Wow, you really are passionate about old Esox, lol. I wouldn't consider myself a true piker, far from it lol. Most of my decent pike were caught by mistake whilst I was fishing for perch, which is my first true love angling wise, and even then I think my biggest was only around 18lb. To have the best chance of catching the biggest well conditioned pike it's more advantageous to go during pike season, which is winter, not exactly my favourite fishing weather, lol.Thanks for the response and appreciate the kind words about my baits... id love to have a trip to ur neck of the woods lol. I follow and soak up any bit of info i can from the UK and anywhere but america really, hence my company name “CreekPikerLures”, I love u guys haha. Im probably one of the only “American Pikers” out there aside from a few who intentionally target them. U guys are light years ahead of us on the Esox game. It is extremely baffling to me the amount of uninformed people here in the states and their disrespect for Esox Lucius...
Plain and simple, Americans are stupid and disrespectful. They consider pike a nuisance fish that eats their precious walleye and or other fish they intend on consuming. Most states have no regulations or season on them either much like my own here in dirty ole Ohio.
Why is my state record a fart in the wind for ole Esox Lucius...thats why, and its sad such an amazing predator is treated like garbage here. No season, no size or daily limit and people literally throw them on the bank or use em for fertilizer thinking they “eat everything in the lake” or whatever body of water theyre on. Makes me sick lol...
Luckily peoples stupidity can also help them thrive a bit in that no one or not many intentionally target them so theres no intentional fishing pressure. Bad part is any “jacks” caught on accident are usually consumed. Every spring i see reports of good fish 40-48” headed to the dinner table or being put up as a wall mount taken from trolling walleye fishermen.
Musky fishing is becoming more popular here so a handful of guys might respect pike a bit, in other states there legally used as bait for musky ... what dumb americans dont understand is that pike can and will get just a big as musky. Proper handeling techniques and putting fish back could go a long way to sustaining a great population of sport fish across the states. Musky are inferior life forms ... they cant hack it in most waters there present in and pike seem to thrive and naturally produce in the same waters musky have to be stocked in to be sustainable.
Pike naturally produce in my area, i find YOY every year and it makes me extremly happy to keep them close to home. I keep it a secret. Any fishermen i do see i lie and say im fishing “for bass”. I live a stones throw away from the largest lake in the state with naturally producing pike. I fish the outflow and creek from the lake. (Basically a canal) If im finding healthy populations of 30-40” fish i know 100% theres plenty state records in the lake. My creek flows into a larger river that is mostly untouched also so theres plenty 30lbers in there aswell no one is aware of or looks for.
Being from the UK and an avid piker... i know u know theres 2 classes of pikes... anyone can catch a jack on accident. The big girls are seasoned and smart. There a whole nother beast to tango with and sucessfully target. State record is so small here because it was caught on accident lol... No one has probably ever used dead baiting techniques in the state in winter, thrown appropriate lures or even thought about hitting the deepest part of the lakes with vertical jigging or trolling big baits.
Sorry for my long rant ... im very passionate on this subject lol and it really does anger me people are so uninformed here in my area. U guys tear each other up for not even using a landing mat. I literally get laughed at for throwing large baits and figure 8ing from shore amongst a populous of pan fishermen ... im just 1 guy with limited bank acess encountering “above average” fish for my state every year. I agree with you theres got to be a good population of leviathans floating around and thriving right under peoples noses. Im preparing a small boat for next season and hope to expand my reaches on the lake and larger rivers. I enjoy it because no 1 else is doing it here... honestly had no idea my own state record was so small. My recent 46” to me was just my first “real pike” i got evidence of. A far cry from their true potential as you know. She was no where near the size i encountered as a kid. I was 16 live baiting for catfish and got to witness a 30-35lb beauty of a girl. Being a stupid american myself i had no idea how to handle her. Was too big for me to grab behind the head and i dropped her on the bank, back into davey jones locker she went with a hook down the gullet... i know i probably killed her and its haunted me ever since. Also instilled a lifetime of learning how to handle them properly, use proper gear and get every last one of them back in the water safely to thrive and make me more babies ... Its been an 18yr journey to learn and encounter a fish even near her size but i know there out there. Ive been to canada and shes still the largest pike ive ever seen, from a small (canal) at that. The dream lives on and one day i will crack that 30lb+ mark again. I make my own baits because i cant get anything good here lol... i model everything i make from u guys across the pond and it works every time. i cant even get a shallow screw rig or proper swimbait weight here its a joke. Good for a potential buisness offering what americans dont have but the problem is still mis information and poor knowledge here across the board.
Again, sorry for my lifes story lol... not often i get to chat with a real Piker
Going back years and years the pike was looked upon with utter contempt in the uk, like you're experiencing now. As commercial mixed coarse fisheries became more and more popular with day anglers the owners quickly realised that pike were bad news. Not only were they eating all the stock, but whenever a pike would enter a swim, all the action would dry up for the angler as the target fish just swam away. And if an angler inadvertently hooked into a pike it would result in the pike ruining the swim even more whilst fighting, and then it would get away once it bit through the line, leaving anglers somewhat perturbed. Anglers and commercial fishery owners hated them. And a lot were killed.
But nowadays pike fishing is big business. The Norfolk Broads in England and Loch Lomond in Scotland have historically been the places to catch huge pike. But overtaking both of those places is a huge trout fishery in Wales called Llandegfedd Reservoir, which is currently where the British record came from. I mean imagine how big pike are going to get with a diet of huge trout! Apparently there's pike in there well over 60lb but then again we know what fishermans tales are like!!
And yes, one of their downfalls, if you don't mind the masses of bones, which I don't, is that they taste beautiful. I've eaten many jack pike in my time. Simply grilled with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Takes some beating.
I have no doubt that someone as inspired as you regarding pike, and given their potential huge size, that it won't be long before you hook into a monster, especially if not many others are targeting them. Good luck.