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Muskie Fishing -> General Discussion -> Northerns, by accident
 
Message Subject: Northerns, by accident
CFlipFish
Posted 5/25/2023 10:18 AM (#1021055 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 8


Location: New Berlin, WI
I tend to think pike over 38” are really nice fish and agree that 40” pike is roughly equivalent to 50” musky. I love to catch pike to break up the sometimes long stretches in between muskies to keep me attentive.

One of my favorite trips was with my dad and son on LOTW back in 2019. We were fishing bucktails and Grinder spinnerbaits in a weedy bay for muskies. At the point where the bay started, we had a follow right away from a mid-40’s musky and thought we were in business. For the next 2 hours, we caught 11 pike between 31” and 41” in that same bay. Never saw another musky in that bay, but did multiple passes in the bay and kept catching big pike. None of us could believe they were stacked up like that, but we had a blast. Perhaps the Muskies were also turned on in another location and we missed them, but we had so much fun I don’t regret staying in that bay….
EsoxWanderer
Posted 5/25/2023 10:36 AM (#1021056 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 47


Georgian Bay seem to be common up to 32", with 34"+ getting into big pike territory then upper 30"s being a pretty darn nice fish.
EsoxWanderer
Posted 5/25/2023 10:40 AM (#1021057 - in reply to #1020973)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 47


RLSea - 5/22/2023 10:12 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.


Big topic
Angling Oracle
Posted 5/25/2023 11:57 AM (#1021059 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 320


Location: Selkirk, Manitoba
The cisco/whitefish and goldeye/mooneye eating pike up here don't entirely have the musky maximum size potential, but if you target big pike in the same way you target big musky (ie big lures/big baits), then a 40" fish is kind of like a 44" musky - a great fish but not what you were hoping for. The two top pike in Manitoba listed in master anglers are a 60.5" and a 59". No photo for the 60 and the 59 looks more like a 39 to me, but there are lots of "legit" 50"+ plus fish. Legit in the sense they do have to be photoboarded and the fish do look like that class of fish. I would classify a 45" pike as a real trophy and pretty rare.

New regs in Manitoba to ensure a trophy pike fishery (and trophy fishery for all predators)- basically CPR regs and no-over regs for all large predator fish: pike, walleye, catfish, SMB, crappie, lake trout, etc. As I've mentioned on other threads, fisheries managers manage, stakeholders make regs:

Arctic Grayling 3 None may exceed 40 cm
Black Crappie 6 None may exceed 35 cm
Brook Trout (except stocked trout waters) 1 None may exceed 45 cm
Burbot 6 None may exceed 70 cm
Channel Catfish 4 None may exceed 60 cm
Freshwater Drum 10 None may exceed 60 cm
Lake Trout 1 None may exceed 65 cm
Northern Pike (Jackfish) 4 None may exceed 75 cm
Smallmouth Bass 4 None may exceed 45 cm
Stocked Brook, Brown, & Rainbow Trout;
Splake & other Trout hybrids; & Arctic Char
(any species or combination)
3 Only one may exceed 45 cm
None may exceed 60 cm
Walleye (Pickerel) & Sauger
(either or combined) 4 None may exceed 55 cm


Edited by Angling Oracle 5/25/2023 12:00 PM
IAJustin
Posted 5/26/2023 8:07 AM (#1021081 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 1974


all depends where/how you fish for pike, if you fish where big pike live in canada May/June and really know how to target them catching 10-15 pike a day over 40" is common...and I'm talking lakes you can drive to in Ontario... that said of the 1000+ 40" pike I've had in the boat..only 6 were over 45" (all drive to destinations) with 48.5" the largest
R/T
Posted 5/26/2023 10:05 AM (#1021085 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 80


I think anything over 40" is a big northern. Have been places where a 40" isn't looked at twice but for most places I would put the mark at 40.

Biggest I've caught muskie fishing was a fish that was in the low 40" range that I caught on the north end of LOTW. Thought enough of that one to take a picture with it. Have fished quite a bit in WI but never caught a pike close to 40.

