Cross Bay is better than ever!

I should know better, I really should! Blood was dripping down my wrist, making the butt of my level wind rod sticky and red. It wasn’t anybody else’s fault but my own, having forgotten to bring gloves along to handle the big stout Cross Bay pike we were catching one after another this last day of September. A gale force south wind was blowing, making boat control a challenge as we tried to find a concentration of fish in an inlet on the west side of this massive bay. After spending about half an hour drifting then back trolling we had zeroed in on a big rock pile that was surrounded by weeds and sunken timber. This spot topped at about five feet, then dropped off to about 15 feet rapidly on the deep water side. I marked the spot on my Humminbird 997c as # 18 and then slowly motored around the area, checking out the structure on both my side and bottom imaging mode. When fishing these types of spots you want to try and position the boat just far enough away from the edge of the drop so you can drift your baits quietly up through the fish zone. Moving up wind, friend Jim Price slipped the 30 pound Navy anchor over the side in 12 feet of water. Slowly letting the rope out, I waited until we reached 10 feet before telling him to tie off the rope to the front cleat. We still had plenty of rope to work with so we could either back off the structure even more if we need to or let more rope out if we need to get more on top of the structure. Rigging up small ciscoes we had bought at a tackle store in Winnipeg, we drifted these baits on quick strike rigs under a large bobber. My bait was set at about six feet below and Jim’s had his at about five feet. We wanted the baits to be slightly off the bottom so these active pike could see the baits from a distance away. One thing you have to remember about pike, is that when a bait is slightly above their head they can see the bait three dimensionally. If we were to drag them on the bottom in this particular situation, the pike would have a much harder time finding the ciscoes.
In no time at all we were into a double header and after about three hours of this type of fishing we had gone through the 28 ciscoes that we had brought along. No matter, we quickly changed over to swim baits from Berkley. Jim used a Berkley Hollow Belly Pearl five inch shad and I had something similar on. Since the pike were targeting ciscoes on this particular spot, we were offering the pike exactly what they wanted to eat. Finally around three p.m. we braved the four foot rollers back to Moak Lodge and loaded the boat back on the trailer, another unreal day had on Cross Bay.
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