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> Early Summer Northern Pike, What's your strategy?
robertmowen
Posted: Jun 11, 2019 - 08:00 pm


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I usually have the best luck with pike later in the season when the weeds grow taller, in about 8 foot of water. This year my trip to the cabin is taking me up a little earlier than normal and with the high water, I'm not sure I'll see any weeds. I'm looking for advice on what approach or bait might work for pike. Deeper/Shallower? Our most successful bait has always been a Mepps inline spinner, size 3 or 4, orange and black or brown and black Does that translate for the time year? Thanks for the advice!

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westarm
Posted: Jun 12, 2019 - 09:05 am


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spring is definitely a more challenging time of year then summer or fall, specifically THIS spring. been a tough go and I have certainly had no luck with any good sized fish.
however this past weekend and the weather it brought changed things some, right up to Saturday evening it was slow, water temps were 60-63 depending where you were, that changed and when it hit the mid 60's it seemed to turn on, we are catching a good number of pike although many small {up to about 3lbs} also noticed another thing change this past weekend, up until sunday evening we had no top water pike hits at all, that changed Monday morning, there are weeds coming in now and the gators seem to be moving shallower, anything from spinners, spinnerbaits, shallow minnow baits and top water have recently seemed to work while prior to that we were searching deeper water. just my take on our area. not sure exactly when you are planning to go but your normal strategy should yield fish.

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robertmowen
Posted: Jun 12, 2019 - 12:20 pm


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Thanks! Great feedback. By the time I get there in 2.5 weeks it should be fully turned on and I'll get after them.

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Northhunter
Posted: Jun 12, 2019 - 09:47 pm


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Westarm - we were seeing some bigger girls cruising the shallows the first couple weeks of the season. South facing shorelines when the sun was out. No idea if/what they were eating though.. 'cause we didn't catch any pike.

Bite has been really slow so far at this end. Everything seems off with this high water. Even the panfish aren't hitting. A normal year at this time we would have cabbage coming up and a serious dragonfly hatch happening. Not yet... I have spent many days on the water over the years and this time of year I'm looking at everything as indicators to gauge the bite. And the only thing that's been on schedule has been the spring peepers, blackflies and mosquitoes.

Still fun though! I'll be out again on the weekend trying to figure it out.

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westarm
Posted: Jun 13, 2019 - 07:00 am


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QUOTE (Northhunter @ Jun 12, 2019 - 10:47 pm)
Westarm - we were seeing some bigger girls cruising the shallows the first couple weeks of the season. South facing shorelines when the sun was out. No idea if/what they were eating though.. 'cause we didn't catch any pike.

Bite has been really slow so far at this end. Everything seems off with this high water. Even the panfish aren't hitting. A normal year at this time we would have cabbage coming up and a serious dragonfly hatch happening. Not yet... I have spent many days on the water over the years and this time of year I'm looking at everything as indicators to gauge the bite. And the only thing that's been on schedule has been the spring peepers, blackflies and mosquitoes.

Still fun though! I'll be out again on the weekend trying to figure it out.

i agree Northhunter, been a crazy unusual spring, and you are right on, the swarms of dragonflies are typically replacing the blackfly problem which I will take any day. lol

and yes, we have seen half a dozen big big fish, a couple could have been muskies.

not sure if you were able to get out sunday or Monday but things began to change with the pike bite, like a switch turned on they started hitting shallower, I spent a lot of time {probably an hour each time I went out} each day throwing topwater just to see when I would finally get hit, it took all the way until Monday morning before I got hit and it was almost right away, 3 casts I believe, I ended up getting 3 on top after days of zero. I also got 4 sunday evening but NONE on top, inline spinner and a spinnerbait on those 4.

I can say this though, leading up to the pike finally hitting with some regularity, frustration would send us to our walleye holes and they didn't disappoint in fact it was easier to find pike that way as we caught a few jigging.

the best is yet to come!

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Paddy
Posted: Jun 14, 2019 - 12:31 pm


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just adding to westarm's post. we did our annual guys trip last weekend. stayed in west arm and fished all over, including west bay.

surface temp was 58 early thursday morning when we launched, was 70 - 74 on sunday afternoon.

we mainly targeted pike, caught approx 100 or so in the 12' to 21" range, all dinks. Caught a handful that were 23-24".

the weird thing, we fished 10 hours a day starting last thursday, every shallow bay we fished was a ghost town. nothing. no follows even. we casted at every beaver lodge, nothing.

all fish were caught in one particular bay that runs east-west, with most fish on the south bank. we smashed them on top waters sunday afternoon and evening.

each day we went exploring and came up empty handed. then had to go back to this one bay and catch some food.

was our first time to west arm, and it had us asking ourselves "is it always like this?"

i know the water is very high and the weeds are non-existent, but still.

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westarm
Posted: Jun 14, 2019 - 02:39 pm


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QUOTE (Paddy @ Jun 14, 2019 - 01:31 pm)
just adding to westarm's post. we did our annual guys trip last weekend. stayed in west arm and fished all over, including west bay.

surface temp was 58 early thursday morning when we launched, was 70 - 74 on sunday afternoon.

we mainly targeted pike, caught approx 100 or so in the 12' to 21" range, all dinks. Caught a handful that were 23-24".

the weird thing, we fished 10 hours a day starting last thursday, every shallow bay we fished was a ghost town. nothing. no follows even. we casted at every beaver lodge, nothing.

all fish were caught in one particular bay that runs east-west, with most fish on the south bank. we smashed them on top waters sunday afternoon and evening.

each day we went exploring and came up empty handed. then had to go back to this one bay and catch some food.

was our first time to west arm, and it had us asking ourselves "is it always like this?"

i know the water is very high and the weeds are non-existent, but still.

very similar to our experience last weekend paddy, not until sunday and Monday did we start getting numbers, and nothing big.

to answer your question there are a ton of smalls normally but not uncommon to at least get a couple north of 30" we had eight guys fishing and zero over 2 feet. been a tough go but will improve

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Northhunter
Posted: Jun 14, 2019 - 11:09 pm


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Paddy.. not always like that, but I've experienced it more than once. Ran into it with walleye out on west bay couple years ago. We fished all afternoon until dark. Early in the day we fished an island shoreline that produced, we spent some time there and moved on. We fished all over. Most of it very promising looking water. We barely got a hit. We had time for one last spot and we made our way back to the same island that produced several hours earlier and got back into fish. They were still there. Not much anywhere else.

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