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Hi All,

I'm new to this site.  Was over on IDO but there's so little activity on the Rainy Forum that I started looking elsewhere.

Wondering what everyone does for trophy pike in mid to late September and what is the biggest pike you or one of your friends has landed there.  Is a 50" pike something that you have heard of actually happening or is that beyond what this lake produces?  I seem to find plenty of photos with 42-47" pike but nothing bigger to my knowledge.  The owner at Northernaire Houseboats told me he has landed a 50" pike but it sounded like that was several years ago.

Does anyone try contour trolling with big baits?  I have generally just stuck to cabbage beds but need to have a backup plan in case the big girls aren't in the bays yet.  We haven't found anything bigger than 42" and I want to hit something bigger if possible.

Thanks for any advice or fish stories you can provide!

Edited by beanman
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CaptJohnWis

I have  never seen a 50" pike from Rainy. But they can be really fat. I have gotten a couple that were only 41" but weighed over 22 pounds. In most lakes one that long would weigh 18 pounds. We speed  trolled big musky cranks for pike. One August we got 75 in three days that way fishing only a couple hours at noon.  All were 30-39".

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Pike that big are extremely rare, and I doubt that there are any in Rainy. In the Manitoba Master Angler listings, there were only two 50's listed in 2014. But there are plenty of good quality pike in Rainy, as Captain John wrote.

There is a Pike category in this site that you might want to check out. It's in the "Fish by Species" group and there are 21 pages of posts going back a few years.

Edited by h8go4s
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clKiekhafer

I'm still having trouble trying to figure this new format out.

I've been fishing Rainy for the past 28 years and have not seen anything that big, not saying that they aren't there.  The largest we have landed is 44" and we usually get at least one 40+" every year.

Edited by clKiekhafer
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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks for the posts guys.  My group caught a 43" and a 41" along with several in the 36-40" range as well.  Nothing huge but we found a few new good spots to find solid fish.  

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I tend to agree with you fishuhalik.  If Basswood produced a certain 50+ inch pike back in the day then one would think there would be a couple lurking in Rainy as well given the size of the lake.  If not, that says a hell of a lot about us screwing up the ecosystem and I don't think that's the case.  I don't see a heck of a lot of people fishing for pike in the fall.  In the spring it's a bit of a different story, but even so, the fishing pressure is relatively light.

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For what it's worth I believe the DNR Fisheries crew trap-netted a 51" in Black Bay about 8 or 9 years ago and that was the biggest pike they had seen up to that point in their assessments.  Those assessments do not target big pike, however.  Not sure if they have ever done a targeted assessment just for pike?

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For what it's worth I believe the DNR Fisheries crew trap-netted a 51" in Black Bay about 8 or 9 years ago and that was the biggest pike they had seen up to that point in their assessments.  Those assessments do not target big pike, however.  Not sure if they have ever done a targeted assessment just for pike?

That's good to know!  I just want to catch one 45" or higher.  I'm guessing spring is the best time to accomplish that feat, or perhaps October.  I do most of my fishing in September and I don't know how likely it will be to catch something that big where we are focusing our efforts.

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bassbuster1

I have caught 2 ....45 inchers  on Rainy ,both in the spring.I have also caught some big pike in August usually  after the first cool down.The Rainy river holds some monster pike.They are in the river all summer long if the river doesn't get to low.

BB1

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I have caught 2 ....45 inchers  on Rainy ,both in the spring.I have also caught some big pike in August usually  after the first cool down.The Rainy river holds some monster pike.They are in the river all summer long if the river doesn't get to low.

BB1

That's pretty good.  Most go through life never catching that big of a fish.  Interesting you catch big pike in August...  I wouldn't have guessed that as being a prime time.  Here's our best pike thus far.  All caught in September.  We just started going in 2012 and fell in love with it up there.

 

 

20150925_171232.jpg

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DSC00889.JPG

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bassbuster1

Nice fish ,yes the 1st cool down in August can bring the big girls up.

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

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The photos didn't post well as I took the pic on my IPad from my office wall.2 of the fish were caught in the spring and 1 this past July.

