Disclosure: We may earn commissions if you purchase products after clicking on a link from our site.
Do you want to catch a pike? Pike has a voracious appetite and is one of the main predators in the waters. They are hard fighters and are a serious challenge for any angler. In this article, we will discuss pike fishing tips to help you learn how to catch more pikes on your fishing trips.
Table of Contents
- 1 How To Catch Pike
- 2 Pike Fishing Setup
- 3 Pike Fishing Tips
- 4 How To Catch Pike From Shore
- 5 How To Catch Pike From Ice Fishing
- 6 Pike Fishing For Beginners
- 7 How To Catch Pike In Spring
- 8 How To Catch Pike In Summer
- 9 How To Catch Pike In Fall
- 10 How To Catch Pike In Winter
- 11 Best Lure & Baits
- 12 The Bottom Line
How To Catch Pike
Trolling is one of the popular fishing methods used by anglers to catch pike. When trolling, you will slowly move the boat and have the line at the back of the boat. When a fish bites, you quickly reel in the fish. This is referred to as slow trolling as you will move the boat at 2 to 4 knots. Most of the time when you implement slow trolling, you will use live bait and go slow to keep it alive as long as possible.
Pike can also be caught by casting. Spoons, spinners, jigs, and hard plastics are used for fishing pike.
Pike Fishing Setup
A regular 7-foot medium-heavy action fishing rod with a spin-casting reel will do the job when fishing for pike. A braided line with at least a 15-pound test will work.
Pike Fishing Tips
1. Pike loves aquatic vegetation. They are at home there and chase down their prey. Look for pike in weed lines, pad fields, reed or wild rice beds, lily pads, grass, overhanging trees, and bushes.
2. Pike loves shallow areas with a lot of vegetation to provide protection and avenues for ambushing their prey. Fish for pike in these shallow areas that are close to the margins. This is one of the best pike fishing tips to remember.
3. Fish for pike early morning and late evenings. During summer, the pike is very active early in the morning. Get there just before daylight. Additionally, late evenings when it is dusk are great for pike fishing. They use the fading sunlight as cover to come out.
4. During winter, look for pike near drop-offs. Many baitfish will be in the drop-offs and pike will lurk there to target the baitfish.
5. The deep and calm backwaters in rivers are also areas to target for pike during winter and early spring.
6. Pike is an extremely hard fighter. Don’t underestimate the fight it will put up. Get a strong mainline for the violent fight that will ensue.
7. Pike are big fish and will require a big net. Don’t lose the pike because you bought a small net.
8. Use wire leaders. Pike have very sharp teeth and wire leaders are just what you need.
9. Fish for pike also in the night. Many anglers do night fishing for other types of fish. You can also fish for pike at night. They feed in shallower water at night and it might be easier to get them when you fish at night in the shallow areas and margins.
10. Be quiet and move gently. Pike are very sensitive to noise, movements, and other threats from the land when they are near the shore. Keep your shadow off the water. Additionally, wear dark colors to blend with the trees along the shoreline.
11. Change your lures. Use different types, sizes, and colors of lures. You might be surprised by the combination that works on a particular day.
12. Always try to strike up a conversation with other anglers. You might be surprised about how much valuable information you can gather from a chat with another angler.
13. Always use sharp hooks and have strong hook sets. Pike’s mouth is lined with sharp piercing teeth. You will need sharp hooks to drive deep down into its mouth. You won’t have any chance of hooking into pikes without sharp hooks.
14. Wearing polarized sunglasses will help you clearly see in the water.
15. Vary your retrieves for every lure you toss. Experiment with different retrieves and observe what was the result. Reeling in fast, sometimes slow. Try jerking action to the bait and at other times try abrupt jerks as well as subtle mini-jerks.
16. Learn the difference between males and females. The males are smaller but more aggressive. The females are larger than the males and more cautious about striking a lure.
17. Fish in deeper water early in the morning during early spring because pike will be resting in the warmer and deeper water.
18. Big female pikes feed more in cold water. Many pike anglers catch their biggest pike in cold water when the temperature is below 50 degrees.
19. Fall is one of the best times to go pike fishing. They will be aggressively feeding to put on weight for the winter months that are coming. This is especially true for females who will be producing eggs and will need all the energy to develop the eggs.
20. Find where whitefish are located. they are prime targets for pike as they have fatty meat and soft-rayed fins that are easier for pike to eat and swallow. Find Whitefish and you will have found one of the food sources of pike.
21. Start fishing heavily in March as pike starts feeding to prepare for the spawning period. Pike will become more active as the sunlight get warmer and the days are longer.
22. Pike likes to reside in deep breaks near bays with a lot of vegetation in Spring. They also will live near steep breaks close to weed beds. They like these areas in Spring for feeding in deeper water and spawning in shallow water.
