Author Topic: spearing  (Read 7367 times)

Offline Yooper

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spearing
« on: Feb 10, 2004, 04:25 PM »
It's nice to find a forum with such great info.
Ive been fishing for pike on and off for the last 10 or so years, I am by no means an expert and continue to learn about fishing for pike everyday with the help of forums like this.

For the last 2 years I have been experimenting with the spearing of pike through the ice via a darkhouse. I was able to get my first pike this season and have seen numerous others. Now i'm not sure everbody feelings on spearing but for me it is similiar to bow hunting for deer. Iwas wondering if anyone else enjoys spearing? "Yooper"

fishmann

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Re: spearing
« Reply #1 on: Feb 10, 2004, 06:21 PM »
First off, I want to preface my comments with the fact that I have nothing against people that spear pike. I used to do it years ago, 1975-80? with my grandfather, who though still with us, can no longer see well enough to get out, nor drive for that matter, but I do have some great memories of the time spent with him out in the darkhouse.
That said, I guess what I don't like about spearing is that it lets you do selective harvest, which is good, but all the fish I ever see next to spear houses are BIG fish. Seems no one wants to spear a 5 lb'er to eat, they all want to take the 15-20 lb fish that are so hard to come by with a hook. I am not sure about the comparison to bow hunting, unless you are using catch and release arrows. Once you stick that fish, he's a dead fish. If you shoot a deer/bear/moose etc with a bow or a gun, he's still just as dead. They still haven't got those catch and release bullets figured out, either. When I catch a fish with a hook, I can then make the decision to harvest it, or photograph it and release it for another angler to catch or for it to simply keep on making more eggs. I know, the biggest fish don't produce as many eggs as the somewhat smaller ones, but they do produce a lot more than the dead ones.  ::) I won't go as far as to condemn spearing, it has been a tradition in many areas that will continue as long as the Enforcement Agencies allow it, but I do hate to see those big fish get taken out of the lake. JMHO.

After all that, Welcome, Yooper. The Shanty is a great place with a great bunch of guys and a lot of information to be shared. Just like any community though, I'm sure we won't all agree on everything. How boring would THAT be??

Offline Yooper

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Re: spearing
« Reply #2 on: Feb 10, 2004, 09:59 PM »
I see your point, and agree somewhat, however I don't feel it is the spearing that is taking the large fish but rather the spearer. My first fish this year was a 28 incher not a 40 incher.

I live on Lake Superior and fish for Lake Trout on a regular basis. As you stated I would much rather catch a 4-6 lbs fish for table fare vs. a 20 lbs fish. I have caught and released a good number of 18-25 lb Lake trout and released them.

As for the bow hunting reference, it was only to try and explain the feeling I get everytime I see a whitetail while bowhunting. I do not harvest every deer I encounter, but I do get the same feeling everytime I have the "opportunity" too. I have passed on several pike this season and had just as much fun as if i would have "speared" them

As can be seen on this forum, It's great to see fisherman practice catch and release.

I do set one tip-up out (Legal in Michigan) baited with Herring/smelt. I usuallly use one treble through the mid section and a finish nail to keep the bait straight. Can anbody tell me the best way to rig a quick set, It seems to be a popular way to fish this type of bait?

I do appreciate the welcome and look forward to a healthy debate.  "Yooper" 


fishmann

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Re: spearing
« Reply #3 on: Feb 11, 2004, 10:14 AM »
I stopped by a guys darkhouse a couple years ago just to see if he'd let me come in and stare down his hole for a bit. Didn't see any pike, but did see some small perch and such. It truly is fascinating to watch down that hole and observe the underwater world. If I had a house with a large enough hole, I'd even consider getting an ice saw just to sit and watch. Again, welcome, glad to see we can agree to disagree.

people of the perch, spearing is simply sitting in a fish house with no windows with a large hole in the floor and a matching hole in the ice. You watch for a pike to swim by, and when one comes by, you spear it with a broom handle type thing with a multi-pointed big "fork" on the end. People usually use a fake fish, or "decoy" to entice the fish to swim in under the hole.

