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This year my main goal is to try to net a good sized pike the down side is I have no idea what they want. The Pike I have seen caught have all been sheer luck, caught on somthing different every time. Just woundering if theres a trick or a methoud to the madness? >:Dand were they hiding? ???
 

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Spinner baits and spoons are what I use to target pike and occasionally swimbaits. Pike are ambush predators so they like hiding in weedlines, wood piles, and even water culverts that lay in the water. When it is hotter out they like to lay on the edge of the inlet waters as the waters are cool from the streams in Colorado. (thats when I use swimbaits)
 
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I use #4 & #5 mepps spinners in various colors. Johnson silver minnows- with or without a trailer. Various Rapalas- both floating and countdowns. Always good ole Dardevle spoons or any other medium, to large spoon. I've even tried senko's rigged various ways with some success, tube jigs with limited success & various plastic jigs of the larger variety that sometimes work. I've also used "pike bunnies" with both fly gear and casting/spinning gear. Pike bunnies are super large "flies" made of rabbit fur and a large jig head. Pike bunnies are great lures for pike. Everyone has their own favorite colors, so ask at the local bait/tackle shops.  Always use a tooth proof leader, I like the "Terminator" titanium leaders, they're more expensive but last longer as they dont get kinked. And don't put your fingers in their mouth, even the little fish, unless you want to fillet your fingers.

I agree with epic as to fish location. I also fish shallow points which hold trout & submerged rocky islands and breaks.

I have caught many a large trout at Spinney and elsewhere, to find a really big Northern trying to take bites out of the trout while it is hooked and being reeled in. That's cool to see! Good luck.
 

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One thing I like about Pike (and Bass) is that they are like swimmning garbage disposals and will eat anything they can ambush. I would say that what you use isn't as important as locating the fish. If you can find them, you can catch them.
 

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farmer ted said:
One thing I like about Pike (and Bass) is that they are like swimmning garbage disposals and will eat anything they can ambush. I would say that what you use isn't as important as locating the fish. If you can find them, you can catch them.
finding them is important. covering water is important. However sometimes they are just not hungry. It all depends.

Also, DON'T use wire leaders. Your catch rate will skyrocket once you ditch them. Use 15-20 pound floro as leader. Most of the time you'll hook fish in the lip anyway. don't worry, you'll be fine. You might have a couple fish bite off in a hard season but it is better to catch say 100 pike with floro and having 4 bite offs than catching 10 pike with wire and having no bite offs.

I have not seen anyone mention the best pike lure, the buzzbait. I like 1/4 to 3/8 oz. Reel them on the surface....BAM. Pike will oftentimes swirl behind it first. Don't set, they haven't hit. Slow down your retrieve a tad, and they'll hit again. If they don't, on the next cast they will. You could use light mono as a leader for buzzbait and not get bit off, so the leader is not a problem. I just use the floro though, because I remember one day at stagecoach I had caught a bunch on buzzbaits with my floro leaders and this one guy had fished for a while and hadn't landed any on his buzzbait and wire leaders. I told him to tie the buzzbait straight onto his main line (he had no leader), he threw out, and bam northern. Sometimes, pike are short striking buzzers (swirling) or following them without hitting. In this case, it's good to have a back up lure. I like 5" zoom superflukes rigged weightless and texas style with a 3/0 gamakatsu EWG hook. Once the pike is located with the buzzbait, throw this next and you'll get them. Other good lures include bomber long A's, spinnerbaits, big spinners, big spoons, curly tail grubs, rattletraps, and swimbaits.
 
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You might have a couple fish bite off in a hard season but it is better to catch say 100 pike with floro and having 4 bite offs than catching 10 pike with wire and having no bite offs.
I agree that you will catch more fish without a stiff ugly wire ahead of your bait. I fish for one fish, the biggest one in the lake, not numbers. I don't like taking the chance of losing the "big one" by not using PROTECTION. TFB is correct that alot of pike will not cut your line, but a big one almost always will. If I find that the fish don't like seeing the wire, you can use heavy mono (good), fireline (better) or use the tieable leader material that fly fishermen use (best). I've used it alot in Canada, Colorado and the Carribean for toothy fish and it works well if you tie it properly. It maintains good flexibility and fish teeth won't cut it. It's expensive though.
 
