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Pike Fishing Guide

Updated on May 20, 2010

Introduction to Northern Pike Fishing

Pike fishing has long been a favorite among many freshwater anglers. In the fishing world, there are many choices among anglers, and fishing for different types of fish can create a very different experience. Bass, walleye, bluegill, trout, catfish, and carp are just a few examples of fish that are angled for in very different ways using different fishing gear and strategies. Northern pike fishing is popular because pike are a fish that give a really big fight that few others can match. The aggressiveness of these predatory fish make them very fun to fight while angling, and the meat is very good right out of the lake. Northern pike fishing tends to be very active as well, involving casting, reeling, trolling, and other techniques that keep the anglers active and busy. For many northern pike anglers, this is a definite plus, and one that makes chasing trophy pike far more fun than any other type of freshwater fish, and this style of fishing is definitely the complete opposite of carp fishing, or other forms of more laid back fishing like trout. Anglers who enjoy northern pike fishing love the chase, the activity, and the fight that these freshwater giants put up. If this sounds like it could be for you, then read on to learn more about northern pike fishing, including tackle, gear, strategies, and even pike fishing tips.

Pike Fishing Pics

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Close up of a northern pike.Northern pikes are predatory fish who are masters of their domain.Good looking trophy pike.Good taxidermy work on this pike.Another example of a trophy northern pike.A great haul in from some winter ice fishing for pike.Good looking pike from a distance.
Close up of a northern pike.
Close up of a northern pike.
Northern pikes are predatory fish who are masters of their domain.
Northern pikes are predatory fish who are masters of their domain.
Good looking trophy pike.
Good looking trophy pike.
Good taxidermy work on this pike.
Good taxidermy work on this pike.
Another example of a trophy northern pike.
Another example of a trophy northern pike.
A great haul in from some winter ice fishing for pike.
A great haul in from some winter ice fishing for pike.
Good looking pike from a distance.
Good looking pike from a distance.

Pike Fishing Tips

There are a lot of pike fishing tips out there, and it can be hard to figure out which ones are the best for your area.  While pike can act differently in different environments, there are some general pike fishing tips that tend to hold water no matter where you're at:

  • Lures with movement.  Pike are territorial and they are predators: they like to hit something that's moving.
  • Bigger lures = bigger fish.  Most pike don't bother with minnows or little jig like things.  If you want a shot at a serious trophy pike, you will want to use a larger lure with heavy movement like a magnum rapala to get the attention of the big trophy fish.
  • In some places noise works really well.  In a lot of places lures with a little bit of silver also tend to attract pike.

If you are looking for pike fishing tips about gear, you want a medium strength and movement rod at a minimum, and an open faced reel with line less likely to snag. Pike will put all of this to the test, and you want to make sure you're prepared when they do.  While following this northern fishing advice is no guarantee, if you take heed of these northern pike fishing tips you will avoid many of the classic mistakes that let the big ones get away easy.

Pike Fishing Tackle

There are a lot of ways to go when it comes to pike fishing tackle.  When I was a kid, we always used rapalas.  These are excellent tackle for pike because they simulate the movement of prey, disturb the water to get attention, and the three barbed hooks definitely gives you a very good fighting chance at hooking even a trophy pike.  Other popular pike fishing lures include "dare devils," spinners, or even live chubs that are rigged to swim around, but have barbed hooks set up to catch any predatory fish that thinks it's getting an easy lunch.  Smaller lures like rubber worms or small jigs don't tend to work as often, but as with any fishing advice, a lot depends on the place and exact circumstances when you're fishing.  Pike are aggressive fish, so there are many choices when it comes to finding tackle that works.

Monster Northern Pike Fishing

Northern Pike Fishing Lures

Pike fishing lures are pretty much the same as pike fishing tackle.  There's not a lot of live bait used when pursuing this fish, although one time I was reeling in a small walleye when a much larger northern hammered it, but that's definitely a very rare occurrence. As stated before, good lures can range from the classic rapala, to magnum sized rapalas, certain spinners or spoons, and other lures that make noise, flash bright colors, or otherwise get the attention of and annoy northern pike.

Ice Fishing for Trophy Pike Video

More on Northern Pike Fishing

Northern pike fishing is popular all across North America, and it's not hard to see why.  These fish can be found over a wide expanse of area, from the upper Midwest, all the way out to the West Coast, and throughout much of Canada, as well.  There is a lot to like about angling for these fish and one of the few places where they're generally not welcome is Alaska, where they are non native.  Some of the best pike fishing in the world is here, and to get rid of them anglers get to take home a ridiculous amount of the fish, making Alaska a very good destination for a lot of pike anglers.

More Northern Pike Fishing Tips

There isn't a lot more to say about pike fishing that I haven't already covered throughout this lens, so we'll leave with some very basic pike fishing tips and let you get away from the computer and back to chasing that trophy place that will look great on that one lonely wall we all have where a trophy fish should be.  So for some final basic pike fishing tips:

  • Be patient.  Pike are aggressive, but sometimes they like to toy with their prey first, so don't get frustrated if there are some light taps but no strong strikes.  They will come.
  • Don't use live bait.  Most of the time, it just doesn't work.
  • Take local advice from guides, anglers, or other local pike fishermen.

Pike Fishing, In Conclusion

Northern pike fishing has always been one of my personal favorites, because I grew up chasing pike and have fond memories of amazing fights.  We had an "ultra light" fishing rod, and for whatever reason the pike loved to hit when I was trolling or casting with that thing.  Imagine an ultra light rod that let you feel every tug and jolt of the fight with six pound test line, and a four hour range where every single cast brought in a 10-15 lb northern.  Never been so tired in my life.  Going after northerns is a thrill, and that's something that never goes away, no matter how many years you have been chasing that one trophy northern pike.

Pike Fishing Stories or Comments

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    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Although I am not in for fishing but I really enjoyed reading your well put together hub. Thank you.

    • profile image

      Amateur pike fisher 6 years ago

      Thanks for everything you said in your guide! I have been fishing for pike in a bay for about a week now and I haven't gotten any pike action :S. I'm going to buy some new lures to try and catch some pike, and hopefully a trophy sized one! Thanks for all the tips!

    • daybreak profile image

      daybreak 5 years ago from Atlantic Coast of North America

      A great hub. We have chain pickerel locally, but the information on pike fishing is helpful.

    • WebscapeOutdoors profile image

      WebscapeOutdoors 5 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Great Hub. I really enjoy fishing for pike through the ice in winter.

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