Target predators

Target predators


Winter is a great time to go after pike, which asks for nothing better than fighting worthy of mention.

During the cold season , percids, i.e. yellow perch and walleye, are the species most sought after for the quality of their flesh. 

There are other battlers who offer tougher challenges, such as the small and largemouth bass, landlocked salmon, rainbow, etc. 

You should obviously consult the rules that apply depending on the time of year and the sector you plan to exploit. 

A forsaken

Many followers seem to lack enthusiasm when talking about the king of the waters, which could also be nicknamed the teeth of winter, rather than the teeth of the sea. It is true that the northern pike has a slimy body , that it has teeth capable of cutting our fishing line and that it sometimes gobbles the offerings deeply. 

Also, if you don't really have the twist, as the popular expression puts it, it can be difficult to make beautiful boneless nets. 

Add to this that, since 2017, you can no longer fish with live bait fish. At the time, it was enough to let a nice big minnow, baited, swim under the frozen crust. All the attractions were then united to obtain the desired reactions. 

Enough talk and bogus excuses. The meat of the pike is delectable and its fights are much more energetic than that of many other species. For the rest, wear gloves and use a good pair of long-nosed pliers. 

The northern pike sits at the top of the food pyramid because it is a fierce fighter capable of fighting battles spectacular.

Where to look

Forage fish at the bottom of the food chain don't have many places to hide. In many cases, they will opt for grass beds that have survived the rigors of winter, whether vallisneria, pondweed, waterweed, cornifle or watermilfoil. They can camouflage themselves there to feel out of sight. 

Based on this notion, you should know that toddlers attract little ones, who in turn interest the means , then the bigger ones, etc.

The appetite of predators seems insatiable. They will therefore spend a lot of time chasing various prey in or near patches of grass, mainly during the first months of winter. Later in the season, several specimens will migrate a little deeper near the lines of rushes bordering the slopes.

A digital or paper map can give very good indications. 

Even better, you can consult satellite images of the site where you want to go with a program like Google Earth for example. Then try to find pictures taken in summer or fall. You could locate a host of herbaria there and obtain their exact position. Your GPS will take you there.

With Bait

If you fish in zones 7 and 8, you can use 10  ;fishing lines per license holder. Elsewhere, at the majority of other sites, that number is only five.

Although there are several models of winter poles, the most used by amateurs are the traditional tilting brimbales and the submerged versions of the Polar type. Even if these don’t instill motion into your various presentations, they do the trick.

Personally, I use wind lines like the Windlass with a blade that makes the upper stem dance with the wind. Whatever is at the end of the rope, it moves with the rhythm of the gusts. You should know that there are also various high-performance motorized versions that raise and lower automatically.  

At the end of the wire, I attach a Quick-type metal pike harness -Strike rig equipped with two tripods. Where permitted, I will impale a 5″ to 10″ dead minnow by the back as well as the tail.

I position my assortment of poles in such a way as to exploit a drop, a transition zone, from the inside of a seagrass to the less cluttered external portion, etc. When the rod rocks and you feel some pressure, reel in a gradual sweep. 

Bottom up

When I have the right to 10  brimbales, I install nine of them or when the number allowed is five, I position four of them. I always save myself an option to fish with a waddle rod.

I opt for a medium rigid pole Stinger Zebco, Cryo, Rhino Tough, Solid Ice Quantum, etc. equipped with a reel that can hold a super line like the P-Line X-Braid Green TCB-8 of 20 lbs/test. I tie a quality metal leader, black in color, 6″ to 9″ long. I will make sure this one is not twisted or distorted which would spoil the subtlety of my presentation.

As a spoon I use a Williams Wabler W50 Perch, HQ35, Ice Jig J50, Syclops S2 and as a waddling spoon I will use a Heddon Sonar Flash, War Eagle Jiggin Spoon , a Bay de Noc Swedish Pimple, a Bomber Slab Spoon, a CC Spoon or something similar. 

I exploit them by jigging them, while bringing them up approximately 6″ at a time, on an 18″ spindle. Then I let her back down, barely supporting her. I want to give the impression that the potential prey had a boost, but ran out of energy on its ascent. 

You may add a led where permitted. Position it so that it does not destroy the action of your offering. It is also possible to install a head or a tail of cyprin to increase the charms of your presentation. A 4″ soft bait on a jig head will also work well with a small fish.

Buzzers like the Cotton Cordell Super Spot, Booyah Bait Hard Knocker, Lindy Glow Streak, One Knocker, etc. must be pulled up sharply on an axis of about 12 in so that they vibrate and make noise to attract the attention of predators. We then let them sink freely and we start again.

Finally, what is really exciting is to be able to use an underwater camera or a sonar offering a real-time vision like the Panoptix Ice Fishing Kit with Garmin LiveScope that allows you to see the action instantly up to 60 meters. You will then be in the front row.

Target predators