 

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I caught 2 pike 20 pounds or better in 05. One of them was surely a state record. Both were landed with 20# floro. You'll be fine...a lot of it depends on the lure used and its speed. In general the faster and bigger the lure, the more apt to be hooked in the lip and the slower and smaller the lure the more apt to get deep and thus get bit off.
 

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I use 50 lb flora carbon leader on 20 lb big game. I have lost some fish but I wouldn't change a thing. I am not 100% sure it makes a difference because I have heard of Pike eating other fish when they are netted (So I am not sure if they are shy) but it does help my confidence.

My advice to you is to read up on them a lot and fish during prime times to increase your odds of catching the big ones. My personal favorite time to fish for big fish is the the last two weeks in Aug first two weeks of Sept. Basically when the first cool spell hits the mountain region.
 

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my personal favorite time to fish for big fish is when the yampa has enough water to float ;)
 

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well, I would say mid july to mid august is prime water flows and water clarity. Smallmouth and pike on tap!!! where else do you have a great chance at a 4 pound smallmouth and a 15 pound northern in the same day?
 

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Big Blue --- No one mentioned this, but you said "net a good sized pike". I would avoid using a net if possable. It's not good for the fish, and it won't be fun for you getting em out. Listen to TFB, he knows what he's talking about when it comes to pike (or fishing).

jeffdp53 --- Nice Fish !
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Nice guys thanks for the responce I will ditch the steel leaders and go with a mono or some spiderwire leader. Only one more question is, is there any one favorite (if willing to share) place to fish for them?  Ahh the Tyger leader, is it alot like leadcore?
 

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hands down the yampa river is the best place in the state. 30" pike is the average size, although you do get some smaller and some larger. The pike from the yampa are OBESE. Except the 40+" fish I got from there last year- it was the skinniest pike greater than 20" I've ever seen from there. Not saying it was skinny (it was still very fat), but it wasn't the same blob shape the others seem to be. Heck, a guy caught a 24" pike out of rio blanco yesterday that was a yampa relocated pike (tagged) and it had to be at least 4-5 pounds. And my bro caught a 23" lake resident pike that I bet was barely over 2#. Shows you the difference. Please release all northerns caught on the yampa river. This fishery is in serious danger and gets a little worse every year for the pike.
 
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The Tyger leader isn't lead core. I can't really explain it. It's nearly as flexible as mono, it's not steel or any other type of metal. It's coated with a real thin plastic or nylon. Much better than just heavy mono or floro just as flexible, but much more expensive. Try it out if the price doesn't bother you, you'll get zero bite offs.
 

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Lots of good tips here! I fish at 11-Mile and Spinney alot and of course have some favorite baits of my own.

Pike in South Park probably get more pressure than in other places and it has gotten harder to catch the bigger Pike, (just my opinion). I use alot of jigs and soft plastics. I like 8" Reapers in white and Yellow, 6' black Sluggo's, and flipping jigs with the biggest blackest pork frogs i can find. My favorite hard bait is a #14 Rainbow Husky Jerk and a 1oz Rattle Trap burned in as fast as I can real!!!!

If you fish big baits that are solid and salt laden you might miss alot of strikes if fish them with hook texposed or texas rigged. I buy 7/0 Gamigatsku
Siwash hooks and rig them with hook fully exposed. Since I started to do that I have missed very few fish!
 

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never had a pike here in CO, but many from northern WI. rapala origonal floaters (#9 black/gold), #4/#5 mepps black fury. haven't tried the mepps timberdoodle yet, but man sure looks like a killer spoon for pike in thick cover. like others have said, pike are opportunists and will eat pretty much what comes in front of them if they're hungry. i've had em take nice bluegill that i just hooked. ;D
 

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I love the Tyger line. It is strong as hell, it doesn't mess with the action of a lure, and you can melt your knot together so it doesn't come undone
 
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