23. Use dead bait in early spring either under a bobber rig or without a strike indicator.
24. If you use dead bait in early spring, always raise your bait a few feet from the bottom. Pike will be on the lookout for food that is suspended above the weeds and not buried in it.
25. Use long nose pliers for a safe and easy unhooking of the fish.
26. If you are fishing a pike, get a jaw spreader. It is very dangerous and difficult to try opening its mouth with your hands. Don’t ever do that.
27. Bring a wire cutter. Sometimes you will need to cut your wire trace when the pike is hooked too deeply.
28. Don’t be too hasty to strike right away when you get a take. Wait a few seconds. Pike usually attack their prey from the side and then slowly turn the fish in their mouth, preparing to swallow it head-first.
29. Use two treble hooks. This will increase your chances of successfully hooking the pike. Pike’s mouth is very big and it is easy for the hook to miss the target.
30. Use armor gloves to work with pike mouths. Pike’s teeth are large, sharp, and plentiful. There are 700 razor-sharp teeth that can quickly and seriously injure you.
31. Trolling and casting are two popular fishing methods used by anglers to catch pike.
How To Catch Pike From Shore
Always approach the shore lightly. You don’t want to spook fish that may be very close to the shore with heavy footsteps. Additionally, you want to minimize the noise you make when approaching the shore. If possible, mute your cell phone or turn it off.
When fishing for pike from shore, study the water to look for possible areas where fish may be hanging out. Look for weeds, cattails, wrecks, poles, fallen trees, drop-offs, humps, logs, and broken structures that may serve as cover.
Divide the body of water into three parts and work each part. If you are not getting any bites in one area for a period of time, move to the next area. You want to cover all the areas when fishing from the shore. As you cover the three areas, cast at different angles to increase your chances of getting a bite.
If you have a castable fish finder, it can help you determine the topography of the water. This information can help you know how to fish and help identify drop-offs, humps, and other areas at the bottom.
Casting using lures and baits is one of the widely used fishing methods when fishing for pike from shore. Spinners, spoons, and crankbaits are some of the lures anglers use when fishing for pike from the shore. Bottom fishing, jigging, and night fishing are other fishing methods to catch pike.
How To Catch Pike From Ice Fishing
Ice fishing for pike is the best option when fishing during the winter. The most challenging part of ice fishing is locating the pike. To improve your chances of finding pike, anglers will drill as many holes as they have lines. Jigs, spoons, and spinners are some of the lures used by anglers when ice fishing for pike.
Pike Fishing For Beginners
When fishing for pike as a beginner, casting is one of the best fishing methods to use. Learn to cast at different angles to increase your chances of getting a bite. Fishing for pike will change slightly depending on the season as they move to different levels of the water column when the season changes.
Jigging, bottom fishing, night fishing, trolling, and drift fishing are other fishing methods to use when fishing for pike if you have access to a boat. There are many lures and baits that can be used when fishing for pike.
How To Catch Pike In Spring
Before the spawning period, pike will be on a feeding spree to put on weight that was lost during the winter. They will be found in shallow water. Soft plastics, spoons, and crankbaits work well when fishing for pike during spring.
How To Catch Pike In Summer
During the summer, pike will move to deeper water to get away from the sun. Deeper in the water column will be cooler with well-oxygenated water. Additionally, it will have more baitfish that pike want to feed on. Cast for pike early in the morning and late in the evening with soft plastics.
How To Catch Pike In Fall
When fishing for pike during fall, look for weeds and other structures that may serve as cover. Concentrate on water with a depth ranging from 6-20 feet. Use spoons, soft plastics, plugs, and spinners when fishing for pike during the fall season.
How To Catch Pike In Winter
During winter, it can be challenging to fish for pike and the best method is ice fishing. Drill as many as you have lines to increase your chances of finding pike. Use spoons, spinners, and slow jigging spoons when fishing for pike during the winter.
Best Lure & Baits
Swimbaits are one of the best lures for pike and it is a popular choice for man anglers.
Spinnerbaits work well for northern pike.
Spoons are also a popular choice for northern pike among anglers.
Crankbaits are also good lures for pike, especially lipless crankbaits.
Jigs and soft baits work well for pike fishing.
Jerkbaits work well to attract pike as a lure.
7. Soft Baits
Soft baits and jigs are good lures for pike fishing.
Topwater lures work well to attract pike.
The Bottom Line
The Pike is truly an exciting fish to target. It has a great appetite, is very aggressive, and grows to a very large size. It is the consummate predator and gamefish. In this article, we discuss pike fishing tips to help you learn how to catch more pike and be a better angler.
It is our hope that whether you are a beginner pike angler or an experienced angler, there will be takeaways that can help you improve your fishing skills. If you also fish for bass, this article on bass fishing tips can help you take more bass home.