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FISHING LOGS: New England
Freshwater

GIVE PIKE A BUZZ

Posted By Rod Teehan, October 23, 2017
 In October northern pike that have spent most of the summer relating to deep structure or suspending in deep, cold water begin moving up into shallower water to feed heavily for the upcoming winter. Any number of lures, baits, and techniques can be effective, but probably the most exciting is buzzing a spinnerbait. (Buzzing refers to retrieving the spinnerbait at a high rate of speed so that the blade raises a bulge or wake along on the surface.) The strike of a northern pike, large or small, on a fast moving spinnerbait is spectacular. The attack is swift, audible, and awesome. You can see it, hear it, and feel it. The jolt is electrifying. Even if the fish misses, you’ll be left with pounding heart and trembling hands. I remember the first pike I caught on a high-speed spinnerbait. Chris Labucki and I were fishing Lake Onota in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on a cool, foggy morning in October, 1982. Chris had caught and released two northerns, a 6-pounder and an 8-pounder, but I hadn’t had a touch. I pitched my spinnerbait—a black, ¼-ounce Bass Pro single spin—past a weedy point bordering a shallow weed-clogged flat and began a rapid, wake-making retrieve to keep the lure above the weeds. As the single spin bulged past the point, a 10-pound, 1-ounce water wolf pulverized it in a smashing, crashing attack that sent water flying in every direction. The strike destroyed the spinnerbait, twisting and bending it out of shape. But the lure held even after the pike buried itself in thick weeds. I still have that spinnerbait as a souvenir, but I now use heavier, stronger spinnerbaits when buzzing for pike.
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