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Pike vs. Walleye


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I frequent another fishing forum a state or so south of the land of 10,000 and there's a thread going as to what is considered a "trash" fish. Someone stated that in Minnesota, pike are almost considered a less than desireable fish.

For the first 18 years of my life (up until the mid 1980s) I hung out at my uncle's cabin in Ottertail county. We fished for pike a lot and I really don't remember that we targeted eyes that much. College, family, and life came along and I haven't done much fishing, let alone hanging out up north, until the last few years. Now it seems like walleyes are the most sought after fish and northerns have kind of taken a back seat, if not a ride in the trunk.

Am I remembering things differently than they were? Or have things changed a bit in the last couple of decades? Are the walleye stocking efforts improving the fishery so much that now people are going after them whereas they weren't back in the '70s because there weren't that many? I'd appreciate hearing the thoughts of some of you guys who have been around a while and can shed some light on this.

Thanks

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I remember when growing up that pike were as described trash fish. My father wont eat them because of the Y bone. I must say that my wife and I just finished a pack of pike and a pack of walleye. She likes the eye as it is lighter i prefer the pike as it is richer and a heavier steak. I like them both and we are going north this weekend to trout fish at 9000 ft so i can throw them in the mix now. If i do not catch anything at least it wont be 117 up there.

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Pike are just about my #1 favorite fish to chase in the midwest/canada.

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I still fish for the pike more than walleye, and like the taste better. I catch most of my pike fishing for walleye, or using a spinner bait for bass. One thing you can count on is no matter what your fishing for you will probably catch a pike, snoot, slimmer, jack fish, hammer handle, line cutter, and one of the best for that beside the boat battle of the day. Good Luck and keep it simple.

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I like big pike, but I can't stand the little snake pike. They are slimy and always mess up my lures

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That is what makes it fun to get on some lakes that are over populated with the kids when these are biting fast.

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The only time I don't like pike is when I'm walleye fishing and catch small pike, like under 25 inches.

If I'm going after pike specifically, or going multi-species for whatever I can catch, then I like pike a lot, especially when they start getting up there in size. Hammerhandles drive me nuts after a while but you gotta like the attitude and willingness to bite of pike in general.

I don't eat pike very often but it is excellent fresh (without being frozen). Try mixing in a pike with shore lunch every once in a while, it's good. We just had a metro pike cooked on the grill not long ago and that was good too.

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I've never thought of Pike as trash fish. Even if you've never kept one you have to admit they're a great sporting fish. For a lot of people Walleye are for eating and Pike and Bass are for fighting.

I think Pike get a bad rap because of the Y bones. Walleyes and Bass have Y bones too they're just not as predominant and easier to remove. They're a very good eating fish but many people are just too lazy or don't know how to remove the Y bones so they consider them trash. Well, it's their loss.

I enjoy the flavor of Pike. People are always so quick to compare it to something else and that makes no sense to me. Hey venison doesn't taste like beef but I love them both! It's pretty much the same difference if you think about it. Just because one may taste a little better doesn't make the other one taste bad, they're both good.

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Thanks for the input gentlemen. I didn't really think you northerners considered pike to be a trash fish. I like the agressiveness of them also but it's funny because there are guys around here that like fishing for carp because of the fight. Maybe it's an acquired taste, but I'd much rather eat pike than carp. Carp do make good fertilizer though!

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Heck i live in arizona so any fish to me is a keeper. not much in phoenix to fish unless you like urban lakes with all the homeless folk. plus at 117 who really wants to fish anyway.

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no actually it is monsoon season so our humidity is up. The myth of a dry heat is for a couple months in the summer. From June-Aug, it is just nasty, the heat index alone for this weekend is over 110. does not matter 117 is just hot. oh well i will be in the mountains fishing at 9000 ft elevation. only 75 there. so darn it i will miss the hottest day i hope.

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I look at Pike as much more of a game fish than Walleyes. May not be as good to eat, but much more fun to catch.

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I like pike as much as walleye but seem to target walleye more. I think it's the challenge for me.

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I love pike, don't fish for them much, but love them. I know a lot of guys that don't like them at all though.

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I have learned the bone structure of the nortons, and one can easily remove the bones from a fillet after it's cooked..the bones are on the upper half of the fillet, and you can pry open the meat at the sweet spot, and usually the Y bones stay on one side of the meat, and they stick out like a comb..Then just grab them and pull them out! The meat is allways sweeter by the bone, and the part of the flish with the Y bones is the best!..All it takes is a little practice, and soon you can give other people the boneless lower half, and enjoy the best part yourself..If I could figure out how to post photo's, I'd show Ya'll..

