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Muskie Fishing -> General Discussion -> Northerns, by accident
 
Message Subject: Northerns, by accident
Mauser
Posted 5/21/2023 1:49 PM (#1020923)
Subject: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 724


Location: Southern W.Va.
With a 50" being the "standard" for a , what most would think of, big musky. My question is , what do you think is a " big" northern?
oconesox
Posted 5/21/2023 3:53 PM (#1020927 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: RE: Northerns, by accident





Posts: 284


Location: Oconomowoc, WI
I’m sure some will say that for either it depends on the body of water, but for just a general comparison, I’d say a 45” pike is as much a Trophy as a 50” musky.

Andy
7.62xJay
Posted 5/21/2023 4:05 PM (#1020928 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident





Posts: 502


Location: NW WI
Ya it obviously depends. Myself not in a position to vacation. Homewaters of NW WI. 40" is the benchmark. I've got 2 thick 37s, seen 1 38" through the ice and there's 1 40" not by me on the wall caught through the ice out of a 35acre lake. Had a +40" boatside buried in slop with an inexperienced netwoman...yup, heartbreak boatside.
Kirby Budrow
Posted 5/21/2023 5:41 PM (#1020933 - in reply to #1020928)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident





Posts: 2289


Location: Chisholm, MN
My biggest was 42 I think. I consider that pretty big. I've had quite a few 50" muskies in the net and less pike over 40". Depends where you are fishing but I guess in northern MN a 40" pike is about as common as a 50" musky except for lake of the woods where a 40" isn't even a that nice of a fish.
Pikebait
Posted 5/21/2023 9:13 PM (#1020938 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 105


Location: Alberta Canada
Where you fish and the effort you put in plays a roll. I am always happy to catch a 40” pike but I fish places that I can expect it if I invest the time. Now a 45” pike I start getting excited to catch one and I don’t get one every year. My personal best is 47” but my goal is 50+ before I get a replica. I have hooked a few I think were close and had one flip off my kayak that I am pretty confident would have hit the mark

There is some giants hidden in Northern western Canada
North of 8
Posted 5/21/2023 9:44 PM (#1020939 - in reply to #1020938)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




About 15 years ago, the DNR set fyke nets by me and one was about a hundred yards from my place. My neighbor walked down as they were pulling the net and inventorying the fish. The tech was very excited to show him a thick 42" female pike. He said something to the effect that you don't see many like that. I am in Oneida County and while I have caught some upper 30 pike fishing for musky, have never gotten one over 40".
chuckski
Posted 5/21/2023 10:50 PM (#1020940 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 1242


The biggest Northern I caught in Wisconsin, I caught right before we took off to Friday Night Fish Fry so I didn't measure it but did get a nice photo. (It was 30" give or take), in Minnesota and Canada lots of 30"-36". My biggest is 40" right here in Colorado. Other family members and friends got 39"-40" fish fishing with us here too. My dad had 43" here too. My dentist got a 37" 22 pound release thru the ice (also in Colorado) I was invited but couldn't get away that day.
ToddM
Posted 5/22/2023 3:37 AM (#1020941 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident





Posts: 20188


Location: oswego, il
My biggest is a 44" toad caught in Indiana. It's in the photo albums on this website for 2003. Had one a little bigger eat up in Canada two years ago. Have caught a few over 30 which I would consider the benchmark for being a decent fish.
chuckski
Posted 5/22/2023 10:49 AM (#1020950 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 1242


30" Muskie, 30" Northern, both cool. All the good sized Northerns caught in Colorado were caught targeting Northerns. There may be one place where they both in the same body of water here in Colorado.
gimruis
Posted 5/22/2023 10:56 AM (#1020951 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 124


The Minnesota DNR classifies any northern pike over 30 inches to be in the "large" category. I catch dozens of pike all season long when I am bass and muskie fishing, and 90% of them are of the snot rocket size. Like 19-22 inchers. I hate them. Every once in a while I pile into a sizable fish, but it is rare, as many of our lakes are depleted of them and over run with aggressive, abundant small ones. Last year I caught a 35 incher, that was my biggest of the season.

