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Mike Pike

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About Mike Pike

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    All kinds of fishing, especially carp!

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    Collin, Hairwig, Simon.
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  1. Early spring bait prep

    Way to go Fang. When life deals you lemons, you make lemonade, eh. lol I was busy doing some chores and took a peek outside and what a surprise! In the east Hammer we are covered in white! And that north wind was bitter today. I've started making bait ahead of time and freezing it too. Its great when I have downtime to throw some method mix together, freeze it, and when your ready to fish, it's one less thing you have to do.
  2. First outing of 2018

    Ya, I think fishermen AND fish are waiting for this cold snap to end. Relief in sight this week, it looks like, so we'll finally be able to put all that new tackle to the test again.
  3. First outing of 2018

    Nice to hear from ya, Grasshopper! Hope we're not the last two on here. lol Tight lines Bud.
  4. First outing of 2018

    Well, the ice has been off the harbour for a few weeks now and, although guys have been carping throughout winter( ice permitting ), this was my first time out this year. A brisk SW wind made it feel colder than -1c but once the sun came up, it warmed me up, and my spirits, considerably. One of the best things about getting to the water early in the morning is the active wildlife that you get to see, even at this urban locale. The morning's creature count included diver ducks, mergansers and this industrious beaver. . Unfortunately, after sending out a method ball with a couple of kernels of corn on a hair, I had zero takers. The morning only produced several single 'bleeps' on the alarm that had me hopeful, if nothing else. Absolutely wonderful morning to be out, though. Staying warm by keeping the biting wind at my back and the sun on my face was a great way to spend the day at this time of year. Plus, I got a chance to bait up the swim for my next visit, at the least. Happy Easter!
  5. Who Is Lenny Middleton?

    Just wanted to thank you for sharing that as well John. A lot of us on this side of 'the pond' are not only catching on to the challenge( and pleasure )of carp fishing but it's rich history, as well. Fortunately, there are many books available now on the early days of carp fishing, and reading them has provided me with countless hours of education and entertainment. Your post about your friendship with Len afforded me a few moments to slip back in time to the pioneering days of our sport, and get an even better insight into a Gentleman who's love for fishing influences all of us carp fishing today.
  6. What's old is new again

    Last weekend, I went to fish an old swim I hadn't visited in years. The first thing I noticed was how high the water level was, which shouldn't have been a surprise since the bay connects to Lake Ontario. After scooting around a flooded trail, I got myself set up and enjoyed the sunrise. Nothing much happened during the first part of the morning, so once there was enough light, I took a picture of the 'office.' The water was filled with activity from cruising turtles to jumping fish, and even water snakes! This was the best picture I could get of one, as they're pretty speedy, but it will help me identify it later when I go through some nature books. . And, of course, 'tis the season for family outings. Finally, the bite alarm began to beep, indicating some line bumps or pick-ups, When I got the long awaited one toner, I set the hook to do battle with Mr. Whiskers. Not a huge cat at 4lbs but at least I wasn't going to be skunked on this fine day. And that wasn't my only catch that morning. About an hour later, I hooked into my desired species and brought a carp of around 8lbs to the net. I didn't take a picture of it, though, because it had a large sore on it's side so, along with not being very photogenic, it probably needed to get back to it's home with minimal stress. After missing a couple of fish, it was time to pack up with the promise of returning again soon. The only problem was that while I was focused on other things, I hadn't noticed that this blockade had formed. Fortunately they were willing to listen to reason and I was allowed to pass. lol I returned this morning, after reviewing the weather forecast and seeing that the thunderstorms we were supposed to get in the morning were now predicted for the afternoon. So I had a little window of opportunity give 'er a go again. The morning was filled with more fisherman than fish, however. It was a pretty busy place and I set up next to a good fellow who was great to share the bank with, swapping fishing stories, etc. He even let me take a photo of his secret weapon. Who needs and electronic bite alarm! The fishing remained slow, though, and the only real excitement came when this fellow wandered over. It still amazes me that in just a few minutes drive from downtown Hamilton, you can see so much wildlife. In just a couple of mornings here, my "creature count" included a fox, opossum, beaver, jack rabbit, water snake, herons and snapping turtles. I'll bet my friends who went north camping can't top that! ...oh, and an Osprey. Anyhoo, back to fishing, and the bite alarm finally signaled a take and I was in! Funny, but just as I set my hook, the guy fishing next to me also had a bite and was into a fish. And that's not the first time that's happened to me. It's like the fish all put their noses down at the same time for a munch. We both manage to bring our fish to the bank; mine being this fish at just a tad under 14lbs. Well, it was a good thing that fish happened along when it did because the wind started picking up and dark clouds began sweeping in quickly. I packed up fast as I could and hit the road when the rain started falling, followed by a hail storm. Hard to believe there was clear blue sky just a half hour before.
  7. A dabble here and and a dabble there.

