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Pike Fishing

Pike FishingThe pike is a predatory fish. It has been called the “shark” of fresh water as it is the ultimate hunter that will eat anything that breathes and moves in the water, its offspring included.  Up until its 2nd to 3rd year, pikes have been noted to lurk in shallow waters to hide from its cannibalistic parents.  As a pike matures, it will slowly drift to deeper waters and start its hunt of prey fish, some of which are even bigger than the pike itself.

It is a fact that the bigger the body of water is, the bigger the pike in its depth. This is because large rivers and lakes have more prey fish as “food” for the predatory pike. There are pikes that thrive in the Baltic Sea feeding on codling and herring but there are also varieties of pikes that lurk in fresh water.North America has five varieties of pikes:  the northern pike (pike); muskellunge (muskies), chain pike; grass pike and ref-fin pickerels.  All pike varieties are anatomically perfect for hunting as their eyes are set high on the head for scanning the water surface.  A pike’s jaw is so constructed as to allow it to swing wide open to gobble up a prey. With razor-sharp teeth it can rip, slash and pierce its prey with ease.

fishing1Fishing Strategies

Spawning time from the months of May to June is the best time to angle for pikes. This is the period where both male and female pikes will drift to warm water filled with weeds.  The weeds act as natural protection for the pike’s eggs from predators like them!  After spawning,   the pikes will eventually shift to deeper water as they follow their “food” of prey fish.

Pikes generally prefer to wait in places that provide good coverage for them.  The weather also affects a pike’s behavior.  In cold weather, their feeding period is short as their digestion system slows down. In warm weather, they will spend more time feeding than resting.

During the spawning season, it is best to spot and fish for pikes in shallow water with weed beds. It is possible to hit a major spawning ground in water 2 feet deep.  As summer comes in with its full heat, expect pikes to follow their prey in deeper water (10 to 15 feet). The best time to fish for pikes is from 8:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. and from 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. As the day draws to a close, so does pike activity.  There is no use for nocturnal fishing for pikes.

In the cooler months, pikes will go back to shallower water.  Though pikes are not picky eaters  (they eat frogs, ducklings and anything that fits in their wide mouth) it will bode well if an angler is informed that a predatory fish like the northern pike will not just “bite” for the sake of feeding.  It will only take in food when it is ready.  Trophy pikes are mostly in the offing in mouths of rivers and lakes.

fishing1Tackles and Gears

Angling has become a gentleman’s sports. Most anglers fish for the fun and thrill of landing a trophy fish but very few keep their prizes. Catch and release is the order of the day.

Pikes are aggressive, spinners and baits that mimic its local diet are best.  Consider lures and spinners that would work well in weed beds.  It has been observed that gold and silver work best in overcast days while bright colors such as orange, red and black work best in sunny days.  There is no single formula in luring a pike. Experiment.

A pike rod from 10 to 12 feet long is ideal. Handle it and see if the rod is flexible and durable enough especially if pike fishing entails a boat ride.  A multiplier reel or fixed-spool reel will do just fine.

fishing1Where to Find Pike

Northern pike is a very common fish in the United States and Canada. It has been said that the best lake for pike fishing is in Cree Lake in Saskatchewan, Canada.  In Florida, the larger lakes of Seminole, Crescent, Kissimmee and St. John’s River offer great opportunity for pike fishing.  In South Dakota Lake Oahe and Shadehill Reservoirs including small ponds and rivers are teeming with pikes.

Pikes are everywhere!  The key in landing one, aside from knowing its movement and preferred diet, is patience.