Mike Asher has spent the last eighteen summers of his life guiding fisherman at different lodges in northern Canada. Before that he fished bass tournaments and guided for muskies in Ontario. Dave Mercer has called him the best northern pike and muskie guide in Canada. For the last three years I ‘ve been trying to get together for a day on the water with Mike but between his busy days as the fishing store manager at Cabelas and my travels we never connected until this week.
It was a cool overcast day as we headed out to the Lake of the Woods in search of some early season pike. As we launched the boat and checked the water temperature on his Humminbird 997C we quickly determined that with a cold week of weather the surface water temperature had actually dropped a few degrees from the week previous. This is usually not a good thing early
in the year when fish are looking for the warmest water possible. As a veteran of many a campaign Mike figured we would have to try and number of different depths, locations and presentations in order to locate and hopefully catch pike. Our first stop was a feeder creek which emptied into a small bay next to some deeper water. Sure enough, as we moved out into the bay, Mike hooked up with the first fish on an X-Rap, a chunky pike that zigzagged under the boat as only pike can. It was a great start to the day and allowed us to pattern the pike early, thus dramatically increasing our success during the day. We consistently found the pike in about ten feet of water just off the edge of the primary drop-off. A slow presentation usually involving a swimbait worked the best. Mike caught the majority of his fish using a Storm Swim Shad while I had excellent luck using a medium sized “Hollow Belly Shad” from Berkley. Both of us would throw the bait out and let it settle on the bottom, popping it up and down in intervals to trigger strike. As the day went on and the temperatures got a little higher, we started to find the pike up on the flats in about six feet of water on the edge of the bays. Even though we tried extensive mud flats on this day, there were no pike present. All in all it was a great day on the water and Mike showed plenty of knowledge and versatility as an angler. Not only that he was also a lot of fun to fish with. You can find Mike in the fishing department at Cabelas when he is not out fishing.
Anglers Notes; Mike guided on some of the best pike water in the world, Selwyn and Wollaston lakes in Saskatchewan. Over the eighteen years guiding up north he has managed to land and release twelve pike that made the magic fifty inch mark, his largest measuring fifty two inches.
Labels: Fishing with the pike man