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Thread: Ice Fishing Pike Questions

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    Default Ice Fishing Pike Questions

    Been begging my wife's family to take me ice fishing since we met. Still hadn't been, so when we moved up to the valley from Kodiak I got an auger and hit the lakes. I've hit Finger Lake a couple of times with marginal luck. Ready to try pike, but I need some tips.

    What lakes should I try around the valley? About how deep should the water be? How far off the bottom should I be fishing? What should I use for bait? What time of day should I fish? Etc. I am new, so any tips would be well received. Thanks

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    I don't have enough pike time myself to give very specific advice, but if you go to the sticky at the top of the forum you'll see the lake maps link...

    http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/State...on/MgtAreaID/2

    If you look through the lakes in your area, the ones that have pike are noted on the individual map pages by ADF&G.

    Also, open up your fishing regs booklet to page 19 and look at the lakes with a red star next to them. Those are pike lakes.

    As for fishing, pike are predators and hunt in areas where they'll find prey, aka little fish. Little fish like to take refuge in shallow areas, along banks, and in vegetation to make themselves a harder target. So, those are the areas where you might want to look for pike to be feeding.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bcook33 View Post
    Been begging my wife's family to take me ice fishing since we met. Still hadn't been, so when we moved up to the valley from Kodiak I got an auger and hit the lakes. I've hit Finger Lake a couple of times with marginal luck. Ready to try pike, but I need some tips.

    What lakes should I try around the valley? About how deep should the water be? How far off the bottom should I be fishing? What should I use for bait? What time of day should I fish? Etc. I am new, so any tips would be well received. Thanks

    Do you have access to a snowmachine/ 4 wheeler?
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    Member joefish00000's Avatar
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    nancy lake is a good place to start. there are some lunkers in there but mostly little guys. try tip ups with herring or hooligan/candlefish. make sure to use a steel leader. the deepst i would fish for pike is 12ft so keep shallow.

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    We catch a lot on soft plastic baits fished in three to eight feet of water, just in from dropoffs.







    Barely animating the bait works much better than lots of action. Some of the largest fish are hooked with the jig almost dead still for minutes. Just the slight motion imparted to the bait by holding the rod in your hand is enough to trigger really hard strikes.

    They are very good eating out of cold water.



    Ted

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    Ted thats awesome thanks for the pics and advice! Pike is my favorite deep fried fish. I see you fillet and skin yours, how about the inner bones or y bones whatever they're called, do you worry about them?

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    Well, I stopped worrying about them, long time ago. Was shown several different ways to remove the Y bones, but all of them waste too much meat. We just eat around them.

    Agree with you on favourite fried fish, although we don't deep fry them often. Usually just season them with salt and pepper, or lots of lemon pepper, and fry them up in cast iron pan in about 1/8" of smoking hot canola oil.

    What I should have posted was, "They are very good eating, especially out of cold water!

    Ted

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    [QUOTE=Yukoner Ted;860035]We catch a lot on soft plastic baits fished in three to eight feet of water, just in from dropoffs.

    Barely animating the bait works much better than lots of action. Some of the largest fish are hooked with the jig almost dead still for minutes. Just the slight motion imparted to the bait by holding the rod in your hand is enough to trigger really hard strikes.

    Thanks for the info... looking forward to hitting the lake the next couple of days

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    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukoner Ted View Post
    Well, I stopped worrying about them, long time ago. Was shown several different ways to remove the Y bones, but all of them waste too much meat. We just eat around them.
    Have you tried this method? It looks easy without too much much waste, but I have not had a chance to try it yet, myself. Curious if it's as good/easy as the video makes it look.


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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Something else to consider is that pike move as the season progresses. Early season they are actively feeding and since the weed beds are gone the best spots are usually points and drop-offs. Later on as the dissolved oxygen levels in the water drop they fish move on to deeper water but still key on structure. By season's end they are largely inactive and in the deepest part of the lake.

    Exceptions, of course, are places with inlet streams or significant open leads. If fishing a lake with an inlet stream, find the nearest structure under safe ice.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    Something else to consider is that pike move as the season progresses. Early season they are actively feeding and since the weed beds are gone the best spots are usually points and drop-offs. Later on as the dissolved oxygen levels in the water drop they fish move on to deeper water but still key on structure. By season's end they are largely inactive and in the deepest part of the lake.

    Exceptions, of course, are places with inlet streams or significant open leads. If fishing a lake with an inlet stream, find the nearest structure under safe ice.
    I disagree about the late season deep water. Towards spring they begin to move into shallows to spawn. But I do agree with just about everything else, you find weeds/structure and you'll find pike.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    I think he was talking about late fall/winter, not spring time
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    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    He mentions "by seasons end" so I assumed it was toward the end of ice fishing season, in which case most of the pike begin moving into shallow flats and weed beds to begin spawning.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRFISH View Post
    Have you tried this method? It looks easy without too much much waste, but I have not had a chance to try it yet, myself. Curious if it's as good/easy as the video makes it look.
    I have done them that way a number of times. It is fairly easy, however, it is by far the most wasteful.

    There is another method, where the bones are removed after the fillet is taken off the fish that does not waste nearly as much, but when you consider how easily the Y bones come out when the fish is cooked, there is no reason to waste so much excellent meat.

    Ted

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    Quote Originally Posted by pike_palace View Post
    I disagree about the late season deep water. Towards spring they begin to move into shallows to spawn. But I do agree with just about everything else, you find weeds/structure and you'll find pike.
    That is our experience, as well. All the biggest fish we catch from March until May are in less than 10 feet of water. Here's a couple that whacked a tiny, inch and a half, tube jig that I was fishing just inches off the bottom for whitefish, in about four feet of water.





    Which raises another point. When fishing whitefish, I started using five inch, 12# test, South Bend Invisi-Leaders about eight years ago to attach the jigs or tiny spoons we use for them. They don't seem to make any difference to the whites, and I rarely lose a pike any more.

    And, when one of these big freshwater wolves hook up on 4-6 pound line, it is a hoot!

    Ted

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    Take the strip of flesh with the Y bones and either pickle or can it so the bones soften and become edible. No waste and very tasty. With salmon I take the strip of flesh with the pin bones and smoke then can, you could try smoking the pike strips too, but don't forget to can otherwise the bones won't soften.

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    Yukoner Ted,

    Based on your address I'm assuming you're fishing in Canada? Too far of a drive but the fishing looks awesome. Do you ever use tip ups with deadbait?

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    Only allowed two lines per fisherman when ice-fishing in Yukon, and no live bait. So, we sometimes set out a few tip-ups with bait, frozen herring, smelt, or piece of meat, but the soft baits always outfish the bait.

    I have a couple of buddies who come over here from Anchorage and Kenai in April , just to fish pike for a couple of days. You should hook up with them, and join in the fun!





    Ted

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