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where are the big pike? weedlines, in the weeds, drop offs, deep. could be all of these depending on the lake. first of all a good thing to do is to determine if big pike actualy can be found in numbers in waters you fish. i'm talking here in the forest lake hinkley area.

with all the anglers, how can a big pike survive without partaking in one of the fine presentations put in front of them almost daily. not possible some would say. well, on opener, fall, and hard water the chances improve. i have my thoughts on the summer. what are yours? lets hear them. good luck.

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I have not targeted them, but have caught some dandies and have one up to the boat that was close to 40'' (Although water does magnify them) I have been catching them while eye fishing, many while pulling blades and crawlers. It is normally when I get close to weed-lines that are in the 10'-14' range, I typically zig zag the boat while eye fishing shallow 10' then out to 22' then back in. The eye lakes here in northern pine county are less than in other areas of the state, but I do know of many "Excellent" pike lakes up in the area. PM me and I can give you more exact locations on the lakes.

Kettle

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i believe the bigger pike will be where the coolest water is. lakes like big carnielian for example i troll the deeper shorline with a deep diving crankbait. in the 20 foot area. same with big marine. on grindstone this time of the year they will even be deeper yet with oxygen levels beyond 100 feet. they often follow the smelt just as lakers do. i like to drift with a heavier jig and creek chub minnows in the deeper waters in that lake. of course off weedlines in the shallower lakes trolling with spoons or casting larger spinnerbaits work also. good luck.

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Early spring and fall big pike can be caught in shallow water mostly along the weed lines. Throughout the summer, small pike will still be caught in these areas but big pike go deep.

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Some of my best big pike spots this time of year are where there are natural springs. Like Rhienhard1 said, cool water is a big draw with the temps inching up right now. Another spot is where there is water flowing into a lake or river and there is nearby cover like a weedline, wood or boulders. On rivers the biggest fish are typically on the downstream side of the flow, while on lakes I like to work the whole area thoroughly. Deep weed edges can be tops this time of year and are great ambush sites for those big pike as well. Another consideration to take in, is what size and profile of lure you use to target the bigger pike. Slightly downsized versions of most muskie baits will draw strikes from the bigger predator fish. Fishing big pike in this area is by no means a number game but can open your eyes a bit if you specifically target them.

Tunrevir~

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • JerkinLips
      Earlier this morning it looked like Vermilion froze over last night but now I see open water on the Hibbing Point webcam.  The strong winds must have opened the lake back up.  Tonight the temps drop to single digits and the wind dies down by 5am so it will freeze over tonight.  Expecting 1-2" of snow on Friday with high winds so hopefully the snow will blow off the new ice.  Saturday-Thursday looks very cold with no more snow, so the main lake should get a solid freeze.  Some are ice fishing in Stuntz Bay already, and some braver than I may walk out from McKinley Park this weekend.  I'm going to wait until the end of next week to venture out, although it will be very cold.
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end... Ice is forming, but other than some back bays, it isn't ready quite yet.  Mother Nature is on track.  Some resorts are making the prediction of December 10th for day houses being out, give or take, but at this point, this isn't set in stone and time will tell.  There are cold temps in the forecast and things look optimistic.  Many resorts and outfitters have been checking ice conditions.  When the time is right, resorts and outfitters will slowly and safely begin marking and grooming trails for ice travel.    Please remember, ice conditions vary greatly in different parts of the lake.  One ice road can have good ice that has been checked and marked while down the shoreline there may be ice not suitable for travel yet.  Work through resorts and outfitters on the ice and stay on the marked trails for safety. Anticipation is high as the walleye and sauger fishing this fall was good and fish were staged in good numbers along the south shore.   On the Rainy River...   Much of the Rainy River is frozen up.  Things are progressing but it certainly needs cold weather and some time. Ice conditions vary and on the river there is current, so much like the lake, we encourage visitors to work through a resort or outfitter for safety.   Up at the NW Angle... Ice is forming nicely and is right on track for this year's ice fishing season.  There has been no ice fishing yet as resorts are simply monitoring ice conditions at this time, waiting until the ice is thicker before marking trails and getting fish houses out. Fall fishing was excellent with walleyes in good numbers along with some monster pike being caught.  All indications point to good fishing when the ice is ready as the fish are there. Driving through Canada to reach the Angle no longer requires COVID vaccinations or the use of the ArriveCan App (which is optional).   For those looking to access the Angle while avoiding customs, there are few options.   1.  When ice conditions allow, the snowmobile trail will be groomed and staked from the south shore up to the Angle. 2.  The Lake of the Woods Passenger service provides round trip bombardier service across the lake.   3.  Lake Country Air provides air service to both the south end and NW Angle.    
    • Wanderer
    • leech~~
      Was just going to post this!  
    • Wanderer
      At least they can all say they were there early!  
    • SkunkedAgain
      I'm still hoping for a sunny warm-up to melt all of the existing snow off of the existing ice, and then an arctic blast. After that, I'm hoping for a giant walleye to hop out of the lake and filet itself before skinny dipping in some batter and then relaxing in a hot pan of oil in my kitchen.
    • gimruis
      I'm planning to go later this week.  There's fresh snow coming tomorrow too.
    • gimruis
      I would highly recommend not doodling around out there at night time either.  When those cracks form, the piece breaks off from the main sheet or the land and you are then caught "adrift" with no way back.   The bite is not as good as it normally is from what I have read either.  We're so used to hearing that "its on fire" for the early ice bite but that doesn't appear to be the case.
    • leech~~
      Well, a new report for today talked about cracks opening up and ice piling up!  Better check the night before you head up.  😕
    • Harv
      Leech,  that's what I've been reading.  I'm heading up on Friday the 2nd, for the weekend.   Fingers crossed limits are caught
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