Pike Storm in Quebec……..

Plans were set long before our trip to Cuba that this day I’d be joining Kevin over in Quebec for a full on attack on the Pike we had so much fun with last season.  I decided to invite my buddy Rob along for the day as he had his Quebec license already, he lept at the opportunity.
While bass are still in season in Quebec I made the conscious decision to leave them alone and simply target the pike.  By securing a healthy stack of dead bait we all met at a Tim Horton’s.  After a quick snack we all hopped into our SUV and made our trek to the lake.
My setup was fairly simple.  Husky Tip-ups and a handful of hand-made Tip-downs loaded up with Quick-Strike Rigs.  My favorite bait for this is dead Sucker Minnows hung horizontally on the Quick-Strike Rig.  Simply a deadly setup.
Kevin had found a beautiful hump surrounded by 25-35 feet of water.  The hump topped out around 10 feet with nice cabbage weed on top.  We spread our setups out nicely on top, on the edge and right off the edge.  The Vexilar was key for this.  Making sure your bait was just above the weed tips and not right in the weeds was the difference in catching fish and not.  I always set my bait between 2 and 5 feet off bottom.  I think the pike are cruising bottom and suddenly come across this tasty Sucker dangling right over them.
Kevin’s tip-up fired first.  He sprinted over and it was game on.  He landed our first fish and we had only been set up for about 20 minutes.  A sign of things to come!
My lines were hopping for a bit but for reasons I still can’t wrap my head around I dropped a few fish.  As Kevin said to Rob,  “I’ve seen a happier RJ before”.  I was steaming a bit.
Finally sunk the hook into this one to knock that curse off of me, I made no mistake with this one.
Rob grabbed a tip-down that was being peeled quickly and rammed the hook home on his new PB Pike.  Wicked fish for Rob and he was giggling for a good half hour about it!
Kevin was up again and landed this nice one!
My favorite part of this style of fishing is the time you are able to just sit and chat.  We’d all go check on our lines then convene back at a central locale and chat.  Makes for a full day of great conversation with your buddies.
One thing we picked up on last season on this lake was the Pike seem to sit and stare at the baits.  It seemed often that if we went and moved the bait a foot and then dropping it back down and walked away, often within seconds the Pike would take the bait.  That worked today 3 times.  It isn’t a coincidence, so give that a try next time out.
Rob decided to do a bit of jigging and set into this one.
Kevin’s home-made tipdown he made finally fired which made him happy.  The result was this Chunky Monkey.
With the day starting to wind down I was hoping for one more fish and hopefully it would be a good one for me.  The boys had theirs and as I announced it was “Dad’s turn!”  My tip-up fired and my day ended on a happy note!
Thanks to Kevin for hosting us,  what a way to start 2011 on ice!