was actually on the 3/8 oz Gapen Flub-Dub perch color. Great lure.

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I know gamefish are illegeal as bait, but are sunfish considered gamefish? (i think they are, just checking) intrestingly, in Canada, you can use anyhting as bait, and the lake i fish (dont fish pike or muskys in it) the limit for muskies isn't 1 over 40 (i read this in cm but converted it so its accurate) its 1 over 63!!!!!! I was amazed, but it goes to show what happens when a lake that was predicted to be the next world record holder in the 80's is widly told and overfished!!! For the record, I'm talking about Wabigoon Lake in Dryden, Ontario. And i actually dont go up for fishing that lake, i fish a portage lake from it, I have never seen a lake with as good smallie action! We (3 people) caught like 25-40 fish each a day, and only a couple were under 15 in!!!

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In some areas big pike head into pencil reeds in the spring. Often they are in pockets or little indentations but near the edges so they can hide and ambush prey. It's difficult to fish these places but few other anglers are fishing these spots, here is a tip. I like to tie a seven strand wire leader directly to a #5 wide gap worm hook. Use a figure eight knot. Use a swivel on the other end of the leader. The leader should be at least 12 inches long. Then rig up a large white sluggo, hokey pokey, or eel type bait. 8 to 10 inches are best. Rig it weedless with the point buried in the bait. Using heavy line or super line cast this into those pockets in the pencil reeds with confidence. Hang on Son.

Jackfish

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I like the spoons. I do find the daredevil brand to be too heavy for the shallow water of early season. Orange and gold. Chartrouse and silver. Work the weeds. If you can find a fish trap (Weedless Spoon) get it. It's an oldie and a goodie. The silver minnow is hard to beat for this type of fishing also.

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Using plastics in the reeds is a good tactic and I do use it myself when the bite is real slow.

However when they are in a bitting mood it's hard to beat a spinnerbait or a buzzbait for fishing a reed bed. They will come through almost anything and the pike absolutely love them. grin.gif

"Ace" cool.gif

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Just about every lake on opener for as long as I remember has been kinda cold and nasty, alot of times i'm using a jig in minnow in 10-12 feet of water for the walleyes, and can't seem to get the pike to leave me alone, a jig and a fat head, or a jig/white twister tail, or probably a spinner blade bassbait or the good old rattle trap on opener. A good ol sucker minnow or shiner below a bobber around some emerging cabbage near the entrance of a shallower bay would be a good bet too

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