---ThinIce---

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Re: spearing
« Reply #4 on: Dec 17, 2004, 03:57 PM »
Hey Yooper intrestring to see others reactions to this topic,I was also intrested in on some tips and tricks to spearing I am going to be new to spearing I am also an avid bowhunter. I really don't see a problem with either of these sports, I think the people that do have a problem with it really just have a problem with the people that abuse our resources, not the ones that conserve and selectively take fish or game.

Offline darkhousefisher

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Re: spearing
« Reply #5 on: Dec 17, 2004, 04:44 PM »
Glad to see a fellow spearsman on here.  My brother and I got into spearing a few years ago, and now we are addicted to it.  I build my own spears and saws, as I am a welder/metalworker by trade.  I am looking forward to trading tips and secrets with you.

---ThinIce---

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Re: spearing
« Reply #6 on: Dec 18, 2004, 08:28 AM »
Daarkhouse How do you build the saws could you please explain this.

hali-man

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Re: spearing
« Reply #7 on: Dec 18, 2004, 09:09 AM »
Now i'm not sure everbody feelings on spearing but for me it is similiar to bow hunting for deer.

If it's legal where you live more power to you.
I understand your analogy to bowhunting.
It's all about selective harvest, but it really isn't fishing.

Offline Polar

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Re: spearing
« Reply #8 on: Dec 18, 2004, 01:13 PM »


For the last 2 years I have been experimenting with the spearing of pike through the ice via a darkhouse. I was able to get my first pike this season and have seen numerous others. Now i'm not sure everbody feelings on spearing but for me it is similiar to bow hunting for deer. Iwas wondering if anyone else enjoys spearing? "Yooper"

I can see your point that it maybe similiar to bow hunting,Seeing the game and waiting for the shot.Or in your case seeing the fish and waiting to spear it.It sounds like it would be something that I would love to try.Spearing can be as selective as "hunting" you don't have to spear every fish you see.
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an  well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, A fishing pole in one hand, beer in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming \"WOO HOO, what a ride!

Offline kerosenecounty17

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Re: spearing
« Reply #9 on: Dec 18, 2004, 08:45 PM »
Yooper - Wouldn't it be possible to combine the two (bow hunting and spearing) and make it really interesting?  If I'm remembering correctly, the last time I read the UP regulations, it was legal to bow fish for pike through the ice.  Now that would be fun.  Reason I remember is that the regulations said it was legal to bow fish for pike, but illegal to bow fish for perch.  I thought the idea of trying to hit a perch under water with a bow and arrow was pretty funny.

As far as spearing goes, I wish you guys the best of luck.  If you've got the ambition to drag a dark house out, cut a 4x8 foot hole in the ice and then wait for a fish to swim under, you deserve those tasty fillets as much as any other fisherman.  I really don't see how setting tip-ups is any more "sporting" than spearing.  It just all comes down to the individual in every case.  Some guys will spear every fish they see.  Some guys will keep every fish they pull out of the hole.  How you get the fish is your choice.  How you conduct yourself is your choice.  How you get them really doesn't matter much.

kc17
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Offline darkhousefisher

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Re: spearing
« Reply #10 on: Dec 19, 2004, 10:05 AM »
Daarkhouse How do you build the saws could you please explain this.
I model my saws from ones that I have seen, then lay them out on a piece of stainless steel and cut them w/ a plasma cutter.  I have also built them out of carbon steel w/ a cutting torch and then heat treated and tempered them when I was done.  I have found that a cardboard template helps in the lay out.  If you had to hire someone to build a saw, it would be twice as much as the ones you can buy, but as I am a welder, my labor is free and usually materials too.  I hope this helps.

