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just wondering if anyone had any ideas on where to catch some big pike on the prairie portage side of basswood in mid-august (13-22). I've caught many smaller pike in the past years but wondering what i need to do to get into some larger ones. any information on depth, bait, and techniques would be much appreciated.

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concentrate your efforts on mid lake reefs and off of deep drop offs in 20+ feet of water. During this time of year, big northerns are "chasing" ciscos and can be caught using deep diving crank baits, jigs tipped with ciscos, large live sucker minnows under a big bobber and spoon spoons. Trolling is an effective way to cover lots of water.

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I've not fished Basswood at this time for big pike, but experience on other water tells me MooseTrack is right on the money.

Regardless of where you fish, it's pretty well documented that big pike, say those over eight or 10 pounds and up, turn into cool- and cold-water fish. Smaller guys stay shallow in warmer water all summer, but the bigger ones go to where there are cold springs or slip deep to near or below the thermocline when the deep lakes warm up in summer. In lots of lakes that means they're chasing smelt or cisco, which also prefer colder water, so you've got an open water deep trolling pattern ready for action, and the more often that trolling pattern bumps deep reefs and main lake points in 20 feet or deeper water (at least on lakes without shallow cold springs) the better. I like smaller deep-diving baits because the monsters will still nail them but you've got a good chance at open-water 'eyes keying on the forage as well.

Trolling? Narrow deep-diving baits with black backs and silver or gold bodies work very well (they both look like smelt and cisco depending on conditions.) Or try a husky jerk or original floating/diving Rap on a three-way swivel pulled down by a bell sinker. When you're trolling with these rigs, a pause on the motor makes the floater glide toward the surface a bit and the jerk sit suspended and still. Either one can trigger strikes. If you're concentrating in open water, you can downsize your line as well, since there are no weeds or other cover for those fish to wrap up around. Superlines are nice, however, because there are always rocks on those reefs.

Bouncing a big honking bucktail jig tipped with any 4- to 6-inch minnow along the bottom in those areas from 15 to 30 feet deep is a good bet too.

Have fun, and let those big girls go to spawn another day if you can. laugh.gif

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thanks a lot for the info, and yes the big girls will go back!

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