Most interesting place I found them was on a walleye trip to Ontario in the 90s. First got there was marking hooks off of point in 30-35 feet. Though they may have been large walleyes but turns out they were 34-38 inch pike. Didn't fish em enough to see if there were any bigger. The walleyes were at 12-14'. This was a recurring pattern there.
Pikebait
Posted 5/26/2023 3:00 PM (#1021088 - in reply to #1021059)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 105


Location: Alberta Canada
Angling Oracle - 5/25/2023 11:57 AM

The cisco/whitefish and goldeye/mooneye eating pike up here don't entirely have the musky maximum size potential, but if you target big pike in the same way you target big musky (ie big lures/big baits), then a 40" fish is kind of like a 44" musky - a great fish but not what you were hoping for. The two top pike in Manitoba listed in master anglers are a 60.5" and a 59". No photo for the 60 and the 59 looks more like a 39 to me, but there are lots of "legit" 50"+ plus fish. Legit in the sense they do have to be photoboarded and the fish do look like that class of fish. I would classify a 45" pike as a real trophy and pretty rare.

New regs in Manitoba to ensure a trophy pike fishery (and trophy fishery for all predators)- basically CPR regs and no-over regs for all large predator fish: pike, walleye, catfish, SMB, crappie, lake trout, etc. As I've mentioned on other threads, fisheries managers manage, stakeholders make regs:

Arctic Grayling 3 None may exceed 40 cm
Black Crappie 6 None may exceed 35 cm
Brook Trout (except stocked trout waters) 1 None may exceed 45 cm
Burbot 6 None may exceed 70 cm
Channel Catfish 4 None may exceed 60 cm
Freshwater Drum 10 None may exceed 60 cm
Lake Trout 1 None may exceed 65 cm
Northern Pike (Jackfish) 4 None may exceed 75 cm
Smallmouth Bass 4 None may exceed 45 cm
Stocked Brook, Brown, & Rainbow Trout;
Splake & other Trout hybrids; & Arctic Char
(any species or combination)
3 Only one may exceed 45 cm
None may exceed 60 cm
Walleye (Pickerel) & Sauger
(either or combined) 4 None may exceed 55 cm


Targeting lakes with lots of fatty forage fish definitely increases the odds of bigger pike being around helps. I would add trout to the list of forage you mentioned too. Running larger baits like are used in Europe and musky style lures also helps. A lot of guys are still tossing 4inch spoons and never go bigger. The other one is don’t hesitate to fish deeper water after it warms up. Lots of guys bang away at the smaller pike in shallow water wondering why they are not finding fish over 30inches

There is a big difference in how the guys who consistently catch big pike around here fish vs those who get the odd one. Especially in pressured waters around here the big old pike are not as careless as the small ones. It always surprises people when a small lake winter kills and they start seeing 40” pike float up in a lake that a 30” is viewed as rare

I keep having friends tell me I need to skip Saskatchewan next time I go looking for my 50” and keep heading to cranberry portage Manitoba. Our supervisor at work keeps bugging me about the 49” he caught out there last year
Ranger
Posted 5/26/2023 4:35 PM (#1021091 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident





Posts: 3798


I once accidently caught an upper 30's pike, a fat one, that had been chomped from above by a REALLY big fish. Almost certainly a muskie. The tooth holes on both sides of the pike were still leaking blood. Looked like a cartoon.
Angling Oracle
Posted 5/28/2023 10:28 AM (#1021116 - in reply to #1021088)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 320


Location: Selkirk, Manitoba
Pikebait - 5/26/2023 3:00 PM


I keep having friends tell me I need to skip Saskatchewan next time I go looking for my 50” and keep heading to cranberry portage Manitoba. Our supervisor at work keeps bugging me about the 49” he caught out there last year


50" is a very very rare fish, but the right area to try and perhaps get a PB for length. Now would be the best time to go if can manage, plus get into the bonus shallow lakers up that way.
Pikebait
Posted 5/28/2023 2:38 PM (#1021128 - in reply to #1021116)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 105


Location: Alberta Canada
Angling Oracle - 5/28/2023 10:28 AM

Pikebait - 5/26/2023 3:00 PM


I keep having friends tell me I need to skip Saskatchewan next time I go looking for my 50” and keep heading to cranberry portage Manitoba. Our supervisor at work keeps bugging me about the 49” he caught out there last year


50" is a very very rare fish, but the right area to try and perhaps get a PB for length. Now would be the best time to go if can manage, plus get into the bonus shallow lakers up that way.


