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Everything posted by CG_Fishes

  1. I know that this is a long shot, but I am currently working on an undergrad research project analyzing the shape of pickerel otoliths for use in differentiating populations. Otoliths are a calcified structure within the ear of fish used to sense vibrations for hearing. Otoliths can be ages like tree rings and absorb environmental elements allowing researchers to determine migration patterns. I am looking to use a shape analysis software to compare the shapes of otoliths found in pickerel and pike from different bodies of water. Given our recent spell of good weather I have been trying, unsuccessfully to find some open water with some hungry pickerel around. I have been focusing around the Oneida River since I live in Syracuse. I would like to stay within 45 minutes as I only really have time after class to go out and catch some samples. If anyone knows any good ice out pickerel locations with open water at the moment I would really appreciate the help. Yes, the collection of otoliths is lethal, but don't worry I am eating the fish and only keeping my legal limit of 5. So far I have two samples of pickerel and one of pike, but I will be working on pike later as I am traveling to Sweden over the summer for a research position. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide, I really need to get at least one more sample in before the season closes March 15th
  2. I don't know about any contaminants other than Mercury, but as far as that goes they are higher. Although they are higher, they are almost within what is considered safe in most species so the remediation of the lake has been somewhat successful
  3. Sure did. Interacted with quite a few, never hooked up or landed any. Tigers up to 40 eating boatside and pike into the high 30s following were highlights but couldn't convert any. We got 2 tigers (both over 40") and quite a few pike (30-42") in our gill nets this summer which kind of scratched the itch but also rubbed salt in the wound
  4. Hey all, haven't posted on here in ages but I figured it was time to post up my decent catches from my time off. Starting in Summer 2021, I had been fishing since the season opened in May looking to break the 30" mark once again. I was consistently catching pike for the first time, but they were all mid-high 20s, not quite what I was looking for. I was fishing one spot pretty heavily and started to get pretty dialed on the bite with a small soft bait. I casted to my most productive spot and got smoked, set the hook and I knew it was over 30 immediately. Got her in and although she was in rough shape she went 32" and I was stoked. Shortly after, the river flooded and my pike fishing was done for the rest of the summer. I went up to school in Syracuse and didn't have any time to fish but came back in mid-October and stopped at a spot I thought may produce given the flooded conditions, of course the river levels didn't go down after the first flood in July. I was fishing a mid-size softbait and popped it out of some grass to immediately feel the tick and slack line I was looking for. Got the fish in and the stoke was high given that it was my first fish in months at 32". Got to get out with a good buddy too which is always a bonus. I finished my semester excited to come home and fish for these pike more. Unfortunately I was unable to catch any over my available time during winter break, instead shifting gears towards trophy walleye where I was only marginally more successful actually catching fish. My Spring semester started and once again I did not have time to fish. Spring break came around and I had 2 days to fish before the season closed and I took full advantage. In the time I had I caught 4 fish but interacted with well over 30, most in their low 20s but some definitely over 30 and one I believe to be pushing 40 (I'll be back for that one this year). My first day I caught this 32" crawling a big softbait near bottom on a hump in the river channel, a spot that has produced well for me in the past. I felt the tick and before I knew it I had the shakes again. I was expecting the chaos to continue, which it did, just not for me. My buddy caught 3 over 30 that day, one being well over my PB. The next day I was out again, this time all day, determined to get some solid fish but it wasn't meant to be. Got one high 20s and that's about all that's worth mentioning. Fast forward to this Summer and I am working on the biomonitoring crew at Onondaga Lake, and have ample time to fish with a roommate who is just as addicted, all be it for bass. We started going to Otisco in a small 14' boat with only a 30lb thrust trolling motor. It didn't take long to get my first tiger, although I'm not sure how legit it really is. We were fishing a weed bed and I saw a head swimming around. I casted my 8" walking bait at it and after pretty much hitting it, the fish maybe struck, still not sure. I brought the fish in and neither hook were in the mouth so I took a quick pic and released it, not considering it a truly legit catch. Shortly after missing quite a few on a small glide bait I was throwing, I hooked up again, this time legit. Got the fish in the boat and unhooked her, quickly placed the fish in the water to get some air and she got away. I was just happy to have caught my first legit tiger and that she swam away healthy, but it dd ignite a bit of a fire. We went back a few times, interacting with multiple tigers each trip but never hooking up on any. Taking a break from tigers I took a trip back to home waters for a river float for my birthday. Being that it was mid-summer and I hadn't floated this section of the river before I was expecting smallmouth but was still prepared with pike gear. Got about halfway through the float and had interacted with 3 or 4 pike, hooking none, each striking multiple times and missing, often going airborne for the glide I was using. Finally hooked up on one and was happy to see a near 30" fish come up, not bad for my first pike in months. Back up in Syracuse, my pike buddy and I went to Otisco hoping for one more chance at fish before temps were too high. We shot up to the spot and immediately had action with a strike and follow. Shortly after I got another strike, the fish never felt hooks so I casted back and she ate again, my PB tiger at 32". I just seem to be stuck catching 32" Esox hahaha. Shortly after, the wind died and so did our bite, very Esox of them. After my first river float this summer I was a little addicted to that stretch and the bite I got on, so I went back with the other technicians from work. Same story, missing nearly every fish even with multiple strikes. Had this fish eat 3 or 4 times, chasing it up yakside finally and hooking up. After a long fight avoiding the rapids and fighting the fish I brought her to shore and was happy to hold my first over 30 since March. I have been fishing a little recently, but have missed all opportunities since with Esox, including some tigers pushing 40". Hopefully there will be more to come with my winter break coming up soon! If you read this far I hope you enjoyed hahaha, I know it's a lot
  5. Definitely on my list but I don't want to be stuck on the causeway too much, especially with how many other people will be there, I like fishing most when I'm alone in nature I have looked into the Seneca river and Onondaga pretty heavily, but I am going to be limited to shore fishing being that I can't bring my yak to school. I'll definitely consider joining Muskies Inc. it'll be cool to talk to other guys into esox, not too popular back home, only met 3 guys who do it. This is exactly what I was hoping to hear, being so close to school Onondaga will definitely be my stomping grounds for the next 3 years. Unfortunately I can't bring my yak to school being that I have to stay in the dorms, but maybe once I'm off campus I'll find room for it. I will definitely have to look into Ontario a bit but don't want to make it my go-to, would rather stay close. I do plan on joining the club, or at least getting to know a few of the guys. I used to be big into bass fishing, although I never did much conventional, all big swimbaits. Esox have stolen my heart and there's no going back now, lake fish are going to be a whole different game now...
  6. I'm about to move into college in the coming days at SUNY ESF. As someone who has caught a severe case of the pike bug back home in the southern tier rivers I would love to continue fishing for these fish while at school. Any advice on how/where to target both pike and tigers from shore in the Syracuse area would be much appreciated. I do plan on making a few trips to the Otisco causeway but I don't want to make a habit of it. I already have all of the necessary tools and baits to chase esox from shore, I just need an idea of what the bite up here is like given how different it is from my rivers back home. Thanks for any info you guys provide, attached are some of my best catches from my home waters, I'm excited to have a chance at tigers up here since the pure musky have swerved me so far
  7. Most lures are lightly used or new, selling as a lot only. $50 shipped payment via Paypal Family & Friends or add the 4% fees
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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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