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steve-13

Northern Pike Fishing

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Hi everyone, I'm new to the forums and I would just like any information or tips on catching good sized northerns. I'm 17 years old and me and my dad are going up to northern Quebec in August for a fishing trip. We go on a fishing trip once a year, usually up to Hearst Ontario and we usually fish for walleye, and we always have success. But over the past few years, I have wanted to start catching big pike. We have caught a few big pike on jigs while walleye fishing but, I would like to target pike more on this trip. The lake we are going to is roughly 15 miles long, and the rod set up I will be using is a medium heavy 6'6 rod, with 10lb braided line, I know the rod is a little light, and I plan on getting some heavier line. Any help/ideas on areas to fish, lures and techniques would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks

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BIG PIKE normally are DEEPER WATERS in summer.... Spring time, they tend to all hangout in shallow back bays. (I think winter too).

 

Do it the old fashioned way....Read books or check some articles online... you'll find TONS of things.

 

Try THIS LINK

I got my books from there and read up on it.

 

In terms of lures... RAPALA's HUSKY JERK is a classic PIKE lure... Just check it out online or read some books (either buying or going to the library).

 

goodluck!

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Sounds like enough rod and line to me. I like light tackle. just put good swivels on it

Troll or cast a williams warbler around. Hammered, gold and silverThe guys I know that fish for Pike call that the "dinner bell"

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I hate them rapalas. Way too many hooks to mess with on a big pike.

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yeah whenever we use lures with trebles we bend the barbs back just to save us the trouble, and we hardly ever use body baits

 

thanks for the info!

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One good tip is just to scale up your lures for bigger pike. eg: Instead of using small spinner bait switch to a 3/4 oz+++ with big body skirt, big flashy willow blades.

 

Another good tip is don't just reel in when you lure reaches the boat, do a few figure 8's. I caught the majority of my big pike within 10 feet of the boat.

 

Here are a few links that talk more about techniques such as letting the spinner bait fall between retrieves, and varying your retire speeds on casts, follow up lures if you are lucky enough to have multiple rods.

 

http://www.wfn.tv/experts/protips/fishingtips76.html

http://www.wfn.tv/experts/protips/fishingtips78.html

 

 

 

Deeper water for sure 20ft+ this time of year, Also I've been experimenting with blu/black spinner baits and they seem to be working well in deeper water. I think the silhouette of blue black lures is more easily seen than the white/chart spinner baits in deeper water.

 

So far I've been having luck with the 35"+ pike this season. I'm dying to catch a huge muskie though. Something made a big arch in 70 feet of water last week on my sonar, I was almost scared to cast there lol. Maybe it was a sturgeon.

Edited by Syn

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Guest ThisPlaceSucks

mepps muskie killer or other big bucktail spinners would be another lure to throw in the box.

 

tandemmagnummuskykiller.jpg

Edited by Dr. Salvelinus

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One thing that helps me get pike is to use the biggest lures you have and then work your way smaller if you don't get a follow or strike.

I love spinnerbait fishing for pike, however spoons in hammered silver/gold like williams wabblers produce pike like crazy.

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.... Throw lures (as mentioned above) in habitat PIKE/WALLEYE/PERCH would be found.

 

Basic rule of thumb (and I'm sure everyone knows): Find the Baitfish, Finds the Bigger Fish.

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Big big spoons. Williams Whitefish in the 7 inch range, giant Len Thompsons, etc etc... 10-20ft of water, they'll most likely be suspended just below the feeding 'eyes....

 

Find the walleye and you'll find the pike, learned a few things from my recent flyin trip last week... Had a decent sized eye on (18inch range) and along with that came a 40+inch pike with my walleye sideways in it's mouth :) Spoons definitely outshined big cranks and anything else we threw at them....

 

You'll catch all your big fish trolling, I wouldn't waste any time in the shallow stuff.

