Saturday, April 20, 2013

Pike Pickling Success

Fishing Time:  Yuba – 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Utah Lake – 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Weather:  Clear and breezy at Yuba, Cloudy and hurricane wind at Utah Lake, T-50s
Moon Phase:  18% Moon
Location:  Yuba and Utah Lake
Water Temp:  Yuba – 48 degrees, Utah Lake (mouth of Provo) – 45 degrees
Bait:  Yuba – lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits, Utah Lake – curly tail grubs
Who Went:  Rick, Bobber John, Me
After reading some recent “good reports” for northern pike fishing at Yuba Reservoir, we decided to make the trip down there with hopes of harvesting a few so that Rick could try his self proclaimed “famous Pike Pickling recipe” he’s been bragging about.
We arrived to the Oasis boat ramp around 9:00 am.  We first fished the bays south of the boat ramp where we have had good success in the past.  No bites were encountered so we kept on searching.  We fished every bay with brush all the way down to the Painted Rocks boat ramp without a bite. 

We continued fishing the shoreline west of the Painted Rocks boat ramp where there’s an abundance of sunken salt cedar brush.  I put on a lipless crainkbait and instantly started putting pike in the boat.  Bobber John and Rick followed suit and we all began to have non-stop action.  All the pike were between 18-25 inches, but they hit like a freight train and put up a great fight.  I failed miserably on pictures because the action was so slow in the morning with nothing to take pictures of and then became so hot that I didn’t have time for pictures.  The only pictures were at Bobber Johns recently purchased home where we christened his new garage by filleting around 15 small pike for Rick to pickle.
We fished this brushy stretch all afternoon with each pass producing pike.  I didn’t keep count, but I would say we landed close to 30 pike by the end of the day.  On our way back to the boat ramp we fished the same brush filled bays where we were unsuccessful that morning and only landed a couple more pike.  The sunken brush across from Painted Rocks was the only area that consistently produced pike.  Best baits for the day were any lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits.  The old reliable swimbaits produced nothing.

On the way home we regrettably decided to stop by Utah Lake.  We launched the boat at the Provo Boat Harbor to fish the mouth of the Provo River for walleye.  The wind picked up just as we launched and before we were out of the harbor the waves were already wicked.  We made it around the harbor dike and into the mouth of the river where we were somewhat protected from the wind.  We washed our curly tailed grubs until dark without a bite.

By the time we left the mouth of the river the weather took a turn for the worse and John asked me if he thought Utah Lake was capable of producing waves big enough to sink my boat.  I told him I didn’t think so unless the captain made an inexcusable error.  Needless to say, I was enlightened by the powers of nature.
As we made it around the protected harbor dike and into the unprotected lake, the waves became overwhelming.  The boat handled them okay, but every 20th wave or so seemed twice the size of the others.  We were taking on water over the front of the bow and it started to become serious.  Luckily for us we didn’t have to go far, but turning the boat to get into the harbor was not going to be easy!  I knew it would leave us in a vulnerable position for a few seconds as the boat went sideways against the huge waves, and in the distance I could see two monster rollers that I knew I had to wait out before I could even think about attempting the turn.  When the big waves finally came I went up and over the first one and the one following broke right over my bow, flooding the boat with water.  It was scary, but I knew we just needed to turn and get into the harbor as soon as possible.  When I finally made the turn we must have been 50 yards from the rock dikes that protect the entrance to the harbor, but the relentless power of the waves had me within 10 yards within seconds.  Luckily, I was able to get us through the narrow opening of the harbor and into safety. 

Once in the harbor I turned to Bobber John and told him that without a doubt Utah Lake could sink my boat!  I learned a great lesson and now realize that my 17.5 foot deep V boat is not invincible and if the weather gets ugly on Utah Lake, get the hell out of there before it’s too late!  If we would have been in the middle of the lake we would have been in trouble! It was a lesson learned and I’m glad we came out of it unscathed and with a better understanding of the power of Utah Lake!

I leave you with 9 bottles of freshly pickled pike… yum!  Nice job Rick.


Craig Hillman said...

I hope you left a few for me. I got my first pike last week with a black/white curly tail dragging on the bottom at painted rock. It was 20" and put up very little fight. Maybe tomorrow I'll catch some with a little spunk.

Julia Angel said...

hmmm nice. really a nice one. this looks so yummy. i am getting jealous that i am not a part of it.
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