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Author Topic: Whatcha catchn’?  (Read 6468 times)

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Offline Southside

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Re: Whatcha catchn’?
« Reply #100 on: November 11, 2022, 09:06:09 PM »
First fish I remember ever hooking was a Pickerel, first cast with a new Zebco 202 reel and a red and white dare devil lure.  I was just a kid, and that thing jumped, lept, ran, danced, and did everything under the sun.  My grandmother was standing about two feet away in amazement, in my mind it would have been an entry into Outdoor Life for sure.  It all ended suddenly when he spit the lure out and that was all she wrote.  I don't think I got another bite that day. 
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Whatcha catchn’?
« Reply #101 on: November 12, 2022, 02:27:08 PM »
I've never caught a pickerel before.  I remember seeing one in an ozark river years ago.  It was not long after my first trip to Canada and I told my dad I just saw a Northern Pike.  He told me it had to be a chain pickerel.  I don't think I've seen one since.  That would have been 35 years ago.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Whatcha catchn’?
« Reply #102 on: November 12, 2022, 05:45:39 PM »
   They like to hang out on the surface. I have never ice fished but I thought I read somewhere about people spearing them through the ice. If anyone has any experience spearing pickerel or pike or such I'd love to hear about it.
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Offline Southside

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Re: Whatcha catchn’?
« Reply #103 on: November 12, 2022, 06:26:58 PM »
Wow, never heard of that, talk about being on thin ice.  :D
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Offline K-Guy

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Re: Whatcha catchn’?
« Reply #104 on: November 16, 2022, 02:20:20 PM »
I don't think I got another bite that day.


Wash your hook after catching a pike, pickeral or muskie, they are very voracious predators and the other will shy away from the scent in the water.
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Offline Larry

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Re: Whatcha catchn’?
« Reply #105 on: December 23, 2022, 08:45:47 PM »
Looked out the window at daybreak this morning and saw a boatload of striper fisherman chasing em.  It was 5 below zero with a stiff north wind.

They drifted around the bend before I could get my camera.



I think only true Yankees could endure such bone chilling cold!

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Offline newoodguy78

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Re: Whatcha catchn’?
« Reply #106 on: December 24, 2022, 06:18:39 AM »
That’s dedication I hope they caught some. 

Offline Poquo

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Re: Whatcha catchn’?
« Reply #107 on: December 25, 2022, 09:02:30 AM »
Went Trout fishing on Wednesday, the water was a little cold.

 

 
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Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Whatcha catchn’?
« Reply #108 on: December 25, 2022, 10:23:01 AM »
Very nice!!

Offline caveman

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Re: Whatcha catchn’?
« Reply #109 on: December 26, 2022, 09:39:51 PM »
I spent a cool day on the water with a couple of good friends.  I did not do my part of the fish catching, but they are on ice, and I'll fillet them tomorrow.  My longtime friend and teaching partner, Jimmy, won the local big speck of the week at the bait shop last week with a 2lb, 1 oz.  Today, he weighed in a 1 lb, 11oz.  The cool catch of the day was he caught a bass and a speck at the same time.  He was using a two-hook dropper rig with minnows for bait.  The temp was in the 30's this morning and stayed cool all day.


 
 

 

 

Offline caveman

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Re: Whatcha catchn’?
« Reply #110 on: December 29, 2022, 07:30:43 PM »
We went back out there today.  I actually contributed a bit to the creel today.  The largest speck was 2lbs.  I did not count the fish and my neighbor brought them home with him, but we had a stuffed five-gallon bucketful excluding the 2 lb speck, which had to go to the bait shop to be weighed for this week's speck of the week contest.

We may go camp out on them tomorrow night in a pontoon boat and drop a few lights down.  The specks are few and far between, but the size is very good for our area.  The incidental bass have been running between one and three pounds.  The specks should be spawning next weekend, but I'll be working out of town and so will my friend.  The weather was much more tolerable today.   We had a light breeze and a temperature range from the mid 50's to high 70's.  The water temperature was 59 degrees, so a little warmer than earlier in the week.

Offline barbender

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Re: Whatcha catchn’?
« Reply #111 on: December 30, 2022, 12:50:30 AM »
WV, spearing northern pike through the ice is a very popular pastime in Minnesota.

 To set up, a rectangular hole is cut in the ice, approximately 3'x4', and usually in about 6' to 10' of water. The hole is typically cut with a chainsaw with no bar oil in it. Even if the spear fisherman isn't environmentally conscientious, any petroleum product will create a sheen on the surface and reduce visibility. 

 Once the hole is ready, the shelter (known as a "dark house" because there are no windows and typically having a blackened interior) is slid over the hole. 

 The fisherman sits on a small bench with his spear at the ready. The spear is about 10" wide, with 7-8 tines that are around 8" long. The spear itself is about 4 and a half feet long. 

 A brightly colored (usually white and red) weighted decoy, about 8" long, is lowered into the water on a string. It is worked in various patterns, these decoys are designed to move horizontally in the water as they are worked. 