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bassbuster1

Well there are a lot of ways to go after the big girls in the fall.Wind is very important to me,I will always seek out the wind side of the lake.Points with the wind blowing in ,I like to fish them with X-raps worked real slow with long pauses.Big pike will also be on main lake humps and can be caught with big soft plastics, I like Lunker city 6 inch fin s fish on 1/2 oz swing head jig.The hump needs to be active with other fish also i.e. Bass and walleye.I know people that do very well speed trolling big crank baits for pike in the fall too,they get em.I don't troll for them but I have seen the results it works.

lol BB1

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  • 2 months later...
fisher972002

Fished Rainy since I was 11, so for 28 years.. 
Largest Pike in our group  2014 43" Pike 27 LBS

2nd Largest 1996 42.5" Pike 28 LBS

Both caught in Spring, in our group of 9 fisherman we usually catch  a few 40" or larger, a few 38/39's...

Never fished Rainy in Fall/Summer.

We were not targeting Pike, targeting smallmouth with crankbaits and pike came along for the ride...My experience is similar to what clKiekhafe describes ..

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  • 3 weeks later...

Kab has huge pike. I'm talking length and girth. Lots of 40+ fish swimming around in there. If you hit it right around labor day and theres a big bloom, its on. Id fish both lakes if I were you.

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I'd assume the fishing on Namakan is good too?  We're used to doing houseboat trips on Rainy but now are thinking about going out of Crane Lake instead and setting up the "base camp" on Namakan.  We spend about 50% of our time Walleye fishing, 40% on Northern and 10% on Bass typically.

We're probably doing 9-10 thru 9/17 this fall.  Usually we go one week later.

Thanks for the info, it's greatly appreciated!

 

 

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Long time lurker, first time poster.  Have been fishing Kabetogama for nearly 3-decades - June, August & October.  We routinely find 40"+ pike.  Our largest was in Oct '11 out of the Grassy Island Group in 3' of water on a small spoon.  She was 49" and just an absolute sow.  This fish eventually was memorialized in a glass replica.  All these big girls were/are returned to the water.

 

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Kabe_'13a_-_078.JPG

Summer_'14_-_778.JPG

Edited by LongAgoLeo
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Dang, nice fish Leo!

We've fished twice in the fall and caught all the following on Rainy.  Nothing even approaching a 49" though, that would be a dream fish for anyone.

 

 

 

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Now THAT was an awesome video!  Nicely edited and action packed.  You guys did well with lots of nice fish. 

The guys I fish with almost had me talked into relocating my houseboat from St. Paul to Kabetogama a couple of years ago when I retired.  Had a resort that could accommodate me (60'), but ended up selling it and getting some hunting land.  Plus, after 40-years of big boats (including offshore sportfishermen), I've totally enjoyed being nimble again.  I've never done the houseboat scene on Rainy or Kabe, but it looks spectacular and I think I could fully appreciate it.  Sure a lot more elbow room up there than on the Mississippi in the Metro.  LOL 

Had you guys done a houseboat previously?  Any issues?  I'll assume you had a blast!

 

Edited by LongAgoLeo
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On 2/10/2016 at 5:21 PM, LongAgoLeo said:

Now THAT was an awesome video!  Nicely edited and action packed.  You guys did well with lots of nice fish. 

The guys I fish with almost had me talked into relocating my houseboat from St. Paul to Kabetogama a couple of years ago when I retired.  Had a resort that could accommodate me (60'), but ended up selling it and getting some hunting land.  Plus, after 40-years of big boats (including offshore sportfishermen), I've totally enjoyed being nimble again.  I've never done the houseboat scene on Rainy or Kabe, but it looks spectacular and I think I could fully appreciate it.  Sure a lot more elbow room up there than on the Mississippi in the Metro.  LOL 

Had you guys done a houseboat previously?  Any issues?  I'll assume you had a blast!

 

Hey, we've done 1 trip with Rainy Lake Houseboats and 1 trip with Northernaire.  One motor wouldn't trim down and couldn't steer from upstairs on the RL one.  The Northernaire one had several issues.  Ran out of propane on the 3rd day(one tank was almost empty when we started), hot tub didn't work and had a wiring issue and leak that we couldn't fix, and any time the generator ran it stunk like gasoline and you could see gas in the water next to the exhaust stream.  It killed all our minnows too except for those in my live well.  We put our bucket right where the gas slick was - not our brightest moment.

