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John Kelley

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Posts posted by John Kelley

  1. I don't really have a dog in this fight, since I am from South Dakota, and therefore my opinion probably does not matter too much, but I have been wondering about the whole pike management thing for years now.  I grew up in Central Minnesota, where we had so many pike it  would make your head spin!  Every lake was absolutely full of them, from hammer handles to about 6 pounds, with the occasional 10-12 pounders.  At the turn of the 20th century, it seems, my prior statesmen had gone on a pike trophy spree, catching and kiling any and all monster pike in our 10,000 plus lakes, and wiped out most of the trophy fish, allowing the smaller pike to over-reproduce and stunt themselves.  You see, not only are large pike great spawners, they also keep a check on the overall pike population, by feeding on the smaller pike.  I did my research on pike behavior over the years, including some very good conversations with some of my British angling friends, where they have treated pike like we treat muskies, since the early 60's.  They have these smaller, shallower lakes over there, which constantly produce monster pike over the 25 pound mark.  I asked my fishing buddy, and research scientist, Iain Murray, what their secret was to producing such numbers of trophy pike, and he told me it was quite simple, really, "don't keep any pike over 9 pounds".  He said they had figured out that most 9 pound pike were females, and that they were at that crucial crossroads in size, where they were switching over to a larger sized prey fish, in the 1-2 pound range, and were ready to make that jump up into the larger framed "top of the food chain predator".  I have often wondered why we can't treat the Northern Pike the same way we treat the Muskellunge, which is just the Northern Pike's larger cousin.  Like I said, I was born and raised in Minnesota, where we had the second largest pike ever caught and registered in American waters, @ 45 pounds and change.  Second only to your Great Sacandaga record Pike of over 46 pounds!!  Makes me kind of sad to see the state with the largest recorded American pike, and I still say the largest recorded musky (Art Lawton's 69 pound 15 ouncer), whatever the IGFA says, to treat Pike in this "catch and kill" method in tournaments.  The state I live in now treats them much worse, I must say.  When I go ice fishing out here on the prairie, I constantly see 10-15 pound pike thrown out on the ice as "trash fish", and it makes me mad.  South Dakota has a very small population of people(around 800,000), so most of the lakes have some really nice fish in them, but these people seem to only want Walleyes, Perch, and Crappies, and anything that eats them are considered garbage fish.  I try to do my part and release large pike whenever I can these days.  I released a nice 40 incher earlier this winter.  I just hope she does not get caught by another Sodak, and clubbed and left for the ravens.  Anyways, I really love your New York fisheries, and wish you guys the best with instituting C & R tournaments.  Sorry for my long-winded rant. :)  :)

  2. Glad I could help John, enjoy those Chamberlains, hopefully we will be able to hit open water soon!!!

    Capt Rich

    Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app

    Maybe you guys out there, but we are frozen in pretty solid out here on the prairie.  Still have a couple months of ice fishing ahead of me!!  :)  :)

  3. I was a Roemer guy all the way also, then I tried Chamberlains, well the rest is history. Sold all my Roemers and now have nothing but chamberlains for the riggers. Give them a try, once dialed in, they are the best. IMHO. Good Luck

    Capt Rich

    Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app

    I have been a Black's guy, and have really liked them over any pinch style release, but after reading your posts about the dual tension controls on the Chamberlains', I have decided to order some and try them next season.  I fish the MO river for Kings out here in South Dakota, and I am constantly towing walleyes around, and never knowing they are on: all the way up to 29 inchers.  It would be nice to be able to crank the rods all the way over, and still have a walleye be able to trip the release.  I have a couple of them now, and they seem like they are going to work out awesome.  They look just like a fancier version of a Blacks, with a horizontal tension knob, plus the vertical tension knob.  They ought to work great for Lake Michigan Browns this spring as well!!  Thanks for the tip, Captain Rich!!! :yes:  :yes:  :yes:  :)

  4. Wow that's some beautiful country out there!! You are a blessed sole to be able to fish these beautiful places on Mother Earth, with the compliment of great fishing. I hope you can continue to do these adventures for many years to come. What a great experience. Thanks for sharing!!!!!

    Thank you Pap, and I intend to do just that!! :)  :)  :yes:

  5. I took advantage of the New Year's holiday, and took a couple of days of vacation to head west 350 miles or so, to ice fish the only lake in South Dakota that has lake trout.  My friend Mike decided to head out there with me, and so, with my brand new insulated Frabill shack packed in the back, we headed to Rapid City. Mike had never caught a trout before, and I was hoping to put him on some big ones.  The first morning the ice looked fairly solid, with about 4 inches of solid ice, as we slowly made our way out onto the lake.  I drilled the outside line holes, and started setting up the 4 outside rods and holders.  I think I was on the 3rd one when Mike yelled that we had a bobber down.  I ran over to the hole he was at, monitored the situation for a couple of seconds, and told him to set the hook.  Mike fought the fish for about 10 minutes, with me hollering directions at him the whole time.  We finally iced about a 14 pound laker, and Mike was all grins.  I thought we would really slam them that day, with quick action like that right off the bat.  It never happened.  We caught 2 nice rainbows to accompany that lake trout, the first day.  The temperature got up to about 39 degrees F, as well, and the ice started to get really dark and rotten looking!  The next morning a huge cold front blew through, and we towed my shack to a different spot, which was about a mile or more away by foot.  The cold front added some inches to the ice, but shut the fishing right down.  We got blanked on Saturday, with a high of about 5 degrees F.  That night it got really cold, so we decided to head out to the original spot we fished the first day, and where we had at least hooked up with a few fish.  Sunday proved to be the coldest day of all, with a high of -8 out on the ice.  We decided to just fish through the shack, and actually did quite a bit better that day.  We caught two smaller lakers, 5 rainbows, and a brown trout.  We also missed one fish, that seemed like a decent lake trout.  Here are some pics of the lake and a few fish.  Thanks.









  6. I have used Krocodile spoons for years, and caught tons of trout and salmon on them.  I don't agree with whoever said they are not supposed to spin, as I have had my best luck with them when they do spin.  And yes, you should use a swivel with all spoons, because most of them are designed to flutter and roll or spin, and that will definitely twist your line badly!  I find that the burn and stop retrieve works well when casting, and I used to hammer the Kamloops rainbows from shore on Lake Superior with this technique.  I troll them fast for kings and steelhead, so they certainly are spinning and rolling @ 3 MPH.  Just my experience with them.  Thanks.

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