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Old 11-28-2022, 01:26 PM
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Default Bait fishing Pike Advice

Hi all

Been years since I fished for pike. Caught some this year fly fishing. Went yesterday ice fishing and was skunked. Granted didnít fish long.

So what is peoples go too methods if you donít mind me asking. Some of you are surely experts.

Namely.

Jigging for pike. Lure type, jigging speed and style. Bait or no bait?

Dead sticking. Plain hook. Jig hook. Treble hook in back. Single hook or double bait rig. Size of smelt or minnow. Depth off bottom.

Using steel pike leaderÖ black or silver. Or using 20 or 30lb mono leader or wirebite?

Depth of water during the winter months.

Any other advice?

Last time I fished pike lots was 25 years ago. Gear is gone so starting from scratch.

In the old days Iíd dangle a smelt hooked in the back with a treble and hung below my pop bottle tip ups. Used 20 lb test leader. Fished 3 feet off bottom in 10 feet of water. Did well in Feb/Mar. Never jigged pike but seen on peoples videos that they donít seem to like much jigging movement.

Let er rip. Looking forward reading your posts!

Cheers

Sun
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Old 11-28-2022, 03:16 PM
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I usually fish pike in 3 to 20ft typically. Jig n minner and tipups/deadstick is the usual method. Anything fishy; shiners, smelt, sucker, etc. Presentation depends on the pike. Lipless crank works when they are aggressive. Sometimes they prefer the deadstick/tipup over anything moving. Deadstick is either a jig n minner or single hook n minner. Tipups running a single hook usually at least a foot off bottom sometimes more. Usually use mono leader over wire. Just have to keep an eye on the mono for wear.
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Old 11-28-2022, 04:46 PM
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I like to jig a Len Thompson spoon with a minnow. I take the treble hook off of the spoon and put a snap swivel on the bottom of the spoon. Then I can unhook the treble hook and stab a minnow onto the main shank of the treble hook. Then the minnow is sitting horizontal and I snap the treble back onto the spoon. Minnows stay on good. Alot of the time I am not jigging the spoon so much but rather just short fast fluttering just to create some flash. Have put a minnowed spoon below a stationary tip up too.

Or just a snap swivel on the end of my line, no spoon, and then snap on a treble hook with a horizontal minnow. Pike tend to inhale the plain minnow deep so I only use that if I know I am going to keep the pike.
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Old 11-28-2022, 05:17 PM
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For me it really depends if I am going for numbers or size.

For numbers I'll drill a grid over an area with holes every 15-20 yards in are area with a weeds, a drop off or preferably both. The bait I use for the deadline are 2-5" minnow or smelt on a size 1 or 2 octopus or J hook with a splitshot 1ft above. I like barbless single hooks for this presentation because the smaller bait can lead to fish swallowing it/taking it deep. Even if this happens you can easily unhook without causing serious damage or bleeding by going up through the gills with your pliers and twisting the hook out by doing a J movement. Works far better than trying to reach in from their mouth. I run this rig on 36-42" MH ice rod with a baitrunner reel or a ifishPro tip up because I like to fight the fish on a rod rather than handline a tip up. I'll start with my bait 1ft off bottom but will move it up or down if I don't get bites. I find laying it on bottom works well when the fish are in a super off mood and the fishing is slow. With my second line I'll hole hop with a jigging setup and spend 5-10min per hole to try and dial in where the action is. I always start with more active presentations like a flutter spoons, paddle tail swimbaits, or rattle baits. If I get a bunch of looks but no takes then I'll either downsize my lure, add a piece of minnow/smelt or go to a jig and minnow. For jigging cadence I'll start with more aggressive 1-3 foot rips with shorter pauses or pounding the lure on the spot in between. If the fishing is slower then more pounding on the spot with smaller lifts or drops to the bottom usually work. Once you have a fish interested keep the lure moving away from them either above or below. If that doesn't get a strike next time try more subtle movements or fluttering the lure on the spot. I use 36-42" M or MH ice rods for jigging. Both my jigging and deadstick setups have 12 or 15lb line on the reels. I never run steel leaders so you do have to check your line for knicks/wear and retie fairly often and will get bitten off every once in a while (especially with a jig and minnow or the deadstick) but in my mind this is the trade off with having more stealth in your presentation when fish are finicky and the water is clear.

