• Welcome to Outdoor-Fishing, the ultimate fishing community forum.
    
    Here you can join other anglers by participating in public discussions, uploading your photos, buying and selling in the classifieds, participating in Free Contests and Free Giveaways, A Young Anglers forum for Anglers under the Age of 16 and much, much more! 
    
    
    
    Register today for FREE and join the online angler community! If you're not registered, you will not be able to see the rest of our exclusive content! It's easy and it only takes a minute!
    
    
    If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact the Outdoor-Fishing Staff.
    		

Best method to catch Northern Pike

PaJNS

Executive Administrator/Owner
What is your best method to use when you target Northern Pike? Only time I really target them is Ice Fishing and right after Ice out. I mostly use live bait. Although have had some luck throwing spinnerbaits.
 
J

JoeW

Guest
Boy, I hoped someone would ask that!

Quick reply: Early season (April-May) big suckers-- 8-10" long fished below a float, if the fish are sluggish. But don't hesitate to try any of a variety of lures tat can be fished slowly- big R/W spoons and floating-diving cranks in the 6-8" size. Rattles help, too! And hang on!

Late Spring/Summer: just about any lure appropriate to the water you're fishing, will take Pike if you're on some water that has them! They are very co-operative! Hard to beat a 4" R/W spoon- they can be fished fast or slow, shallower or deeper! The fish will be smaller be smaller, but a load of action!

Read no further unless you want some Biology 101!!!!

Biology lesson! (oh don't moan and grown!)
Unlike their cousins the Musky, Northern Pike undergo a metabolism change when they hit about 6 pounds, or 30". Prior to that, they are a WARM water fish and will found in shallower water- down to 14 feet, but preferring the weedy shallows. And the smaller the fish, the shallower they'll be!

When they hit about 6 pounds, their metabolism changes and they can't tolerate warm water! The warmth causes them to burn energy faster than they can digest food to get it! They become cold-water fish! They escape the warm summer water by going deep, to the same levels as Trout and Walleye, where they are unacessible to normal fishing methods! In Europe, Trout fishermen spurn the Pike, because the big Pike will follow deep schools of Trout, feeding on them all summer!

The exception is in the earliest Spring (actually late winter!) Water is cold and they must spawn, preferring water just 4 ft deep or less with last year's dead weeds present! That is when the big 12+ pound fish will be easily accessible! They aren't striking during pre-spawn and spawn, but if you catch them right at Post-spawn- you're in for some excitement! I've had BIG Northerns at that time almost jump into the boat chasing a lure I was retrieving! I've cast a floating lure into a weedy bay and watched 3 or 4 V-shaped wakes converge on it- all big fish! Man, I love those early season, BIG Pike!

Moral of the lesson- In summer, if you want a lot of smaller Pike- fish the shallower water, right up to the shore line. If you want them a little bigger (up to 5-6 pounds, go a little deeper (8 -14 feet). If you want the 20 pounders- fish in April-May!

Man, I love big Pike! Best---- JoeW
 
Last edited:
we dont have alot of big pike around,but we are blessed with numerous almost legal ones.when we go for em, bright,vibrating,and motion.wich usually translates to spinnerbaits.theyrer easier to release when theres only one hook,and less damage to their mouths.when we fish for em in colder water we use live bait(sunnies,chubs,shiners,anything plentiful), if you can catch em, so can the pike.but when we ice fish these guys, ive found that they almost prefer dead, over live.oh, and please for the sake of the fish use circle hooks!
 

slipperybob

Permission slip bobbering
Spring fishing, cast, cast, and more casting. Topwater prop baits, then some inline spinners, then some spinnerbaits and spoons.
 
L

Larry

Guest
Wish I had pike close...but I would have to travel to get at some. Maybe someday!
 

gun dog

New member
Hi Mo, I usually leave the pike alone during the winter months only because I prefer perch through the ice.

That being said I would never pass on taking pike when I'm in their waters the rest of the year. Pike and Gar are similar when it comes to feeding. They are a very patient fish and will stalk their pray for some time before striking. One evening I watched my bobber scoot all over the lake before the strike. They usually mouth the pray many times before taking it from the front. This is why jigs with treble hooks don't work well with this fish.

The killer set-up I found to work best is English Hooks with 6" - 10" live bait. The English hooks are threaded through the baits flesh along the back bone. The hooks lie flat against the baits body. Attach this rig to a 36" steel leader. Run a bobber about 6 to 8 foot above the bait. Lower into the water and sit back and relax.

The bait will be swimming at a slow rate pulling out line. You'll know when the pike/Gar are onto it when the bobber starts speeding up and doing circles and figure eights. Don't be tempted to hook your prize right away. Like I said it will mouth the bait many times. You'll know when it's time!
 
Last edited:
J

JoeW

Guest
Hi gun dog--- Have you ever tried quick strike rigs for Northerns? Used English hooks one trip to Canada- soon tired of all the fuss rigging them, the dropped baits, and missed strikes! Came back the next year with modified Quick Strike rigs I made up. Results- No fuss rigging, strike as soon as the bobber goes down, no missed strikes, no dropped baits, no lost fish!

