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Discussion Starter #1
I made a pike trip with a friend yesterday. We both threw hard baits, mostly jerkbaits, but I also threw a hard swimbait at times. We caught fish, but nothing over 21". Toward the end of the day, I met a fly fisherman. He asked me if I caught anything. A few, I repied. All dinks. He said that he only catches big pike. I called him out on that and said: I'm sure you catch little ones too in between the big ones, unless you are somehow throwing lures that are so big small ones can't bite it. He showed me his fly. It looked like a 4" streamer. By that time, I had finished my retrieve. He saw the Lucky Craft Pointer 128 I had on the end of my line and said that he doesn't "use lures like that; big pike don't eat them because they look too much like them." Perplexing statement... I am no expert on big pike, but I am pretty sure pike eat pike and other fish... And I couldn't figure out what else "them" would reference. I thought about calling him out, but I just said "Oh" in a sarcastic manner. Anyhow, what is your take on flies vs hard Baits vs some other lures?
 

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I have caught big pike on small spoons and kasty's and have often thought wow, smaller is better. To me, it seems like this might be the case when pike are solo.

However, me and my crew have definitely caught some big pike on F-18's as well. Many time this has happened when pike are attacking bait fish together.

For me, one of the coolest things to watch in the Colorado outdoors is big pike bust'n on kokes in the fall. If your ever lucky enough to come upon it (or if pike are corralling up on some bows) you can't go too big IMO. Nothing like seeing several 18'' salmon go flying out of the water with blood red teeth marks on them.
 

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Pike are definite cannibals. I've caught big and little pike on FL18's and have also caught 8" trout on them. Never tried fly fishing for pike so no thoughts there.

Anyone who says they only catch big pike is a Hillary.
 

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I am also no big pike expert, but imo it seems like the fly fisherman's statements had a little credibility but was mostly false. The idea that they don't like big lures is obviously not true. Hammerhandles under 20" will inhale a 6-7" swimbait just as a trophy will. However, I am not a fan of big hardbaits that don't look super realistic or are not being presented in a manner to elicit a reaction strike unless there is some wind or cloud cover to the point where fish have their guard down. Pike seem to be extremely weary and cautious and tricking them is difficult. When fishing in a situation where they don't seem super active, downsizing might be a good idea. But when the conditions are perfect and they begin feeding, there is no better option than a big bait to grab their attention.
 

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Some peeps idea of a big fish is not the same as others. That's all I gotta say about that.


I have caught pike on 1/4 oz spinner to the 4" (approx) daredevil to buzzbaits.

I believe any fish either will eat it (it being fly, lure, bait, ect) or they won't.


Filthy fly fisherman. >:D
 

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I think the fly guy was full of **** on many levels!

With that I will add my 2 cents. I think big fish will eat an array of baits from 3"- 10" (or possibly more, just haven't thrown bigger or fished with anyone who has).

I have found that there is a great size that tends to attract big fish but isn't so big that it is tough to get a good hookset. This also leads me to my other theory that hard baits do not hook pike as well as soft baits. I fish pike a lot, and hook up ratio is huge. For instance, I fished topwater for 3 years before successfully landing a big pike. In those 3 years, I got 6 bites. I don't necessarily blame this on the fact that they are all big hard baits, but I believe it contributes. I definitely think that pike are not terribly prone to feed on topwater, and they are just not that good at eating on the surface.. I could be wrong on that though.

I have had fewer hits on hard swimbaits than soft, but I fish soft way more. Jerk baits sure hook up well, but we miss plenty on them too, which I am always fascinated by. Seems like 2-3 dangling smallish sharp ass trebles would be 80%-90% hook up, but it's not.

With bass, my hook up ratio with the soft baits is very high. I would guess over 70% and maybe upwards of 80%. With pike it's significantly lower. They short strike often and they have hard mouths. Musky are even tougher because their mouths are so hard. I actually don't know if it's a hard mouth or just so many teeth that the teeth act as a rigid surface.

So to answer the question, I think pike are predators that eat what is convenient when they are feeding. I definitely think they prefer slow moving baits, especially the big fish. There are times they will hit faster moving baits, but my experience has shown that that window is much smaller than the times they prefer slow. This may be why the fly guy has a tad more success with his streamer.. it's a slow moving meal that is moving very subtly. Big movement seems to be less attractive to pike (most hard swimbaits have a pretty large swimming motion).

