Buzz Bite Report February 29 – March 6
This week itʼs all about spring pike fishing and knowing your conditions.
First things first, we have to talk about ice conditions and safety. It is the first of March and we are seeing April ice conditions. There was a fatality on Lake Sakakawea last week and it was reported that they were driving a four-wheeler and drove into a hole in the ice.
Here are a few safety tips for being on the ice.
• Know how to read the ice or be with somebody who knows how to.
• Always walk so you are going slow enough so you can feel the ice.
• Drill holes throughout the day to monitor the ice conditions.
•Never go alone and always have 50 to 100 feet of rope with you.
Itʼs more important to respect the ice than to be afraid of it.
Now to the fishing.
The pike fishing is epic.
A small group of our friends have iced 27 pike over 18 pounds in the last week and the action is only going to get better.
Every pike we have caught has been in creek arms close to open water.
The pike are already starting to move into their spawning areas because of the open water.
It is important to cover all locations of the creek arm that you are fishing in.
There are two main tactics to accomplish this.
The first tactic is a single line of tip-ups. This is most valuable if you are only fishing with two people or fishing with a limited number of lines.
The second tactic is the grid pattern.
This is where you place your tip-ups 10 to 15 yards apart covering 3 key locations:
shoreline, the outside edge of the channel, and the center of the creek channel.
We are catching fish in the center of the channel as deep as 22 feet of water all the way up to 4 feet of water.
These big pike are cruising around looking for an easy meal before they spawn.
Another key to catching big pike is knowing how they eat and how they see. Pike are ambush predators but aren’t to proud to pass up an easy meal;
whether itʼs a 12 to 14 inch sucker swimming around or a dead fish floating under the ice.
Pike will almost always hit a bait from the side, run with it, then swallow it head first.
So, if you are fishing with a rig that puts a hook in the tail of the bait, you donʼt have a hook where the pike first hits.
The Predator Rig from Missouri Secrets Tackle is one of the only rigs on the market that puts a hook in the head
and the middle of the bait you are using and keeps the bait you are using horizontal-regardless of the size.
Pike see best in front of them and above them.
This is why itʼs important during ice fishing to keep your baits at least 4 feet off the bottom up to right below the ice. When pike are cruising around they can easily see the bait silhouetted above them. Donʼt skimp on your tackle.
We only use 50+ pound braided nylon. Our favorite is made by Woodstock Line Company. We also use heavy duty coast-lock snaps swivels. They are strong and durable enough to take the beating of big pike. There is nothing more heart breaking than losing a big pike because you used light line, cheap snaps, and a rig with a short steal leader.
Finally, the north side of Lake Sakakawea seems to have a better morning bite and the south side is more of a late afternoon bite. If you are too nervous or you are not confident in reading ice, there should be plenty of shore fishing opportunities in the next week or two.
Owner Missouri Secrets Tackle http://www.missourisecrets.com/