Author Topic: Pike food  (Read 1036 times)

Offline ctom

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Pike food
« on: 02/03/24 09:59 UTC »
Done using the Ultra Minnow Spinnerbait mold, these 1/2 ounce honkers sporting #7 Hildebrant blades are sure to stir up the larger pike my buddy and I target in the summer. Sevaral years ago I used an orange/black skirt combo having a gold blade and had a field day with big pike. As per the norm, I was able to find any replacements that we worth a hoot until last summer and then they were either not the right colors, or they didn’t have the right size blades for the lure weight or they were simply ridiculous in cost so I decided to make what I wanted/needed. The key was an oversized gold blade that let the spinner on or very close to the surface and churned the water up good on a moderate retrieve. I’m pretty certain that these will stand up to the task. I’ll be adding a 4/0 trailer to these when we’re ready to dunk them.

There are good ships
and wood ships
ships that sail the sea
but the best ships are friendships
and may they
always be ......An Irish Toast

Offline Muskygary

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Re: Pike food
« Reply #1 on: 02/03/24 10:45 UTC »
Do you add a plastic bait on the hook, or just fish them with the skirt alone?

Offline ctom

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Re: Pike food
« Reply #2 on: 02/03/24 11:15 UTC »
Just the skirting.
There are good ships
and wood ships
ships that sail the sea
but the best ships are friendships
and may they
always be ......An Irish Toast

Offline 21xdc

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Re: Pike food
« Reply #3 on: 02/03/24 11:49 UTC »
I have never seen anyone bend the swivel loop backwards before.... Why did you?

Offline ctom

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Re: Pike food
« Reply #4 on: 02/03/24 20:33 UTC »
I don't think there's a right or wrong way really. With the nice weather I walked these down to the river behind the house and tossed each for a few casts and they work absolutely fine.
There are good ships
and wood ships
ships that sail the sea
but the best ships are friendships
and may they
always be ......An Irish Toast

Offline bigjim5589

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Re: Pike food
« Reply #5 on: 02/03/24 22:00 UTC »
Most folks bend them the other way, to keep grass or debris from getting stuck in the wire. I always bent them back too, and after using bought spinnerbaits that the loop would open & I had lost the swivel & blades, I started making them like this in the photo.

I'll even file the end of the wire square and make sure the end butts right against the side of the wire. I've never lost a swivel or blade since.


Offline Lamar

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Re: Pike food
« Reply #6 on: 02/04/24 07:01 UTC »
  I like those colors ! As a suggestion when making spinnerbaits for pike here's how I bend the eye for the blade. I wrap it around the stem. If you just bend like you have it they will rip the blade off more often then not. Plus I use a wire that has a wrap around eye instead of an R bend. The reason for that is I use a leader with a snap and when you cast it at least one out of three cast it will slide up the bait and mess the cast up. If you use an R bend then take a small snap ring and put it over the R and then put your snap through the R. That will act as a wrap around eye. Here's some examples I've made.

Offline bigjim5589

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Re: Pike food
« Reply #7 on: 02/04/24 07:27 UTC »
I make some that are heavy duty enough for Pike, but generally I intend them more for Striped Bass, since there's no Pike around here.

We have Pickerel, but they don't get so large that a heavier duty spinnerbait is necessary. I haven't yet hooked one here, but used to catch them in MD, and they would hit spinnerbaits we used for bass. I've also caught plenty of them on the safety pin type spinners while fishing for panfish.

Have any of you tried spinnerbaits tied with bucktail? Since it seems to be popular for the big inline spinners, maybe you'll find it useful for those Pike spinnerbaits?

Again, I have dressed them with hair for Stripers, and am sure they'll work for Pike or Muskies too.

These are some I had made years ago using the type H spinnerbait mold. The wire here is .051", as Stripers can be quite strong too, they just don't have the teeth that Pike or Muskies have! The hooks are Mustad Spinnerbait hooks in 5/0. ;D

The last one's I had poured, I used Owner Longshank hooks in 7/0.
« Last Edit: 02/04/24 07:31 UTC by bigjim5589 »

Offline ctom

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Re: Pike food
« Reply #8 on: 02/04/24 10:11 UTC »
I understand what ya'll are saying and pointing out. Where we fish these big pike and when may help you see that I do not really see any significance as to which side of the arm the loop goes. We fish
a large shallow, sandy flat on the Mississippi River's Lake Pepin that top out at about six feet of water with some current, but not a lot. The flat is maybe two city blocks long and a city block from shore outward towards the main channel. At the furthest upstream point of this flat a feeder creek spills out. The creek is spring fed and largely dependent on current rainfall as well  Around mid-June, depending a lot on the spring melt and annual high-water events, these sandy flats begin to warm and as they do, the submerged grasses begin to grow. This grass at its fullest height does not stick up out of the water but the tips will lay flat on it. It takes until almost July in a normal year to top out.

The current in the river pulls the cooler spring water from the feeder out into the flat which draws a ton of forage. The forage draws huge pike, many in the 44 to 45 inch range. The pike love to lurk in the patchy areas of grass while its still less than half the way to the surface in growth. From the grass these big pike will literally clear they air as they attack forage in leaps that sometimes are 8 feet in length. Its awesome to see these suckers attack with so much energy.

I don't worry about weeds because these big pike are targeting forage that hoovers well above the weed cap and just under the surface. This is where we keep the spinners working. No weeds. We want a lot of commotion hence the large blades. Secondarily, it doesn't pay to fret over where that loop is going because these spinners will have about a 2-3 fish lifespan if they aren't bit off before that. We use light, 20 pound , Titanium, leaders ahead of the spinners but occasionally a pike will bit one off. These big pike will bend a spinner beyond re-straightening in a blink, so not I really could give a rip which direction that loop for the spinner goes and to be pointed, I've never had a spinner ripped off I have had spinner blade bent though.

The orange/black combo has been one of the best big pike colors for me, along with white and white/chartreuse. Big blades on all of the baits and a trailer hook. Smaller pike seem to leave these bigger baits alone. Muskie sized baits don't get bit, too large. Every large spinner in this size range I make I water test before bagging as a bait to be certain things work. And these do so no, I am not worried about which direction the loop goes. My smaller spinners I do as Jim does but not as precise.
There are good ships
and wood ships
ships that sail the sea
but the best ships are friendships
and may they
always be ......An Irish Toast

Offline bigjim5589

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Re: Pike food
« Reply #9 on: 02/04/24 14:31 UTC »
Super explanation there Tom, and as long as they work for you, then can't be wrong. Makes perfect sense with what you've described.

I would love to see those Pike when they do those 8' launches chasing prey!

So far here, the odd large fish that I have caught, has been two big Bowfin, which many here call Mudfish. I've read that they can really mess up a spinnerbait. The two I've caught, one was a few year ago, on a small crappie jig, and  ultralight tackle, and the other chased a hollow body popping frog last year. Both were around 24" long, but I didn't try measuring them. Both were also released.

Again, so far, I haven't caught any of the Pickerel, but don't mind catching them when they show up.

Unfortunately, I have lost some nice lures to their teeth over the years while chasing bass, and the darn things always seemed to show when I least expected! LOL!

Offline ctom

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Re: Pike food
« Reply #10 on: 02/04/24 16:05 UTC »
A dogfish from this area could wreck a boat anchor. Anything with wire in it is a single use type of bait if a dogfish hits it.
There are good ships
and wood ships
ships that sail the sea
but the best ships are friendships
and may they
always be ......An Irish Toast

Offline basscatlildave

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Re: Pike food
« Reply #11 on: 02/05/24 06:43 UTC »
I love those colors.