I have given up too much! lol... I sure hope we get to pike fish some time, AO! Sorry it didn't work out last time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have caught big pike on small spoons and kasty's and have often thought wow, smaller is better. To me, it seems like this might be the case when pike are solo.

However, me and my crew have definitely caught some big pike on F-18's as well. Many time this has happened when pike are attacking bait fish together.

For me, one of the coolest things to watch in the Colorado outdoors is big pike bust'n on kokes in the fall. If your ever lucky enough to come upon it (or if pike are corralling up on some bows) you can't go too big IMO. Nothing like seeing several 18'' salmon go flying out of the water with blood red teeth marks on them.
I saw what looked like a 16-17" trout getting slammed about 20 yards from shore. It breached the surface twice. The second time, it looked like it got tossed out of the water. I casted to that spot but no love.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Anyone who says they only catch big pike is a Hillary.
You just could resist... :D And you even broke out that sentence from the rest of the text for emphasis. Nice paragraphing! :thumb: And good points (related to fishing), too.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Filthy fly fisherman. >:D
Filthy, filthy, flyfisherman. SMH >:D:D Actually, he seemed like a nice guy, a little full of himself but nice guy. The peeps who are really full of themselves won't even talk to you.


I believe any fish either will eat it (it being fly, lure, bait, ect) or they won't.
That's true most of the time and that tends to be my attitude out there too. Occasionally, a slightly different lure or a slightly different retrieve will trigger bites after casting at the same spot for a while.
 

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Sounds like that guy had no idea what he was talking about... Have you ever fished up north (MN/Canada) for pike. They will eat anything big or small. Generally speaking if you want to consistently catch big pike, you fish big. If you want to catch a bunch of snakes with a chance at a big one throw something 5-6 inches. If you want pure numbers throw a little spoon or small stick/crank bait.

I haven't experiences anything different here in CO. I catch them on little spoons, crank baits, stick baits, BBZs, Dynamic Furys, Texas Rigs, "repurposed" perch. It's all the same. If I want larger pike I fish big baits. That even goes for bait fishing.

With that said my biggest pike in CO was got on a Rebel crawdad... 43" :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think the fly guy was full of **** on many levels!

With that I will add my 2 cents. I think big fish will eat an array of baits from 3"- 10" (or possibly more, just haven't thrown bigger or fished with anyone who has).

I have found that there is a great size that tends to attract big fish but isn't so big that it is tough to get a good hookset. This also leads me to my other theory that hard baits do not hook pike as well as soft baits. I fish pike a lot, and hook up ratio is huge. For instance, I fished topwater for 3 years before successfully landing a big pike. In those 3 years, I got 6 bites. I don't necessarily blame this on the fact that they are all big hard baits, but I believe it contributes. I definitely think that pike are not terribly prone to feed on topwater, and they are just not that good at eating on the surface.. I could be wrong on that though.

I have had fewer hits on hard swimbaits than soft, but I fish soft way more. Jerk baits sure hook up well, but we miss plenty on them too, which I am always fascinated by. Seems like 2-3 dangling smallish sharp ass trebles would be 80%-90% hook up, but it's not.

With bass, my hook up ratio with the soft baits is very high. I would guess over 70% and maybe upwards of 80%. With pike it's significantly lower. They short strike often and they have hard mouths. Musky are even tougher because their mouths are so hard. I actually don't know if it's a hard mouth or just so many teeth that the teeth act as a rigid surface.

So to answer the question, I think pike are predators that eat what is convenient when they are feeding. I definitely think they prefer slow moving baits, especially the big fish. There are times they will hit faster moving baits, but my experience has shown that that window is much smaller than the times they prefer slow. This may be why the fly guy has a tad more success with his streamer.. it's a slow moving meal that is moving very subtly. Big movement seems to be less attractive to pike (most hard swimbaits have a pretty large swimming motion).

