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aquafang

Experienced and long time spearers...question

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I have only used decoys and jigging spoons to bring in pike. Never used a live decoy. Here's my question...

Yesterday i saw 7 pike but 5 of them would get to the edge of the hole and some would turn away and some spooked for no reason. Is this an instance where a live decoy would help?

Any info would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

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That's a hard question to answer. I had a sucker minnow and a decoy down and speared the biggest of my life and he wanted nothing to do with the live decoy. Then other days they wanted nothing to do with the decoy and tormented the sucker. I guess that's why they call it fishing.

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I'm with Orlip I don't think there is a good answer to that question. I always use a live sucker and it seems like the pike are more attracted to it then the artificial. That being said I had a mid 30" pike come in today locked on my artificial northern decoy.

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Mj, how long is that northern decoy, about 14"?

Nope I'm afraid to scratch it.

I would embarrass myself if I told you the maker.

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Sometimes you never know what they are going to want. I use fakes more than live because I don't have an easy way to keep them alive. There are days where the spoon on the spinner is the big winner. Others the decoy.

I do see spooking. Sometimes for seemingly no reason. But I chalk that up to skittish fish. On a lonely day you can do jumping jacks and not scare em.

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I think I speared my first northern in 1961. Now I spear mostly on one lake north of Brainerd. I won't go out without at least 2 live decoys. Nothing is worse then having your live decoy stolen, under your nose, while you were on your phone. Now you will be glad you have a backup. I've seen about 30 northerns this season, almost all have hit the live decoy. I've gone through about 9 live decoys already this season. Only 3 hit the wooden decoy. Although I could be using the wrong wooden decoys.

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how clear is the lake you are spearing on? It's possible they are seeing your spear hole.

My husband and I always use a live decoy along with a fake decoy, towards the later end of the season we have no luck with the live decoy.

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If the inside of your house isnt dark it can spook fish. Are you spearing from a portable? If its a permanent house are the walls and ceiling painted a dark color?

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I think it has more to do with the mood of the fish on the particular day you happen to be out.

My permanent is sheeted with pink Owens panels and I have never painted it. I see a lot of fish every season that are not in the least dissuaded from not having it black. I spear out of my Otter Lodge and several different types of hubs on about 15 different lakes each season. As long as it is dark enough to see down the hole, it is good enough for me to see as many pike as anyone else.

Some days they just hang up and are in a neutral or negative mood. I don't think it much matters what you have down the hole. The doldrum days start to happen more frequently this time of the winter. Just keep going and sooner or later good things will happen.

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I have a 6 x 8 permanent with a 2' by 4' spear hole. The inside walls are brown paneling. I cover the windows with sheet metal. So the inside is a total blackout. I'll just keep plugging!

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I think it has more to do with the mood of the fish on the particular day you happen to be out.

My permanent is sheeted with pink Owens panels and I have never painted it. I see a lot of fish every season that are not in the least dissuaded from not having it black. I spear out of my Otter Lodge and several different types of hubs on about 15 different lakes each season. As long as it is dark enough to see down the hole, it is good enough for me to see as many pike as anyone else.

Some days they just hang up and are in a neutral or negative mood. I don't think it much matters what you have down the hole. The doldrum days start to happen more frequently this time of the winter. Just keep going

and sooner or later good things will happen.

+1

I have a very dark house, but that's because it makes it easier to see. I think it has little to no affect on if the fish will come in. There are all different levels of varying light under the water (snow drifts to bare ice will vary the light let in greatly). In fact, one of the biggest fish I have ever taken came in when I had my door wide open. Some days the fish are negative...some days they'd hit an old work boot on a string. It's just the nature of the beast. Wooden decoys work and live bait works, but hands down a live bait is more productive. I have seen far too much evidence to even argue that fact in 30 years of spearing. I still use both because there are days when they will prefer one to the other, but I strongly believe the days they want something live will always outnumber the other days. I carve all my own decoys, so this is not a knock on the decoy guys...I AM a decoy guy, lol, but I won't go fishing without a live sucker or chub...I would go without a decoy. That's the difference for me. While I think decoys tend to draw fish in from a greater distance (when they are active), the sucker usually seals the deal.

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I agree that fish will come in with some light in the house. I noticed before I painted my interior, the fish seemed a lot more likely to spook. Like they catch the reflection of your hand moving or something.

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Just thought I give an update to this. I had a nice pike come in and smack my minnow and drag it way outside the hole. I tried to pull him back but he (she) got the minnow. Now I'm out of minnows and forced to use another decoy. About an hour latter another nice pike came in. I got that and wondered, hmmmmmm. Yup my minnow was in his stomach, hole under the dorsel fin from the harness and all. shocked

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I went out friday had 6 come into the hole and all but 1 hit the sucker. One stole the sucker but i was still able to stab him. One that i didnt want to spear do to size i started to pull sucker up he hit it and i was able to bring him all way to top and grab him with my hands. Was out friday with decoys and had 2 smaller ones attack the decoys.. So in my few years i try to have little of all with just to find what they're wanting if anything that day

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