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Lake Mary Saturday 9/19/09
Weather : Alt. Cloudy, Rainy and Sunny. Typical North AZ Monsoon Weather.
Temps: 40deg at night - 65 -70 during the day.
Water Temps : I don't have a graph in my Tinny yet so I can't tell you. I can say it was warmer than the air.
Clarity : 0 - 3 feet
Sorry, no pics. The rain kept my camera in my pocket.

Let's See, Broken Trailer Axle, Kid had Brain Surgery, Got a traffic ticket, had to pay a good chunk of change for a tow, Broke the power mirror on my wifes new car, Watched as my cash has flown out the door faster than it is coming in and Fought harder with the wife in the last three weeks than our entire 13 years of marriage, and all this has been in the last three weeks! WE NEEDED A TRIP UP NORTH!. My wife conviced me that we needed to get out of town in order to maintain our sanity, so off we went to the family cabin for a break. We were joined by one of my friends and his family.

I hit Mary on Saturday in the Tinny. I took another my non fishing friend with me. We were on the water at about 9:45 and fished until about 2:30pm.

The morning started slow, I was showing my buddy how to throw a jerkbait when I get slammed by a nice northern right off the ramp. Unfortunately my friend was slow with the net and he shook off. We spent the rest of the morning trying to find a pattern. The lip on my favorite Pike lure (Husky jerk) was warped and it wouldn't swim right so I was stuck with trying to fish my pattern with a different setup. I threw White SBs, and XRaps with no luck. We ended up switching to live bait. The storm clouds rolled in at about 10:30ish and we started to get a little rain, which turned into ALOT of rain. We beached the boat and headed for shelter in my truck. At about 11:15am the rain stopped and we headed back out.

We go across the lake from the ramps and my friend nails a 6inch Yellow Perch on a crawler. It's hooked hard in the mouth so I tell him to notch it's fins and cast it out. While he was playing with his "new Lure" I tossed Cranks at the banks. The water levels are lowering right now and the lake is shallow way out into the middle with barely any vegetation above the surface. I had no luck on my crank, and while getting a snag I hollered at my friend to pull in his toy, we were moving. Right as he got the perch to the side of the boat, we see a huge flash and his perch disappears. All I see is the perch struggling in the jaws of this huge pike. He reels furiously but since he put no stinger hook in the dorsal, the fish was barely hooked. As he fights it, the fish swims into my trolling motor and breaks off with his new meal, hooks and all. Disappointed, we head to the damn.

Where did they go? In July there was so much cover, they were easy to pattern and catch. Now with all the aquatic plants dying off, the pike moved on, somewhere.

The rain sprinkles on and off for the rest of the day. I was afraid we were gonna get skunked. The crawlers only attracted the perch and trout which promptly would steal the bait and run. I hate using live bait anymore. We pointed the Tinny towards the ramp and fished our way back to the ramp. About 300 yards from the first launch (the one without a dock), I tie an XRAP to my 7foot rod and start to hit any little piece of cover I could find.

I boat my first fish of the day within eyeshot of the ramp, he hit aggressively and set up a pattern for me. I tied up another XRAP on my friends Rod (I had silver black, he had rainbow trout) and we started to fish a jerk bait pattern. My first catch was followed by 3 more sized from about 1.5 - 2.5lbs. They all were close to shore and all were aggresive. I was chatting with this gentleman and his kids on shore when I caught fish number 5. They were asking me how I was doing it (all they caught all day were small perch), and as I was explaining what a jerk bait was, my friend gets slammed by his first Pike ever. At first I didn't believe him then I see my friend fighting hard with SOMETHING. It breaks the surface, I jump for the net and bring the bastard into the boat. He got a round of applause from the shore. The fish came in at about 3.5 lbs. A monster for my friend who has never caught one. He wanted to bring it back to the cabin and eat it so I gutted it and tossed it into the cooler and headed for home.

When we got back to the cabin he seasoned it with salt, pepper, garlic and a spice rub and about 5 or 6 tablespoons of butter. He also seasoned the inside of the fish then we tossed it head, fins and all right on the grill mexico beach style. It cooked real slow for about 45mins with the corn. I have never eaten Pike before and all I can say is T-A-S-T-Y. We had it surf and turf style with steak, corn and baked potato. The only problem was that it had a ton of tiny bones much like Trout.

Total fish for the Day : 7 fish - Me : 5 Northern Pike 1.5 - 2.5lbs, My friend : 1 Yellow perch (6 inch Dink) and a fat 3.5lb Northern Pike. Another trip to Mary with no Walleye or Trout in the boat. Oh well, next time, next time.

What I learned:
Pike will fight even when you are gutting them. I had to stick him in the brain to shut him off.

Pike Will swim in as little as two to three inches of water. Due to the rain we had about 3 inches of water in the Tinny's transom, One of the pike slipped through the net and landed in the transom. He was swimming around my feet as I was trying to catch him. The like to snap their jaws when they are pissed, did you guys know that? Pretty scary when you are wearing sandals in a boat with water in it.

The water level is dropping and all the vegetation is dying off. The Northern Pike are switching to a suspended pattern sitting just off shore. They come shallow in the afternoon. Which is why we got them when we did.

The guy I taught about jerkbaits figured out he had one in his kit box (Oh that's what that is) and tossed it out. I heard hoots as he caught his first pike of the day. I hope I made his day.

It's amazing just how loud Harleys can be when you are in the forest on a quiet lake and there are a hundred of them cruising by. Thunder Rally and Poker run was this weekend.

There are some really nice people up north, it always makes it hard to motivate myself to come home.


Good Luck guys and go get em before it gets cold up there.
 

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good report thanks. In the 3 trips I've taken there this summer it has gotten progressivley slower each trip. Hoping for a good fall run before the Ice comes.
 

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Good report. I was up last week and also caught most of my pike on a jerk bait. I found that they will nail it on the pause most the time. Also first light and sun set I have been doing good with a top water such as a zara spook or Vixen. Pretty cool to see pike explode on the surface. O and your right. not only is it beautiful up there. everyone I talk to seems to be very friendly as well.
 

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nice report thanks 420. glad you had fun. i've caught a lot of pike in mere inches of water. and the walleye "usually" like the deeper water.
 

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There's lot's of pike way up in the shallow end. Fish the weed line with blades or chatterbaits.
 

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Nice report. I was out a few weeks ago and caught a bunch on top water. Yesterday I fished for about an hour and didnt get any. Water is defenatly dropping at a noticeable rate. If anyone ever needs a back seater let me know I am up at NAU now.

Does anyone know what the bait fish are that are schooled up in the coves? They are acting a lot like shad, but im not sure what they are.
 

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not shad for sure. we saw them last time up there, probably fry of somekind. We got good looks at them and they just look like minnows, no color or markings on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the kind words guys. Lake Mary is always a blast. The water level is dropping and the vegetation and underwater weeds are disappearing real fast. The fry up there are Yellow Perch Fry. A family I talked to on shore had been catching juveniles all day.
 
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