Whereas northern pike abound all through Canada, there’s one thing outstanding about Saskatchewan, the place the cool local weather, distant locales and considerable meals sources kind an ideal storm for rising monstrous pike.
Lakes and reservoirs within the southern area of the province shed their ice sooner than these within the north, the place ice-out might not happen till June. No matter locale, the fish show comparable conduct all through the creating season and Saskatchewan affords quite a lot of choices for anglers, from full-service lodges to do-it-yourself adventures, to money in on the good pike motion right here.
The place to Fish
In spring, fish the again ends of shallow, marshy bays—significantly these with incoming creeks. Put up-spawn pike like to hang around in shallow, wind-protected areas the place solar penetration bakes the water on calm afternoons.
Peer into the shallows with polarized sun shades, and you will typically see good numbers of pike—giant and small—but comparatively little else. Opposite to in style perception, giant pike don’t essentially enter the waist-deep shallows to feed, though they may actually pounce on smaller pike or different forage fish which might be current.
Genuinely, the biggest pike sometimes feed on ciscoes or whitefish suspended exterior shallow bays through the early morning hours, and afterward start sliding up into the again ends of the bays. By late morning, warming water right here helps kickstart pike digestion.
When pike first arrive within the shallows, they’re sluggish, typically mendacity immobile on the underside. After an hour or two within the warming shallows, exercise ranges rise, and pike go on the chunk, generally smashing something you throw close to them.
What To Use
Spring and early summer time usually name for horizontal-swimming lures, somewhat than vertical shows. Pike like to comply with 4- to 4½-inch wobbling spoons, giant shallow-running crankbaits or tandem spinnerbaits that create a wake throughout the floor. Straight-shaft subsurface spinners, and unweighted magnum softbaits that glide, then slowly sink additionally work effectively. Gradual, methodical retrieves are normally finest, though it pays to impart a jerk-and-pause a number of occasions per retrieve. This causes following pike to run up on the weak lure, typically turning curious follows into strikes.
Heavy bass flippin’ sticks of seven’ 6″ to 7′ 10″ in size collapse for simple transport, then lengthen out to their full size for fishing. Spool casting reel with 30- to 40-pound take a look at superline, and add a 12-inch wire chief of about 50-pound take a look at to forestall bite-offs.
When pike are fussy—and even after they’re not—it is laborious to beat a big streamer fly. Forged previous their location (you possibly can typically see and goal particular person fish within the waist-deep shallows), then slowly and tantalizingly strip the fly previous their noses. Even when they do not strike immediately, this normally will get them up and transferring. As they proceed to comply with, they’re going to turn into extra aggressive, ultimately engulfing the fly.
Workforce a 9-foot, 10-weight fly rod with a fly reel spooled with both a floating or sink tip line. Use tippets of 12- to 16-pound take a look at, and tie in a foot-long chief of wire or fluorocarbon to deflect razor-sharp tooth.
Pike motion within the excessive shallows stays predictable into early July—and maybe even longer within the cooler northern portion of the province. However ultimately, the water warms sufficiently to attenuate pike entry into the acute shallows. At that time, search for wholesome inexperienced cabbage weeds in the principle lake, sometimes in about 5 to 12 toes of water. Use the identical lures as earlier, however experiment with sooner retrieves.
In mid- to late summer time, pike might briefly drop into deep water of 40 to 60 toes, feeding on ciscoes or whitefish alongside the sides of deep rocky constructions. In case you aren’t seeing massive fish shallow, attempt vertically jigging 1½- to 2-ounce jigheads dressed with 6-inch, comfortable plastic, baitfish-imitating tails the place your electronics reveal giant fish close to backside in deep water.
As summer time wanes and water temperatures cool, giant pike reappear alongside factors, atop shallow humps and on the mouths of bays. Large pike actually put the feedbag on in fall, and are prone to chomp down on bigger lures.
The place To Keep
Saskatchewan affords an enormous array of resorts and outfitters servicing company? on world-class pike waters. Distant, far-North fly-ins vary from 4-star deluxe amenities that includes American plan meals and skilled guides, to self-guided fishing out of outpost cabins the place you do your individual cooking. Drive-to locations within the decrease half of the province present equally good pike angling, with the choice to fish out of your individual boat when you select to not rent a information. Briefly, there’s one thing for everybody at any finances stage, whether or not fishing with household, buddies or colleagues, amidst nature’s unspoiled wilderness and scenic splendor.