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Now that I'm basically waiting for muzzleloader to start, I'll have some opportunities next week to take the boat out. Haven't been out in two weeks, and believe the water temp to be down around 37 to 39 degrees.

Will trolling still be a viable approach for pike, or will they be too sluggish to chase lures at this point. Any recommended speed to start? Was doing well at 1.8 mph GPS into the current before. I am able to run my small boat as slow as I want off the terrova if necessary.

Thanks for any advice.

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If the current temps continue you may be considering ice fishing as the launch ramps will be frozen up

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I've caught some big ones trolling in late Feb and the first week in March in the past on Seneca in the cold water....they were in 12-20 ft of water on top lines cold water but different point in season too.... good luck if you go!

Edited by Sk8man
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Made it out for a final trip, spoons and spinners off rigger, flatlining, casting. No fish, water very cold. Might try one more time if we get an extended warm spell. Motor appears to have blown a shift shaft seal , have to take care of that first.

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Got two pike couple weeks ago trolling for muskie @2.5+mph.One trolling a new 7"baker in firetiger that i had let wayyy too much line out and was cranking it in as fast as i could while doing 3mph and a pike smashed it.The other was on an 8"muskellunch 2.5mph.Both on the st. lawerence.So i`d say have at it.They still bite.

sol

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Pike and their brethren will hit in icy water. I've caught them trolling and casting in ice cold Seneca lake with spoons. You know, Daredevils and others, s-l-o-w and on or near the bottom. In bays and flats in not very deep water. Actually marked them with FF, but not sure what they were . Guessed they might be pike, and they were, the first time. Both in late November and late February. Both times the sun was out bright and it was cold out. Fish were marked scattered singly here and there. And if you ice fish, you know they bite through the ice.

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I was going to mention Ice fishing. For trolling, finding the bait and small temp. changes are probably key. Using lures that will have good action at very slow speeds, concentrating on transitional areas and looking for even very slightly warmer temps. or warming temps. from daytime sun and creek runoffs on warmer days can help. When you find one fish you are likely to find more nearby.

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Although Seneca has only frozen over completely twice in the last hundred plus years it did so in about 1977 and we got into the pike big time at the north end. I have never seen so many BIG pike caught anywhere....there were 15 -20 pound pike lying all over the ice one Saturday....we limited out and even little kids were getting them on their tip ups.... there is nothing like a good pike at the other end of your tip up (without a wire leader and hoping the line was BETWEEN his teeth) and wondering if you'll land it or not :)

A lot of folks dismiss eating Mr. Pike because of the bones but they are one of the best eating fishes of all.

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:)  Mike....yes....right between the second pier and the arterial bridge in those sand/ weed beds is where we were....

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Absolutely so about the eating qualities of esocidae..... Try quick baking the fillets with butter and Old Bay.....scrumptious!  :happy2:   BTW, pike picked up in winter in unfrozen Seneca were just north of Severne Point and around the northeast corner of the lake....

Edited by panfisher
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Oh Yeah! There are still a few real hogs in there.....I think a lot of us have"sacrificed" lures to old Mr. Pike :lol:

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