 When a Northern shows up, they are coaxed into the center of the hole, and then the spear is thrown, aiming right behind the head. The spear has a cord tied to it for retrieval.

 I should say, it is amazing what you can see in the water from a darkhouse. It is like being right in the water.

 There are many other details, but honestly, I'm not a spearfisherman. One thing I will say it is more steeped in tradition than other forms of fishing. For instance, many hand carve their pearing decoys, often from a pattern that Grandpa had. Another is that spearfisherman are fanatical about any light getting into the darkhouse, as it causes glare and reduces visibility. 

 As I mentioned, I am by no stretch a spearfisherman. I've went with others before but for me it's too long of periods of sitting there waiting in boredom, which is the same reason I don't do well in a deer stand. 

 Now that spearfishing (it's also know as "darkhouse angling") has been described, I may as well come out and admit that I'm not a big fan of the practice. I think it is too hard on the resource, as it selects for the big fish. It takes a long time to grow even a 5-6 lb northern pike, and spearers on a small lake can eliminate the big fish very quickly. Pike are very aggressive so they respond very well to the decoys, making them easy to fish out. 

 A little about Northern Pike. Northerns, as they are commonly know (or just Pike), are very common in Minnesota waters both lakes and rivers. They are somewhat reviled by much of the angling community, which is typically laser focused on the Walleye. The reason is that many lakes tend to have a large population of stunted Northerns, fish less than 2 pounds. While Northerns are excellent eating, they are full of what are known as "Y bones". These bones are difficult to remove, and not worth the effort on fish less than 3-4 pounds. 

 Northerns commonly hit lures put out for Walleyes, but they have a few things they do that really get people angry. First off is their teeth. They have a mouthful of razorlike teeth. So often, the first thing that happens when a Northern hits is nothing, as they slice your line off. If you get a nice solid bite that immediately goes slack, you know what happened. Reel it in and tie a new lure on.

 Even a small Northern fights hard, and then when you have them next to the boat and think they are ready to be netted, BOOM! they always save one burst it seems. That breaks more lines. Then, when you finally get it in the boat, the fight continues as they hop, twist, and roll all over and coat the floor with their heavy slime (another nickname for them is Slimers). If you don't know how to hold them correctly, they are a real son of a gun to get unhooked and back in the water. All of that, for a fish that you usually can't keep, leads to a bit of disappointment for folks.

 Me, I don't knock the Northern. If you get a decent sized one, say 5 pounds, you'll never forget the fight. And you'll be rewarded with nice firm, tasty fillets, enough to feed a small family (some people, like my Dad, prefer Northern to the nearly religiously worshipped Walleye) Even the little guys provide some action on days when nothing else will bite 

 One traditional recipe that makes use of those small northerns is pickled fish. I've never made it (just ate it) but small Northerns are fileted and chunked, and put in canning jars. I know I've seen garlic, onions, and I don't know what spices in the finished product. I think vinegar is used. It isn't pressure canned, just allowed to pickle in the refrigerator. It makes a tasty snack when finished. Even the MN DNR has been promoting it as a way to deal with the Northern population on some lakes.

 Well there you have it, a little bit of the fishing lore from my corner of the world😊
Too many irons in the fire

Online ljohnsaw

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Re: Whatcha catchn’?
« Reply #112 on: December 30, 2022, 02:21:03 AM »
We have a high sierra lake (Eagle Lake) that is known for their trout.  A number of years ago they found that someone planted some pike in the lake.  That started an all out war on them.  First they started electro-shocking the shallows to clean them out.  Then, the next year they poisoned the entire lake, but they survived.  Then they lowered the lake and poisoned it again, still they survived.  Then they had fishing tournaments where you had to immediately cut the head off.  Haven't heard much about it in the last couple years.  Maybe they were successful.  They were worried that they would make it down into the Sacramento Delta and affect the salmon runs.  I remember catching one when I lived in NY and thought it was a fun fight and a tasty fish.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Whatcha catchn’?
« Reply #113 on: December 30, 2022, 10:05:51 AM »
barbender
Right on, with the fishing lore. And northern pickled is great!!  Or baked, and then eaten off the bones.
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Offline barbender

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Re: Whatcha catchn’?
« Reply #114 on: December 30, 2022, 02:08:33 PM »
ljohnsaw, illegal stocking of non-native species has negatively impacted too many pristine fisheries. Yellowstone Lake was illegally stocked with Lake Trout, this has happened in other fine Cutthroat fisheries in the West, too. 

 I have family in Wyoming, they live near Lake Desmet, which has a great stocked trout fishery. About 15 years ago someone saw fit to stock Walleyes in that one, which have subsequently exploded in population. 
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Whatcha catchn’?
« Reply #115 on: December 30, 2022, 06:52:03 PM »
Barbender, 

Your fish lore brings back some great memories of spear and ice fishing some of the great inland lakes in the western U.P. and northern Wisconsin during the mid 1950's after I got out of the service.

Sunset Lake where Chet now lives was one favored lake. I still remember the excitement when a large northern or musky entered the hole after the decoy while we sat waiting in the dark shack. I agree that Northerns make some excellent fillets and steaks.


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