Offline Yooper

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Re: spearing
« Reply #11 on: Jan 07, 2005, 04:48 AM »
Hey Darkhousefisher, nice to see your post-what state are you from? Will be making my first trip out this weekend, Lake Independence northern Marquette county in Michigan. Talked to my partner who just put out his shack. He has seen 4 pike and a very large small mouth. Only one was legal-could'nt get a shot at it (Can't spear bass in MI) Keep me posted on your upcoming season ;D

Offline darkhousefisher

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Re: spearing
« Reply #12 on: Jan 07, 2005, 06:38 PM »
I'm from Montana.  We went out last week and had a good time.  All we seen were hammerhandles though, but we had lots of fun.

Knife2sharp

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Re: spearing
« Reply #13 on: Jan 11, 2005, 08:31 AM »
Hey Darkhousefisher,

I've spear fished before and I'm considering getting a saw now that I've sold my gas auger.  I wanted to know how easy it is to saw through 12"-24" of ice, or whether that's even possible?  I used to drill several hosles in a rectangle, then I would use a chisel to chip away the ice between the holes until the huge chunk would pop up from the water. 

I'd also like to hear how you cut your holes with an ice saw.  Do you have to drill a hole or two first?

Offline PeRcHsLaYeR

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Re: spearing
« Reply #14 on: Jan 12, 2005, 09:21 AM »
i plan on building a shack real soon becasue i see way too many big pike pass trough my holes, i need to spear em.
you can call me PeRcHsLaYeR......

Offline darkhousefisher

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Re: spearing
« Reply #15 on: Jan 12, 2005, 07:13 PM »
I used to use an auger for my spear holes also, but I have found that a saw is quite a bit faster.  It may be a little more of a work out, but I think all of us could use a little excercise  ;).  I use the saw to chip a hole to get started, then tilt it down for the straight part, then saw straight up and down to go around corners.  Some people use a spud bar for chipping their starter hole, but the saw seems to work good for me.  Hope this helps.

Offline Yooper

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Re: spearing
« Reply #16 on: Jan 13, 2005, 01:14 AM »
Got the shack out on Sunday afternoon. Brought a friend out to assist. Cut the hole and blocked/sealed the shack in. Had a couple of minutes to show my buddy how the whole spearing thing works, decoy, spear set up etc. As he was working the decoy, getting a feel for it, WHAMO a pike hits the decoy and starts to run with it. He jerks the decoy out of it's mouth and the pike comes back for seconds. Had a nice shot at it and hit him perfect. First pike of the year 24 1/2 perfect eater ;D

Offline Yooper

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Re: spearing
« Reply #17 on: Jan 13, 2005, 08:39 PM »
Will Do. I have been learning the ropes for the last couple of years, and have even started carving my own decoys. I plan on going this weekend and will bring the digital camera. I will attempt to post some pic's in the future.
It is a fun way to pass the long winters we have in Michigan's U.P ;D "eh"

Knife2sharp

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Re: spearing
« Reply #18 on: Jan 14, 2005, 07:42 AM »
This past fall I started filming hunts professionally and we hope to get a DVD out in the next couple years.  I would really like to put the first spearfishing video together.  Besides filming my own setup or my friend's, I would also like to include interviews from the old timers on the lakes that really know what they're doing and to record some of their stories.

Spearfishing is one of those sports that's not real interesting until you see it.  My grandpa used to do it and it never sparked my interest until I actually saw a guy on the lake doing it.  I was a teenager when my grandpa passed away and at the time I had never even ice fished.  My Dad was never much of an ice fisherman so I basically had to learn everything on my own. 

I don't necessarily agree with the comments that spearers take all the big fish.  I've never seen a northern over 2lbs while spearfishing.  A lot of northerns will watch your decoy or minnow from a distance and they won't ever come in.  I've even seen this while ice fishing.  Big northerns are also finicky and they just don't go wandering around checking every decoy or minnow in the water.  There are also other factors that come into play.  A house will also cast a shadow when the sun is out and there isn't much snow on the ice to shade the rest of the water, so some fish will shy away from your big square shadow.  Large northerns also don't taste as good and I think a lot of spearers don't even bother with the really big ones.   

