Checking in from Canada eh?! I was visiting family in Toronto and had the chance to fish the Georgian Bay, which is a part of Lake Huron. I was after some of the larger Northern Pike, but couldn't resist some topwater Largemouth Bass on the frog. After losing several of my frogs to the Pike, I was fairly upset and decided to put them away. To say that the weather wasn't ideal is the definition of an understatement. Thunderstorms, pouring rain, and heavy winds were prevalent throughout the week. The few opportunities that I did have to take out the 10ft aluminum, I made sure to capitalize.
With minimal knowledge of the area, no fish finder, and limited time on the water due to the rough weather, I tried to stick to any visible structure, which there was an unbelievable amount of. It varied beyond belief, from rocks, trees, and stick-ups, to cabbage patches, vegetation and semi visible drop offs.
I started off throwing the SPRO McStick 115, as I had always heard that Pike love to hit the jerkbait. The first six or seven fish that I caught were between 22" and 24". They were solid fish that put up a great fight, but not the bigger models that I was looking for. I was hoping to at least get one that was in the mid 30"s. I decided to step up the size and throw the SPRO BBZ-1 8" in Rainbow Trout. This resulted in me catching my largest Pike of the trip.
At one point during the trip, I completely committed to the frog. First, I threw my go to, the SPRO King Daddy. I had many blowups but I kept losing the fish when they would dive into the thick structure. However, there was something strange about the blow-ups and the way the fish fought. I landed many smaller sized Largemouth on the King Daddy, which just goes to show how aggressive the fish there really are. Nevertheless, I was certain that the fish I wasn’t sticking were something different. After many hours of frustration, I decided to go the smaller route and threw the SPRO Bronzeye Frog 65 in Killer Gill. I throw the frog parallel to the shore, along some extremely thick lily pads. It was at this moment that my confusion and frustration was finally answered. As my dad stood over my shoulder, we witnessed what looked like a toilet bowl flush, and what surfaced was a huge red tail. It was finally clear that it wasn't largemouth bass that I was missing, but rather Northern Pike. Sometime later, after inspecting my frogs, I noticed there were some serious slashes on the bottom of each frog that was used.
The best part about this trip for me was my dad catching some of his first legitimate swimbait fish. He caught multiple bass on the 4" SPRO BBZ-1 Shad, and missed a handful on the SPRO frog. It's safe to say that he is now a believer.
The setups that I primarily used were the following; for the larger baits and for the SPRO King Daddy Frog, I used the Cousins RSWB 807 PT, paired with an Abu Garcia Revo Winch, spooled with 65lb P-Line TCB. When throwing the 8" SPRO BBZ-1 Trout, I had a short top shot of 30lb P-Line Shinsei fluorocarbon, connected to a 12" steel leader. When throwing the SPRO McStick 115, I used my Cousins A1 GS 7012, paired with a Shimano Stradic 3000 Ci4+, spooled with 20lb P-Line TCB, with a short top shot of 15lb P-Line CXX clear monofilament.
It was a great trip, and I’m hoping that I can make it back out next year, with more knowledge and understanding of how to approach the fish in this area. It also helps having quality rods, line, and lures to target these extremely aggressive and hard fighting fish.
Until then -Stan Kaplun