Pike has always been my springtime love. It's always available in the Kawarthas and it's a perfect way to get a good fight on the line before Bass opens up in June. This year is a different story though, I'm really not liking how these fish are treating me.
I think there's a bit of a lead up to this and I think it goes way back to ice out. Ice out happened pretty quickly actually. With that we had flooding and a whole bunch of fronts that came with it. With all the cold temps and rain the water had no chance of warming up. Now I'm not a biologist or claim to understand fish behavior in ANY way but I think the fish movement has slowed RIGHT down. I've not been able to validate for myself but I've heard the Pike were still in spawning mode for much of the spring.
When the spring started, I fished all my good spots and a few of them I saw fish but I couldn't get them to chase or bite with the usual lures. I shrunk down and was able to get one or two on a very slow troll on a curly tail grub but it was hard to get a bite. I heard a few people had steller days in very shallow water so I decided that Canal Lake should be perfect! It's covered in reeds and shallow water weeds. The only thing I got there was a prop full of weeds and a sun tan.
I was about to give up on Pike for the year but my buddy Bob and I decided to hit Lake Dalrymple - it's an ego boost lake for me because it's got more Pike than weeds in it. It's hard to not catch 'em there.
The lake didn't let me down, we were able to hook into about 6 pike, landing I think three of them. The larger of the three seemed to have some tail damage which leads me to believe those folks telling me about them still spawning may be true. The normal Black Fly Lures Spinner Bait and White Curly Tail Grub seemed to get them all.
I have to say, it's hard to pull out a lesson here for the other lakes. I was able to catch them later in the spring, in the normal early spring spots, which makes me want to go back in time and almost winter fish them (Anchor down and vertical jig them).
I'd love to hear your experiences out there this spring. Did you have a hard time too? Or were you able to adjust more quickly than me and get into them?