Offline fishuhalik

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Re: spearing
« Reply #19 on: Jan 15, 2005, 02:24 AM »
Man, this is a tough subject.  I am a very adament catch & release fisherman, so personally I don't spearfish.  I have, & it's an absolute blast, but I've seen what it can do to a lake.  I do still sight-fish for slimers, though.  I think it's even more fun.  Cut your big hole, & instead of stickin' 'em w/ a spear, stick 'em with a hook.  Also, for those of you who wanna try it & don't have a saw, there's a couple of great methods you can use to cut a big hole.  One, take your power auger & cut 6-8 holes right next to each other & spud out the rest so it's a fairly square hole.  My favorite method, however, is a chainsaw.  Much quicker, & you get a nice, square hole.  When you do this, it leaves a film of oil on the surphase of the water.  To get rid of the film, take a small amount of dish soap on the lake w/ ya.  Put your finger in the soap & drip one drop in the hole.  It's kinda cool, cuz the film just disappears.  I've also done this for perch, sunnies, craps, & walleyes in shallow, clear water.  This is a ton of fun, 'cuz you can choose which fish you wanna catch.

Always wear clean underwear, cuz ya never know when the paramedics are gonna have to cut your pants off.

Offline Mule Skinner

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Re: spearing
« Reply #20 on: Jan 15, 2005, 07:17 AM »
Yooper,
I am from Michigan(way South of you down here in Jackson Co) and enjoy spearing as well.My dad showed me the ropes when I was a kid and I've been hooked ever since.I stay mobil spearing out of a portable shanty and set-up on 9 different pike waters last year.
I noticed this thread went from how similiar pike spearing was to hunting , to how do you cut your hole in the ice to spear out of ? I've did my share of spudding and you can get pretty sweatty,depending on how thick the ice is. I think a chain saw is the way to go and fishuhalik is right about the oil film left on the surface(I'll have to try the dish soap trick)I was always told to drain my bar oil lube completely for cutting ice.Your usally only cutting 1 hole per trip and only making a few quick cuts so the water and ice acts as a lubercant so you don't need the bar oil.
I scribe my spearing hole outline which is 24 wide x 48 long on the surface of the ice.Then auger 2 holes centered evenly at each end.Next I fire up the chain saw and make my 4 cuts(keep in mind to stand off to the side of your saw,you'll get sprayed with alot of water if your directly behind it).I then make a 5th  cut splitting the chunk down the middle.This leaves me 2 ice blocks 24x24 with a hole centered in each.I then pluck them both out with a little tool I made for this.The tool is just a simple 8 in. pipe nipple filled with sand and capped off at each end.I have a rope tied at the center and slip it down the hole verticlely and when it gets underneath the hole it rests horizontal allowing you to pluck em straight up an out.
Just my idea, its cheaper and less bulky that those big ice picks IMO.
 
Back to the main subject...Yooper,  I to feel that pike spearing is very much like hunting and will try to dig up an old post I put up on a different site.I had a guy from Iowa asking about it so I went into a few details for him about it.
I love the  smell of fresh Pike Slime in the morning.

