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TyGer Goes Pike Fishing

e-mail Andy at [email protected]

My quest for Northern Pike has been with me for as long as I could remember. As a little toe headed kid growing up, I would hear the long tales of monster Pike lurking below the depths. Often Monster Pike and Musky would be hanging on display at the Blue Sky Motel near our Cottage on the St. Lawrence River. My imagination and desire to catch these great fish far outweighed my ability and equipment back then, but the roots had been set for a life-long desire to catch these great fish. While fishing at a young age, sometimes a Pike would come up from the depths to inhale a perch at the end of my line, or slam a minnow or lure I was fishing with.Pike Fishing Inevitably the pike would win the battle due to faulty equipment or pure kid excitement. At this point of my life I hooked Pike purely by luck. I fished with Zebco 202's back then. Those old closed faced bait-caster's were not hardy enough to handle my torment as a kid and too primitive to be very effective on anything greater than a bluegill. But there was a light at the end of the tunnel, and this light was the Garcia Mitchell 300. Wow-what a reel.

It was the Cadillac of fishing reels, the one at which all others were measured against. It cost $20.00 back then and even with the expense, any serious fisherman would have one. This reel revolutionized fishing as a sport because of the ability to rapidly change spool lines, the smooth drag system, retrieve rate and the smooth operation. It is hard for me to imagine spending so much money back then on a fishing reel for a twelve year old kid, but that is exactly what my parents did. My parents just realized how important his reel was to me and how utterly lost into the sport of fishing I was.

Pike FishingThe Garcia Mitchell 300 had changed the sport of fishing as I knew it. I was able to cast farther, change line sizes in seconds and fish with lures like I had never done before. I started to hook and catch Northern Pike consistently. I learned that in order to catch these fish I had to fish in around sea weed lines and weed patches and underwater structure. Back then I used pre-made wire leaders which got the job done, but were stiff and awkward. These leaders affected the action of the lure and with live bait they were bulky and unrealistic, "boy what I would have given for TyGer Leader back then." In simple, TyGer Leader is to a Pike Fisherman what a Garcia Mitchell 300 reel was to me at 12 years old.

With Northern Pike or Muskies, you have the right equipment and tackle to handle them. In short there just is no substitute when it comes to terminal tackle. You could spend hours of fishing just to hook a good pike," much less a trophy", spend the extra money, time and effort to have the right terminal tackle, knots and rigging. This is the best advise I could ever tell anyone, and a fact that I had learned at a very young age.

In order to consistently catch Northen Pike you have to follow a few guidelines. Locate likely Pike hangouts, fish with lures and baits which mimic forage which they feed in your area and present your baits and/or lure to them which will trigger a reaction hit when they are active and a slower presentation when they are less active during the colder months.

Pike FishingPike can be located fairly easily depending on the body of water you are fishing. The best way I have found over the years is to look at forage and cover. Sea Weed "Hydrilla and Milfoil" or algae will give you your first clue to a Pike holdout. In the Spring look for good areas on the North Shoreline, because of sun exposure this area will usually have the highest water temperature. In the summer look for cover and schools of bait-fish. Perch and Pike have evolved together as a perfect predator prey relationship. So look for schools of Perch, in areas with dense sea weed cover and you have a winner. When fishing these areas remember to work the edges and drop offs, Pockets or holes in dense Patches of sea weed. This is what has produced the most consistently for me over the years.

It is a great idea to keep a separate smaller tackle box just for Pike. In doing this you will have a quick fix of effective lures which are proven winners for Pike.

There are so many ways to fish for Pike, I simplify the problem by concentrating on just a couple. Green and Black and Orange & Black Spinner-baits are my number lure. You can effectively cover more water in the least amount of time with a Spinner-bait during the active months of the late spring and summer. This is due to the lures versatility. Buy changing the blade size and weight you can cover deep and shallow water by just modifying your retrieve. It's TyGer Leader In fact this is the number one producer for me. The darting motion of the jigging retrieve initiates the action for Pike, but the fall is what triggers the pike to hit. Other lures to try would of course be spoons, and in line spinners. A Red Devil tops my list my I do carry an assortment.

For fishing in the Cabbage you have to have total weedless lures. Soft Plastic Jerk-Baits rigged weedless with the barb unexposed are on the order here. Pike will slam these lures when twitched into open pockets within Sea-Weed clumps. TyGer Leader will not impede the action of the Jerk-bait during the fall of the retrieve. This is crucial for the technique to be effective.

When Pike are less active in the early spring, fall and winter a slower lure and bait presentation is needed. Long lining with still presentation of live bait is my preferred technique in these conditions. Herring or Anchovies are suspended below a slip float where you can adjust the length of your leader allowing the bait to be a foot or two off the bottom. It is crucial that you tie a rig consisting of two treble hooks three to four inches apart using TyGer Leader.

Pike FishingThis is the true secret for this technique because TyGer Leader will not impede the action of the bait as it falls in the water. You can thank me later. With this technique, patients is critical. Make sure to experiment a little bit with your retrieve. Twitch the bait a little bit, then allow a lot of time for the bait to fall to a motionless position. Sometimes you will get the strike when the bait falls, other times the hit will come long after the bait has been still. Remember to fish in and around underwater vegetation and do not get lazy. A good number of hits come within feet of the boat.

The Pike is one of the most aggressive freshwater fish I have fished for. I have found that using spinner baits, soft plastics and long-lining naturals has proven it self to me throughout the years, fishing waters all across the country. Knowing where to find and fish for Pike are challenging and well worth the effort. The final key is not skimping on your terminal tackle. TyGer Leader is on the order here. You can thank me later.

As always, keep your boat in the water and might as well rake a kid along also. Good fishing.


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