Friday, February 3rd, 2023
Friday, February 3rd, 2023

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Late spring, early summer pike patterns on Canadian lakes

Some of my fondest memories of Canadian fishing expeditions

with the family are of fast, explosive northern pike action. We
usually attended the Ontario muskie opener, but arrived several
days earlyfishing on area lakes loaded with pike in the Vermilion
Bay, Sioux Lookout area. From time to time, there are a few slow
days while fishing muskies when I wonder if my time would be better
spent chasing pike. This article has a simple mission: If you have
not experienced the Canadian pike bite in late spring/early summer
you are missing a quality fishing experience.

Late spring,

early summer

Winter does not give up easily in Canada. Even in the southern
reaches of Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec, many May and June nights
are frigid. Several times in late May and early June we woke up to
a skim of ice in the water bucket in our camp. The sun is truly a
hot commodity at this time of the year. The local wildlife seem to
know that summer is fleeting in this area of the country. Along
with the fish, they try to make the most of a good thing.

Northern pike spawn as soon as a few feet of ice have cleared
around the edges of sloughs and bays of lakes. They can be seen in
small groups in heavy cattails, slough grass, muck-bottom bays, and
wild rice bedsmany times in water so shallow that their backs are
out of the water. They have been reported by aquatic biologists to
actually spawn under the ice when the ice is black trying to give
their offspring the best jump start possible on the myriad of other
aquatic species.

Following the spawn, pike (especially females) usually go
through a short period of recuperation that transitions into a
period where they seek warm water, just prior to finding their
summer haunts. Typically, the period focused on in this article
occurs between the last week of May and ends shortly after July 4th
(in southern Canada). This pattern can last well into mid-July
farther north. But the seasons truly blend as you go north, and the
fish seem to be less concerned with time and temperature, and feed
while they can. Weather conditions play an obvious role in how
early the bite starts and how late it quits.

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