    I think you're right Cannonball. I don't think the carp at the new lake are conditioned to my freebees yet, and they are doing quite well with the naturals. That's why I know I'll be going back. And congratulations Fang. I'm still trying for my first 30.
  8. A dabble here and and a dabble there.

    Well, living in the Hammer, it's easy to throw the gear in the trunk and just head to one of many good swims available in the harbour. But this year, I planned to change the scenery a bit and try some different areas. After all, the grass is always greener, right? One small lake not an hours drive away was reported to have some good carp in it. On my first visit, I noticed a nice carp after startling it in the margins, and some bow waves I observed in the shallows throughout the day suggested that there were, if fact, plenty of carp there. However, two trips to this venue netted me zero fish. I do plan to return to unlock it's mysteries, but in the meantime, here is a photo of a glorious morning there. Next, was a visit to a more 'urban' destination only a half hour from my Hammy hometown. I wish I could report of some great catches of giant leviathans but, alas, another blank. Thankfully, I had this little fellow keeping me company during my session. Turns out, he loves corn and was so tame, I actually had him eating it out of my hand. I also enjoyed watching people exerting far more energy than you'll find me doing. Hard to believe, but I think they consider this 'fun.' Well, third times a charm, as they say, and a few days later, I found my way to the Grand River and hopefully some greener pastures. I set up my 'office' in an area that looked promising and the rest was up to the fishing gods. The morning was filled with activity and I was visited by herons, finches and swallows. The water in front of me was exploding with catfish jumping and feeding on the surface. Catfish jump. Who knew? After 'pulting out some corn in the marginal waters on my side of the bank, and threading several kernels onto the hair, I hoped the carp would soon descend upon my little breakfast table. Sadly nothing happened for several hours, so a change in tactics was needed. I decided to fish the far bank where overhanging trees were more prevalent and I imagined their roots below making nice carp comfort zones. So I loaded up a method feeder with some Bait-Tech Super Method Mix( Red )which smells good enough to eat, believe me! My first cast ended up in the trees, but happily, I was able to get the entire rig back( We all know how good that feels )and I just needed to pack the mix back on and fire away again. I can't remember how long I waited before hearing that first beep of the bite alarm, but it was as welcome as anything I'd ever heard after my all my previous blanks. Then came the one toner and I was in! After a good fight, as the river fish always provide, I brought this long, lean 14 lbs carp to the mat. Fishing on my own, I'm only able to show it to you lying unceremoniously on the mat, unfortunately. You can really tell these fish spend their lives in the turbid water of the lower Grand, as it was so much paler than the fish I'm used to seeing in the harbour. Back out goes the feeder and the alarm immediately starts to tease me again with some intermittent beeping. Once again, the alarm signals a serious take and another hefty battler is taking me up and down the river. To my surprise, I had this other famous resident of the river on my line. Although there are certainly much larger specimens, I'll remember this fish for a long time as it's my PB catfish at 8 lbs. Well, things quieted down for a while, until one more carp fell to my method and maize. Albeit a smaller 8 lbs version of the previous carp, it still gave a good account of itself, which I put to the makeup of these river fish. Although the picture doesn't show it well, the tail of these carp seems bigger to me than that of their cousins in the harbour and lake. Anyhoo, a good few days of exploring some new locales and surely more to come in the summer ahead! 0
  9. With the recent floods in Ontario and Quebec, this angler group went above and beyond. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/carp-saviours-quebec-floods-1.4116786
  10. May 13th

    Good job, Fang. Nice when you mix up your own bait flavours and get a positive response. Only been out a couple times myself to a small lake about an hour from Hamilton, but outside of the occasional beep on my alarm, I've got nothing to post( And I hate just posting scenery shots with no carp in the mix...lol ). I was able to spot one fish in the murky water, and noticed the tell-tale 'bow waves' occasionally, so I'll definitely give it another go.
  11. A fine morning at the harbour.