See my earlier thread at: http://outdoor-fishing.com/showthread.php?t=657&highlight=quick+strike

And I sure hope you're using a slip bobber with them! BTW- those Quick Strike rigs work well through the ice, too! Best---- JoeW My two cents
 

gun dog

New member
Hi gun dog--- Have you ever tried quick strike rigs for Northerns?
Interesting rig. I've been converting most of my rigs and leaders to circle hooks. Trebles are just to hard on the fish. I might be able to make a few adjustments to your rig. It actually looks a lot like a fluke or flounder rig.

In your attached thread you mentioned cutting the line and leaving the rig in the fish. Are you doing this on C&R with trebles?
 
Last edited:
J

JoeW

Guest
Almost all the Pike we catch are hooked in the corner of the mouth on one of the little number 6 trebles, with one point cut off to comply with regulations. Rather than use a mouth spreader and wrestling with the fish to try to cut out the little treb, believe me- it is much less harmful to just cut the wire off at the hook, often without even bringing it into the boat. It's not right to kill a fish with many years of spawning left in it, then to worry about a 10 cent rig. You're looking at a 6-15 lb fish with a single little tiny hook left in the corner of his mouth- I doubt if it even knows its there! Remember- these are quick strike rigs- you do NOT have to give the fish time to "swallow" the bait and get deep hooked. They are hooked on the strike, when the bait is in their mouth, not halfway down their gullet as with those cursed English hooks. I don't think we have ever hooked a Northern deep in the gullet with those quick strikes.

And they actually may look at a quick glance like a fluke rig, but they are really totally different. Take another look.

And I totally agree with you on trebs being tough on fish, but only when used in a fixed position on hard baits, and in the larger sises. I always nip off on point of the trebs on my hardbaits, and in fact, remove the belly treb completely on 3-treb lures! Nothing is more sad then to hook (and hopefully release) a Bass with the tail treb in his lip, the middle treb in his eye, and the front treb in his head!

I'm a firm believer in catch & release, and release 99% of the fish i catch. When a species is overpopulated, stunted, or it's badly hooked, or actually you want a few for the pan- yep- keep them! But not just to show off and take pictures of.

I wouldn't promote the Quick-Strike rigs if i didn't think they were most humane. Best---- JoeW
 

dugger

Bronze Member
Joe do you buy your suckers or do you catch them?? because we got some big pike in a lake here called Cochiti lake my nearest lake, cant eat anything or I wont because its south of Los Alamos but there is some whoppers in there and we do have some canals that have suckers and it is legal to use them and trap them does anybody have something them suckers cant resist I got a couple fish bait traps!
 

mr bill

Member
catch pike all the time. love casting suspending husky jerks or trolling them during open water. on hard water i use tip-ups with shiners or smelt, jigs with the same or small spoons such as little cloes tip with a part of a minnow or smelt--depending on which lake i'm fishing on.

i have to say that JoeW has covered most of the tricks for catching pike.
 
L

Larry

Guest
Well howdy there Bill...how long have you been a member here? Good to see you here, welcome aboard! :D
 
J

JoeW

Guest
catch pike all the time. love casting suspending husky jerks or trolling them during open water. on hard water i use tip-ups with shiners or smelt, jigs with the same or small spoons such as little cloes tip with a part of a minnow or smelt--depending on which lake i'm fishing on.

i have to say that JoeW has covered most of the tricks for catching pike.
Then WHY don't i catch more of 'em! LOL, Bill! Love those nasty fish! Bass, walleyes aren't co-operating- you can always find a few Pike that ARE! Best---- JoeW

And dugger- we always buy our suckers- too hard to net enough, too hard to keep and transport, etc. I think the big 8" suckers are now $1.25 each! That's pretty expensive seafood! LOL!

Good luck PaJNS! Think- Rattletraps!
 

mr bill

Member
hey joe, i been catching pike with crappy minnows for the past week:rolleyes:and a couple of them there girls where 36"just some little ones:D
 
H

Halfa

Guest
well, I wasnt go to add my My two cents on Pike Fishing but since I am profiled right now as a Pickerel Fisherman, I thought I would spread my wings a little and fly. The methods we have used is using suspended 6 to 7 inch husky jerks, firetiger, crawdad, silver and blue, etc. fished in early May, 8 to 15 feet of water when the Pike are hangin off the edges of the suspended weed beds. Basically you would cast and jerk and reel as fast as you can along the weed beds. and when these bad boys hit, well be careful. and make sure you dont pull lure out of water too quickly. because sometimes these bad boys are on the lures trail right to the boat and will crush it right before you pull it out of water. The key is locating these areas. sometimes they will run shoal to shoal for a mile between two islands off of deep parts of lakes. Sometimes these areas are just off the shoreline.

They can also be caught right where the smallies are hangin out at this time of year. fish perpendicular to the shoals coming off the island or points off shoreline. fish the 8 foot or deeper area and sometimes even shallower, running your jerk bait across the shoal. even if the Pike aren't there, you may just find yourself with a monster Bronzeback.

next are just some photos of these outstanding to catch fish.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

8806

Banned
Out of all the pike I caught, I've caught most on a shiner or bluegill just hangin out a couple feet under a bobber and watchin the little thing swim for its life once a pike came around. Also caught one on a $.88 buzzbait from walmart with a mister twister attached.
 
H

Halfa

Guest
Hey Mo, I'll take that as a compliment. Even if we only get out for a few hours, that would be a plus. But I will definitely have an opening in my boat for you for whatever meets your schedule during the meet. as long as Pa dont sabotage the old thing.-no-
 
Top