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Catfisher, If you can figure out the photo thing, pleast post it (go to imageshack or some other site, there's a sticky on the photography forum on how to). I always try to remove the bones before cooking, but this is pretty wasteful.

I like to have a fish fry up at our cabin for all my family at least once a year. I get oohs and ahhs if there is walleye in the fray, and sometimes get the boo hoo's if there is pike in there. Now if I get creative and take bottom boneless pike fillets and cut them to look like walleye fillets, I can fool family members into thinking it was the walleye. Hook, line, and sinker they always fall for it. So, really the only problem with pike is the Y-bones. If I could just figure that one out...

Pike are a lot more fun to actually catch. For small eater sized fish, I still prefer walleye. For the big fish, I'd rather catch a monster pike.

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solbes, I've done that pike for walleye switcharoo myself and they usually fall for it. I've also taken some good bass from a nice cold northen lake and told people it was crappie. People get too carried away with certain species of fish. I like variety. Usually I catch and release but do keep a sampling of various species in my freeze. Right now I have king slamon, silver salmon, halibut, ling cod, northern, walleye, perch, crappie, and sunnies. Love them all. Hmmm, I think I'll go fire up the grill....tasty.

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Someone tried to help me once using photo bucket or something///I tried, but I am a caveman at the cornputer...Cut and paste? drag icon? no clue...I post photos with no problem on other sites, but this forum don't seem to be as easy...Maybe it could be made more witnit friendly?..Like a thing you can hit that goes right to browse like other sites??

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Used to do that too, works well. Learned how to do that growing up. Now I have the Y bone thing down pretty good, with very little waste.

One thing that will taint a northern fillet is letting it touch any slime, it doesn't come off (smell, taste) and probably has scared away many from trying again...

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You can put your pike in a water/vinegar mixture to cut the slime, then wipe them dry before filleting them.

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Pike have taken a backseat to walleyes because in terms

of tourist dollars, walleyes are the big ticket draw.

3 or 4 decades ago, there were people who made a living

guiding for trophy pike in many lakes you would be

surprised at. But, over the years, most lakes have

turned into "hammerhandle factories", and most pike

caught in them now are lucky to get to 36". The state

is trying to correct this with the "all pike 24-36"

must be released" law. I don't regard them as trash fish

at all, in fact the taste is (in my opinion) more

flavorful than walleye. An excellent article to read

is from the 25th anniversary edition of "The InFisherman",

in which Denny Schupp (40-yr veteran of the MN DNR

fisheries) outlined just how lakes can get out of balance.

(This edition is from March, 2000 - your library might

have it.) This is an eye-opening article about pike.

Basically it says that removing too many large pike

from a lake 'trips the trigger' and there are no longer

enough large pike to prey on smaller pike (seems they

turn cannibal at around 24" or so, and their preferred

prey size switches to larger baitfish like cisco.)

I would urge all interested in pike to read this one!

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Tripp_315
      How’s the the smallie bite? I’ll be up on Friday 😎 ~Tripp
    • FishinCT
      Culling is not against the law in Minnesota unless you have a limit. (Which obviously applies in this case.)   They finally cleared up the language about it in the regs this year. 
    • delcecchi
      Since culling is against the regs in Minnesota, weighing in early is a great thing to do.   Congrats.
    • Rivergroup
      We're heading up tomorrow. Hoping for walleye but looking to mostly relax. We'll have leeches and minnows and any tips would be great. Just looking for enough for a good fish fry. Thanks in advance.
    • Jetsky
      Caught a lot of small ones yesterday in 20 -30 ft.  A couple of eaters.  Minnows on Lindys clearly out fished the leeches on Lindys.
    • Hookmaster
      Kudos for doing this. I'm sure a lot of fishermen would not have.
    • MikeG3Boat
      I know it has been raining all week but anyone have any walleye reports?  Heading up for the holiday weekend and want to do some fishing.
    • MikeG3Boat
      Partyonpine, Would you be willing to share in what areas you were getting some nice Bluegills?  I am on the east end on big bay and would like to find some good panfish.
    • partyonpine
      Opener and the week after were good.  Not the numbers we normally get but better quality in the East End.  Not surprised on the weights for the Auto City a.  Usually for us we only catch a few slot fish but we averaged 3 a day for 10 days.  2 overs, biggest 27 inches.     Our best luck was 12-16 feet for quality.  When we went deeper we caught more but smaller.  Bass were really starting to heat up.  For me little earlier than normal.  Found some nice Bluegills the day we went after some panfish.  Dock fishing was as many as we wanted per usual.
    • Shulsebus
      We will be up on June 8th for the week. It will be our 13th year in a row staying on the lake.  I hope the walleye are hitting the bobbers by the time that we get there. 
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