The Bluemouth – Early Season Pike Fishing
Captain Mark Engler has noticed that some of the first pike of the year have blue mouths. Mark is our resident pike master here at Duranglers, and this observation is an interesting one. No, it is not a new pike species…but no one is entirely sure what it is either. Most theories believe this phenomenon happens as pike hunker down in the deepest, coldest parts of the lake for winter. As warmer temps roll around, the pike begin to move from colder and deeper to the shallower sections of the lake; where they are caught by us fly anglers.
Interestingly enough, once the water warms through in the warmer months, this blue mouthed marking on pike seems to go away…at least we don’t catch any with this turquoise coloration the rest of the year. It only happens in the earliest parts of pike season. This has been also noticed by Mark on some bass. We are not sure if this is caused by the depth of water the pike live in during the winter or the temps of the water. Anyway, if anyone out there knows why this happens; please e-mail us at [email protected]. We would be interested in hearing why.
Anyway, Tom and Mark headed out for some pike fishing yesterday at Navajo Reservoir before the oncoming weather. They fished from 12:30 to about 5:00. Most of the day was spent with lots of casting, lots of stripping, and no eats. Right at 4:00 Tom switched over to an olive pike fly and almost immediately hooked up. For the next half hour, Tom and Mark boated a total of 4 pike. 3 ate olive and one ate black pike flies. After about 4:30, the bite died and they headed in.
Tom and Mark were both fishing with Rio Striper Intermidate sink tip lines strung up on 8 and 9 wt rods. If you get out this time of year, make sure you retrieve is sloooow. With the water so cold, the fish will be pretty lethargic (the water temp was about 40 degrees). Make sure to look for water that runs the gamut of about 8-14 feet deep. More often than not, the flies were only being fished at about a 4 foot depth. Oh, and make sure you have a good selection of pike fly colors, they can get picky. At least have black, olive, white, purple, and red.
This is a tough time of year to be pike fishing and it is for those with the patience and fortitude to persevere through the cold and the slow fishing. It is not for everyone…but when you hook a pike, it makes it all worth it. Our local pike season is just ramping up and will go through June. If you plan on getting out, give us a call or stop in the shop for up to date tips and advice. We can also set you up with a guided day out on the water with Mark to really cut down on your learning curve. It is truly a great way to figure out the pike game.
Oh, and watch your fingers.
I’m an avid pike fisherman at vallecito res. I recently learned there will be a tournament that will detriment the species here. Catch and kill. Prizes based on weight for daily total. Does this outrage anyone ? Or do you feel we have reached a turning point were this fish has damaged habitat for other species in the water that we love? How does the most invasive species on earth consider any species harmful ? Man vs pike. Pick up a fly rod and show me what your made of !!!!!
We fully agree with you. We had tossed around the idea of doing a fly only, catch and release pike tournament up there this year only to find out they were doing this catch/kill tournament at the same time. This tournament is actually being put on by the Vallecito Conservation and Sporting Association. Anyone can join, and it would be good to show up to a meeting and make your voice heard. We are not at all happy to hear that this event is taking place. As a shop, we don’t feel that pike have had a detrimental impact on the fishery at Vallecito and if anything, have helped make it better. Fishing at Vallecito is really pretty good for any species as most fish reach really good sizes.
That being said, this tournament is taking place as it is the wishes of CPW to curb the population of pike and they have a hand in raising the prize money I believe. There are a lot of factors that go into this thought process; but when you really get down to it, they think pike are a problem species for more “tourist friendly” fish. Again, we don’t agree. Bass, trout, and walleye fishing is really good.
We would love to talk with you more on this.