Sunday, August 30, 2020

Spinney 8/29

Hit the lake Friday about 4pm. Not much wind at all. Got a 27" right away and missed a couple of more bites on the 'main' point. Diane caught 3 small pike. Saturday we had 0 wind. It sucked hah. Water completely covered in pollen stuff. Laker super low, surface temp was 61. Got one bite at 9:30 on a S-Waver 120, fat 33.5" Diane caught a fat trout and a small pike. At about 1pm the crazy wind, rain, and lightning moved in....really really fast. Scary just how fast the weather can change up there. I felt 100% safe in the wind and waves in the Lund, but the lightning was literally right over head. So we headed in, along with 15 or so other boats. The ramp was packed and would be for 20 or so minutes. I looked around and noticed a kayaker near the dam. The wind was blowing into the dam so it had the biggest waves. The kayker looked to be struggling a bit. I saw two boats drive right past him. I drove over and asked if he was okay. At this point it's hailing and the wind and waves are howling. He said he needed help. I did a loop around him, killed my motor, and let my boat drift side to side into his kayak. He grabbed my boat, we began moving all his gear into my boat. Then he got in. I pulled his kayak into my boat. Once everything was secured we headed towards the ramp. I spoke with the guy a bit, he seems to have a hard time talking, I think he was really cold and tired, and probably in shock a bit. I noticed he was not wearing a PFD! This guy was pretty lucky someone stopped to help him. If he would have gone in it would 100% have been over for him. Anyway, got him back to the ramp and he was very thankful. I did manage to get some of his mono around my prop shaft :( I'll check this week and see if the seal is jacked.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Zeroing in on the biggins

 About 3 years ago I watched a video with Aaron Wiebe and Jon B. fishing for giant pike on the fly. It is an amazing video and really got me all gassed up on catching a big pike. That video was actually my motivation for taking up fly fishing.

The next couple of years I managed a few pike here and there, but nothing to get excited about. I never really went too hard, but pike were always in the back of my mind.

Last fall for some unknown reason I decided I wanted to try Spinney Mountain Reservoir for pike. I had never been there before and really have no clue why I decided it was time to try it out. I bought a bulldog and a couple of spinner baits and away I went. On literally my first cast I caught a dink pike. It was pretty cool. Managed to catch probably 5 or so that day.

I went up to Spinney 4 or so more times that fall and did pretty decent. The largest pike I caught was 32" on a husky jerk.

This spring I did not fish for pike, mostly just chased walleye. It was a great spring and we caught a ton of fish. Once the front range lakes got too busy with boat traffic I found myself going up to Spinney again. I also  decided it was time to get real serious about pike.

Time to do some more research and gear upgrades. I watched a ton of muskie and pike videos on the tube. I wound up picking up some Buchertails, different spinners, glide baits, swim baits etc. Picked up a really nice swimbait rod rated for 2-10oz lures and a super nice St Croix Mojo Muskie rod rated for 3/4 to 4oz. I put Abu Garcia Revos on both of them with 40# Powerpro.

Now with new gear, information, and renewed resolve I hit Spinney. Fished multiple 14 hour days. Casting non stop all day. I had results immediately. Probably 20 pike under 24", maybe 6 between 24" and 28", and 1 at 33". Its going well, but no true monsters yet. But I know they will come.

Saturday the 22nd I started fishing at 5:30 am. I got one 28" pike on a Storm glide bait about 9am. Then nothing for hours and hours, not even a follow. Around 5 pm I decided to work the points on the south west side. I caught 5 mid size pike right away. I missed what must have been a big one in a little cove leading up to the first point. He left a huge swirl in the water. The wind had picked up and I had some slight mud lines. I was throwing a 500 Buchertail nickel on black. Caught 2 more IIRC, best around 24". Now it was about 6:30 and the wind was blowing pretty good out of the east. I headed to the North west end by the inlet and did a drift over about 13 FOW. 5 minutes in caught about 24 incher. Got him back in the water and maybe cast 3 times and BAM got a good fish on the line. It happens so quick its hard to really remember the details. I know I had the fish for maybe 10 seconds and then he ripped a bunch of drag out and I thought I lost him. The fish then went and buried himself in the weeds. I winched him out and fumbled with the net. Of course the net hung up on everything, but I still managed to net the fish.

Maybe 2 weeks ago I spent some time going over my plan for dealing with a big fish. I figured out how to set up my net so I would not have to hold it. This involves putting one end under the port console and a velcro strap holding the hoop to a handle on the gunwale. I also bought a phone mount that sticks to the windshield of the boat and found an app to constantly take photos until stopped.

After I got the fish netted and the net secured I went to work on getting the fish unhooked. The fish did multiple death rolls in the net and had the hook and net completely tangled. There was no way I would be able to get this fish untangled and unhooked before it died. Thankfully after watching a Youtube video by Todays Angler I bought a heavy duty pair of hook cutters. I used the hook cutters to cut the treble hook away from the rest of the lure. This freed the pike from the giant tangle. I was then able to get the hook remnants and lure out of the net and get the pike situated so he could relax and breath.

As soon as I got the fish sorted I put my phone in the mount and got it taking photos. I pulled the fat pike out the net, got a few picks, bumped him, 35". I put him back in the water and held him next to the boat for about 30 seconds, then he kicked off and went back to the depths.

I could not be happier. All the planning and research had put me on this fish and had me prepared and informed on how to safely deal with him. The fish and myself are not much worse for the wear.

In Colorado 36" and over is a Master Angler for pike. I missed it by one inch. I'm actually happy with this. I feel like a true Master Angler pike should take more time, and I'm more than happy to keep up the hunt.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Spinney and John Martin

 Fishing has been good. Catching a ton of big cutbows and decent pike. Went to John Martin and Diane and I had a 100 fish day of White Bass, Drum, Crappie, and Carp. 

Managed to bust up my prop in Spinney. Bought a new Solas prop. Seems okay. Ventilates during hole shot, but seems to have better top end and really good bow lift.

Start throwing big glide baits for pike. I really want to try to get a MA pike this fall.  So far I have had decent luck with the glide baits. Nothing huge yet. Just ordered several big spinners and bucktails. 



Misc Update

Last few short trips I have hit Geanos reef and Oconto. Geanos reef was a bust. Marked nothing all day, but did see people musky fishing on ...