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Old 06-10-2013, 08:14 AM
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Default Re: 1st encounter with Northern ... AYE!

Quote:
You are casting 60 and retrieving to 40 and recasting....meaning your fishing 20' only. IF you're targeting the pike...fish it ALL....I literally mean...even think like your fishing while drawing your fly up to start to cast. As i said in another post about pike fishing....so many times I have seen a fly taken...or a huge pike chase the fly right out o the water!!! Hell, I've seen grown men scream...as a snot rocket erupts into their laps. FISH the whole cast.
x2. This is excellent advice.

Pike are mean and nasty and often hit because they're angry rather than hungry. I've not had the opportunity to go at them with a fly rod, but have with conventional tackle. Big ones will sometimes charge a boat when hooked and will hunt a bait down.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:41 AM
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Default Re: 1st encounter with Northern ... AYE!

Here in my area there's only a few bodies of water where you can expect to find northern pike. You tend to target them rather than catch one by mistake.
Chain pickerel on the other hand are very common in the same water where you would find large mouth bass and good sized ones around here are consistently around 22".
Here's how you can tell the difference


Northern Pike-
Scales are present on the upper half of the gill cover, but are absent on the lower half. The cheek area (located just forward of the gill plate), is fully scaled. Pike usually have five pairs of sensory pores along the underside of the lower jaw. The cheeks and gill covers of chain pickerel are fully scaled, and generally only four pairs of sensor pores are present on the lower jaw.

Click the image to open in full size.

Chain Pickerel-
The fish is green with the sides prominently marked by yellow-green areas broken by dark, interconnecting lines resembling the links of a chain. The jaws are elongated containing large, sharp teeth; the large dorsal fin is located way back towards the caudal fin, which is forked.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: 1st encounter with Northern ... AYE!

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Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
Here in my area there's only a few bodies of water where you can expect to find northern pike. You tend to target them rather than catch one by mistake.
Chain pickerel on the other hand are very common in the same water where you would find large mouth bass and good sized ones around here are consistently around 22".
Here's how you can tell the difference


Northern Pike-
Scales are present on the upper half of the gill cover, but are absent on the lower half. The cheek area (located just forward of the gill plate), is fully scaled. Pike usually have five pairs of sensory pores along the underside of the lower jaw. The cheeks and gill covers of chain pickerel are fully scaled, and generally only four pairs of sensor pores are present on the lower jaw.

Click the image to open in full size.

Chain Pickerel-
The fish is green with the sides prominently marked by yellow-green areas broken by dark, interconnecting lines resembling the links of a chain. The jaws are elongated containing large, sharp teeth; the large dorsal fin is located way back towards the caudal fin, which is forked.

Click the image to open in full size.
It's the black slash down the eye of the pickerel that distinguishes them for me.
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: 1st encounter with Northern ... AYE!

For pike under 30" you shouldn't have much trouble with 12 lb test. Go up to 15 or 17 lb and there's not much need to worry at all.

The advice about fishing to the boat is crucial. You'll have fish hit when your leader butt is on the top guide.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:36 PM
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Default Re: 1st encounter with Northern ... AYE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
If there are really big pike I would target them, the bass will appreciate it.
Not sure what the population is and what the size range is either. Did find out they were introduced along with tiger muskie a long time ago to control the sunfish population.

Heavy tippet and leaders may put off the bass, but it might be worth playing with for a while.

---------- Post added at 05:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:01 PM ----------

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Originally Posted by king joe View Post
Couple things Random ...
Thanks. More than a couple of things I needed to learn in there. You nailed the lake - it's a bowl shape, large shallow lip, decent weed growth and spring feed with no significant tribs or outlets. Will definitely modify the technique.

---------- Post added at 05:17 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:07 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbchilton View Post
For pike under 30" you shouldn't have much trouble with 12 lb test. Go up to 15 or 17 lb and there's not much need to worry at all.

The advice about fishing to the boat is crucial. You'll have fish hit when your leader butt is on the top guide.
Was thinking of bumping up to #10 flouro and bumping up again as necessary. Loosing a few flies isn't a big deal to me.

---------- Post added at 05:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:17 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
Click the image to open in full size.
That's the critter all right. Pulled enough of them through the ice in VT to recognize them. Maybe I should have been more specific - first encounter on a fly rod with one.

---------- Post added at 05:36 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:20 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohnan View Post
... and casting into 2-3 ft towards shore with a black wooly and a very slow and sensitive retreive.

As for northern and mono... They just dont seem to mix. I am using 10 lb tippet and every northern I have hooked on the fly has snipped it off (about 6 in total).
Black bugger, HuH? Was using a really slow retrieve as well. but was in 6'10' of water I think.

That shallow and really slow sounds like an invitation to hanging up. What do you think and dropping a set of dumbbells on top of the shank and drag it back on the bottom, hook upright?
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:54 PM
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Default Re: 1st encounter with Northern ... AYE!

Pike teeth are pointy sharp but do not have sharp edges like a barracuda and mono or floro should be no real problem. If it really concerns you though you might try a real short steel tippet. 2 or 3" max. You could also use a short bite tippet of heavy mono of say 30# but again of only 3 or 4". These short tippets will be a major pain however and will need to be changed with each fly change. I have never had the chance to FF for pike but I have caught them on 6# mono bait casting. I also have lost baits on 6# but I would think 12# should be little problem.
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