From mid May to some time mid summer, good sized Largemouth Bass run up a short distance into Saginaw Bay tributaries. Even the smallest, marginal streams can get good numbers of fish. There are usually some pike with them that are mostly small to medium sized. Only occasionally do you find what you would call a big pike. There are also a few Walleye, Bowfin, Channel Cats, Carp, Sheephead or Gar that show up, sometime in big numbers. They hit flies like Rabbit Strip Leaches, Poppers or Floating Divers depending on species. Carp hit oversized Hex Nymphs, and the Gar can be gotten on rope flies. Lake levels have been so high the last few years, spreading out the fish and making them harder to catch in deeper water. Now lake levels have partially fallen and the fishing is getting better again. A kayak is a good way to access all the water in lower reaches of these small waterways.
I had a big day on one of these larger, southern tributaries Thursday May 20, getting good sized bass and one good sized Pike on a 2/0 white popping wedge fished over shallow weeds, Cast to weed edges or to shore. I lost no poppers to any smaller pike which are usually more common.
The last fish was this pike who took the popper deep but in the violence of the strike, he tangled the leader in his jaw hinges so I could land him even though I had no bite leader. He has a scar on his side as if he were struck by an arrow, osprey or a heron.
This Popping Wedge pattern in sizes 1/0 to 3/0 represents some non specific creature to ambush predators in or around cover like weeds, wood or mangroves. It's slopping front face dips the head on each pop, shaking the tail feathers and flash. I can dive and bob back up to the surface if retrieved in longer pulls.