Got out with John for a few pike excursions over the last week or so. John and I have been getting out when we can which hasn't been that much with everything else going on. When we have the time we just go independent of the weather, fishing reports, and whatever else. On this day the weather report was for heavy winds and high pressure and for once the report was spot on. We got an early start and luckily the winds were moderate at first but they built fast.
We headed up to the Belagrade lakes again which is basically the center of pike fishing in the state and tried out a new lake for me anyway. This one has a big shallow bay with a small inlet that is supposed to be the best spot. We worked our way around the edge of the bay sometimes casting to the edge if there was deep enough water and structure, otherwise drifting a bit away and covering the flat. After a few strikes we missed it didn't take John long to pick up this little guy so we figured we were on to something but that was the end of the pike action except for a few half-hearted follows until late in the day.
Thought this guy was a small pike until I pulled it out of the water.
The bay had a soft mud bottom and as the wind picked up the water became quite turbulent and dirty. We thought that it probably turned the pike off although the smallmouth didn't seem to mind. We started picking them up in what we thought was pike water. These weren't the big spawners that we normally run into this time of year but still fun. With the off colored water we switched over to the brighter fire tiger patterns which are great for smallmouths anyway and they jumped all over them. These little guys had no problem wolfing down the pike sized flies.
After taking a beating from the wind for a while we headed up to the more sheltered side of the bay and found some rockpiles and ledges. John was into a fish after a couple of casts and it didn't take me too long to hook up either. The next hour or 2 was spent steadily picking up some larger smallmouths.
It's so nice that the state of Maine puts out these smallmouth markers. It makes it so much easier to find the fish this time of year.
Tried another lake later in the day. The shallow bays were still too tough to fish so we worked some more rocky structure out of the wind for smallmouths. John ended up catching the biggest pike of the spring so far off of one of these areas. Once he took the hook out the fish flopped out of his hands into the water so we didn't get a pic. We got some more smallmouths and found some spawning ones also but I don't like to bother them much. The wind never gave up but eventually we did and called it a day.