Lake Fishing Techniques for Northern Pike
Northern pike are one of the most agile predatory freshwater fish. What makes the pike such a fierce predator is its excellent vision. The northern will be able to see much cleared than other fish in the deeper murky water, making this their territory. The fact that they sport razor sharp teeth that are closer to fangs doesn’t hurt either. Because of their elusiveness, Northern Pike fishing can be an exhilarating experience. While northern pike can be finicky, if you follow these northern pike fishing tips, your chances of landing one of these freshwater savages will greatly increase.
Depending on what season and what part of the country you are in the locations where northern pike will be located will vary. In the early spring and summer months, pike fishing is best around spawning areas of other fish, which is closer to shore and in a bit more shallow water than the northerns’ typical location. They are in the more shallow water to follow their food source, smaller pan fish. During summer, they are more likely to reside in deeper weed coverage. This is because the water is cooler and more oxygenated. Northern pike are also a popular fish for ice fishing, largely due to their prevalence in the colder states of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Vermont. There is a different set of pike fishing tips for ice fishing; you will want to find deeper spots within the lake where water will be warmer. The deeper areas will also contain more bait fish in this time, drawing the pike there for feeding.
- Medium to Medium Heavy 6’6” Rod
- 8-12 lb. Monofilament line
- Medium-Large Spinning Reel
Northern Pike Fishing Tips: Be sure to bring a net with you! Northern pike have very sharp teeth so your best bet is to net them, then grab them around the gills to lift them out.
Northern Pike Mepps Spinner Fishing Technique
One of the most common techniques for Northern fishing is casting and retrieving and artificial bait. For this example, you will be using a Mepps Spinner, but this lake fishing technique can also be used with mid-diving Rapalas, jointed shad raps, etc. To fish most effectively, you will need to locate a weed bed in deeper water. Cast and retrieve your mepps spinner along the weed bed that you have located. The key is to begin retrieving as soon as your lure has hit the water. Keep the lure coming in at a steady pace. To increase action, you are encouraged to twitch your line as your reel in.
Mepps Spinner Northern Pike Fishing Tips: Weed beds located near steep drop offs are ideal locations for Northern Pike fishing.
Northern Pike Bait Fish Fishing Technique
For this technique you are going to use a chub, or live bait fish, as your bait for fishing for northern pike. You are going to, once again, focus your fishing area on a weed bed in deeper water. To set up your rig, you are going to attach a large slip bobber to your line. At the end of your line, attach a T-swivel with a large sized sinker on one end and an 18” fluorocarbon leader on the other. To the leader attach a largo J-hook. For your bait, select a 6-8” chub; hook it with the J-hook beneath the dorsal fin. Take great care to slide the hook through the meaty part of the chub’s back. Cast out the line so that the chub lands right along the weed bed.
Northern Pike Fishing Tips for Bait Fish: Wait for the bobber to go down for 10-20 seconds before setting your hook. This helps ensure that the northern has a solid grasp of the chub.
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