Bigger waters tend to have bigger pike in my experience. Canada has much bigger average fish than we do here in MN too.
BillM
Posted 5/22/2023 11:05 AM (#1020952 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident





Posts: 171


A 40in pike is a nice fish anywhere. My biggest is 48.5. I've seen 50s, that's the end goal for sure.
Slopski
Posted 5/22/2023 11:41 AM (#1020955 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 156


Location: Cedarburg, WI.
In northern Wisconsin i would say any pike at 36"+ is a really nice fish. My friends and i have often said up here a 40" pike = 50" musky as far as rarity and accomplishment.
Kirby Budrow
Posted 5/22/2023 12:21 PM (#1020957 - in reply to #1020955)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident





Posts: 2289


Location: Chisholm, MN
Also, being a muskie guy in northern MN you run into bigger pike than the average fisherman. All the guys I know that fish for pike but not muskies are tickled pink when they catch one over 28". I shake 40" fish off at the side of the boat. So it depends on who you are and where you're fishing. I have a coworker that comes in bragging about a pike like that and I have to pretend to act impressed!
FlyPiker
Posted 5/22/2023 5:06 PM (#1020964 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 386


I have a couple of personal goals for pike

1. 40" or bigger in MN, south of the highways that run from Duluth, to Grand Rapids, to Park Rapids, to Moorhead.
2. 45" or bigger in more northerly destinations including out of MN

If I can get one of those checked off, and break the 55 mark for a ski, then I want to dedicate some real time to crossing the 50 mark. I think Devils Lake gives me the best opportunity, within reasonable driving distance, where I can put the time in to pattern them and figure it out DIY - punk rock style.

I have been stuck at 36.5" for at least 25 years now. I have caught 3 total pike that have hit that mark. 8 fish that have gone 36, just can't seem to cross.that threshold. I've had one on that would have went over 40, was just sliding the net in the water and she torpedoed at me and threw rhe hook like it was the plan all along... that was a long drive home.
chuckski
Posted 5/22/2023 5:19 PM (#1020966 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 1242


Minnesota and Colorado are the best places in the USA for big Pike. In the late 1990-early 2000 we were catching a lot of 39"-43" Pike and at the time I was a RVP of a Muskie INC chapter. At a board meeting I got to talk to the Minnesota DNR Pike expert (this guy knew his stuff) and he gave me his report. I gave him a copy of the Colorado Pike plan and he read it and laughed. I tried to give a copy of the Minnesota report to the Colorado Fish and Game guy and he would not read it.
Colorado put Northerns in some mountain lakes in the1950's to combat suckers. They wan't them gone and they can't get rid of them. Before killing them they had a few big fish that ate the stocked Trout then they killed the big ones and then they had a bunch of small ones (way more) that were small but big enough to still eat Trout. The big Pike also ate small Pike.
Then thru bucket biology there all over.
Masqui-ninja
Posted 5/22/2023 7:55 PM (#1020970 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident





Posts: 1214


Location: Walker, MN
On the water I fish, we catch around thirty 50+" muskie for every 40+" pike. A good problem to have I guess. Most of the good pike genetics ended up on cabin walls, big pike were far more abundant just 20 years ago.
Manta18
Posted 5/22/2023 8:44 PM (#1020971 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 343


Location: Long Prairie, Minnesota
Biggest pike I’ve ever seen was caught in October trolling for Musky in Labrynth Bay. Measured 47” and let go to swim on.
RLSea
Posted 5/22/2023 9:12 PM (#1020973 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 486


Location: Northern Illinois
For those who fish in waters with both species, what if any differences in behavior or patterns have you seen between muskies and pike? I have spent a fair bit of time on the Winnipeg River system and have contacted large individuals of each, but hardly ever in the same place.
happy hooker
Posted 5/23/2023 3:16 AM (#1020975 - in reply to #1020973)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 3138


Pike are only good for making Tiger Muskies
gimruis
Posted 5/23/2023 7:38 AM (#1020977 - in reply to #1020970)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 124


Masqui-ninja - 5/22/2023 7:55 PM

On the water I fish, we catch around thirty 50+" muskie for every 40+" pike. A good problem to have I guess. Most of the good pike genetics ended up on cabin walls, big pike were far more abundant just 20 years ago.


Yes, that is exactly the problem we've created here. Too many larger ones were harvested for too long. I have relatives that used to do it constantly. They wouldn't even think twice about keeping a couple of 35 inchers when they used to catch them. Right on the stringer they went, and all the small ones went back. Then there's the winter spearing that decimated some waters too in the winter. No such thing as catch and release with a spear.

