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Mike Pike

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About Mike Pike

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    Advanced Poster
  • Birthday 10/03/1959

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    All kinds of fishing, especially carp!

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    Collin, Hairwig, Simon.
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  1. Why is it when our lakes are frozen over, you have all kinds of time on your hands. But, as soon as the ice is gone and you're chomping at the bit to get out, you're beset by chores. That's what I find, anyways, and although the ice has been gone for a couple of weeks, yesterday was my first chance to get out after some carp. I thought the best thing to try was shallow water that would warm up earlier than the harbour would, so I packed my stalking rod and traveled light down the fisherman's path. The margins were a carp's dream with lots of roots and branches to take refuge in and to use to their advantage during a fight. It was neat to see all the wildlife waking up, too. Lots of finches and nuthatches flittering about the trees. Ducks and geese all paired up. And here's Momma, blending in with her surroundings, quietly sitting on her eggs. Anyhoo, I kept the presentation small using only a couple of pieces of corn on the hair, along with a small PVA bag of particles hooked on to help the fish zero in on my offering. It was pretty quiet early on, so I chummed out a small handful of corn hoping that would create a wider zone of attraction and it wasn't before I noticed some bubbling around my bait. This went on and off for quite a while but with no result, impatiently, I went to my rod to check my bait. Just before touching the rod, off it went( Isn't that always the way? )! Fortunately, other then running my line under a nasty old floating branch, most of the fight was in the open, and I brought this spring fatty into the net. Just a gorgeously proportioned fish with a little yellow and red around the anal and caudal fin. Shortly after releasing her and re-baiting I heard a splash and saw the rings in the water on the opposite bank. As well, there was bubbling everywhere and I thought; "Now they're having it!" But things quieted down after a while and I had no other action. Once the sun disappeared behind the trees, the chill reminded me it was still April, and I packed up, pretty happy with my first outing of the season. .
  2. Have you tried accessing the Canada Carp Cup Facebook page for tournament contact info? I think there are only a limited number of pegs for competitors so it's a good thing you're inquiring early. I saw the Fish'n Canada episodes that covered the tournament and really enjoyed 'em. Pretty cool to see a lot of the carp anglers I meet on the banks here in Hamilton competing. It was a real who's who of Canadian carpers.
  3. Just received my North American Carp Angler mag in the mail. What a nice surprise as it also included a nice little commemorative pin celebrating 25 years of CAG, which I've already pinned to my favourite fishing cap. Really enjoying the magazine and the historical account of carp fishing in its infancy in North America, as well as the formation of CAG. I've spent countless hours reading about the history of carp fishing in England and about the great pioneers of our sport, so it's a real treat to read about the the early days of our own carping history. The famous Minnesota fish-in with Doug Stange, editor of In Fisherman Magazine, was amazing. The fact that this get-together helped to spawn the 1995 In Fisherman carp fishing article titled "The World's Greatest Sport-Fish" blew me away! I remember reading that article all those years ago!!! At the time, I was like most young Canadian fisherman, targeting bass, pike and walleye. As I recall, this controversial article suggested the resilient carp would become the sport fish of the future in North America. Who could forget that! Anyhoo, I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the magazine and 'thank you' to all the volunteers who put it together for our enjoyment.
  4. I'll remember that CB! And ya, have you noticed how break-offs hurt waaaay more when it's because of something YOU do wrong? Like a poorly tied knot. Or your line breaks because you didn't check it after a fish had you snagged. Man, those are tough to get over.
  5. Finally, a break in the weather and, after seeing the fishing friendly forecast, I called up my cousin Dan to see if he wanted to head out for a little morning session. Rather that try one of our harbour spots( as we were still unsure of the blue-green algae situation ), we opted for a smaller venue to enjoy the sun, cigars and Cyprinidae! We didn't feel the need to show up super early because, we reasoned, the fish activity would pick up once the temperatures began to rise after sunrise. That, and I slept in. One of the first things I noticed was that the lush vegetation and overgrown banks of the summer were gone now. However, the downed foliage and 'openness" of the area in the fall still had its charm. Even with the cooler temps, we spotted some 'V' wakes and bubbling, and I felt like we had a shot with the little bit of fish activity that we saw on display. The east wind kept whipping up, though, and it was hard to tell whether we were getting line bumps or if it was just the wind. Oh well, at least we weren't bothered by false alarms on the bite indicator! It wasn't until I heard the rapid clicking of my bait-runner that I knew I was in! Gotta think the little PVA bag o' goodies added to the presentation helped the fish zero in on my bait. The first thing I noticed during the fight was how frayed the old line was on my stalking rod( Wow, need to change that! ), so I loosened the drag and the fight lasted longer than it should have with this little fellow. Certainly not bragging size, but I was happy to have caught it. Thanks for the taking the pic, Dan( and for the cigar ). Nice to finally be able to get some bank time in after all the recent autumn wind and rain. And with luck, a lot more sessions to enjoy before winter's icy grip takes hold.