Offline Mule Skinner

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Re: spearing
« Reply #21 on: Jan 15, 2005, 07:26 AM »
Yooper,
Here it is ... ;D
Its a little long and keep in mind, I'm explaining the basics to a guy whose never ice fished before. 
Some tools of the trade are an ice shanty,decoy( live sucker minnow or artifical decoy)ice spud for early ice,a small portable heater is a real plus also.When the ice gets thicker a chain saw or ice saw is a must.I like to try several different lakes in the winter, so I use a portable shanty that has a large spearing hole cut in the plywood floor.Its easy to set up and take down and fits nicely on top of a sled which I use to pull it and other gear out onto the lake.Permanent shanties are cumbersome and something that most people don't move around from lake to lake with, so they usally remain on the same body of water their placed on from first safe ice until the warm up/spring weather, then they must be pulled off before it starts to thaw and become unsafe(Our spearing season is from Jan1st-Feb 29th.)   
I target known pike waters that I've fished before and   set up on the edge or over weedbeds,anywhere from 3 to 12 foot or more of water depending on clarity.The darker the inside of your shanty the better,fish are very visable in the water when you block out the light from the outside,even pike as dark as they are appear bright and highlighted under this affect. I set my portable shanty up and scribe a line in the ice where my spear hole will be (24 Wx48L) then cut or chip open the hole with a ice spud or saw and clean out small floating chunks and slush with a skimmer. Once thats done, I'll slide my shanty over top of it, put a small folding stool in there ,start up my portable heater and go set up 2 tip-ups near by outside.Waiting for a flag on your tip-ups,  helps kill time while waiting for the big one.  After thats done ,its time to put your  decoy in the water.I have a rig with a clamp on it and a reel with about 50 yards of heavy line.I clamp the rig  to an over head pole thats at the very top of the shanty above the hole.At the other end of the line ,I have a harness type pin that is put in just under the dorsal fin of the decoy/minnow so that he doesn't swim away.I prefer a live decoy such as a 10-12 in. sucker minnow but artifical decoys in various sizes and colors are used with great success too(these you have to tug on the line ofton to create action and movement)I've been told that pike are curious and will come in and check one out that has sat motionless for a while to.Once set up in this fasion, you just watch and wait.You don't have to put your decoy down to deep in the water either.Its ok to talk and such but keep the floor quiet,any sudden stomping or loud noise from your boots may scare one away that may be lurking near by. Pay attention to your decoy,he will tell you when a large preditor fish is nearby,if he gets excited and is swimming around and straining to get away,watch the opposite direction and get ready.  If you've ever gotten wobbly-kneed at the sight of a buck,thats the same rush as when a Big Northern slips in from out of no where just like ole mossy horns. Theres nothing like looking down into the water , then all of a sudden this huge nose slides in like a shadow,quiet and dark.It's pectoral fins slowly moving back and forth.Then ,like a shot of lightening, it takes off after your decoy.Some times they shoot in fast,when this happens you want to grab your decoy line and pull the pike with the decoy in his mouth back into your view of the hole to spear him(assuming hes a keeper).Keep in mind there are no hooks on this type of decoy harness,so if he spits it out, he may return again for another chance. pike must be 24 inches in length in Mi. I keep a tape measure thats 25" tacked down on the floor at my toes for a visual.You can usally tell if there  long enough or not, if its border line or questionable than I just watch and try to keep my decoy out of his teeth  This sometimes is hard to do(some bait stores don't carry big sucker decoys,so I've had to make do with the littler tip-up minnows for my decoy.This is when you get alot of harrasment from the hammerhandles).Pike generally ease into the hole slow, until they are a foot or two away,thats when you grab your spear. You want to  aim for the back of his neck,about 4"-6" behind the eyes. Ease the tip of your spear tines into the water slowly and carefully( a quick splash on top of the water or any sudden movement will spook him away),This is when your decoy becomes a nice distraction.When your ready, throw or thrust the spear and let go of it(mine is weighted and very sharp).The only time you hang onto it is when your in very shallow water,Always have a rope tied off to the end of your spear in case the fish takes off or your in deep water.I allow the fish ,if its a big one to thrash around and tire out some after being struck.They can be lost if there pulled to the surface to quick.I keep a gaff hook near me off to the side in case I ever stab a monster. Just like deer hunting,sometimes their moving and sometimes their not.I've had times when 3 different pike came into the hole with in a matter of 10 minutes and other days nothing came thru at all but still enjoyed being out..I've also missed my share of em to.  It's a fun way to spend the day on hard water and I always felt that it was more like hunting than fishing. The thrill of seeing a big water wolf in stealth mode come cruising into your spearhole, well....it's comparable to buck fever.   
 