50” is tough in even the best waters but it’s still fun to try and results in some good fish in the pursuit. But my 47” PB came out of a lake where you really need to grind for a 36” so you never know what can happen

Just got home from being evacuated due to wildfires so it will be a little bit before I am doing an out of province fishing trip. My trip to Cedar lake in Ontario is my priority trip this year

Manitoba is on the list for provinces I should check out as I do have family there as well
NPike
Posted 5/29/2023 5:15 AM (#1021136 - in reply to #1021049)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 612


Id say a 50" musky is ~ to a (42 to 44)" pike. Really big pike are rare and take much longer to grow to size than do musky. A 20 pound pike is likely 15 to 20 years old. I've caught literally thousands of pike only 4 over 20 pounds. I've caught about a dozen muskis average size 10 to 12 pounds, one ~ 25 pounds. Seen 50"ers. Based on my own personal observations musky's grow much faster and larger than pike.
NPike
Posted 5/29/2023 5:17 AM (#1021137 - in reply to #1021049)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 612


Id say a 50" musky is ~ to a (42 to 44)" pike. Really big pike are rare and take much longer to grow to size than do musky. A 20 pound pike is likely 15 to 20 years old. I've caught literally thousands of pike only 4 over 20 pounds. I've caught about a dozen muskis average size 10 to 12 pounds, one ~ 25 pounds. Seen 50"ers. Based on my own personal observations musky's grow much faster and larger than pike. BTW I dont care I'll take any toothy critter, musky, pike, pickeral.



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Attachments 20 pound plus pike compressed (1).jpeg (26KB - 39 downloads)
NPike
Posted 5/29/2023 5:29 AM (#1021138 - in reply to #1020975)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 612


need to catch a big one, they fight as hard as musky's and giants are quite uncommon. This 44.5" pike nearly yanked the rod out of my hands as it went from feeling llike a snag to a rocketship.



Attachments
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Attachments 20 pound plus pike compressed.jpeg (26KB - 45 downloads)
dickP
Posted 5/29/2023 7:16 AM (#1021139 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 307


To me a big pike is 42 inches and up.On most waters I fish catching a '50' is easier than a 42 pike with my approach and presentations.Just not a pike guy.Have a good friend that is and goes on lotsa pike trips.Has his own boat/motor stached with a native on Athabasca.Multiple high 40s every trip but no 50 yet.Lotsa fish.Lotsa big lakers.Camps.Always wants me to go and I always say I'll pay the 3K not to go.
One big follow is worth more to me.Yes,suspicions confirmed but that's my 'truth'.
chuckski
Posted 5/29/2023 7:54 AM (#1021140 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 1224


Catching fish is super fun, all fish. But the best is catching Large fish. And that's where the Muskie comes in. When I looking to catch a Muskie I want big VS action. Sure back when I had a boat and trailer when I could lake jump the first day it was off to action water then the rest of the week thinking big. But nothing wrong with going off on a Pike trip and catching a bunch of Muskie sized Pike with lighter tackle. I've also had fun dropping a small boat or Canoe in a river or somewhere like the Rainbow and catching Pike with a ultra light and some Mepps. Life is good on the water and in the woods.
BillM
Posted 5/29/2023 2:46 PM (#1021147 - in reply to #1021056)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident





Posts: 168


EsoxWanderer - 5/25/2023 11:36 AM

Georgian Bay seem to be common up to 32", with 34"+ getting into big pike territory then upper 30"s being a pretty darn nice fish.