  6. Well, I dusted off the ol' stalking rod today and went off to dodge the rain showers and get a little fishing in. The confined, intimate little water was a nice change from the open expanse of the harbour and I was pretty excited at the prospect of battling fish at such close quarters. I haven't done the stalking thing in some time, and my little 9-foot Greys was probably feeling a little neglected. I downsized my hooks, line, etc, as I knew the carp here would be on the smaller size, then sent out my hook bait of maize and a floater kernel onto a tight little chum bed of maize. Surprising, I began to get line bumps right away, but unfortunately no runs. Then, down came the rain, but I packed my umbrella for just such an emergency. Here is the view from my little shelter. The line bumps stopped and things became quiet, so it was time to move in search of the nomadic fellows. I moved further down the bank, once the rain showers allowed, and noticed a nice splash not 10 feet away in the margins. That 'll do! I set up and once again, line bumps told me fish were honing in on my bait. But still no runs. I considered my hookbait and thought that maybe I should downsize some more, and so I removed the floater and kept only 2 small kernels of maize on the hair. Dang! The next 'line bump' was a take and a real belter of a run! Off it went straight into the marginal snags and I held my breath. I coax him away and back out into the main channel. Whew!!! Netting the fish proved to be a problem as I brought a smaller net with me thinking the carp here would be nowhere near doubles. But this was a good 'un and after a little drama, I finally brought it onto the bank. I was immediately struck by the bright yellow on the lower flanks near the tail. The rain kept up and, despite my shelter, I was pretty soaked through by this point so I packed up with a big smile on my face and headed home to dry off and type this report. A most awesome time on golden pond.
  7. Signs read "Water Polluted with Blue-Green Algae" at my chosen fishing spot at Hamilton Harbour. I didn't even know there was a big algae bloom out there until the sun came up and I could see what I was fishing in! lol I read a recent Spec article that said the Great Lakes are about 2 or 3 degrees warmer than average and how it was globally related, and there wasn't much that could be done about it. So me thinks this is going to be the norm every summer. Too bad because I hate fishing in the stuff. Besides the health risks, it discolours your line and is pretty gross looking. Well, time to look for 'cleaner' venues, until the colder temps dissipate the algae. The bite will pick up too, so better days ahead!
  8. SATURDAY My cousin Dan and I planned to hit Hamilton Harbour Saturday morning and start our Labour Day Weekend with a bang. He hadn't fished for over a year and was pretty stoked to feel a bend in the rod. I told him how I like to be set up, with rods out and coffee in hand, by 6:00 am because if we don't end up catching any fish, at least we can enjoy a sweet sunrise. I think you have to be from da Hammer, though, to really appreciate the beauty of a sunrise over the steel mills. With very little wind, the bay was flat calm and hazy. I saw one nice fish head and shoulder right above our baited area and I thought we were in! But the morning drew on with very little to get us excited about, other than an occasional beep on my bite alarm. We marveled at the other folks who had come down to the harbour this morning with considerably more energy than us. Dan commented that he would never do something so strenuous in that heat. Then we both realized we would never do something so strenuous.....the end. lol There was huge algae bloom that rolled in, but it looked like green algae to me and not the blue-green algae I fear. We continued fishing until the wind picked up( and dispersed the algae )but everything remained quiet, with even the bite alarm going silent. It was Miller time. MONDAY Out we headed, again, to a different spot on the harbour with hopes of different results. I was concerned with the forecast, which called for thunderstorms, but they were anticipated in the afternoon, so I hoped we had a window. Once again, we got to enjoy a spectacular sunrise. Well, red sky in morning, sailors take warning. Weather was on the way, so let's get fishing! And fish we did, with Dan opening his account with a lively 8 1/2 lbs carp, which had him buzzing after his year long fishing drought. He was ledgering his offering of maize fairly close to the pier, while I was fishing a method ball about 30 to 35 yards out. Dan had my number, though, and shortly afterwards, bested another carp; this one a little fatty of 11lb fish. I wish I could show them to you but he doesn't like doing the fish pose thing and was happy taking a few photos of his catches on the mat. Finally, my rod was away and I leaned into a nice fish that kited away straight for the snaggy shore to my right. Although I began to hand palm the spool in an effort to tighten the drag, it still found a buoy line to wrap itself around! This was the same buoy that a carp I battled a few weeks ago found and used to make its escape. AAARGHHHH!!!! The only thing I could think to do was maintain pressure and just hope that I had kept it from taking too much line and there was a chance it would eventually exit the way it entered. Success! And after a good scrap, in to to Dan's waiting net it went. At 19lbs, I was well please, especially after getting a chance to exact my revenge on that dastardly buoy that helped a carp escape several weeks ago. I was also well pleased that we were able to enjoy a morning catching carp before the foul weather rolled in. It's mid afternoon right now as I'm typing this and the day has almost turned to night as the sky has opened up, and the wind and rain is making it look the end times!!! Wow! I hope sailors took warning!
  9. Ah yes, salmon fishing shoulder to shoulder in my younger days! I remember it too, Wantabigone! I've never fished Fanshaw( London? )myself, but it looks like a nice, accessible lake to do a little carping, especially with your young son. Sounds like your doing things right, bait wise, so I'm betting you'll have your share of belters before long. Nice that you had a few fishies to bend your rod, anyway, even though they weren't the species you were after. Cheers!
  10. Congratulations to you and your partner, LeGrand. I know you were up against a lot of very exceptional carper anglers. I met a couple of fellows a few days prior to this year's Championship and they were pretty pumped to be participating. Thanks for posting and for the backgrounder on the event and its history. And good luck to our fellows in France and in Italy!
  11. Mike Pike