I have given up too much! lol... I sure hope we get to pike fish some time, AO! Sorry it didn't work out last time.
My hookset ratio is pretty bad for pike. I had one good hit last weekend on the Lucky Craft. The fish took it and peeled drag right away. It felt like a better fish than the rest. I watched a bunch of the videos I posted above. They seem to be throwing soft baits mostly. I think I need more of that in my tackle box.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Sounds like that guy had no idea what he was talking about...
Actually, he seemed to know what he was doing. He went straight for the spot I wanted to fish. Of course that might just be a case of a slightly less amateur fisherman knowing more than an amateur fisherman. My guess is that he wanted to make the point that he catches big fish and misspoke. When I called him out he continued with the misspoken statement rather than acknowledging obvious facts. It happens all the time in life (personal interactions, work and, gasp, politics). >:D


If you want to catch a bunch of snakes with a chance at a big one throw something 5-6 inches.
That seems to be my experience with walleyes. I wasn't sure if it applied to pike.
 

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Maybe its just the difference in perspective. Sounds like he always fishes with flys (Soft baits). While you, me, and likely most people on this site, conventionally fish for pike with a variety of lures.

As you know each lake is different. Some lakes the pike target hard stick baits, others I have better luck with soft swim baits, and sometimes only spoons will get hit.

Maybe the pike in the particular lake you were fishing really key in on whatever streamer he was using.

Or maybe I'm just biased...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Maybe its just the difference in perspective. Sounds like he always fishes with flys (Soft baits). While you, me, and likely most people on this site, conventionally fish for pike with a variety of lures.

As you know each lake is different. Some lakes the pike target hard stick baits, others I have better luck with soft swim baits, and sometimes only spoons will get hit.

Maybe the pike in the particular lake you were fishing really key in on whatever streamer he was using.

Or maybe I'm just biased...
I'm not much of a pike fisher man. Maybe 1-2 times a year; some years, I don't chase them at all. I did catch a 32" pike on a 6" BBZ there a couple of years back. I threw that same lure for maybe a total of an hour last weekend.
 

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Lots of good comments.

I've seen the biggest pike I've ever seen in Colorado on a very (VERY) small lure, and the guy that caught it was targeting big pike.

I've never gotten a tank on a jerkbait. I agree with the assessment that it's a mid-range bait for small to large fish, but more of a numbers bait.

I've also seen a lot of big wipers caught on TINY flies, when I was throwing topwater baits and not getting bit. Size and presentation definitely matter, but not how must people think it would. Know the water you fishing in, know the main forage base, know the conditions and how fish act in them, and choose wisely.

Personally, I think for pike, I stick with the big baits far too long. Sometimes downsizing should be considered.

As far as hard vs soft baits, I've never hooked a pike on a hard swimbait. I've caught plenty on jerkbaits, but the biggest was only 28". Same size soft swimbait, I've seen big pike come out of deep waters. So I do believe that soft baits catch more and bigger pike, but I also believe the size and presentation matter as much as anything else.

Pike eat pike, so that fly guy was pretty far off base with his statement.

EDIT: By the way, the big pike tiny bait, and the wiper tiny fly both had one thing in common, they were both a main forage bait for the lakes I was fishing in... ;)
 

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That's true most of the time and that tends to be my attitude out there too. Occasionally, a slightly different lure with a slightly different retrieve will trigger bites after casting at the same spot for a while.[/QUOTE]

AGREED!

There was/is something wrong with what we were throwing, be it size, shape, color, retrieve that did not elicit the response we were looking for. Or better yet, what the fish was looking for.

I am a firm that fish think about two things (basically)

1. is that food I should eat?

2. what's that shadow moving above me?


One thing I am trying to teach myself is that fish are fish and they will not think like a human so I need to stop putting human thoughts to to what fish do or think.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
How many of you have caught 12" and larger trout with tooth gashes all over them? Ya big baits work on big pike.
Yup, I have seen bigger fish (some of those pike) with tooth marks too.
 

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The trick to improving your hook up ratio is to sharpen your hooks on a regular basis.i troll for pike and I'd say my hook up is about 90%.while im trolling along I sharpen hooks.i also leave my drag pretty loose.when they grab a hold of the bait it gives enough to let them swim away and then when I grab the rod its over for them.i think some people casting for pike set the hook too fast and just pull it right out of their mouth.
 
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