target predators

target predators

Winter is a good time to be on the heels of pike, who ask for nothing better than putting up a fight worth mentioning.

In the cold season, perch and zander are the most sought-after species because of the quality of their meat.

There are other fighters that offer tougher challenges like smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, landlocked salmon, rainbow and more.

It is of course necessary to consult the rules that apply depending on the season and the sector you want to exploit.

A forsaken

Many followers seem to lack enthusiasm when discussing the king of the waters, who could also be called the teeth of winter instead of the teeth of the sea: while the pike has a slimy body, it has capable teeth to cut our fishing line and the Offerings sometimes devoured deeply.

Additionally, it can be difficult to produce beautiful boneless fillets if you don’t really have the twist, as the popular expression puts it.

In addition, since 2017 you are no longer allowed to fish with live bait fish. Back then, all you had to do was float a nice big baited minnow under the frozen crust. All attractions were then combined to get the desired responses.

Enough talk and false excuses. The meat of the pike is delicious and its fights are much more energetic than many other species. For the rest, wear gloves and use good needle nose pliers.

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

Where to look

Forage fish at the bottom of the food chain don’t have many places to hide. In many cases they will choose grass beds that have survived the rigors of winter, whether Vallisneria, pondweed, waterweed, cornifle or milkweed. You can camouflage yourself in it to feel out of sight.

Based on this notion, it should be known that toddlers attract the little ones, which in turn attract the middle ones, then the bigger ones, and so on.

The appetites of predators seem insatiable. They will therefore spend a lot of time hunting various prey in or near grassy areas, especially in the early winter months. Later in the season some specimens migrate a little lower near the rush lines delimiting the slopes.

A digital or paper map can give very good clues.

Even better, you can get satellite imagery of the site you want to visit using a program like Google Earth. Then try to find photos taken in summer or fall. You could locate a variety of herbaria there and know their exact location. 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, in most other locations, that number is only five.

Although there are several models of winter poles, the most used by amateurs are the traditional rocking poles and the submerged versions of the Polar type. Even if these don’t add movement to your various presentations, they do the trick.

I personally use wind lines like the Windlass with a leaf that lets the upper stem dance in the wind. Whatever is at the end of the rope moves to the rhythm of the gusts. Note that there are also various powerful motorized versions that raise and lower automatically.

At the end of the wire I attach a metal pike quick strike rig harness with two tripods. Where permitted, I will impale a 5 to 10 inch dead minnow by both the back and tail.

I position my range of poles to take advantage of a drop, a transition zone, from the inside of a seagrass to the less cluttered outer part, etc. When the rod is bobbing and you feel some pressure, strike in a gradual swing.

From bottom to top

If I have the right to 10 brackets I install nine or if the allowed number is five I position four. I always save the option of fishing with a waddle rod.

I choose a Stinger Zebco, Cryo, Rhino Tough, Solid Ice Quantum etc. rigid medium pole. Equipped with a reel that can take a super line like the P-Line X-Braid Green TCB-8 of 20lbs/test. I tie a high-quality metal leader, black in color, 6″ to 9″ long. I’ll make sure this one isn’t twisted or distorted, which would detract from the subtlety of my presentation.

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

I take them down by jigging them while pulling them up about 6 inches at a time on an 18 inch spindle. Then I lowered 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 the way up.

You can add an LED where permitted. Position it so that it doesn’t destroy the impact of your offer. It is also possible to install a cyprin head or tail to add charm to your presentation. A 4 inch soft jighead lure also works well with small fish.

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

Finally, what’s really exciting is the ability to use an underwater camera or sonar that offers a real-time view, like Garmin’s Panoptix Ice Fishing Kit with LiveScope, which lets you see what’s happening up to 60 meters straight away. You are then in the first row.

Who is Gaston Miron