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#1 rule of big pike fishing is go where the big pike are. Ask the place that you are going to, if they have big pike. Check out their website, what pictures do they post? If there are no big pike, try another species like catfish, if you are looking for a fish with a little more muscle. Dem Quebecers hate pike but love the Dore. They will think you are nuts wanting pike. Lakes with dams are not always the best pike lakes because they change the water levels dramatically in the early spring when pike spawn. There is lots dammed water in Quebec. Pike like natural water levels. Late August isn't the best time to go because they are often deeper out of lure range, then again pike are often hungry so there are opportunities. I'd be looking for good healthy weed beds 10 ft or deeper. If the water is warm they will come up to feed early and late in the day. If it is cooler they may stay in the beds. Take a pool thermometer and measure surface and 10ft water. The big ones won't like water over 72ish degrees. If I use spoons, I'll count to three after a cast and before I reel. Getting the lure deeper can be good. If you want to throw into the edges of the weeds, use a Johnson silver minnow. If you want to work the top use a buzzbait or a small spinner bait. The big ones are opportunists and like the easy meals. Where ever there is chaos or unusual events in the water, pike will be there...narrows, storms, high wind. They like that darty flashy look and commotion on the surface, on the bottom, or in the weeds. The lure does not have to be realistic but it does have to be able to dance or strut.

Edited by scuro2

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Toss the largest bait your equipment will allow you to toss.. which unfortunately isn't much but should work for a Mepps Musky Killer or other small bucktails. Big suspending jerkbaits are a good bet too.

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You didnt mention the size of the lake, depth, temps etc so I'll be generalizing.

 

Big pike and small pike are almost a different species. The big fish can definately be classed as a cold water fish. Your opportunities to catch a big pike in the shallows this time of year will be limited for sure & you can forget about the shallow back bays for anything but snot rockets. You should be looking at much deeper water. There may be small windows when they are feeding and may come up shallower but even these areas will be close to deep water, in the main section of the lake. Focus on any mid lake shoals, humps, points, neckdowns. Deep water, rocks, weeds are important... in that order. Big pike are top predators and don't need to hide in the weeds unless they are trying to ambush their prey. Trolling large body baits that will dive 18'+ plus and whacking the bottom is a good way to get them to go. However, your current gear will not suffice. If all else fails, go walleye fishn. Some of the largest pike are caught by unsuspecting walleye anglers.

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Depending on how far north you are going....you may find big pike in shallow water because the water stays cool. Especially this summer, the water has stayed a bit cooler than average.

 

I live in Chicoutimi, Quebec. It's about 2 1/2 hours north of Quebec City. I do a lot of walleye fishing and often catch pike. Just last Saturday, I was fishing in the Peribonka river and I caught a 35 inch pike who was running after bait fish in no more than 2 feet of water. I was packing up my stuff to go home and it was dark....approx 10 p.m. I had seen this pike feeding in shallow water for the past couple of weeks so I decided to toss out a very large white twister tail on a 5/0 hook and the end of a 6 inche 10 lb test wire leader. It took a couple of casts and the pike hit the lure like a ton of bricks. I guess the pike weighed a good 12 lbs....maybe 15 lbs. Earlier in the evening, I guess I caught about 6 other pike ranging from 1 to 6 lbs. All were caught in very shallow water at sundown. Anyway, the myth that pike only bite during the day is not true.

 

There are lots of whitefish feeding on the surface of the Peribonka River but every now and then, some very large pike break the surface in places where there is rarely more than 5 feet of water.

 

The best bait to use.....wow....difficult to answer....they all seem to work.....even the large swim baits that you can buy at a Dollar Store work great....lol. I use everything from large spinner baits to large surface baits to long stick baits to large plastic baits and all produce pike.

 

Large pike are rare. Anything over 30 inches can be considered large because the normal size of an adult pike is 30 inches.

 

Your best bet is to cover lots of water and fish where there is lots of cover but don't forget those shallow flats when it gets dark.

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has anyone suggested wire leaders yet, or does that just go without saying?

good luck!

 

I personally feel that WIRE LEADERS ruin the action of the lure (depending on its size)... I personally prefer LEADER MATERIAL.

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I personally feel that WIRE LEADERS ruin the action of the lure (depending on its size)... I personally prefer LEADER MATERIAL.

