Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chasing Pike through Morning Fog

7AM with a heavy fog rolling across the lake. Blustery winds delivered a cold mist of rain that stung the scars of this lingering winter. With waders and gear I set out in the fog after pike.

The access to this lake is limited so when the gates do open to anglers we tend to run, not walk to the shoreline. There is a slight crowd but tolerable. My plan is to move past the crowds and find an isolated spot to fish.

(Above: The prime real estate goes fast. I try to show up early and pick a few spots on the dam before heading down and picking spots as I go.)

I find a spot and start casting. First the spoon and then the jig. Within minutes I feel the heavy surge that is unmistakably a pike. The battle ensues with a mixture of heavy force, almost dead weight and then ripping flight through the water. A few moments later and a toothy fish is landed in the 24, maybe 26-inch range.

(Above: Started the day out with a number of these guys. A little on the skinny side but otherwise in decent shape. Jevan from Team JW gets credit for this shot. Thanks again, man. Good meeting you out there.)

Lure of choice is metal spoons anywhere in the 4 to 6” range. Some throw bigger or smaller for various reasons but I tend to start with a good 4” kastmaster and work my way up to krocodile spoons in copper or firetiger. I am throwing these lures for distance as much as anything else out here.

With very little water open on the front section of the lake I decided to venture out to the back section. The pike have hammered the forage base of this lake and crawdads have turned out to be somewhat of a staple in their diet. I throw large jig patterns in the back section and occasionally get strikes. On this day through the early morning fog I tossed out and WHAM! This guy put up a much better fight and made the drag sing loudly once or twice before submitting to the shameless photo op and release.

(Above: Getting some better pike in the cattails but nearly losing the camera in the process.)

I caught one more pike that was as long as the one shown above but just a little bit fatter. There was just no way to get quality footage without risking camera gear. Getting great photos and video wading deep into the cattails is real tough solo. Maybe some sort of pole tripod that stuck in the ground maybe. Hmmm. I will have to try that next time.

Pike can store an enormous amount of swimming strength in their body. Combined with their long sleek shape and streamline tale fins the pike can show explosive fighting power for the sport angler. Added with the fact that this fish has about 20,000 razor sharp teeth it makes the northern pike an amazing sport fish.

My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.


Anonymous said...
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MNAngler said...

Awesome. Those are some great looking Pike.

Anonymous said...

Never fished for Pike, but, I should give it a try. They are one toothy critter as you explain in your post. Congratulations on some nice fish, Matt.