If I am targeting large pike then I will drill less holes and spread them out more. Here I'll look more for large flats in 5-15ft of water. If there are weed beds or a drop off near by then great but its less important than if I was going for numbers. I'll run both lines on iFishPro tip ups with 40+" heavy action rods with 4000 size reels with 30lb line. I tie my own quick strike rigs with two #2 treble hooks and 50lb braid connecting them at the eyelets. To connect it to the mainline I use a saltwater loop knot so the main treble can pivot which helps present the bait more naturally and will increase your hookup percentage. The key with this rig is to hook the bait so it hangs horizontal or slightly nose down and that the hooks are just in enough that when you set the hook they rip out of the bait and transfer to the fish easily. You can use pre-packaged rigs but I've found the hook quality is poor for a lot of them, and both the V style and ones with the sliding trebles on steel leaders don't present the bait as naturally. Barbless hooks and getting to your line quickly after the take is important to ensure minimal harm is done to the fish. With two trebles in the bait you don't have to wait to set the hook. As soon as you feel the fish moving with the bait or weight on the line I will set the hook and I very rarely have issues with fish getting hooked deep. Also make sure you always have pliers, jaw spreaders and wire cutters on hand at the hole to help get the fish released quickly. Bring a book or listen to a podcast cause it can be a grind waiting for bites.
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Old 11-28-2022, 05:37 PM
Smoky buck Smoky buck is offline
 
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7-15ft of water near a weed bed close to to deeper water. Bait large herring 8-9inch. 2 2/0 treble with fluorocarbon leader. Nicer pike I usually catch dead sticking just off the bottom but I do vary my depth. Most of the time I am fishing with others so we spread out are lines slowly getting deeper. I hate being restricted to a tent and move if there is no action

I am not a big ice fisherman but I do get results when I go and rarely get skunked

This has worked at every lake I have ice fished for pike
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Old 11-28-2022, 08:10 PM
Drewski Canuck Drewski Canuck is offline
 
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Back in the day tip ups in December when the Tullibee were spawning, the key is to find a sandy bar near deeper water. That is where the tullibee are.

Bait has to be big, so look to herring in the 8 inch size with 2 trebles on a spreader bar set up.

Baptiste Lake has produced some monster pike in the past with this method.

Drewski
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Old 11-28-2022, 08:16 PM
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Just ask Wayne......
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2022, 10:23 PM
anthony5 anthony5 is offline
 
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Default Pike Fishing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundancefisher View Post
Hi all

Been years since I fished for pike. Caught some this year fly fishing. Went yesterday ice fishing and was skunked. Granted didnít fish long.

So what is peoples go too methods if you donít mind me asking. Some of you are surely experts.

Namely.

Jigging for pike. Lure type, jigging speed and style. Bait or no bait?

Dead sticking. Plain hook. Jig hook. Treble hook in back. Single hook or double bait rig. Size of smelt or minnow. Depth off bottom.

Using steel pike leaderÖ black or silver. Or using 20 or 30lb mono leader or wirebite?

Depth of water during the winter months.

Any other advice?

Last time I fished pike lots was 25 years ago. Gear is gone so starting from scratch.

In the old days Iíd dangle a smelt hooked in the back with a treble and hung below my pop bottle tip ups. Used 20 lb test leader. Fished 3 feet off bottom in 10 feet of water. Did well in Feb/Mar. Never jigged pike but seen on peoples videos that they donít seem to like much jigging movement.

Let er rip. Looking forward reading your posts!

