Northern Pike hit just about any lure. They are the easiest fish to catch. Here are a couple of tips to maximize the amount of strikes and some ideas for really big trophy Pike.
The very best bait is a large chub or sucker minnow but unfortunately, many lakes do not allow minnows in an effort to stop invading species.
Traditionally the best lures and probably the most popular lures are the Red-&-White Daredevil and the Yellow 5-of-Diamonds Daredevil. You use the red in clear water and the yellow in murky water. Spinnerbaits, Crankbaits, Bucktails and Williams Weedless Spoons also work well. When using a Daredevil, try casting up high and just before the lure hits the water, jerk it towards you so the lure slaps the surface. This slap sound seems to trigger a better feeding response from bigger Pike.Pike are also well known for hitting surface lures. Jitterbugs and Spooks are excellent for Pike. A growing trend in Pike fishing, which is getting very popular, is fly-fishing for Pike. With large Pike flies, you can drop the fly in an opening in the middle of thick weeds, which would not be practical for normal lures.
Where are the Pike:
Pike can be found everywhere. You will find them in the thick weeds or off shoals and even in the streams that run into the lake. Big Trophy Pike generally stay in areas where they can ambush Walleyes, Bass and small Pike.
Time of Year: In many Northern Ontario lakes Northern Pike will be shallow in the spring and summer and then start to go deep in mid-August. This is not a big issue on Lower Manitou Lake. Many Pike seem to stay shallow while others follow bass, trout and baitfish down to the edge of drop-offs. In the late summer and fall, either fish 15 feet deep off of shoals and ridges or right up in the really shallow weedy water. Some pike go really deep and you can catch them using Lake Trot techniques.
Below is a list of prime spots for big trophy Northern Pike:
- Points leading into weedy bays
- Along Wild Rice beds where there are lots of Walleyes
- Stream or river mouth
- In the thick cabbage weed or other big leaf weeds
- Under lily Pads
- Narrows between lakes or open water where Walleyes migrate
- Drop offs close to thick shallow weeds
- Deep Ridges
- Shoals or rocky points where the bass and Walleye hang out is a good spot. If the Walleyes or bass stop feeding, it may mean a big Pike has started to feed. This is when you switch to something big and flashy.