Now the bag limit is 10 pike in most of MN per day. 9 of them have to be under 22 inches. They are abundant and aggressive and clearly the DNR wants them removed.

Edited by gimruis 5/23/2023 7:39 AM
7.62xJay
Posted 5/23/2023 10:18 AM (#1020985 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident





Posts: 502


Location: NW WI
On water loaded with snakes, if they keep pounding or get hooked bad...I'll harness and hang 1.
BillM
Posted 5/23/2023 10:19 AM (#1020986 - in reply to #1020977)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident





Posts: 171


Here's one of the biggest pike I've ever had in the boat. 47in and thick!!! She could barely hold it.




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(4qkw4MZ.jpg)



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Kirby Budrow
Posted 5/23/2023 11:45 AM (#1020989 - in reply to #1020973)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident





Posts: 2289


Location: Chisholm, MN
RLSea - 5/22/2023 9:12 PM

For those who fish in waters with both species, what if any differences in behavior or patterns have you seen between muskies and pike? I have spent a fair bit of time on the Winnipeg River system and have contacted large individuals of each, but hardly ever in the same place.


I see most larger pike caught in october on muskie spots. They love the cooler water so they finally head shallower. Other than that I really don't catch many while muskie fishing.
bloatlord
Posted 5/23/2023 12:22 PM (#1020991 - in reply to #1020989)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 95


I love catching pike too. 40 inches has always been my target.
esoxaddict
Posted 5/23/2023 12:32 PM (#1020995 - in reply to #1020991)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident





Posts: 8743


I used to get angry at the incidental pike. I admit to some frustration when I've spotted a muskie and keep catching them instead, but they make great table fare. I just wish I could get the Y bones out of them without a total massacre.

My biggest to date is 41" Not bad.
chuckski
Posted 5/23/2023 4:33 PM (#1020998 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 1242


There's a guy here in Colorado who caught the state record and released several that were way bigger, Including a 53" 45 pounder on a Fly Rod. (he released that one too) The official state record is 30 pound and what ever once's caught after the other releases.
Vilas15
Posted 5/23/2023 8:44 PM (#1020999 - in reply to #1020998)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 178


My biggest pike is 34.5". I tend to think a 40" pike is equivalent to a 50" musky but honestly anywhere in WI other than green bay it may be even more impressive. All the Vilas lakes i fish have a confirmed 50" musky in them but I kinda doubt theres a 40" pike in most of them. I used to love northerns when just learning to fish because they were the only thing I could catch, then I disliked them for a while after starting musky fishing, now trying to appreciate them more. Anything over 30" is a solid fish and fun to catch.
Vilas15
Posted 5/23/2023 8:46 PM (#1021000 - in reply to #1020998)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 178


My biggest pike is 34.5". I tend to think a 40" pike is equivalent to a 50" musky but honestly anywhere in WI other than green bay it may be even more impressive. All the Vilas lakes i fish have a confirmed 50" musky in them but I kinda doubt theres a 40" pike in most of them. I used to love northerns when just learning to fish because they were the only thing I could catch, then I disliked them for a while after starting musky fishing, now trying to appreciate them more. Anything over 30" is a solid fish and fun to catch.
North of 8
Posted 5/23/2023 9:12 PM (#1021001 - in reply to #1021000)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Guess the only time I was disappointed to catch a nice pike instead of a musky was shortly after getting side imaging. I was trolling but mainly looking for structure on a lake I have fished a lot. I saw a brush pile someone must have put in on their own, hoping to attract panfish. I put a way point on it, went further and turned around because I saw what looked to be a nice fish by the pile. Trolled past and right on cue, bait was slammed. Reeled it in after nice fight only to find it was a thick pike just over 36".
I was disappointed cuz t thought it was going to be a musky. But after releasing it I realized it was a very nice fish, fought great and should be appreciated.

Edited by North of 8 5/23/2023 9:24 PM
sworrall
Posted 5/25/2023 8:25 AM (#1021049 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident





Posts: 32827


Location: Rhinelander, Wisconsin
I really like fishing big pike, and used to travel serious distances to catch 40" plus northerns. Still like catching them.
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