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What is a good way to pike this early in the season with no ice? Do lures work, or should I bobber fish with chubs? Thanks, Chad.
 

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I've caught them with bass type lures in very shallow water this time of year. Those alligators will chase pretty much anything.
 

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If you can find some really large chubs or minnows 4"-10" try rigging one rod with it .
Use a large bobber and float the bait dead or alive 3'-4' down.Right after ice out the big pike feed on the winter kill bait fish.
I've caught some of my largest pike this way.
With a large bait make sure you have your hooks placed for a quick hookset.You can use a rubber band to hold one in place by the tail.
 

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Try slow rolling a big white spinnerbait around gradual drop offs and weedlines, Pike and Bass love it, and don't be suprised if a big cat smashes it also! Leave a rod with deadbait out while you work the spinnerbait real slow and you'll fill the boat.
 

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Sucker minnows, Big'uns, Because thats what tiggers like best!!!

Chubs work good to. Stuff some styrofoam down its (sucker or chub) gullet to make it float off the bottom a little and your in business.
 

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Crash that is a great idea. I always used an exterior float which I'm sure takes away from the presentation. I'll bet those tiny round styro balls from the craft shop would work real well. Thanks trout
 

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Try some hair-tail spinners trolling along the weedbed/drop off. did that last year when minnies weren't doing the trick and the results were surprising.
 

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Re: Stuffing styrofoam balls in bait. Couldn't that injure/kill fish that you release or miss. I would think it could clog their digestive systems. A better alternative would be to use a worm blower to put a little air into the body cavity and inflate it a little.
 

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I have to agree with UP Hunter
If corn can clog a fish up then wouldn't styrofoam in the bait that was ingested by a fish released or just by getting your bait reallly pose some problems?
Dumroese
 

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Lets think about this one for a second. little undigestable foam balls vs. a pikes destructive jaws. I would be much more worried about the hooks and such we loose to them then a little foam. If your worried about what you loose to them, and the damage it does, than maybe you shouln't be out there. Point blank your gonna kill fish even in the best of circumstances. Anyway a little practice and quick strike rigs usually eliminates any problems most people would have. And another point, most of the time the fish would just "cough up" any thing that it can't digest, but I highly doubt that there would be any thing large enough left to do any damage.

ps. where did you hear the corn thing, thats new to me, Heck I've probally wiped out lakes then if thats true. (obviously I havn't)

pss. nothing agianst the worm blower idea, its just that on the long cast I make itusually knocks the air out of them, hence the foam trick, (I've knocked that out of them too)
[This message has been edited by crash (edited 04-13-2000).]

[This message has been edited by crash (edited 04-13-2000).]
 

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I used to keep aquariums in my classroom, and my favorite fish were Oscars. They have tremendous personalities, and tremendous appetites!

One day, I noticed one of the Oscars that was about the size of my hand was acting Like it was feeling poorly. Later that day, I noticed a bulge near the fishes butthole. At the end of the day, the bulge was pushing out of the fish.

It was a piece of gravel about the diameter of my fingernail. When the fish finally passed it, its butt was turned inside out like an inch long tail! I was sure the Oscar was history.

The next day, he still had a protruding bung, but he acted fine. Ate like a hog!
By the next day, his pooper was back in place, and he showed no residual problems.

I can't speak for pike, but I'm sure styrofoam wouldn't bug an Oscar!!!
 

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The corn thing came from me feeding it to young carp when I was a kid. My dad and I raised them for a couple years.. they never seemed to pass it and I lost a couple. I have never used it since.

What gets me curious about the styrofoam is if they swallow the bait whole then their teeth aren't going to get the styrofoam....I understand that the larger fish won't be having problems but it's the younger fish not only pike that I am curious about.

One more thing...this is from my experience when I was younger and since I haven't used corn since then I hesitate to try other baits along those lines.

I know that fishing will kill fish under many circumstances but the more killing we can prevent the longer the fish will be around. I am not trying to aggitated anyone I am just speaking from what I learned and experienced

Hope everyone understands and if they have any advise I will be glad to listen and learn.. thats what I am here for.

Dumroese


[This message has been edited by Dumroese (edited 04-14-2000).]
 

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I don't think anybody is here to start an argument, but your post took me (and probally a few others) completly off guard. I can see where some people might have a problem with the foam trick, to each his own. In todays PC world people usually have alot of problems with things I do. To tell you the truth I love eating fish, and unless its a big mama or a dink, its coming home. So killing fish, I have no problems with. Loosing fish is another story. I've learned over the years how to perfect certin techniqes so to eliminate most of the problems that pop up. I hate knowing that there's a fish swimming around with its jaws locked by trebels or gut hooked and left to die. Now its time for the truth to come out, Both the corn and foam tricks I posted came straight from a certin popular fishing magazine. They even had full color diagrams for both. Does this make either one of us right? thats for each one of us to decide.
The carp story was interesting, Because as kids, we fed cans and cans of corn to them and just about everything else in the lake. Corn has been known for a long time as a common bait for all types of fish. You've heard of grain fed catfish right? I would have to think that something much more severe than corn killed your carp. Exspecially considering some of the things they eat naturally. Possiblly an infection of some kind was the culprit?
 

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Crash: I brought it up because I am concerned about the welfare of the fish. I don't keep very many of the fish I catch, so I am more concerned with being able to release them. I suppose it depends on the size of the styrofoam balls you are using but my concern is that they are not digestable. Even a hook will be dissolved in a fish's stomach but I don't think the foam would. The worm blower trick does work.
 

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OH don't get me wrong I'm concerned about the welfare of fish just as much as anybody else, Its not like I'm stuffing sheets of foam down their throats, just enough to make them float a little. I just find it funny that guys will run allover a lake with a carbon monoxide spewing motor straped to their backs, drive all over gods creation with smog choking trucks, But god help you if you stuff a little foam into your bait. I don't mean anything malicious by this, I'm sure we would agree on anything else but foam stuffing and corn feeding. Oh yea- LETS GO WINGS!!!

ohh looky!! I got two little deer heads now

[This message has been edited by crash (edited 04-14-2000).]
 

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I have been out twice now hunting pike and still no fish up on the flats. Seems they are still out a bit deeper. Would be nice to get rid of the wind a bit so it can be an enjoyable time on the water lol
Son caught several two weekends ago casting in Muscamoot and lost a few. If it wasn't such a long drive and $10 for the ferry I would cast a few hours today just to feel a decent fish tugging on the end of my line.
 
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