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Lure fishing for monster northern pike

Updated on July 4, 2013

Lure fishing for northern pike

There's no doubt about it. Out of all the different methods of catching monster pike lure fishing is by far the best. It is an active fishing method that is fun, exciting and exhilarating and when you hook a pike on a lure the scrap is unbelievable. Many people think that lure fishing is easy however there are some things you need to know, as well as some tips and advice that will significantly improve your catch rate. So, if you want to increase your chances of consistently hooking large pike when lure fishing read on and check out this lens.

Natural bait or a lure?

Most methods of catching pike involve using live or dead fish on the hook however lure fishing is different as it involves using totally artificial bait. A lure is made out of metal, plastic, rubber or a combination of these to which a treble fish hook is attached. Lures are made to look like small fish, frogs, mice and even water voles, however in reality lures don't look in any way natural. If you look at a lure you really do have to ask yourself the question how they catch pike, but they do. Don't ask me how or why lures catch pike, you just have to know that they do and they have caught some exceptionally large pike in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

Pike are highly territorial and to defend its home they will attack. The territorial behaviour of pike means that there are times when a pike will take a lure because it is defending its habitat and not because it is hungry. When using lures to catch pike you are either trying to entice the pike to feed and try and eat the lure, or to attack the lure and get hooked whilst it is defending its territory. This means you can actually catch a pike when it is not even hungry, which significantly increases your chances of catching a large pike. When you use other methods to catch pike, such as live baiting or dead baiting, you can only catch pike when they are hungry. So, if the pike aren't hungry you haven't got a hope in hell of catching one.

Unlike other fishing methods lure fishing is not boring

Fishing does have a reputation of being dull, mundane and boring and when you think about it, there are times when it is. Silently sitting in one spot for hours on end waiting for some fish to find your bait can be tedious and even the most dedicated anglers will agree. It is nice to be at one with nature, but when you're stuck in one place the scenery doesn't change much does it.

Lure fishing is a mobile technique and it is up to you to go and hunt for the pike, rather than waiting for the pike to come to you, and the hunter becomes the hunted. During a day's lure fishing you will search a lot of water and travelled a few miles in your quest for monster pike. Moving from swim to swim means your surroundings will frequently change, which in turn will relieve any boredom that may set in.

Lure fishing is the most exciting way to catch pike

Lure fishing is a very visual fishing method and when you fish with a lure you can often see the pike swim up to the lure, follow the lure and then attack the lure. All of this is heart in the mouth stuff. When you see a pike following a lure there is an air of anticipation when you will be asking yourself “will he or won’t he?” When the pike finally takes the lure it is usually done with such force the pike jumps right out of the water, which is when the adrenaline starts.

When pike are hooked on a lure they will often tail walk and jump out of the water many times during their fight for freedom. When pike are hooked using live bait or dead bait the fight seldom includes any tail walking or jumping, and the fight is often quite disappointing.

Panther Martin Lures

Lure fishing for Northern pike is weird because there are days when a specific lure will catch loads of fish and days and when the same lure won't tempt a bite, however change the lure and you can hook in to a monster pike the very next cast. When lure fishing for pike you should never rely on a single lure. Instead, you should have a collection of different lures that you can try out until you find the lure that hooks you a big Northern Pike.

The best way of buying lures is to buy a set and the Panther Martin lure set is one collection of lures that is worth buying. Panther Martin lures are well known and respected in the angling world, and when you use a Panther Martin lure you will soon see why. These really are top quality lures that are not only well made but proven fish catchers too.

How to fish with a lure

Many people think the best way of lure fishing is to simply cast the lure out and retrieve it, over and over again until a pike attacks it or tries to eat it. However, there is a bit more skill involved in lure fishing and when using this method to catch northern pike you need to "work the water" to ensure you cover as much water as possible and increase your chance of hooking a pike. So, what does working the water mean and how do we do it?

First off, the lure should be cast to your far left and then retrieved. The next cast should be slightly to the right of the first cast. Thereafter each subsequent cast should be slightly to the right of the previous cast until the final cast is to your far right. If you reach the far right and have not hooked a pike you need to change the lure to one that is used at a different depth and repeat the process. If you reach the far right a second time and still don't hook a pike you need to swap the lure for one that works at a different depth and repeat the process again. If, after the third time you still haven't hooked a pike it is time to admit defeat, pack up and move swims since there isn't a pike in the immediate area or if there is, you are not going to entice it in to taking your lure.

