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Warmwater Fly Fishing Bass, Bream, Perch, etc...

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Old 06-09-2013, 09:46 AM
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Default 1st encounter with Northern ... AYE!

Dealt with my first northern pike on a 7-weight last night. Didn't ten-nickle-lee land the fish. Had him in 6" by a small beach while I fumbled getting my camera out. He rolled and flopped and was gone. Was pretty amazing! fish was just a bit short of 24" - huge to me.

Need some help with these things. Have seen that the 8lb test mono I was using as a tippet isn't enough. What's the standard? Was looking for large mouth, so I really don't want to start using wire.

While I'm at it, Am new to warm water lake fishing. Lake is a bowl type only reach 25' or so, but pretty big and is shallow enough and open enough to wade the shore lines effectively in many places.

Approach I have been using is to get out about hip deep and cast in a radial pattern covering all the water in front of me, than taking 3 to 5 steps and repeating. With me facing 12 o'clock I am casting to the shore at 10, and retrieving, then 11, 12, 1 ,2, 3, 4 then stepping forward a bit. Am casting about 60' and retrieving to about 40' where I can roll cast the fly off the water and then begin the next cast. Should I tighten that pattern and cover the water better considering pike and bass are ambush hunters or should I try to cover more water with a different technique?

Any advice is welcome. This is new to me and different than what I know. All of my warm water lake fishing has been form a boat, working the edges of weed beds and the like and covering water fast. Rest of my bass fishing was river run smallies, which to me was just a modification of big streamers for trout.

Thanks much.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:20 AM
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Default Re: 1st encounter with Northern ... AYE!

I am too new to give advice on the wading tech howver I have hit 3 nice largemouths in the last week by wading belly deep 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).

I am still very novice so take the info for what its worth just what I have noticed so far since starting last summer. Good luck!
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: 1st encounter with Northern ... AYE!

I just came home from our cabin a few days ago. We spent 3 of our days there catching these fish. I didn't like the way my flies acted on wire leaders so I switched to 25 pound Fluorocarbon and only had 2 snap off.

The 2 breaks occurred at the knot so I will not blame the teeth of the fish. I don't fine these fish to be much of a chore to land when compared to a large salmon. My advice would be to simply drag them onto the shore to handle them. Any fish while still in the water can be hard to control unless you are netting.

I caught them up to 27" and of course after seeing what several fish in the 24 - 27 inch range look like in the water we were able to determine that the 3 fish that broke off (Nancy lost 2 also) were most likely 34 - 40" size.

25 pound mono should hold as long as you don't mess around with them after hooking. I don't plan to litter the threads with pictures of pike but when I land one 40" or over I'll post a photo.

I found them pretty easy to spot once they began following a fly. When you can see them and know they have grabbed the fly I took to lifting the rod high to set the hook. This resulted in most of the fish I caught being hooked at the front of the upper jaw and little chance of teeth cutting the leader.

Although I had large pike flies along I did the best with a Whitlock Sculpin in size 2 standard streamer hook. They tended to play with the big flies but grabbed the smaller sculpin right off.

Good luck and drag them in, be careful when unhooking them.

Ard
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: 1st encounter with Northern ... AYE!

I was hoping to see a good shot of the fish, hearing about the camera fumble was heart breaking. I'll be watching to see a post about the next encounter!
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: 1st encounter with Northern ... AYE!

Lost, at least it wasn't a complete fumble - camera stayed dry. Need to find an easier way to be able to get to it.

Ard,
Thanks for the tip on the high rod tip hook set. Will try it. I hear you on the wire; I've played with it and don't like it either. Switching to flouro seems to be the way to go, but I don't know about 25 LB though. The pike are by-catch while after bass. Gearing up for pike with definitely put the heavily pressured bass off.

Been thinking about this all day. I don't see any other choice but to put up with some lost flies. Also did some reading today. Seems I should be headed back to my smallie flies a/o that size fly (#2's - #6's) - may not catch the really big ones, but I should catch more fish.
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:41 PM
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Default Re: 1st encounter with Northern ... AYE!

If there are really big pike I would target them, the bass will appreciate it.
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: 1st encounter with Northern ... AYE!

Couple things Random

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.

As for moving...as in...you radial cast...move 3-5 feet and start again. While true, pike are ambush predators...that does not mean they are stationary. They are wolves prowling the shadows. Slimy ninjas! You 'can' keep moving...or not. ME, I'd work the area and as above...WORK THE WHOLE cast. AND as it gets later in the evening...that means casting back to shore as well. Pike aren't shy...and I'll bet if your not to rambunctous...if you look close and careful, you'll see some close to you...likely eyeing you up wondering it they can fit YOU into their toothy maw....HAH.

the last minor point. Pike aren't warm water species. They are technically considered a cold water species BUT they do have a wide tolerance range. For your lake your fishing...it either has springs or depth....otherwise, they ain't there. Another neat point about pike...and a testament to the "cold water species" point....they are one of the only species of fish in NA that actually GROW in the winter. Almost all others either maintain or lose weight. Pike grow.

Good luck with the best fish ever!!!

King Joe Outa Here!
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:00 PM
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Default Re: 1st encounter with Northern ... AYE!

Where I am fishing the pike is what we call terminal, meaning that releasing a pike is against regulations. They are an invasive species and we kill them. However, there are so many I don't expect to have much affect on the population, the pike are having an effect on all other populations from trout to ducks.

Here are 3 of the nicer fish, one of these days I'll bring one of the duck eaters to shore.
Click the image to open in full size.

I guess I should have put a rod into the picture for reference, the fish at top may have been able to be stretched to 28" but seemed more like 27. The others were about the same size but an inch or so smaller. Many of the fish caught were of the same size grouping. I can't wait to hit a bunch that are all 40" or better
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: 1st encounter with Northern ... AYE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
Where I am fishing the pike is what we call terminal, meaning that releasing a pike is against regulations. They are an invasive species and we kill them. However, there are so many I don't expect to have much affect on the population, the pike are having an effect on all other populations from trout to ducks.

Here are 3 of the nicer fish, one of these days I'll bring one of the duck eaters to shore.
Click the image to open in full size.

I guess I should have put a rod into the picture for reference, the fish at top may have been able to be stretched to 28" but seemed more like 27. The others were about the same size but an inch or so smaller. Many of the fish caught were of the same size grouping. I can't wait to hit a bunch that are all 40" or better
Invasive in ALASKA? Really? Invasive or undesirable?...there's a huge difference there. I would never have thought they are invasive....pike range includes the Yukon watersheds...and some must go into Alaska. How are the classed as Invasive?

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Old 06-09-2013, 10:17 PM
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Default Re: 1st encounter with Northern ... AYE!

I've only caught them when fishing for bass but if I know they are in the area I use at least 15lb test tippet. Thankfully bass are bugged by it at all. There's a spot in Northern Wisconsin that I love fishing for smallies, it's on a river but in some slower water off to the side. Lots of cover. It's fun to be stripping streamers for bass and suddenly see a pike dart out of some cover. Even more surprising is bringing in a bass and having a pike chase it. I've never landed one of much size but have seen some monster pike and musky in the lake where we stay. Had them follow my streamers but no good strikes from the big ones. I know trout are predators, but there is something about a pike or musky that is quite exciting.
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