Fishing for Northern Pike in the spring is normally associated with ice-out ravenous action that can be absolutely insane! Lets face it, after a long cold winter the big girls need to eat and then get busy with the spawn. Unfortunately this time period only lasts a short time which is followed by the spawn and then the dreaded post spawn. This was the exact time that Pete was shooting this episode.
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He started out with his usual smallish in-line spinners and at times 5″ Jerkbaits in search of active fish but unfortunately, only the small to medium sized fish would respond. Essentially if the fish was under 10lbs there was a good chance that it would bombard the spinner or jerk, however if the fish were the true behemoth’s that Pete was ultimately looking for, the fish would either simply ignore the hardbait offerings or actually spook from it.
If and when this happens Pete usually follows Angelo’s spring Pike favourite by throwing a giant tube like a Waterwolf Gator Tube which will usually turn a few big heads… but… not today!!!
Now our little Pete is self admittedly a pretty simple guy however we know once on the water and confronted with a tough situation, that Greater Napanee education of his kicks into another gear and the wheels start turning faster and faster… and this just happened to be one of those moments!
“I knew pretty quickly that I was in a little deeper than I was hoping for” says Pete “all I asked the Pike Gods was to make the giants rip the rod out of my hands with artificial baits… that’s it (not asking for much eh?)”
“HOWEVER, my fishing friends, I always try to think ahead so as a backup for this trip I brought along a few Quick Strike rigs”, recalls Pete.
These are usually 2 smallish treble hooks on a wire leader which are configured to allow the hookup of either a live or dead baitfish (usually a sucker or oily fish like a frozen herring) which is then suspended under a float in hopes that a Big Esox branded creature will be enticed by this last-resort offering.
Knowing that Pete had this backup plan, Dan MacLachlan of White River Air made a quick run to Ed’s bait shop and picked up some Sucker Minnows… JUST IN CASE!
Well, as you read, the Quick Strike Rig would be drawn from the box and put into play without hesitation.
“This was the game-saver for me, as it usually is” remarks Pete “once I popped my first 12+ pounder on the sucker, I had a new-found confidence that would carry me through this otherwise tough day”.
Long story short, the rig came through with flying colours, especially on the giants. Pete boated a couple in the 12 – 13lb range, two more in the 15+lb range and two monsters well into the mid 20’s… true giants in an area that’s only a 10 hour drive from the Greater Toronto Area.
“To top it all off, that sucker, SUCKERED IN a scarred up monster that I must have worked on for over an hour… that’s with live bait my friends”!
“What a trip, what a lake, and what an outfitter in White River Air”!
GETTIN’ THERE with RAM TRUCKS
To get to today’s fantastic fishing location I headed north on highway 400 to highway 69. At Sudbury I headed west on highway 17 to the town of White River.
We then boarded a float plane at White River Air which took me to the southern outpost camp on Garnham Lake.
HOTSPOT brought to you by SAIL
N48° 59.564’ W85° 31.268’
Today’s Hotspot is a shallow bay on Garnham Lake that warms up quickly in the spring… a perfect place for Northern Pike to rest after the spawn.
The waypoint on the screen will get you there. Upon entering the bay, try conventional baits like Spinners, Suspending Minnow Baits and Topwaters. If the fish don’t react quickly like as in Pete’s case, then bring out the Live Suckers on a quick strike rig.
It’s important to remember to set the hook “as soon as” the Pike grabs it… any hesitation and the fish could try swallowing the whole rig thus hooking it deep in the throat.
Check out our Hotspot Section, exclusive to members of the Fish’n Canada web site.