Lots of 40in+ pike in Gbay.
RikkiTikkii
Posted 5/30/2023 5:43 PM (#1021176 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 37


Location: Lower Peninsula
40+ pike sound rarer than I thought them. I’m in Michigan and they seem to be relatively common in Great Lakes connected drowned river mouths and in large rivers in general. People catch them in the early spring typically while walleye fishing. I lost one boatside on a 4” phantom last year in June. Easily 38-41”. Fishing fresh weeds in a Lake Huron marina at a Rivermouth. Atleast I got to fight it… I was barely twitching it in just watching it wobble downwards in patches between cabbage. Pike color

I hardly can bother pike fishing many smaller inland lakes because the pike run so skinny (especially if it’s not fall) I would rather just fishi multi species with light line at that point.
NPike
Posted 5/31/2023 2:15 PM (#1021215 - in reply to #1021049)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 612


Northerns are savage. Big pike are tough to come by and of the thousands I've caught only 4 were > 40", top 44.5" I thinks a musky if I had to take a guess I believe the average ski is ~ 2ce as heavy as the average northern.
gimruis
Posted 6/2/2023 2:21 PM (#1021264 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 114


My office does an annual fishing contest every year and we use the In-Fisherman Master Angler criteria by region/species to determine the winner. This chart indicates that a trophy northern pike is 17 pounds or 40 inches in region 1, which is where I am in Minnesota.

Just for comparison, it lists a pure strain trophy muskie as 28 pounds or 46 inches and a tiger muskie at 18 pounds or 38 inches.

https://www.in-fisherman.com/content/master-angler/375360
NPike
Posted 6/2/2023 8:12 PM (#1021282 - in reply to #1021049)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 612


I like the Great Northern Pike pound for pound they fight as hard as most any fish that swims. A very unpredictable fish that could turn on or off any time of day or night .Having caught thousands of pike and 12 muskies. Unless fishing in a sub-artic remote regions big pike become very hard targets. They''ve seen every bait, its not that I thing the fish is smart but that it can develop an inherent fickness making good bigger very hard to catch (12-15) ponds and up. I prefer all toothy critters.I think musky's grow close to double the side of big pike and but on size quicker tan pike.. My PB ski 44", 20+pou ds, Pike 44.5", 24.4 pounds. These re minnows compared to the reports Ihear on the forum
Pikebait
Posted 6/3/2023 4:17 AM (#1021293 - in reply to #1021282)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 105


Location: Alberta Canada
NPike - 6/2/2023 8:12 PM

I like the Great Northern Pike pound for pound they fight as hard as most any fish that swims. A very unpredictable fish that could turn on or off any time of day or night .Having caught thousands of pike and 12 muskies. Unless fishing in a sub-artic remote regions big pike become very hard targets. They''ve seen every bait, its not that I thing the fish is smart but that it can develop an inherent fickness making good bigger very hard to catch (12-15) ponds and up. I prefer all toothy critters.I think musky's grow close to double the side of big pike and but on size quicker tan pike.. My PB ski 44", 20+pou ds, Pike 44.5", 24.4 pounds. These re minnows compared to the reports Ihear on the forum


Big pike are different than pike 30inches or less and are harder to catch. Targeting differently and different locations does make a difference too.

There is still lots of places in Canada that are not remote sub artic where big pike can be found in very reasonable numbers. Some of the biggest pike in Alberta are in our southern waters but yes there are giant pike in some remote northern lakes too.


Weiseyyy
Posted 6/3/2023 4:42 PM (#1021315 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: RE: Northerns, by accident





Posts: 64


Location: Minnesota
I'm late to this thread, but wanted to pitch in.

I'm very accustomed to catching loads of 20 inchers whenever I go out, so to me, anything near the 28inch area is considered big (bigger than average at least). My little brother (seven years old) just recently caught a 32in behind the boat trolling, which is bigger than any pike I've caught my whole life so far.

