Published By OutdoorsFIRST Media Published May 4, 2017
When it comes to putting on a fun and exciting pike tournament, Zippel Bay Resort has to be towards the top of the list. Consider this...
-Zippel Bay is prime spawning habitat for pike of all sizes, including the big females the are over 40 inches long.
-The pike season on Lake of the Woods never closes. That means anglers can target pike while they are hitting the shallow bays leading to some incredible action.
-Zippel Bay Resort with it's lodging, bar, restaurant, boat landing and expansive dock system, along with this being the 21st year, creates a nice environment to catch pike when they are still closed in most of the state.
There were 72 two person teams who weighed a total of 549 pike for the two day tournament April 29 & 30. There were also a number of pike caught but not weighed in as they are in the protected slot limit of 30 - 40 inches. The current limit on Lake of the Woods for pike is three fish per day. Your possession limit is equal to your one day limit. Any fish between 30 - 40 inches must be released immediately. One pike over 40 inches is allowed per day.
This year four pike over 40 inches were weighed in.
Once again, a very competitive tournament. Here are the first five places.
1. First place this year went to Jeremiah Selhiem of Bemidji, MN and Richard Selhiem of Roseau, MN with a total of 31 lbs, 2 oz. $1,800!
2. Second place, Stacey Svir and Mark Reitnjes of Makato, MN. 30 lbs, 9 oz. $1,080.
3. Third place, Garrett Bitzer and Bennan Olson of Bagley, MN. 28 lbs, 9 oz. $720.
4. Buck and Tim Nordlof, Baudette, MN. 25 lbs, 12 oz.
5. Andrew Utter of Pine River, MN and Mike Milton of Pequot Lakes, MN. 24 lb, 7 oz.
So what techniques are catching these pike. There are a number of techniques. One popular method this time of year is laying a big dead cisco (otherwise called tulibee) right on the bottom for a big pike to scarf up. Others are casting buzz baits, spinner baits and cranks. Zippel Bay is large enough, almost like an inland lake, that some also trolled their favorite lure.
It was very cold earlier in the week which didn't help fishing, but anglers found ways to overcome the sudden change of an influx of a cold spring runoff.
Whether you get into some backwaters of the Rainy River, Four Mile Bay, Bostic Bay, Zippel Bay or other backwater or shallow water areas that warm up quickly, there is still very good pike fishing to be had. Other anglers will start targeting pike mid to late May as they drift into different reed patches on the main lake.
Pike anglers who fish Lake of the Woods have a very good chance to catch a trophy pike. These waters are not only one of the very few lakes in America you can still catch a trophy pike (and there are many of them), it is also one of the best pike lakes in North America. Come up and give it a shot!