Cheers

Sun
Pike are pike, they haven't changed in 25 years. Your method back then will work just fine now, if the bite is on it's all good, if not then your just washing bait, won't matter how many pike are cruising the area.
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  #9  
Old 11-29-2022, 08:04 AM
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8-10 inch herring, treble hook mid section, pop holes in it and squeeze the air and juices out, lower it down to about two feet off bottom, pop up device, set two up, sit in truck and watch a movie enjoying a snack or two, looking out occasionally.

Seems to be the norm around here in pike territory and man they pull up some bigguns.
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Old 11-29-2022, 08:39 AM
Smoky buck Smoky buck is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 58thecat View Post
8-10 inch herring, treble hook mid section, pop holes in it and squeeze the air and juices out, lower it down to about two feet off bottom, pop up device, set two up, sit in truck and watch a movie enjoying a snack or two, looking out occasionally.

Seems to be the norm around here in pike territory and man they pull up some bigguns.
The sitting in the truck method with tunes and the heat on is my style
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  #11  
Old 11-30-2022, 12:44 PM
Jims83cj5 Jims83cj5 is offline
 
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I fish for them coming out from a point that comes off of a big flat bay, start in about 3 ft of water and keep moving out in 2 ft depths until I hit around 15 ft. If itís weedy Iíll suspend barely above the weeds, if itís sandy then I lay the milk fish right on the bottom. I use milk fish as they look more like something in the lake more than a herring does. 8Ē to 12Ē .
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  #12  
Old 11-30-2022, 01:06 PM
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WayneChristie WayneChristie is offline
 
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Ive been out 4 times so far only had bites on 1 of them, not really the right person to ask
thats how fishing goes, get a little cocky and they remind us how wrong we can be! all part of the fun for me anyways.
I usually fish a bay thats pretty much 7 to 8 feet deep. although I do fish shallower than that quite often too. you can have great days where you cant even sink a bait without someone grabbing it and days where you wonder why you dragged your tail out of the nice warm bed and out into Siberia!!
I like to put my bait right on bottom for pike, single J jook either in the back just in front of the dorsal so you can rip it out of the bait when they pick it up, or in the back of the head so I can just barely lift the head off bottom when they are being really picky, makes it easier for the pike to suck in your bait head first. The single hook gives I think even more hookups than trebles, at least for me if not at least cause a lot less damage to the fish.
I like to sit in a nice insulated tent on foam mats with a big heater, Im old and you young pups can freeze whatever you like mines a bit more worn A camera is the biggest advantage you can have especially when the fish are picky or turned off feeding, you can sometimes convince them to take your bait by slow jigging it and I like to bring it right to the ice once in a while doing that. a herring shines very bright when its jigged and fish can see it for a long way, they may not take it but they can also draw in more pike to see what they are after. Ive learned so much watching them on camera and it doesnt take long to realize how much you miss while looking through your windshield or waiting for a flag to chase.
I hate tipups, even though I caught my PB on one, take the victories while you can I guess!!! If you see me runniing on the ice you may want to start running too!
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Old 11-30-2022, 01:51 PM
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Default leaderz

forgot to mention I prefer using 40 pound flouro leader material, much heavier than that it starts to get harder to tie since single hooks usually have smaller eyes than trebles. again its just my personal preference some days you could hang a bait with a tow chain and theyd still take it. I also prefer 30 pound mono on my baitcasting reels I use for ice fishing pike because braid freezes way too quick for my liking, cost me an expensive baitcaster.
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Old 11-30-2022, 01:54 PM
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I changed my tactics a few years ago and I've seen way more big pike on the ice since.
I will find a shallow flat...like sub 10 feet. From therein looking for the steepest drop I can find on an inside turn. I set my shack up on the deep side of the drop ideally somewhere in the 18-25 foot range as it tapers off into lake basin. Tip ups will go on the flats and we actively fish the deep water. We outfish the tip ups 2-1 usually when it comes to larger 30+" fish. Last winter I put 19 pike over 40" on the ice and I think only 5 of those came off tip ups.
Tactics definitely change a bit based on weather and how late into March I'm fishing....but for the most part the biggest fish in the lake are not spending the majority of their time in shallow water.
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Old 12-01-2022, 11:12 PM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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Take a couple friends and hang anchoveys under a half dozen of of these in 5-10' of water. Herrings are bigger, and theoretically will catch bigger fish. Anchoveys are more oily and they stink more which I think counts for more than an inch or so of size, I've always done better with them than Herring. Thaw them out and salt them before hand to keep them on the hook better, position a fairly large treble halfway between the head and the dorsal.

