Fish Habitat And Appearance
I got the call that I was going to get the opportunity to fish Mosquito Lake. I knew there were decent sized pike there, and they are known to put up a great fight. As with any fishing trip, I started at the beginning…research. Some facts may not have been pertinent to my trip, but I figured the more I knew, the better equipped I would be.
My findings were as follows. Pike are located around the fresh waters surrounding the Northern Hemisphere. They have a very long slender body, and a long head and snout filled with numerous long, sharp teeth. Their dorsal fin is far back on their body, located near the tail. They are a green color with lighter spots on their side, and their coloring fades to white on their stomach. Their eyes have a bright yellow coloring. They are quite appealing to many fishermen as they are active while other fish are basically dormant. They are also very popular during the ice fishing season.
Fish Diet, Hunting Style, And Spawn Activity
Pike are carnivores, mostly eating small fish and are usually the among the apex predators of the water bodies they reside in. They are most likely to be found in solitude, and will fiercely protect their territory. Pike are an ambush predator, preferring to hide in the weeds, then swim quickly out and surprise their prey.
Pike spawn in the early spring, or as soon as the ice begins to break or melt. They spawn during the daylight hours, in shallow quiet areas with weed bottoms. They can be found spawning in inshore or upstream marsh areas.
Fishing Lures And Techniques
From the research, it appeared that we had lots of techniques and lures to try out. In-line spinners were supposed to be effective when steadily retrieved just fast enough to keep them off the bottom. Spoons needed to be fished with a slow steady reeling motion to keep them wobbling, or with a jigging motion if that wasn’t productive. Minnow imitating plugs with a steady retrieve or a stop and start were said to work running shallow in colder water and deeper where the water was warm.
Regular spinners drawn past the weeds with a stop and go motion were said to produce fish and be even better with a twist tail. A jig with a worm needed to be fished in a temperature of 60 degrees with 2 to 3 foot hops. The pike often hit when the jig is dropping. Surface plugs can also be used. Topwater over the weedbeds was said to be best.
Areas Where Pike Are Normally Found
My findings stated the best places to fish were
Mouths of swampy inlets, fishing just offshore at a depth of 3 to 10 feet
In ice, areas that warmed before the main bay.
Prominent shoreline structures such as beaver dams or flooded timber with inline spinners
When bay is warmer and weeds are growing, weedy points and mid bays shoals with in-line spinners, stop and go retrieved spoon, or a stop and start motion with a spinner along the weed edges. Topwater lures effective on calm water.
Deeper weedlines with accesss to deep water of a 6 to 10 foot break. Pike over 10 pounds usually leave the shallower water first to head for the cooler areas. Jig and worm, or a stop and start retrieved spoon are effective.
Scouting The Lake
Arriving at Mosquito Lake the first thing I did was arm myself with a map. There were many stores right on the lake which I was glad to see. There was also a Christmas Carnival that had lures for sale! Imagine the luck, they were lures that I didn’t have. They must have been some sort of special edition. Maybe good for pike, we would soon find out. Scouting the lake I saw a few downed trees, and LOTS of weeds. This should be a great place to fish for pike. I was well stocked with pipes, spinners, spoons, jigs with various soft baits, and even some sinkers to try out 3 way rigs.
I started at what I considered the beginning. The dock. They were biting on what I describe later as pike kryptonite, spoons, crankbaits, and spinners in the order of success. I tried many other spots but unfortunately I only found one other that seemed to produce pike. I basically came up dry everywhere else and was just bothered by perch and chubs. I did have what I would guess was a bigger pike bite right through my steel leader! Can you believe that?! All in all though the hotspot was an absolutely blazing fishing spot. I will definitely try to make it back to Mosquito in the future.
So here are the spots where I tried and found the pike. The hot spot is green, the mediocre spot yellow, and the spots where I came up empty in red. At all places I tried casting both directions as long as there was not too much of a chance of a snag. The spot marked with two coordinates, the top I fished left, the bottom I fished right.
While the morning did produce the most volume of fish, the top three came at sorted times. There was a 3.869 at 9:35, 4.359 at 7:59, and the biggest fish of 6.802 came at 23:00. They all came in lower temperatures, and the bite rate showed it was definitely the time to fish. The lures that were used was the first pictured lure for the largest, and the second picture showed for the second and third in order of weight. The bites were frequent enough that I did not experiment with hook sizes. I found the most effective colors for pike to be blue and silver, with silver taking a slight edge. Wondering what was absolute pike kryptonite? The first lure pictured produced bites on just about every single cast. The lures are pictured in order of effectiveness. For the first lure, all three colors worked great, I used lightest in the daylight hours, using the darker ones as time went on ending up with the darkest at night.
I went in with a fairly heavy setup. You can see it below. I wanted to be able to handle a trophy pike if I got one. When my leader was bitten through I changed leaders to a heavier one. It is pictured below. A lighter setup could be used, but I would recommend keeping the tension as high as possible, although in the situation where my leader was bitten through I had the rod bent with tension. So the leader pictured is what I switched to after the escapes.
I tried a few different techniques but ended up finding that a slow stop and go with a reel speed of 15 produced the most bites by far. Following you will see charts of how the time of day, temperature, and weather affected the size of fish caught.
I sincerely hope you enjoy this guide and please remember, these documents are just that... guides. A water body is a living entity that changes over time due to many factors. You may go to an area I fished and that area may have respawned and be full of pike. You could also go fish where I got tons and not catch a single one. That is why I tried to show several spots where I either have caught them before, or expected them to be present due to factors such as weeds, and cover. Good luck on the water and I hope you can catch that trophy pike I was unable to net.
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