Pretty cool seeing him reel that in.
kdawg
Posted 6/3/2023 5:39 PM (#1021316 - in reply to #1021315)
Subject: RE: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 737


Not sure if it has been mentioned yet, but in my opinion, if your fishing mid and upper midwest waters, and you want to catch a trophy pike, you have to head out onto the ice. It seems every year, in my local paper in nw wis., pictures of 40" plus pike are taken through the ice. Kdawg
chuckski
Posted 6/3/2023 9:54 PM (#1021317 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 1224


In-Fisherman used to have good Ice Fishing Pike shows with large Pike.
miket55
Posted 6/4/2023 10:07 PM (#1021337 - in reply to #1021317)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 1212


Location: E. Tenn
chuckski - 6/3/2023 10:54 PM

In-Fisherman used to have good Ice Fishing Pike shows with large Pike.


With an upcoming trip to Canada, I find myself perusing the series of books they published back in the early '80s..
chuckski
Posted 6/5/2023 9:58 AM (#1021338 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 1224


I have them all and best yet you get can get them on Amazon. In fact I was reading a old Babe Winkelman book and it fell apart and I bought a new one for $3.46 still in the wrapper.
BNelson
Posted 6/5/2023 10:40 AM (#1021341 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident





Location: Contrarian Island
big pike are a blast. I don't mind catching ~37s and up in Canada by accident. Biggest accidental pike was 44.25"er on lotw that hit a topwater. We had one follow in 2021 that looked to be a legit 46" and WIDE. We have actually taken time off from muskies some trips when water was cool to go into a bay that can load up with big pike and one 4 hr window or so we caught 6 or 7 over 37" .. it was a blast. now anything under about 35 I don't really want to mess around with
gimruis
Posted 6/5/2023 8:12 PM (#1021360 - in reply to #1021316)
Subject: RE: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 114


kdawg - 6/3/2023 5:39 PM

Not sure if it has been mentioned yet, but in my opinion, if your fishing mid and upper midwest waters, and you want to catch a trophy pike, you have to head out onto the ice. It seems every year, in my local paper in nw wis., pictures of 40" plus pike are taken through the ice. Kdawg


Ice fishing sucks. Aint happening
kdawg
Posted 6/6/2023 6:50 AM (#1021366 - in reply to #1021360)
Subject: RE: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 737


gimruis - 6/5/2023 8:12 PM

kdawg - 6/3/2023 5:39 PM

Not sure if it has been mentioned yet, but in my opinion, if your fishing mid and upper midwest waters, and you want to catch a trophy pike, you have to head out onto the ice. It seems every year, in my local paper in nw wis., pictures of 40" plus pike are taken through the ice. Kdawg


Ice fishing sucks. Aint happening
Well, good luck to you then. Kdawg
Pikebait
Posted 6/6/2023 8:28 AM (#1021369 - in reply to #1020923)
Subject: Re: Northerns, by accident




Posts: 105


Location: Alberta Canada
Another ice fishing hatter here lol

I do a little ice fishing to keep sane over winter but staring down a hole gets old. Yes some fat pike can be had late into ice fishing season(really all season) but it’s just not the same

My best results for big pike is actually in open water usually the late June into the first two weeks of July and first 2 weeks in September. But temperature can shift those dates and part of it is working trends I figured out on some waters. Finding the high calorie easy food and temperature is more important than timing though

The big thing you will notice is most of the “best time of year” recommendations in North America are when the big fish are shallow before or after the spawn. A lot of guys never shift away from fishing water that is under 15foot and end up getting mostly smaller pike with the odd big one the rest of the season. At least where I fish the big girls are still around but often move deeper. I often target them in 20-30feet of water or shallower benchs that drop into deep water. You don’t get the same numbers but size is better

Years ago I started paying attention to how they target pike in Europe where pike have way more respect than they do in North America. Their lure selection is actually closer to musky size baits and some are similar in style. They also fish a larger variety in depths. After switching my fishing style to kind of a hybrid between how Europeans fish pike and how musky are targeted in North America the quality of fish I was catching improved

Now all this said I am targeting pike in Western Canada where the pike are not completing with musky. I imagine musky would definitely have an impact on how pike act and possibly pushing them into different trends than found in pike only waters

Yeah you started a thread that got a pike guys attention

Looking forward to my first musky trip in July to experience the bigger toothy version you guys are accustom too
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