The secrets of pike season start
After spawning time, pike fishing is not as straightforward as you might think. Temperature, feeding patterns and the anglers’ ability to read the conditions is key elements for success. I learned this the hard way, but here is how you can obtain success, when chasing those after spawning crocs.
For many anglers, May is a holy month. In many places the closed season is finally over and we are allowed to target our beloved pikes once again. During the infinite rest period, the fishing tackle is getting tuned and the days are numbered until the season finally starts again. No other day, like the opening day, you’ll be able to find so many anglers on the water during the first morning light. Yet, all the joyful anticipation is often quickly followed by disillusionment. The fishing does not always work out as desired and that has its reasons. Year after year, I had eagerly awaited this time, and like so many others, I have experienced bad fishing. From all these experiences from the years, I have been able to develop a pattern of the behavior from the pike, so that now May, has ultimately become my favorite month.
Listen to the jungle drums. Do not stick to the usual methods. Taking notes of the conditions are the factors for success.
Although we live in times of global warming, we of course experience cold winters. Sometimes winter reaches its peak in February and lasts until April. Under these conditions, pike normally begin their spawning in March and continue well into April. In the past, I tried to be the first on the water after the ice melted, but more than once the lakes were still frozen! However, I always kept an eye on the weather in order to try again as soon as the ice was gone. When the time was right, I drove to the lake full of anticipation, but disillusionment followed quickly. There was nothing to be gained except for a few predators. The pike had everything else in mind than my bait. The preservation of the species was even more important and my lure was always being rejected during this time. At a water temperature of 6-9 degrees Celsius the lion’s share of pike begin to spawn. In an exceptionally cold winter, this situation may even prevail at the beginning of May, at least a part of the overall stock is busy spawning. The only consolation for us anglers is that the crocodiles are still prevailing in the shallow spawning areas as soon as they are done. Especially for shore anglers, this provides a good chance to get to those predators who are going to spend the rest of the year in open waters. Sometimes it happens that big pikes suspend their spawning business for a year. These fish are in remarkable condition and often possess considerable weight. True dream fish! Jerkbaits, like our 3D Roach Jerkster or 3D Hybrid Pike are now a guarantee for success. Pike imitations should definitely be in the bait box. The big old pike lady devours her lover! Weed fields with a depth of 0.5m to 2m, which are located close to deep waters, are real hotspots. I made my best experiences in shallow water when temperature reaches a range between 9 to 12 degrees Celsius. The pike are very hungry after the lovemaking and are waiting for the whitefish, which now start spawning themselves. A real feast for the pikes! That is why baits in roach design are particularly successful in addition to pike patterns. Also other species of baitfish is migrating to the shallows at this time, so keep an eye out for which pike treats are in your area.
Tough love. Pike imitations should definitely be in the bait box. The big old pike lady devours her lover! 3D Hybrid Pike is perfect for the shallows.
Just as there can be an exceptionally cold winter, there can be particularly mild winters. These are usually followed by a warm spring. When there are already two-digit plus degrees at the beginning of March, the water heats up extremely fast. As a result, life literally explodes! The plankton begins to grow and the pikes start their spawning earlier. In this situation, the green predators are quickly finishing their spawning business. Overall, nature evolves much faster, making it a few weeks ahead of the usual development. Consequently, the pikes are migrating earlier from the shallow water areas into the open water. Anyone who go for the textbook example and fish the shallows are likely to experience a nasty surprise - At least with regard to the better fish. Small pike up to 70 cm will still be around, but the "Big Mamas" have already migrated. As experience shows, when the temperature hits 15 degrees Celsius the migrating has already begun. Then I concentrate from the outset on the open water. Now you can resort to a variety of methods. Trolling, pelagic vertical fishing or casting brings success. Yet, it is essential that one do not to offer his bait too deep. The predators are now in the upper third of the water column. I would snap on big swimbaits. My favorites are the 3D Line Thru Trout or 3D Roach. These two lures have two things in common. They both have a big profile and very lifelike movement that trigger the big mamas. Also, softbaits with plenty of action, so that the bait cannot escape the pike’s attention. The white fish are often clenched in enormous swarms and are literally surrounded by the pike. Around such a gold mine, casting has proven to be the best method, because the bait lasts longer in the hot area and can be presented without generating the noise and scare effects by the boat engine. Especially for capital pikes this is an important factor!
There are no rules. Spring fishing is full of surprises, so be ready to serve a surprise. The books is only serve as a guide. You have to crack the code.
Overweight. The condition of some of these pikes are just incredible. Look at this mama!
Loose less. The line thru system has one huge advantage. When the fish strikes, the lure slides up the line and the crowbar effect get very limited. This means less damage to the fish and a higher landing rate.