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CG_Fishes

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Everything posted by CG_Fishes

  1. With the nice weather the past week I had to get back to my, now 4 year long, goal of a 7+lb largemouth from my local waters. I started last Sunday by going to my favorite local lake for big bass, which just happens to ice out before any other lakes in the area, although it was still half frozen. I didn't catch any fish that night, but saw some bass chasing the holdover trout, from previous springs, around sunset. I decided to go back around sunset on Monday, skunked again but I saw fish in the same area doing the same thing. I decided to switch from my 8" baits to a 6" trout imitation in order to "finesse" a bite the next day. This finally worked, creeping the bait at around 10 minutes per cast I got bit as the bait began to climb up the rocky shore. Swing, miss, kill the bait and THUMP, swing and connect. I got the fish into a few inches of water and she swung her head and threw the bait, good fish too, somewhere between 5 and 6lbs, I wasn't too bummed since I felt that I had something figured out, I kept fishing until dark with no luck. Although I didn't catch any fish it was beautiful outside and I got some nice pictures of the lake. I went back again Wednesday in the rain, skunked again, didn't even see a fish. I did get to spend some time exploring the "bog" (it's actually a fen) in the park, which was super cool, especially in the fog and rain. On Thursday I decided to take the kayak out for the first time of the year, hoping that the lake I had in mind would be open. Although the lake I had been going to was fully open, it doesn't allow personal craft until mid-April. The lake of choice is usually the 2nd to open in the area so I was confident that it would have at least some open water after all the sun and warm weather. I packed up the kayak and made the drive over, seeing an almost fully iced lake when I arrived, luckily there was about 5' of open water at the ramp leading to a larger area where the major creek flows in. I had confidence that I could catch some fish as I had done well at this lake in similar conditions in the past. 2 hours later after hitting all of the good spots and taking a trip up the creek, I had no bites and hadn't even seen a fish, I started to think that maybe I should've gone back to the other lake. Making my way back to the ramp along the ice edge I got a bite, a small 15" fish but my first bass of the season. I casted in the area again, smack! missed it, threw back again pulling the bait under the ice and my line went slack, a very solid 3lb 1oz 18.75" fish. I continued fishing the line and a few casts later slack again, a 3lb 6oz 18" fish, again respectable. I fished another 3 hours afterwards and didn't get a single other bite, not even from the many pickerel which are usually more than willing to bite this time of year. Regardless of the size I was extremely happy with those 3 fish as I was about 20 hours in with one bite and no fish caught, which isn't irregular for swimbait fishing. Although I did toss the big stuff in the kayak, all of the fish fell for a 4.25" weedless shad, which is quite small for me. I plan on being back out in the kayak on Tuesday, the lake should be much more open, and hopefully I can find some big fish with the big baits.
  2. Thanks for the advice, I do actually keep a "journal", it's more so just pics with dates and times so that I can look up the conditions of that day, if I don't remember. I can usually remember conditions very well, but dates are hard which is why I make sure to have dated pictures. This second tip is a great one. My background is in swimbait bass fishing, talking 6-10" lures for bass, so I'm definitely not afraid of trying something different. I was 1 of 7 guys on this 500ft stretch of river, and as far as I could tell I was the only one catching other than one guy with a small walleye. My approach to river esox is definitely unconventional especially compared to most guys locally. The last thing I will throw is something like blades or a medusa which is pretty common stuff around here, I just don't have confidence in that stuff. I do plan to branch into the esox specific baits more, but probably more of the soft tail glides, paddletails or topwaters as they are styles I have confidence in coming from oversized bass gear. I love experimenting with new lures though, 3 of my favorite pike lures are baits that just sat in my box when I targeted bass, but I finally found a use for them with pike.
  3. Well, before our rivers completely blew up last night I had my best day of pike fishing yet. I have been fishing for pike 2-4 days a week since mid-October and for the early portion I was catching an average of one fish a month. Starting about a month ago I started to get one pike a week, then one pike a trip and finally multiple pike on one trip. Not only did I catch multiple, quite beautiful, pike, but I caught my second biggest pike yet at 32". I am sad that the season is effectively over for me, but I am very happy with how I finished it. I can't wait for the summer season to start, hopefully that will be full of pike and maybe even a musky. As a diehard swimbait bass guy these fish have presented me with a great challenge and have forced me to become a much better fisherman over the past few months. A lot of the gear that I have used for these pike is crossover from my bass stuff and it works great, I do plan on getting some more esox-specific baits now that I have become obsessed. I will be chasing bass once my lakes ice out until esox open back up, but it's definitely going to be hard to leave the rivers. This will be my first year dedicating serious time to esox in the warmer months, but I'm excited, it's going to be hard to pick the bass gear back up as it is.
  4. To many of you, this pike may seem small-average, but for me this is an incredible fish. To begin I have been fishing exclusively for pike since mid-October. Fishing 4-5 days a week for 3 months I had caught 4 pike, my biggest being 31", then the rivers froze... Finally the rivers opened up about 2 weeks ago, since then I have been fishing as often as I can. Until today, the post-freeze fishing had yielded a 25 and 28 on back to back trips, extremely good for me. Today I fished a few spots, finding floating ice and a variety of dead animals (beaver, cat, chickens) at the first, I soon left. I got to the second spot, but someone was where I wanted to be, I waited until he left and moved in. Throwing a softbait the first pass through produced nothing, but the 8" wounded walleye glide got this one to lash out twice. After a battle like no other esox has put up for me I got her in. I taped her at about 35", but with missing a big chunk of her tail she could have been a true 3fter. After some quick pics I let her revive and watched her swim off strong. This fish had been through some battles, she was full of scars, but I am confident that she will be telling stories of this one in the future. Unfortunately my season ends in 6 days, but I'll be back out chasing more of these, and hopefully my first musky, when it opens again May 1st
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