Lake Champlain pike are on fire right now! Been smoking them for the past couple of nights. I got out with my buddy Kevin last night. We hit the water with some dense cloud cover coming in from the east. The weather guy that we had heard in the morning had said that it was going to be a "backdoor cold front" coming in. An unusual weather pattern for us and we were both a bit concerned that it could put the fish down.
Initially we didn't see any fish. We fished and paddled for a while. Well, I paddled and Kevin fished. I thought I was all prepared until I got to the put in and realized I only had one paddle. I was alright with that though. I kind of like to paddle. Kevin spotted a couple of nice pike and then we saw a real beast- a freakishly huge gar. My guess was between 20 and 25 lbs. Huge female fish that wanted nothing to do with the flies we tossed at it. Definitely one of the biggest I have seen myself.
So we got to a spot and anchored. Kevin broke the ice with a nice pike in the mid 20 inch range. Sweet fish. I decided that it was time for us to pull up after that and started reeling in. That elicited a pretty hard strike. It didn't seem all that big at first but then it went on a good strong run and we both realized it was bigger than we thought. When we finally got it to the boat it was a bruiser at 38"! I was pretty pleased.
We both tagged a couple of other fish but Kevin had a couple of LDRs (long distance releases) and I didn't get any hook sets. We moved back to another spot. The fish were definitely on there. Kevin got the party started with a nice jack pike and then I had a pretty strong hit. We both got a good look at it and thought it was decent but not that big. It tore off a couple of times and then came back and went under the boat. I had to work it back from the anchor line and that is when I realized it was a pretty big fish too. Another 3 foot fish!
Kevin got into some more fish, mostly smaller fish, but one in the upper 20" range. He was definitely getting good numbers of fish. At one point he had a nice fish on that jumped and came unbuttoned but as he was bringing that fly in to cast again another pike pounced it. That cold front definitely didn't put these fish down!
I tossed out a long cast and almost immediately got a take. It felt like another good fish and indeed it was. 36" again. And heavy bodied!. Unreal!
By this point we were both getting cold. The sun was almost down and we both were wearing shorts and light short sleeved shirts. Kevin had another fish on and when it broke off we decided to call it a night. Unreal! 9 fish in the boat and our rough estimate is around 250 inches of fish! Awesome night on the water! Could not ask for more! Interestingly enough is that the red and white bunny bug I had been having such success with in previous nights was the small fish fly that Kevin was using and the all yellow bunny fly I had on was the big fish fly. No reasoning there... it just is what it is!
As we pulled the canoe out of the water and unloaded it I noticed something swimming around in the water. It was long and skinny; rather eel-like. Considering that almost all of the pike we caught had lamprey scars on it we both realized it was a little lamprey. I could not resist having a little bit of fun with it before NOT releasing it back to the lake. Hope you get a laugh out of it!
After getting my first Vermont Master Angler pike just the day before it was pretty awesome to get 3 the following day! All of these fish were thick, heavy fish with great colors. They did have some lamprey scarring but that is certainly not unusual for fish in Lake Champlain.
Hit me up and I will do all I can to get you into some of these fish!