Later Mule Skinner  8)
   
I love the  smell of fresh Pike Slime in the morning.

Offline fishuhalik

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Re: spearing
« Reply #22 on: Jan 15, 2005, 04:52 PM »
Mule Skinner, you touched on something that is incredibly important, but I don't think you expounded on it enough, and that is noise and movement.  Big pike, especially in waters that see alot of spearing, are extremely smart.  I have had pike take off from the sound of my feet shuffling while putting down my soda.  Also, they have very keen sight.  Remember, a pike's eyes are on the top of it's head, & they see up very well, which is also why you should stick your decoy a little higher off bottom than most people would.  This experience has also taught me alot about tip-up fishing.  I remember b/f I started sight-fishing, I couldn't figure out why pike were dropping my minnow after they hit it.  The reason was that I was running across the ice to the tip-up.  When they hear you running across the ice, it spooks 'em, especially the big guys.  Now, I run to about 20 yards of the tip-up, then tip-toe the rest of the way.  This really cut down on the amount of dropped lines.

Always wear clean underwear, cuz ya never know when the paramedics are gonna have to cut your pants off.

Offline fishuhalik

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Re: spearing
« Reply #23 on: Jan 21, 2005, 02:36 AM »
Hey whatpole, good idea with the cordless drill for a rodholder.  I might have to try that sometime!

Always wear clean underwear, cuz ya never know when the paramedics are gonna have to cut your pants off.

Offline Yooper

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Re: spearing
« Reply #24 on: Jan 21, 2005, 04:28 AM »
Hey guys, just spent the day moving my spear shack to a new area. In about 8ft with a drop off to my north. Drops to about 18ft with in 15 yrds. Got some weeds to the west and a small stream runs in from the south. The bottom is pretty dark any advice on how to lighten things up? (Egg Shells?)

Didn't have a chance to fish it yet but looks promising. Used a chain saw to cut the hole. Went to start it up and after 15min relized I was out of gas. Had to run to a friends that lives on the lake to "borrow" some. Next problem was the Ice was about 20 inches thick and I only had a 18 inch bar. Needless to say it my shoulders are a little sore from spudding. Any ways I used a couple of tips from the posts. The metal rod through a hole to assist in removing the ice chunk worked great ;D also the dish soap trick was a charm. All set up and hope to get out this weekend. My 9 yr old son has hockey games all weekend but he's got the itch and wants to go FISHING NOW.

Those Ice Saws look to be a good investment after todays ordeal ;D Anyone know the cost? I'll keep you posted  :tipup:

Knife2sharp

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Re: spearing
« Reply #25 on: Jan 21, 2005, 06:43 AM »
Yooper, I saw a couple Nils saws at Fleet Farm and they run $79.00.  I'm definately going to pick one up for next season.

Offline northdease

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Re: spearing
« Reply #26 on: Feb 22, 2005, 09:56 AM »
this is my first year of spearing in michigan. all i fish for is primarily pike on tip ups. for me if it is a keeper i spear it. after learning how to filet them from grump on this site. so i am not very selective with the size. in the summer i fish for pike as well and i release all of them no matter how big. in the winter i fish for dinner and to get out of the house. as a primary tip up fisherman i think it is great to be able to watch how the fish act. i have learned alot about pike and their actions. it is amaizing how some pike will just sit their for hours under your hole and take a nap. we speared a nice fish early in the season and their was one laying on the bottom watching the whole thing or watching a little dink come in and try to steal your bait, i touched one with the spear to shoo him away once, it seems like the tiny one are very persistent pains in the butt but very interesting to be able to watch, so as for the selective harvesting i am not one of them, smaller pike are better eating anyways.

 



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