Pike Fishing Tips:

Armed with a large mouth and rows of sharp teeth, Northern Pike are one of the more ferocious feeding fish and provide an energetic battle commonly marked with long lunging runs that bend the rod of the fisherman who connects.

Northern Pike are typically caught in mid summer by spin casting in shallow water along the shoreline and adjacent to weed beds. A variety of light spin-casting and spinning reels attached to flexible rods are good and the choice of line weight is somewhat dependent upon the needs of the fisherman. Although moderately heavy monofilament line in the 10-pound range gives you an advantage in a tugging battle with a large Northern, somewhat lighter line in the 6 to 8 pound-test range provides better casting range and greater precision in placing your lure close to weed beds and cover. Whatever the line weight, it is important to use a long, metal leader (at least 6 inches long) between the end of your monofilament line and the lure. Aggressive Northerns often swallow the lure "hook, line and sinker" and their sharp teeth can easily cut monofilament line. Also keep long-nosed pliers handy to dislodge the hook and save your fingers from their teeth.

A wide variety of lures can be used to entice Northern Pike. Fairly large spoons such as the daredevil are attractive presentations as are numerous plugs and baits that mimic the appearance and action of a minnow. Live bait including worms and minnows can also be used to bobber-fish for pike from the bridge, in front of beaver houses, at the entrances of streams and adjacent to weed beds.

Many anglers concur that Northern Pike taste better when caught in early spring or fall when the water is cooler. At these times, the pike are somewhat more difficult to catch than in mid summer because the weed beds are less well developed and the Northerns are more scattered throughout the lake possibly following bait fish. Techniques of trolling or spin casting with large spoons can be used to cover larger areas under these conditions and bring on an attack.

Northern Pike that you choose to keep and eat need to be cleaned and scaled. Pike have a series of Y-shaped bones along their flank. Special filleting techniques are useful to remove strips of flesh from between these bones and provide tasty bone-free fillets for a good meal at the end of the day.