    lovin the pva

    Welcome to the Board, Reckless1. Nice going on Erie. Sounds like your addition of a PVA bag made the difference and helped 'em zero in on your bait. I have secret mixes too but it's only secret because I can never remember what I've mixed in. lol Although it can be uncomfortable fishing a windblown shoreline( especially when it's cold ), I find the actual fishing is usually better.
  12. I know what you mean Fang. I've been getting these erratic beeps on my alarm. Like a single beep...pause...double beep...pause...then a series of beeps that gets me out of my chair, but by the time I reach my rod, it stops. I dunno if that's the kinda thing you're referring to, but my theory is catfish. This happened on one session last year and I actually ended up catching a couple of cats. Fortunately, that session I also caught a carp so at the very least I know that carp will mix in with them,.
  13. I popped over to the fish-in this afternoon for a visit( Unfortunately, I wasn't able to fish it either ). I was glad to have met Lorne's family and they were very appreciative of what was done in Lorne's memory. CAG donated prizes for the day's Big Fish winner and raffle draws, which was nice. I think something like 6 fish came out today and big bish was 19lbs. I heard that one of the carp caught today was tagged before being released. The tag reads; "Lorne." So anyone who catches this fish will now know the story.
  14. A FEW WEEKS AGO... I made a return to Hammy Harbour in an attempt to avenge a season opening blank in March. After scouting around and having a good look about, I discovered carp jumping clear out of the water in a shallow bay and thought to myself; "That'll do!" I returned early the next morning with hopes high. I fired out my offering of maize on a hair and a method feeder packed with a nice ball of 'secret mix.' ( Secret because I can't remember what the heck I mixed in! ) Then, I just sat back to enjoy the sunrise. Well, I had line bumps all morning and single beeps a plenty on the bite alarm, but not one run. So, it was time for a walk about, and that's when I spotted this fellow a courtin'. "Hey Ladies!" Then, this couple who had already made the 'love connection.' It was also nice to chat with the birders and photographers who frequent the area in spring. Thanks to one of the photographers, I was finally able to identify all the diving ducks and birds I was seeing, including the little black and white Buffleheads, as well as this Horned Grebe. So, did I break out of an early season slump? Nope. But, I did see one carp caught by the fisherman right next to me who was fishing a worm and sinker for catfish. Yup, there is noooo justice! FAST FORWARD TO TONIGHT... Well, little did I know that it would be weeks before my next outing. Work, family, getting hit from behind and dealing with insurance, all conspired to deny me adequate fishing time. So, I took off a bit early from work this afternoon and went to a spot on the north shore that produced for me in the past and I hoped would again. Upon arriving, I watched the water for several minutes and saw a fish head and shoulder off in the distance. Good enough for me and I set up shop, ever hopeful again. Although I couldn't cast my ball of method out as far as the fish were showing, I got as close as I could and it would have to do. This sheltered spot also offered a little relief from those bitter NE winds today and, combined with my large carpin' umbrella, I was nicely protected from the elements and hunkered down for the session. I was encouraged by the bite alarm sporadically signalling activity around my offering, but twice I jumped to grab the rod only to reel in a slack line and nada. I feared that my optimism may have been the result of catfish playing with my bait and dearly hoped that they would move along. After re-baiting and re-casting repeatedly, the sun began setting and the air temps started to drop, but I was finally rewarded with the one-toner I was hoping for. The fish took a substantial amount of line, as they do, and then proceeded to kite left and right. A couple of anglers nearby offered to help with the netting and I told them; 'sure,' but not to hurry as it was going to take a while. Finally in the net, this lovely 24.75 lbs carp was hoisted onto the landing mat. Actually a PB for me. Now, the only thing left to do tonight is to celebrate with an adult beverage and write this report! I will sleep well.
  15. Well, the weather finally turned this weekend, eh Fang. After all that wind, snow and ice pellets last week I thought spring would never come. The carp were also celebrating the end of winter and jumping out in the harbour yesterday, believe it or not. So I thought I give it a go today. No luck for me, but the angler right next to me targeting catfish( and doing quite well )caught a beauty carp! Dang, so close....
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