I start my open water season the same way every year, as soon as the ice is off the rivers I start fishing for Steelhead in many of the rivers that flow through the Thunder Bay area. After the steelhead run is over I start thinking about northern pike and the last two weeks of April are perfect for pike fishing because they are extra aggressive at this time and they will hit almost anything you throw at them. I you want to capitalize on some great fishing action in northwestern ontario your best bet is to pick up a copy of the Backroad Mapbook for Northwestern Ontario and do some research on lakes that have a good population of pike, also pick up some Crimstoppers Maps as they show fish species in many lakes and can help alot. I decided to go to my favorite pike destination Sabrina Lake, this lake is exclusive to pike and is only 1hr from Thunder Bay and I had my son Liam with me so it was a perfect choice. We arrived at the lake about 9:30 and after getting my son all setup to fish it was my turn, I wanted to use a hard bait so I chose a 5" Live Target in a perch pattern and my selection paid off as I hammered a nice pike on my first cast.
After a few more pike I decided to try some hair flies, the best hair flies I have ever used are from Mighty Mitch and Jungle Joe in Terrace Bay Ontario, I chose a yellow/orange/ brown pattern and the pike ate them like candy, the trick was to keep the flies off the bottom of the lake long enough for the pike to hit as Sabrina has alot of structure along the shoreline. When it was time to go home I ended up landing 7 nice pike and losing a dozen more, my son learned how to cast with his new rod and the first outing of 2010 was over.
Here is a sample of a jig fly done by Mighty Mitch and Jungle Joe, simply amazing color and quality. These flies are great for walleye, bass, brook trout, pike, lake trout and Steelhead.