Pro Tip: try and set one tip-up in the most inconvenient spot possible... slightly behind your truck and into the sun so you can barely see it, carefully positioned so you need to climb over a large snow bank and wade through some flood water to get there... that tip-up will for sure catch more fish than all the other lines put together. Repeatedly putting your bait, pliers, and other vital gear at the exact opposite end of your spread for no good reason also seems to help herd more fish over to your lucky tip-up.

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Old 12-02-2022, 08:08 AM
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That set up is soooooo bushleague

Luv it when people make their own rigs.
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Old 12-02-2022, 09:40 AM
Smoky buck Smoky buck is offline
 
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So the overall consensus I am seeing in this thread is as follows

Drill hole in lake , put hooks in baitfish, use leader, make sure it is attached to some kind of line, put baitfish down hole and catch pike

Ok thatís it go fishing
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Old 12-02-2022, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoky buck View Post
So the overall consensus I am seeing in this thread is as follows

Drill hole in lake , put hooks in baitfish, use leader, make sure it is attached to some kind of line, put baitfish down hole and catch pike

Ok thatís it go fishing
no one has mentioned the most important thing! always pee in both holes or your catch ratio will be off. and if you have company never pee down their hole or they will most times outfish you
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Old 12-02-2022, 10:04 AM
Smoky buck Smoky buck is offline
 
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no one has mentioned the most important thing! always pee in both holes or your catch ratio will be off. and if you have company never pee down their hole or they will most times outfish you
And here I have just been ****ing beside my truck all these years

Again Wayne you have past along another great pearl of wisdom
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Old 12-02-2022, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoky buck View Post
And here I have just been ****ing beside my truck all these years

Again Wayne you have past along another great pearl of wisdom
I find if I try outside it shrinks so fast in the cold I end up peeing in my boots so I stay in the nice warm tent!
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Old 12-02-2022, 10:16 AM
Smoky buck Smoky buck is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WayneChristie View Post
I find if I try outside it shrinks so fast in the cold I end up peeing in my boots so I stay in the nice warm tent!
I fish from the truck so I am just stepping out the door lol. Plus I am always the driver so I park with the passenger side blocks the wind
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Old 12-02-2022, 12:26 PM
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Viagara helps pee past the boots in most cases




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Old 12-02-2022, 12:50 PM
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Viagara helps pee past the boots in most cases




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yah but trying to do up the zip afterwards is the issue in that case!
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Old 12-02-2022, 04:45 PM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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Viagara helps pee past the boots in most cases




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A couple dudes pitching tents in an ice shack seems like a somewhat awkward situation to me... YMMV
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Last edited by Bushleague; 12-02-2022 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 12-02-2022, 04:48 PM
Smoky buck Smoky buck is offline
 
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Quote:
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A couple dudes pitching tents in an ice shack seems like a somewhat awkward situation to me... YMMV
Well played sir well played
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Old 12-02-2022, 04:52 PM
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Well played sir well played
It might still be better than trying to ignore Wayne pizzing into his hole.
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Old 12-02-2022, 11:31 PM
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That's a good tactic, trying to pull 3 inches through 4 inches of clothes gets real old

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Old 12-04-2022, 12:16 PM
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Been lots of years past since ice fishing. We had hand powered augers 8 inch. That was a workout when drilling at least 6 holes of 2 and a half feet of ice. No tent, no shack and not sitting in a vehicle. Home made tip ups. We always used smelts from the Asian market and dead stick about 1 to 2 ft. off the bottom. We would start at about 6 ft and drill out to about 15 ft deep. The lakes we did fish we knew where the big weed beds were and the drop offs. Don't even ask what the big KFC bucket was for
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