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Raycaster

Balsam this week, lots of small pike

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On Balsam this week and really just targeting pike and bass so far. Cant complain about the action but besides a decent 3lb bass all the pike really small. I have caught over 15 “snot rockets” so far and only kept 3. 1 Wally 17” that got tossed back off Grand Island.

South Bay pretty quiet along with Ant Island but shores to Coboconk busy.

The provincial Park is next target.

I know a lot here don’t target pike but we usually go for quantity over quality for a big fish fry on the weekend.

Thursday or Friday will chase the wallys...

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I to love eating pike. Easy to clean 5 fillet method. A youtube vid that was 3.26 minutes and I was good.

Balsam is the only regular stop with pike for me. Heard Rice has them but haven't caught any yet. 

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I too love the 5 fillet approach but to me it works better with larger pike as the top of y bone is tight to the shoulders on small pike. 
 

A large pike for my non-surgeon hands is perfect to perform the “ 5 boneless filet” pike technique. I know veterans can get 2x as much meat off than me but when you only filet 10 pike a year the 5 filet way is simple quick and no hassle.

 

 

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6 hours ago, crappieperchhunter said:

I would take a feed of smaller pike over a feed of walleye any day. Enjoy your fishing and a good fish fry.

I wouldn't go that far, I would be blessed to have either. I learned about cleaning Pike from an old 1st Nations guide up in the Long Lac area back on a trip in 81'. The fish were big, average about 12 lbs. We tossed many back looking for 5 pounders. Nothing went to waste and no bones. "Y" bones went into a food processor, not a cheap blender from Walmart a quality food processor, that piece of meat with the "Y" bones were used to make fish cakes. 

My former Father in law wouldn't let you bring a Pike into his boat let alone eat one. My BIL Bobby and I under the cover of darkness stole the boat and went out and caught a nice size Northern. I think we made sure Bill's glass was always full of Rye the evening before. Cleaned the fish nice, nice and cooker her up for the weekly neighborhood fish fry. We all watched Bill inhale the Pike, and comment how good it was. We almost choked to death laffing when he said that. We never said a word as he wouldn't let us use the boat the rest of the week, maybe for the rest of our lives. 

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Eat as many as you can! Keep the others and give em to your friends to eat. It saddens me to hear of the thriving pike population in Balsam as I used to love fishing Balsam for musky

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20 hours ago, Rizzo said:

Eat as many as you can! Keep the others and give em to your friends to eat. It saddens me to hear of the thriving pike population in Balsam as I used to love fishing Balsam for musky

I have fished Balsam a handful of times since going to a co worker pals cottage starting in the early 90's. I have yet to catch a single solitary fish out of that water.  I was always the brunt of bad jokes because of my bad luck or lack of skills. 

 I've never understood why we cherish one gamefish above others i.e. Musky trumps all. 

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Raycaster, looking forward to your report from the provincial park side.  Heading up there in september hopefully.

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3 hours ago, Old Ironmaker said:

I have fished Balsam a handful of times since going to a co worker pals cottage starting in the early 90's. I have yet to catch a single solitary fish out of that water.  I was always the brunt of bad jokes because of my bad luck or lack of skills. 

 I've never understood why we cherish one gamefish above others i.e. Musky trumps all. 

Personal preference is all. I can catch pike in many many many lakes in Ontario, musky not as many. And typically, once the pike are in, most lakes' musky populations greatly suffer, often to the point of extinction. So as someone who prefers musky over pike, yes I would prefer no pike in the Kawarthas. You really don't have a preference on what you catch? I am surprised by that.  

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I was guiding on Balsam earlier this week and only caught 1 pike (Around 30") I do believe that the larger pike are deep this time of year there but the population is pretty strong there. BTW pike are great eating as long as you know how to clean them properly! We hooked into about 22 Smallies and landed 16 of them, the young folks who were with me were pretty jacked!

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Edited by David Chong

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Awesome David.

The lake has kinda shut down for us, even this morning just a few baby pike and small bass. South Bay has been a ghost town which was our “go to” for sure pike action.

As you said with 76 degrees surface maybe 12ft + for anything worth cooking.

Also spent an hour over at provincial but first timer and was chasing weeds beds in to the middle of the lake.

The mounds of Grand towards South Bay were marking Wally for sure but no takers.

Will try again tonight solo. 
 

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On 8/12/2020 at 7:25 PM, Rizzo said:

Personal preference is all. I can catch pike in many many many lakes in Ontario, musky not as many. And typically, once the pike are in, most lakes' musky populations greatly suffer, often to the point of extinction. So as someone who prefers musky over pike, yes I would prefer no pike in the Kawarthas. You really don't have a preference on what you catch? I am surprised by that.  

I understand what you are saying. I actually do prefer some fish over others. Walleye over Perch over Crappie for meat hunting. I prefer the challenge of Musky over Bass or Pike. I tend to be protective of our fragile Musky population because of what I am being told by biologists. Then I read an article where someone that sounds like they know what they are talking about says the Musky population is just fine. 

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2 hours ago, Old Ironmaker said:

I understand what you are saying. I actually do prefer some fish over others. Walleye over Perch over Crappie for meat hunting. I prefer the challenge of Musky over Bass or Pike. I tend to be protective of our fragile Musky population because of what I am being told by biologists. Then I read an article where someone that sounds like they know what they are talking about says the Musky population is just fine. 

I hope they are right! Some bodies of water the muskies do just fine with pike around (think Lake of the Woods, L St Clair etc) but then other places muskies are doomed (think Dalrymple, Canal etc)

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There is a Musky guide out there that fishes The West Arm and could if he wished to limit out on Musky every and most any day he wished. His skills and about $100,000.00 of  equipment will do it. 

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