    Well, after all the rain on Saturday, it looked like Sunday morning would be nice and dry so I headed down to the harbour to cast for some carp. Once the mist burned off, I cast out my method feeder with high expectations after seeing a few carp jumping off in the distance. I couldn't quite cast out to where I saw the active fish, but I was still confident because I felt I was close enough. A bleep or two on my bite alarm signaled fish were around my offering but, after a couple of hours, I still hand no takes. I noticed a few bubblers in the margin so I switched up and chummed an area only about 12 feet distant and cast my bolt rig out, hoping for the best. My rod tip twitched a a few times and I received a couple of beeps on my bit alarm but still nada. Lots of people started to show up at this point and, although I don't think the carp are disturb by all the pedestrian activity on the pier, I do think the constant splashes and casts around my bait by the other angles may have put them off. I decided to move to a new location and it was probably the location I should have went to in the first place. With the moderate west wind blowing, this was the windward shoreline and best chance for a bite. After another couple of hours of no activity, my rod tip finally started to show there was a fish milling about my pva bag and bait. I was finally rewarded with a spirited fight from this game little battler. At 14lbs, I was pretty please to have met its aquaintance. lol Well., that was it for the morning and I think it was a day of rest for the carp as well( lol ), but it was still an enjoyable way to spend a Sunday morning!
  12. selling all my gear

    You realize as soon as you sell it all, you'll get the big again. lol Good luck DNA.
  13. Civic Holiday Carp

    The forecast called for rain this morning, but when I woke up, things looked pretty dry so I packed the gear into the car and headed down to the north shore of Hammy Harbour to see if anything was doing. I catapulted out a bunch of maize and cast my maize on a hair out among the offerings. I also added a PVA bag of goodies onto my hook, this time. I jammed the bag with a commercial bag mix, plus a little bit of whatever I'm using as a hook bait. I have to believe that in big, open water situations like the harbour, a PVA bag will help the carp zero in on my hook bait, given the wide area of chum that the catapult distributes. Anyhoo, I watched a few carp porpoising on the surface and could only hope they would also be drawn down to my bait in what I estimated was around 15 or 16 feet of water. Although things remained quite for most of the morning, at one point I noticed my rod tip shaking ever so slightly. I wasn't sure if it was the moderate breeze that was responsible so I kept a vigil watch. Sure enough, I saw the rod tip dipped again and, even though it didn't register a bleep on my bite alarm, I knew it was a fish. Sure enough, the bite alarm screamed out a sustained beep, and I was in. The fish gave a good account of itself and I was able to best what, I estimated, was a 10 or 12 pound carp. Any fish is a good fish to me, and I would have been a happy chap with that one fish since it was approaching noon and 'Miller Time," But I re-baited, none the less, and and hoped for one more. Once again, the rod tipped jumped and dipped every so often and I hoped it wouldn't be long for another. Sure enough, I was jolted into action with a 'one noter' and I was in again. This time, a gallery gathered around me and anyone who has fished the harbour knows this can be a pain or a pleasure, depending on your mood. lol After a nice tussle, I was able to bring a slightly larger 14lber to the mat and a nice fellow from the crowd gladly took a photo for me. Than you Sir. ( The laughter was inspired by commentary from the crowd, and a fun time was had with the group ) I did enjoy the chance to chat with several of the gathered and the conversation went something like this: "What kind of fish is that?" "It's a carp." "Do you eat them?" "No but you can." ( laughter ) "Those are garbage fish, aren't they?" "Hey, hey, hey, it's got a Mother, you know." ( laughter ) Anyhoo, I do recall over-hearing how several folks were impressed with the carp mat I was using and the care that was taken unhooking the fish and getting it back into the water. Although I was only briefly able to chat about how the RBG wanted to inhumanely rid the harbour of carp, I think when we take a moment to educate people about carp and how they exisit in many healthy ecosystems, public perseption my change, however slooooooowly....lol Happy Holiday!
  14. Blankety Blank on Peir 8.

    Went out Sunday to the harbour hoping that the carp had arrived to one of my favourite carp venues. Mid-summer usually sees the water temps warm to the point where the carp are comfortable enough to root around in the deeper 20 foot depths there. But after chumming and waiting, there were no carp in the hood yet. I know they've appeared closer to the surface because the flyfisherman have had a good go at 'em sight fishing, which must be amazingly exciting! Does anyone think zig rigs could be a good thing to try in this situation? Is 18 feet of water too deep for a proper zig rig presentation???
  15. Responding to a local newspaper carp story.

    Dang. I see now that the like doesn't work. So to read the article, go to: therecord.com From there, you can use the sites search engine and use key word to fine the article( Victoria Par Lake, cart, etc ). The article includes some really nice photos of the cruising carp.