 

We're looking at using Ebels or Voyagaire this fall as their rates are better for what you get and their deposits are more reasonable.  Of the 2 thus far I'd go with Rainy Lake Houseboats - neither were terrible but for what you pay in these things I expect better, especially since we rented the best boat from each place.

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Disappointing, but not surprised, as I've heard similar stories.  And the truth is, you can rent a cabin or lodge just about any place and find plumbing and electrical issues.  Now multiply the impact of those deficiencies when you try to make it float (or in some cases, a controlled sink).  I have heard good things about Ebels and Voyagaire and have seen their chase boats on Kabe, delivering fuel and/or supplies.  They appear responsive.  I think this has been my subconscious aversion to renting a houseboat; I knew every single inch of wire, hose or other systems logistics on my boats and still had a measured level of anxiety until back in port.

Nevertheless, we normally sleep in the dirt and eat bugs, so watching you guys go by in your floating Taj Mahal will never lose its appeal.

Edited by LongAgoLeo
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3 hours ago, LongAgoLeo said:

Disappointing, but not surprised, as I've heard similar stories.  And the truth is, you can rent a cabin or lodge just about any place and find plumbing and electrical issues.  Now multiply the impact of those deficiencies when you try to make it float (or in some cases, a controlled sink).  I have heard good things about Ebels and Voyagaire and have seen their chase boats on Kabe, delivering fuel and/or supplies.  They appear responsive.  I think this has been my subconscious aversion to renting a houseboat; I knew every single inch of wire, hose or other systems logistics on my boats and still had a measured level of anxiety until back in port.

Nevertheless, we normally sleep in the dirt and eat bugs, so watching you guys go by in your floating Taj Mahal will never lose its appeal.

Ya, don't get me wrong, they are still great and I'm sure there's a ton of maintenance on these things.  My group last year had 3 electricians, 2 mechanics and 5 engineers in it and we spent more time than we should have with the multi-meter out troubleshooting various things not working.  I'm sure they get renters that beat the hell out of their equipment too - fortunately we're not like that.  

I personally really like Bill Dougherty and he has gone out of his way to provide fishing info, even doing a map review with me for free when I wasn't using him for business, so that makes up for the minor issues we had with RLHB - they just don't have layouts that work real well for a group of 12 guys who don't like sharing beds.

I've camped up there many times too and don't mind it at all other than the damn ticks, but I have older guys that like to shower.  Voyagaire has really solid reviews and didn't see anything really that concerns me from them, and I think I'm sufficiently convinced that Kab is also a great fishery and that I can't go wrong doing a week down there instead of Rainy.  Voyagaire also does daily complimentary deliveries which is great when we run out of beer and ice.  

I've been looking pretty hard at resorts on Kab too, if you have any recommendations there I'd love to hear them.  They all look great as far as I can tell...

Here's our 2015 fall trip video.  Still searching for bigger walleye...

 

 

 

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I've done the houseboat thing on Rainy once and have camped up there a few times. I'd much rather just camp, way cheaper and less stressful.

If anyone plans on getting a houseboat on Rainy it might be a good idea to pay the extra couple hundred for insurance on the boat so if anything happens to it you are covered. Right when we were loading up to head out for the week there was a family on shore with their houseboat jacked up and getting worked on, the hit some rocks and tore it up and did some other damage, their bill was gonna be around 5k, on top of the $2500 or so they paid to rent the thing.

There are a lot of rocks out there and most of the shoreline is rock, wouldn't be that hard to damage the houseboat and get a fat bill for it.

It was on my bucket list so I'm glad I did it, went all the way to Kettle Falls and back exploring and had the Lund in tow for fishing but I probably wouldn't do it again.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • JerkinLips
      Pike suckers are about 3½ inches long.  Walleyes really like them in the fall and early winter.  Caught my fish in 13-15 FOW drifting slowly.  Good solid bites.
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