Pike are my nemesis

tstooge26

tstooge26

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I was hoping to get a little help on what is turning out to be my main nemesis on the fly rod…I just cannot connect with any pike…i again struck out today with what I thought would be a decent day

My question to anyone that fishing for pike in creeks or rivers is there anything different, other then the flies, then smallmouth?

I throw various streamer patterns ranging from 3 to 7 inches but I just can’t seem to find them. I know I’m fishing water where they are present but with all my efforts just can’t connect. Just looking if anyone has any input on water types or fly presentations or anything that may help me connect with these fish…do you have better luck early season, summer, or fall? I have a kayak and do a lot of wading but I prefer moving water over lakes. Any input would be great

Thanks for any input
 
I use the same rods and streamer flies for pike that I would for smallies (except need a bite-proof leader).

I don't target pike much as they are not widespread in my neck of the woods. Some of the local lakes have 'em and when I (rarely) target pike, I focus on the early spring months - basically ice-out till about late April. For moving water, make sure you're in an area with good populations of pike. Northwestern PA would be a good place if you like flowing water.

Good luck with your pursuit of a pike. Post a pic when you get one - we'll join you in celebrating.
 
Where are you fishing? I used to do some pike fishing when I lived in NW PA. I live back in central PA now where I was raised and pike opportunities don't really exist here.

March is a prime time pike month. Fish streamers in likely holds that you can swim a little and then will hang there suspended in the water column kind of like a suspending jerk bait would. Deceivers are a common fly that do this behavior well enough.
 
Where are you fishing? I used to do some pike fishing when I lived in NW PA. I live back in central PA now where I was raised and pike opportunities don't really exist here.
I think this is the most important question. Are you sure there are significant numbers of pike where you are fishing? In much of PA pike are few and far between.
 
Thanks for the replies I haven't tried just letting the streamer suspend…I do let it pause but the same way I would let it pause for a smallmouth

I fish the neshannock, French, and the Allegheny mostly…I ran into a guy fishing bait on the neshannock yesterday and we was showing me multiple pics or 30+ in pike him and his brother have caught there…I do have some areas on oil I want to try haven’t been able to get there but with the steams closed now I have to wait for trout season to open and then the waters get crowed…I don’t know of any other waters I can target until then so I just usually wait for summer when the streams aren’t as crowded
 
I’m usually up in the Allegheny fishing for Muskie. Can always use those flies for both. The only problem is having to cover all that water. If you find them and know where they are hiding it will become easier.

Let your flies just drift and slow them down for pike. I’ve seen some nice ones on them dragon tails. I use game changers.

Right now threw may is a good time to start fishing for them. I know the fish comm. got things all screwed up closing waters but fish the places that stay open year round.
 
Focus on slow areas with weed beds or woody cover. Nearby access to deeper water is reportedly key for larger pike, but I'm not the guy to ask about big pike, my best have been in the mid 20s. My favorite fly for them is a Murdich minnow but I've had fish eat several different patterns, all colors and sizes. But the Murdich can be worked very slowly. Let it sink and give an occasional sharp, short twitch. It looks exactly like a dying minnow or chub. Pike are hard wired to vacuum up a wounded baitfish. They will not resist this retrieve. The biggest challenge is locating one and getting the fly near it. Some days they are just inactive and I haven't found a way to break through on those days (I'd love to know if anyone has any strategies).
 

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8 or 9 inch white deceiver on a 10-12wt w/ 20lb wire bite tippet. I agree w/ sarce on focusing on eddies and slower water. I'm fishing water (river) that has pike and musky so I'm throwing big flies for the musky but the pike have no problem chasing them down. It's probably 10:1 pike to musky.

I like catching pike. Possibly more than musky. All the pike I've caught have been rockets. Nothing like hooking a 36 inch pike at the end of a long cast and having them go airborne 4 or 5 times.

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Appreciate all the advice…I think I have been fishing my flies to fast, I would pause them but never really just let them hang and dangle in the current I wonder if that has to do with my lack of success

On a side not has anyone had any luck with top water in the warmer months. I have tied a couple bigger poppers I still have to try
 

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Another option, Otter Creek (Mercer Co?) used to have Pike in it but it might be tough to fish with a fly rod. I recall it being a small brushy creek. I’ve not been there in over 30 years. The Neshannock creek near Mayville is your best bet. Sounds like you know that.

If you have access to a boat the Muddy Creek finger of Lake Arthur is another option. Post spawn might be a good time to try it.
 
Appreciate all the advice…I think I have been fishing my flies to fast, I would pause them but never really just let them hang and dangle in the current I wonder if that has to do with my lack of success

On a side not has anyone had any luck with top water in the warmer months. I have tied a couple bigger poppers I still have to try
Lots of topwater eats and lots more missed hookups. In fact, out of all the esox I've hooked on the surface, I've only landed one of them (a musky). I don't even bother with it anymore. It's exciting but darn near impossible to hook em in my experience.

If I lived where you live, I'd be focusing on musky.
 
I was hoping to get a little help on what is turning out to be my main nemesis on the fly rod…I just cannot connect with any pike…i again struck out today with what I thought would be a decent day

My question to anyone that fishing for pike in creeks or rivers is there anything different, other then the flies, then smallmouth?

I throw various streamer patterns ranging from 3 to 7 inches but I just can’t seem to find them. I know I’m fishing water where they are present but with all my efforts just can’t connect. Just looking if anyone has any input on water types or fly presentations or anything that may help me connect with these fish…do you have better luck early season, summer, or fall? I have a kayak and do a lot of wading but I prefer moving water over lakes. Any input would be great

Thanks for any input

Hey man, it seems like we're on the same journey. I live in southwest PA and really wanted to catch some Pike on the fly. I've fished in some of the areas you've mentioned, and just recently was able to land my first one. And wow did it not disappoint.

Wanted to ask if you've had any success since you posted this and see if we could compare notes haha.
 
I fish the neshannock, French, and the Allegheny mostly…I ran into a guy fishing bait on the neshannock yesterday and we was showing me multiple pics or 30+ in pike him and his brother have caught there…I do have some areas on oil I want to try haven’t been able to get there but with the steams closed now I have to wait for trout season to open and then the waters get crowed…I don’t know of any other waters I can target until then so I just usually wait for summer when the streams aren’t as crowded

In regard to Neshannock, where you find pike, you'll usually find several, but those spots might be far between. Start by targeting the deepest pools with sluggish current and adjacent areas. I've often found them laying in the tails of such areas or the flats above. Also, cover a lot of water in the summer when you will be able to easily see them, then hit those spots when cooler weather returns. They don't seem to stray very far.

There are higher number of fish as you move up towards the headwaters and less as you get closer to the Shenango river, which gives up some pretty nice pike and muskie itself.
 
Hey kingofsnags, still no luck on them pike. Unfortunately with 3 young kids and their activities my fishing time has gone down especially when I’m not just on local water. My goal is to spend more time up north this year trying to bag one of these fish. Ever want to meet up in search of pike of even local water if your from south west pa shot me a message. Do a lot of local smallie/carp fishing
 
Hey kingofsnags, still no luck on them pike. Unfortunately with 3 young kids and their activities my fishing time has gone down especially when I’m not just on local water. My goal is to spend more time up north this year trying to bag one of these fish. Ever want to meet up in search of pike of even local water if your from south west pa shot me a message. Do a lot of local smallie/carp fishing
I messaged you. I am from Southwest PA. I mostly fish for smallies but for some reason got super fascinated with Pike. Definitely nice to know there's someone else out there doing the same thing!
 
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