I feel that way too. I go commando sometimes and tie directly to 50lb braid. For some reason I always hook pike in the side of the mouth so I almost never had a break off. I think this is because they turn their head sharply when biting the lure.

Edited by Syn

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I make my own wire leaders. I use 12 lb test 54 strand wire leader that is about the size of 4 lb test mono. This stuff is so flexible that you can tie knots in it. It does not affect the action of the lure. I also use 10 lb test 49 strand wire leader too. The only drawback is the fact that this stuff is expensive. I tie on a good black ball bearing swivel at one end and a good snap on the other end. The leader only needs to be about 4 to 6 inches long. I use an ordinary clinch knot.

 

I've tried all kinds of leaders. Yes, a heavy mono or fluoro leader does help but they are too large and ruin the action of the lures and they can still get cut. I pike's teeth cannot cut steel. Something softer cannot cut something harder.

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Wow, this is great, I've learned a lot of things that i didn't know about pike fishing from these posts. Thanks to everyone for all the help. The lake we are going to is Lake Ogascanan, it is 60 miles north of Temiscaming on a dirt road. The website has tons of pics from this year and there are quite a few of some large pike. As for depth and temperature, I have no idea we will have to find out once we get the fish finder in the water, we have never fished this lake so it will be a little tough to locate the fish right away. We will mostly be fishing for walleye, but i would love to go for pike just to change it up once in a while.

 

Thanks again to everyone for the info!

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Affecting the action of the lure has more to do with the type of snap on the end of the leader more then anything.

 

Decent leaders shouldn't impede the action of the lure at all.

 

Please when you are talking bigass spoons, there are zero worries if the leader somehow messed it up.

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I'm not an expert but love pike fishing. I'd say look for weeds weeds and more weeds. Healthier, the greener the better. Also if there is a narrow, say from the main lake in to a Bay always troll it and focus on the mouths of the bays. There is often always good size pike lurking and waiting for free passing meals.

 

Also, make sure you bring some jaw spreaders and very long pliers. The 36"er my buddy landed a couple weeks ago in temagami swallowed his 6" jerkbait with 3 trebles whole. It was not pretty.

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fair enough, I'm no pike expert by any means.

I learn something new pretty much everyday on here.

Nothing wrong with using leaders. My buddy always uses leaders and catches as many pike as I do of the same size. He is just a few feet away from me in the boat. Leaders bug me when I switch to smaller lures, fat worms, fishing slow days for pike and I'm trying to feel what the lure is doing and imparting action. I use leaders about 40% of the time.

 

When I do use leader say on a long rapala, I try to feather the line to help the leader not get fouled up on all the trebles when it lands. Sometimes I remove the middle treble from a three treble rapala. Too many trebles.

 

Another good thing to have is a good net, like a muskie cradle. I built my own for $20 but had I known Bass pro sells them for $43, I would have just bought one from there. The cradle makes life so easy when catching and releasing the big ones. I don't like being slimed after multiple catches! :P

Edited by Syn

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From what I've heard, that is a decent lake that promote catch and release. First thing I do when I arrive at a lake is grill everyone who has fished it. They may not tell you hot spots but they will tell you lures, depths, and time of day that big ones were caught.

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Okay now that you've identified the lake I'll chime in.

I'm somewhat familiar with Ogascanan as I know someone who has fished it.

More importantly to you, in general terms Ogascanan is a deep, clear, oligotrophic lake trout lake.

At this time of year if you want bigger pike, troll. Look for fast breaking rocky shorelines that drop quickly into deep water. Obvious main lake points that drop quickly into deep water and mid lake shoals, humps and rock piles that are adjacent to deep water.

Troll these areas thoroughly starting shallow in 10-12' of water then working your way out deeper to 20-30' depths.

I'd recommend large deep diving crankbaits in natural finishes with a narrower "minnow" profile.

Large flashy spoons like a 6" Williams Whitefish can also be good. (although moreso on bright sunny days).

Bright flashy chartreuse and citrus coloured baits are not usually my first choice unless the water is heavily tannin stained....which Ogascanan is not.

If you want to catch lots of smaller pike then by all means cast the shallower weedy areas of the lake with spinnerbaits, spoons, etc...

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