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Northern/Tiger Populations in finger lakes


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Can anybody tell me or give me some sort of idea as to how the northern pike populations are in the finger lakes? Not so much the larger ones like seneca or cayuga but I guess ill use Conesus as an example since its where I fish the most. Im curious bc I sometimes wonder if they take a big hit in the winter (and not just northerns but any fish for that matter) when any angler can stroll out onto the ice and have better chances of pulling a 40' northern through the ice and simply clock it over the head rather than put it back so it can spread its genes come spring time. I know there are limits/regulations and all but i hate to think of too much over harvesting of the big girls especially when any of us esox anglers would happily release these fish after a quick photo so she can A. spawn come spring time and B. get even bigger.

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Conesus has a very good population of pike. The pike are fished a lot during ice season but it bounces back every year. MOST guys go to Conesus and don't catch many pike (there are some that do very well on the ice). It is a lake that you need to know to catch numbers of pike and catch pike every trip.

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Me too. I keep a couple every season for a nice meal. I have taken pike home that guys leave on the ice if I'm with in my limit. It happens all over. Gotta call the DEC and report them when you see that happening.

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Pike get hit hard in the winter. Like you said more people have access to them during the winter. They must be doing okay though if you have ever seen the spawning run.

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All the ice anglers will hate me for this, but who doesn't think that the open water pike fishing would be better if the pike season closed on December 1? Don't these fish need a rest from pursuit?

The other question is, what would be wrong about decreasing the pike creel limit to two fish per day, at a minimum 25 inches? Would there be more fish? Bigger fish?

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All the ice anglers will hate me for this, but who doesn't think that the open water pike fishing would be better if the pike season closed on December 1? Don't these fish need a rest from pursuit?

The other question is, what would be wrong about decreasing the pike creel limit to two fish per day, at a minimum 25 inches? Would there be more fish? Bigger fish?

That would kill the winter for me. I chase pike all winter. That is the only time I pike fish for the most part. I'm all for decreasing the pike creel limit and raising the minimum size. 22" pike are a pain in the azz to clean anyways.

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slot limit

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They put a slot limit on the river I used to fish in Canada and it killed the pike fishing. All you could catch were hammer handles. The slot killed too many big breader females.

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They put a slot limit on the river I used to fish in Canada and it killed the pike fishing. All you could catch were hammer handles. The slot killed too many big breader females.

Interesting. What was the regulation they used up there?

I would think that a narrow slot for harvest would allow folks the opportunity to catch some to eat while allowing many to grow through the slot. As it stands now without a slot there are plenty that reaching breeder size and reducing anglers odds of catching one in the slot would help increase this in the case of conesus.

Maybe not so much in colder waters where the fish grow so slow that they remain within the slot for a long time.

In a perfect world C and R would be the way to go, but I respect peoples desire to have some for a meal as well...there has to be be a happy medium that would allow for some real trophy potential.

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Decrease the creel limit to 2 and no more than 3 and enforce the reg.I enjoy eating pike as well as letting them go.I find it hard to believe that one can or will actually clean a limit of 5pike.I might keep 5 ALL YEAR(and i like to eat them!!)How in the heck or better yet why would one want to limit out more than a few times during the coarse of the hardwater season(a few times too many).I`m pretty sure it`s not because they want to clean them.Tourneys DO NOT help the populations thrive either.especially on small/med sized waters-irondiquoit has suffered from this in my opinion.Pike are still there and some bigguns but the population has taken a hit.Quite possibly from iceing everything.If one must indulge in pike tourneys set up a catch,photo and release the way it`s done in larrys muskie tourneys and help out to increase the quality of the pike fishing and limit the harvest of trophy fish.Can`t change everyone but it sure does`nt hurt trying to educate.Maybe some will get it-some will not and some just don`t care(it`s in their genes).When pulling pike through the ice use quickstrike rigs or large circle hooks so as to increase the survival rates and decrease the mortality while enjoying a multi catch day.Enjoy your hardwater season.I`ve rambled on long enough.Can`t wait to start drilling holes myself.

sol

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I know of 2 tiger muskies in Owasco lake.Tigers were introduced there in the late 1980s. Just south of Casowasco their is a stretch of undisturbed shoreline and a bit south of Ensenore there is another stretch.While kayaking there I have often seen two monster muskies lazing around.They must be some of the last tigers that were stocked. They are beautiful creatures and they are the kings of the weedbeds under the western slope. They are in the 50 inch range and probably well over 30 years old. I have had them follow hooked up lake trout and bass close up to the kayak,but they never did strike.

Truth be told,it is a bit scary to be in a kayak and seeing a close to 5 foot fish that is obviously not scared of the kayak or anything else for that matter.

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I agree, I think Pike should have a closed season other than 1 month ( April). Must be the DEC thinks very little of Pike as do many ice anglers. I see small ones laying all over the ice at Braddocks. What ever happened to catch & release? Those big pike are very old maybe 20 yrs in some cases.

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Nitro,

Here are the regs: 4 fish limit 53cm - 86cm is the slot and you can only keep one over 86cm. No one was keeping the hammer handles and only keeping one over the slot. The years before the slot, the pike fishing was awesome. A couple years after the slot, the pike fishing was horrible. You caught lots of pike but no big ones.

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Thanks gambler. You're right. Those regs don't provide any meaningful protection for spawning females, which I'm told starts at 17 inches. 53cm works out to about 24inches, So that leaves not even a year of growth before it can be harvested. If it were me I would lower the upper end of slot a few inches from 86 cm-roughly 34in for us Americans- down to 28 or less. I would also eliminate harvest above the slot for fish less than say 40.

Point being is there would be greater numbers of young of the year due to higher spawn rates. it provides greater numbers for those who want to eat them, but forces people to take some of the smaller ones (thin the herd of so to speak) while protecting for a time the spawners that grow through the slot, so that they can can breed... not to mention give folks a chance at fighting some decent sized fish.

Maybe my suggested sized are off slightly but you get the idea.

Catch em to eat em or try to catch a trophy, but don't eat a trophy IMHO.

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I keep a couple a year (around 3 or 4 spread out over the entire winter). I throw pike over 30" back unless it is an icefishing derby. I had a good argument with a guy on Conesus about this subject. He was complaining that the giant pike are very few and far between. In the same sentence he was telling me how he fishes there every day he can during the winter and keeps as many as he can. I told him people like him were the reason why the trophy pike in Conesus are very few and far between. He did not like my answer and stopped talking to me. Conesus is one of the lakes around that can produce Giant pike. I think reducing the creel or a slot limit that protects breeders better would be the best thing for pike water like Conesus.

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here`s another option for icing northerns.....along with a decreased creel limit say 5 to 3,also limt the number of tipups to 3 as well.It sucks when you pull up to a spot and there`s 5 guys in there and each have 5 tipups...it covers a whole cove/bay/weedbed.I don`t see any problems dropping back the limits of each.This will help protect from overharvesting some trophys while still enjoying some ice time and possibly a late fishfry.As far as some leaving them on the ice...call the dec tipp hotline when you observe this practice.Sooner or later they`ll pay attention and maybe the guys will get fined-this is a game fish!!!

sol

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solgrande,

Cutting back the tipups for just one species would not work. People would say they are fishing for other species. I say decrease the limit to 2. 2 average sized pike is a lot of meat (too much for me and wife to eat in one meal).

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  • 2 weeks later...
Are there any northern pike in Keuka Lake?

ds

On the Penn Yan side,near the YMCA and on the northern end you will find very many.Go to about 15 to 20 feet and find solitary weed growth.They are there,not often fished for and big. If you prefer the north-western arm, there are plenty of them along the reef.

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