When I lure fish I usually start with a surface lure, such as a popper and work the water. If I get to the far right and have yet to catch I swap lures to a shallow diving lure and repeat the process. If I get to the far right and haven't hooked a pike I will change the lure to a deep diving lure or crank bait and repeat the process. This method allows me to explore as much water as possible at all depths.

So, rather than aimlessly throwing the lure in the water and retrieving it you can increase your chances of hooking a pike by thinking about what you're doing and working the water in a methodical way to ensure you cover as much water as possible.

The gear you need for lure fishing

Lure fishing require minimal tackle and all you need is one spinning rod, a fixed spool reel, a net and some terminal end tackle.

Since lure fishing requires you to be mobile it pays to travel light and have the absolute minimum amount of tackle as necessary. Wire traces tend to twist and kink, which weakens and damages them, therefore you do need to carry some spare wire traces. If you get a bit too keen casting out the lures they may end up getting caught in over hanging trees, snagged up in a bed of lilies or stuck in a reed bed. Consequently, you should always carry some spare lures. Whilst you do need to carry some spare tackle around with you there is no need to carry the whole content of your fishing tackle box. As you're not carrying loads of tackle around with you there is less chance you could accidentally leave some of it behind when moving between swims.

Many lure fishing rods are telescopic and will collapse from an extended length of around ten feet down to a length of a foot and a half. This means that a lure fishing rod is small enough to be kept in the trunk of a car or in a rucksack at all times, which is great for those moments when you stumble across a piece of water that looks like it may hold pike. The fact that a few lures and wire traces will fit in a small box also makes lure fishing the ideal method for those people who are always on the go.

Pike on a lure
Pike on a lure

The perfect gift for the pike angler

Not available anywhere else

Buying a gift for a pike fisherman is not an easy task. I mean, you could buy lures but with so many different types around (some of which aren't worth buying) getting the perfect lure is no easy feat. Other gifts include rods, reels and terminal tackle, which is fine if you know about pike fishing but what if you aren't too clued up or the pike angler you are buying for has everything they need? What now?

If you are looking for some pike fishing related gifts take a look at the "pike on a lure" design, which is available on a variety of different products. From mouse mats to mugs to note pads to t-shirts to phone cases, as well as a whole host of other products check out the products available from Yackerscreations

. This design is not available anywhere else online or in store so go over and check it out to buy the perfect gift for the pike angler.

Image Credit: Yackerscreations

The best time of year for lure fishing

During the summer months, when the water temperatures are higher you can often see pike chasing small fry fish just underneath the water’s surface. During the summer months pike are generally more active and will be more mobile in a bid to catch their food. Based on the pike’s behavioural patterns, it is clear to see that lure fishing works best during the summer months. This, however, does not mean that you cannot catch a pike on a lure during the winter months though. If you decide to lure fish for pike in the winter months you may be lucky and manage to pull a lure right across the nose of a pike, however the chance of you actually hooking a pike with a lure is significantly less than in the summer months. In the winter months you are better off packing the spinning rod and lures away and trying different methods to catch those monster pike.

An overview of the good points of lure fishing

It is clear to see there are many good points and advantages in lure fishing for monster pike, and these include

1) Lure fishing is active and requires you having to go and find the fish

2) Lure fishing requires minimal tackle, which means minimal costs

3) Lure fishing is the most exciting way to catch pike

4) Lure fishing can result in catching pike even when they are not hungry

5) Lure fishing is ideal for those anglers who don't like the idea of using a fish to catch another fish

What do you think is the best method for hooking large Northern Pike?

When it comes to catching pike there are three main methods. The million dollar question is "what methods account for the largest pike?" Nimbers don't matter here and we are only looking for the biggest.

What fishing method accounts for the largest pike?

See results

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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Find the largest Johnson Silver Spoon and connect a double plastic twister tail to it. I found yellow/orange twister tails to work the best. Vary your retrieves and work the water.

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 

      7 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      This pike for sure looks like a monster. If would catch anything as large as this fish, I would be very proud man!

    • HenkWillemse profile image


      7 years ago

      I haven't fished for pike yet but I really hope that oneday I might get a chance.

    • retro-gamer profile image


      7 years ago from Michigan

      As an avid angler I liked the lens. I split up using lures and also live bait when going for Pike and Muskies. I will say using a lure is easier and I use it more than live but have had success with both methods.


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