Want to talk about a fun time, there is something completely amazing about out smarting a pike! Let me tell you it’s not as easy as it sounds. Pike are some of the smartest fish out there. Over the past few years we have really made this a full time winter activity.
Let’s talk a little bit about this awesome sport!
1st-Check all local regulations. Spearing is only allowed in certain lakes and in most places it requires and additional license.
2nd-A dark house is a must. I have an Eskimo Evo 2. It works really well. It has plenty of floor available to accommodate the large spearing hole and multiple people. Some people make a dark house out of plywood. I would say whatever works best for you.
3rd-Select your Spear. We have 2 spears. One is small and one large. It is important to practice with them. I will tell you a story a little later that will illustrate why this is a must.
4th- Decoys. A decoy is what attracts the fish to the hole. You can see one in the pictures I have included. Have a variety of colors available because you will never know what’s working that given day. There are are many great decoy manufacturers out there. Get online and do some research about what ones work best in your area. You must have a method of suspending your decoy from the roof of your dark house. I use a large bait cast real with 20lb test line. The real sits in a pocket on the front of my house while the line is draped over a bar on the roof this suspending the decoy perfectly in the water
5th-Cutting the hole. This would also be something you would want to check in your local regulations. Sometimes there are limitations on how big you can make your hole. We use my 10in Jiffy propane ice auger to cut a series of 6 holes. The holes need to be in the same configuration as you would see on the 6 side of a dice. After that we use a large ice bar to chip out the cross sections of the holes. This making a perfect 2ftx3ft hole. When this is complete you must have something to remove the large ice chunks from the hole. We use a square shovel to remove the large pieces. The slush is a little tougher to remove. We bring along a metal kitchen strainer to remove all of the small slush.
6th- Picking the right spot can be tricky. You must make sure the spot you select has the following. It must be a spot that the pike frequent. The spot you select needs to have decent water clarity. Lastly, I never spear in water deeper than 10-12 ft. The closer you can bring them in the better chance you have to be successful.
7th-Be patient and have some fun. You would not believe the rush you get when you see a monster pike float into your hole right behind your decoy. If you are a bow hunter, it’s the same rush you get when a huge buck walks directly under your tree stand. Remember when I mentioned practice, practice, practice. One day we were on the ice and saw 2 pike that were 20+ pounds in the hole. One of which may have been closer to 30lbs, she will forever be known as “Ugly Betty”. Both fish came in just like we wanted them too. My buddy Josh was throwing the spear, he got ready and released, and missed this behemoth of a fish by a fraction of an inch knocking scaled off her neck. He tells me he still has nightmares about that moment. I usually tell him, so do I. However, it will be a memory that neither one of us ever forget and that is what it’s all about.
8th- The most important rule of all is the final step. When you have had all the fun you can and you are ready to leave, you must clearly identify your spearing hole. In essence you have created a trap door to an icy bath for the next fisherman to walk over that area. Here are some best practices to clearly mark you home so it is not a safety hazard for the rest of the fisherman in that area. I mark the edges of the hole with the large ice chunks that came out of the hole. This creates a boarder to the hole. We also fill the hole in with snow this helps the hole freeze back quicker. Once it is filled in grab lots of tumble weeds, brush, sticks what ever you can find and place in the hole. Make them stand up creating a billboard basically for all to see.
As always, Life is fun! Get out and live it!!!