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Discussion Starter #1
I have fished Stage a couple of times both winter and summer. There is No doubt that it is a phenom of a pike lake in the open water seasons. But how many people have hooked the Big Pike on the hard water? I have tried full size smelt, pieces of sucker meat(Nickel size and bigger), earthworm baitballs. No such luck. No need to reveal locations but someone let me know that it is possible to catch a 10+lb thru ice.
Pics are always a plus.
 

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It IS possible. I hooked one this ice season on a purist tipped with nightcrawler (purist =a little green jig). I never saw the fish but the chance it was a northern over 10 pounds is just about as close to 100% as you can get. Also, on the DOW webpage you will see a photo of a guy holding a massive pike, like 46-47" and fat. That was from stagecoach in either 03 or 04. I haven't fished stagecoach as much as I should have this ice season, but we did well on smaller pike up to 24.5". The pike I hooked on my jigging rod was absolutely massive though, I have no doubt of that. In the open water season I caught a 32", along with dozens upon dozens of 15-22" pike and a lot of 24-28" pike too. At stagecoach you must wade through the small pike. Also, I had a pike probably low-mid 40" range on for a split second on a buzzer in open water and iceintheveins had a mid 40" pike on that same day for a very long time on a buzzer. Stagecoach gets better and better for pike as the winter progresses. As it gets to late ice, pike start to head towards the backs of bays again from their winter locations of deeper water off of rocky main lake points. Go to the backs of dark-bottomed bays, particularly those with inlets. Fish shallow, 5-10 fow, with 6" anchovies on windlass tipups. Fish it 1 foot off of the bottom and use/make a quickstrike rig with #8 gamakatsu trebles. Put a tiny splitshot 8" or so above it. DO NOT USE A NAIL WEIGHT.
Maybe during midwinter you were fishing too shallow (in the bays). During midwinter, a lot of pike, particularly larger specimen, really have a tendancy to relate to rocky points and deeper water than a lot of people think.
I have caught 5 northerns this year 10 pounds or better, although 0 at stagecoach (I really haven't fished stagecoach much though). Ice season is very slow for pike compared to open water, however you can get the larger specimen more readily through the ice because they are not as easily spooked and your presentation is more stealth and natural. Also, a fish's metabolism slows greatly when the water cools off. A little pike rarely has to eat. However, a large pike has a lot more room in its stomach and will go for many meals. The small pike generally fill up fast and don't feed as much.
Also, you're not using wire are you? Wire turns off big pike in colorado's clear waters. Heck, wire turns off most pike in our waters.
I have a monstrous thread on how to catch pike through the ice somewhere on this forum on the icefishing part.
There are so many mistakes one can make when icefishing for pike in colorado, particularly if he or she is an avid reader of infisherman magazine/books. Forget everything they've told you and read posts on here from actual anglers in colorado, having pike success.
I hope this points you in the right direction. If you need anything else, let me know.

BTW make sure to keep several small pike (<22" or less) for the table. They are on the edge of overabundance. Throw back any pike larger IMO, and especially fish over 30".
 

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Went to Stagecoach yesterday. Many bows, two small pike. Caught a 16 inch bow with fresh pike bite marks on it below the dorsal fin. The pike were caught while jigging for bows...didnt catch any pike on our tip-ups

Ice is 16-20 with 6-8 in of snow, no slush. This was along the arrowhead side.
 

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Hey TFB question for ya- I have had several pike come in at 11 Mile to my jigs and just sit there and look at them for quite awhile. Some I tried jigging it thinking they would attack it, but instead they seemed to spook and swam off.
What is the best thing to do if one comes in and starts looking at your bait/jig??
 

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Discussion Starter #5
For the open water I have used the quickset rigs with the exact hooks you recommend. I do however use steelleader and make my own rigs. It sounds like i should use a heavy mono..
Anchovies sound like fun. Heck I haven't even tried them on pizza.

What about live waterdogs there.

Thanks for the chat
See everyone out there.
 

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TRY WATERDOGS 1FOOT OFF BOTTOM,BIGGEST I GOT WAS 19 LBS,39 LNG THAT WAS AT MOUNTAIN HOLMES,WATERDOGS DUE A GREAT JOB OF ATTRACTING WATERWOLVES,
 

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I've never used waterdogs for pike (I have no source) but I think a deadbait is very effective at catching the less active fish like many colorado reservoirs have. Waterdogs have been known to work well though. I'm just saying I really don't think they are necessary- anchovies have been catching me some lunkers this year.
Another popular tactic is to use a LARGE 10" or so sucker on #6 gamakatsu trebles and quick strike rig it, and fish it the same way I've explained for the anchovie. Fishing for pike is a SLOW game in the winter, but you can be rewarded. I think the best thing to do is just put your time in, and you'll be rewarded. It doesn't take nearly as long to get rewarded with a 10+ pound pike compared to a 10+ pound laker. I've caught 5 10+ pound pike this year in approximately 15 days of fishing for them. That means it takes me 3 days per 10+ pounder.
As for the angler having problems at 11mile, there are a multiple number of things that could be going on. 1) the pike is full and not really into eating at the moment. 2) the pike is smart- pike in colorado and particularly pike in heavily pressured, clear waters like 11 mile can be tough. 3) your presentation is off, this I can help you with. How big are your jigs? Pike seem to not like large jigs very well through the ice I've noticed. I've jigged rattletraps, jigging rapalas, and large tube jigs with abysmal results. I've had lookers that I have confirmed were pike, oh yes, but they won't take very often. However, I have caught many pike on small perch/trout jigs. I have had many more bite offs though, lol, as has my brother. I remember at lake X once when he hooked a pike that was at least 20# by how it felt he said, but he had only 2 pound test. Needless to say SNAP. Lol. I have done well with ratsos, shrimpos, and most of all small jigging spoons tipped with waxworm. However, I do not think jigging for pike is the best thing to do in the winter in colorado. In our state, pike numbers are very low compared to other places. Our dissolved oxygen content in water can be much lower, our water is much clearer, our waters are full of food in comparison, and our pike are much more pressured. This equals a lot harder, a lot smarter, and fatter pike. Really, the best way to catch ice pike is the tipup. A pike may look at the deadbait down there a long time before taking. It's best for him to look at it a while. It may be a slow game, but it is high percentage that if you fish proper areas during the proper times of the ice season with proper gear (as I've lined out in many other posts) that you will catch at least one lunker pike if you try several times.
BTW, I'm going pike fishing tomorrow (not stagecoach though, rifle). I'll let ya know the results.
 

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TFB- My jigs are the same ones I am using for trout at 11 Mile- Mainly Rat Finks in size 8 or 10 I think. They are pretty small, so I don't think that was the issue. I was actually fishing for trout there and pike came in but sat there forever and never hit. All times I was jigging and it brought them over.
But they seemed like once they got there they were weary. I always thought pike would attack something looking wounded or moving. But, they are definitely smarter than people think. Good luck at Rifle tomorrow
 
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