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Gillnetting proves pike are big at Recapture Reservoir

DWR biologist Kenny Briedinger holds a eight pound 31 inch northern pike that was gillnetted on April 11.

This past week, Division of Wildlife Resources aquatic biologists Justin Hart and Kenny Breidinger conducted a gillnetting survey of fish populations at Recapture Reservoir in San Juan County.

Many northern pike, measuring 18-24 inches were collected; and several pike measured as long as 31 inches and tipped the scale at 8 pounds. Netting also revealed a number of very robust 11-14 inch largemouth bass and good numbers of black bullhead, weighing in at 2 pounds.

Hart offered some advice for those wanting to cash in on the cache of fish.

For largemouth bass try a chartreuse or pumpkin-colored three to four inch curlytail grub, hooked into a quarter ounce white or pink jighead. Fish the rig slowly along the bottom.

An alternate rig might include a six-inch pumpkin-colored rubber worm, rigged weedless on a bass worm hook with a single piece of split shot about 15-inches above the worm. That rig should be fished slowly along the bottom as well.

Boaters who prefer to troll might try a medium-diving Berkley Frenzy in crawdad color or a double-jointed silver Canadian Wiggler for northern pike.

Northern pike and largemouth bass can also be caught by casting crankbaits, spinners, or large jigs along the shorelines and other underwater structure. As the water warms, topwater lures should also produce fish in mornings and evenings. Bullhead anglers should drop weighted worms or commercial catfish baits to the bottom.

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