Sunday, December 16, 2007

Deadly Bait System for Northern Pike

Red Lake Northern Pike caught on dead bait

Dead bait fishing is a great way to catch big northern pike on Red Lake, Ontario, Canada in the early and late seasons when the water is cold.
Frozen ciscoes (a type of herring) are used for this. Cut a ciscoe in half and put it on a 5/0 or 6/0 circle hook.
The hook needs to be on a six-to-nine-inch steel leader and fished about three feet below a bobber.
When the bobber goes down, count to five and start reeling in. Don't SET the hook when using circle hooks as it will just whip the hook out of the fish's mouth. Instead, just reel in and this slower tightening of the line will see every fish caught in the very corner of their mouths.
This technique allows these really big fish to be safely released.
Another advantage of the circle hook is that you can safely pick up the fish with your bare hand instead of using a landing net. It takes just a moment to remove the hook and let the fish go.
Incidentally, the dead bait system works better than live bait in the spring and fall. And half of a 6-8 inch ciscoe works better than a whole one.
Bow Narrows Camp
Red Lake, Ont.


Anonymous said...

This worked like a charm for me in early June. Used it in casting area where there are always lots of snags. None the first time I tried it, but failed to put a steel leader on and large one bit through end of line. Wished I had, so I did. One 29" and one 41" in about 10 minutes. Sure beats spending half your time fighting snags and having to re-rig. Also good for just sitting back and having a beer while waiting for the bobber to go down and counting to five.

Dan Baughman said...

I should just add that you should not be drinking beer in a boat in Ontario as it is against the law.