Captain Bobby Liedberg
Location: Lake Delavan, Wisconsin
Credentials: Liedberg has called Lake Delavan his home since childhood and now plies its waters with clients, offering a “no pike, no pay” rule on all full-day trips.
Number of years guiding: 12
Contact: (630) 830-7687; pikeboy.com
Favorite Jerkbait: Original Rapala Floater
Size: 7 in.
Weight: 11/16 oz.
Details: “The Original Rapala just matches so many different bait species. It’s a top choice no matter where you chase pike. Lots of anglers think the biggest pike are caught in really deep water, but that’s not true. Some of the heaviest fish from Lake Delavan have come from water two feet deep or less. Although I’m not a huge jerkbait fan, they do have an advantage in the shallows, especially if you remember that big fish live there, too.”
Favorite Spinnerbait: Pikeboy Single Colorado
Color: Black/Red/Silver Blade
Weight: 1 oz.
Details: “I’ve been making all my own spinner baits for a long time because everything I used to buy, the pike would destroy. These lures are made with heavy-gauge wire and high-end components. It’s really about durability. I chose that color because it gives a sharp silhouette in lots of water conditions. Finding closed-eye spinner baits these days isn’t easy, but they have a major advantage. I use wire leaders with a snap, and without a closed eye, that snap could slide all the way up to the blade and hurt the action or cause you to lose a fish because you end up pulling against the wire at a more vulnerable point.”
One of guide Bobby Liedberg's chewed up Rat-L-Traps.
Favorite Diving Hardbait: Rat-L-Trap
Weight: 1 oz.
Details: “Put me anywhere in the U.S. for pike and I’m bringing my Rat-L-Trap. You can work these lures at any depth in the water column, fast or slow. They’re just as versatile as you can get and pike slam them. I never get rid of a Rat-L-Trap that the pike have beaten up. Actually, once a little of the chrome peels off, exposing those subtle white spots underneath, I catch more with it. I guess it looks even more like a natural baitfish.”
Favorite Soft Plastic: Berkley Gulp! Shaky Shad
Size: 4 in.
Weight: ½ oz. skirted jig
Details: “Pike are generally aggressive, but there are times when they’re picky. That’s when bouncing a soft plastic in front of their face works best. The Gulp! in dark, natural bait colors work best for me when the bite is slow. I typically rig these shads on ½-ounce skirted largemouth-style jigs, but vertical jigging doesn’t work that well. I use this setup to punch through the weeds and just retrieve slowly and steadily. You cover more water that way, and the idea is to pull the lure right in front of the pike. With jigging, you might lift it right over the fish.”