The Ultimate Guide to Northern Pike Fishing with Northern Lures

northern pike lures

Northern pike fishing is an exhilarating and rewarding experience for anglers of all skill levels. These freshwater fish are known for their aggressive strikes and powerful fights, making them a favorite target among many anglers. However, to effectively catch northern pike, it is essential to choose the right lures that will entice these lurking predators.

In this guide, we will explore the different types of lures specifically designed for pike and provide valuable tips and techniques to help you succeed on your next fishing trip.

Understanding Northern Pike Fishing

The behavior and habitat of northern pike

Northern pike are apex predators that exhibit highly aggressive and predatory behavior.

They are opportunistic feeders and will strike at almost anything that moves in the water, including other fish, amphibians, and even small mammals. Their sharp teeth and muscular bodies make them formidable opponents for anglers.

When it comes to habitat, northern pike are highly adaptable and can be found in a variety of environments. They are commonly found in freshwater lakes, rivers, and reservoirs with abundant vegetation and cover.

Pike prefer areas with dense weed beds, submerged logs, and drop-offs, where they can ambush their prey. Understanding their behavior and preferred habitats is crucial in successfully targeting these elusive fish.

The challenges of pike fishing

One of the challenges of fishing for pike is dealing with their sharp teeth. Pike have rows of razor-sharp teeth that can easily cut through fishing lines and leaders.

To prevent bite-offs, it is recommended to use a steel leader or heavy fluorocarbon leader when targeting pike. This will help protect your line from being severed by their teeth.

Another challenge is handling larger pike once they are hooked. These fish can reach impressive sizes, with some exceeding 40 inches in length and weighing over 20 pounds.

Landing and handling such large fish requires proper technique and equipment. It is important to have a sturdy landing net and to handle the fish with care to ensure its safe release.

Understanding the behavior and habitat of northern pike, as well as overcoming the challenges associated with fishing for them, is crucial for success on the water.

In the next section, we will delve into the different types of lures that are highly effective in enticing these voracious predators.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this ultimate guide, where we will explore the essential lures for northern pike and provide valuable insights into their use and effectiveness.

Essential Lures for Northern Pike Fishing

Northern’s are known for their aggressive nature and voracious appetite, making them a popular target for anglers.

When it comes to lure selection, choosing the right lure is essential for success.

In this section, we will explore some of the top lures that every angler should have in their tackle box.

Spinner baits: The versatile pike lures

Spinnerbaits are one of the most effective lures for targeting northern pike.

These lures consist of a metal blade that spins around a wire arm, creating enticing vibrations and flashes in the water, finished with a single or treble hook.

The combination of flash and vibration makes spinnerbaits highly effective in attracting pike and triggering their predatory instincts.

Our Top Choice Spinnerbait

Strike King FSB38CW-538SG Finesse KVD Spinnerbait, Chartreuse Sexy Shad
193 Reviews
Strike King FSB38CW-538SG Finesse KVD Spinnerbait, Chartreuse Sexy Shad
  • Smaller, redesigned Perfect Skirt
  • Offical KVD insignia
  • Realistic look
  • Smaller profile

When choosing spinner baits for pike fishing, it’s important to consider the size and color. Larger spinnerbaits with bright colors like chartreuse or orange are often more effective in murky water, while smaller spinnerbaits with natural colors like silver or white work well in clearer water. Additionally, spinnerbaits with tandem blades tend to create more flash and vibration, making them ideal for pike fishing.

Johnson Silver Minnow Spoon: A classic lure

The Johnson Silver Minnow Spoon is a classic lure that has been used by anglers for decades to catch northern pike and is still one of the best lures out there. This spoon lure features a unique wobbling action that mimics a wounded bait fish, making it irresistible to hungry pike. The spoon’s weedless design allows it to be fished in areas with heavy vegetation, where pike often lurk.

Berkley Johnson Silver Minnow Silver 2 3/4in - 3/4 oz
328 Reviews
Berkley Johnson Silver Minnow Silver 2 3/4in - 3/4 oz
  • Fishing Lure with metal weed guard
  • Brass blade designed for long casts
  • Plated with pure silver or 24K gold for a Brighter flash than chrome or brass Spoons
  • 35-Degree Wobble Rocks back and forth but won't' roll and twist line
  • Silver color

To use the Johnson Silver Minnow Spoon effectively, cast it out and let it sink to the desired depth before retrieving it. The spoon’s wobbling action can be enhanced by varying the retrieval speed, with a steady retrieve often being the most effective. It’s also important to pay attention to the location of your target, as they are often found in deeper water near weedbed and drop-offs.

Jerk Baits: Tempting pike with erratic movements

Jerkbaits are another popular lure choice for northern pike fishing.

These lures mimic injured baitfish by imitating their erratic movements.

Jerkbaits typically have a hard plastic body with two or three treble hooks, and they are designed to be twitched and jerked to create a lifelike action in the water.

Our Favorite Jerk Bait

Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait 08 Fishing lure (Silver, Size- 3.125)
479 Reviews
Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait 08 Fishing lure (Silver, Size- 3.125)
  • The adrenaline-pumping X-Rap slashbait has Xtreme attitude with its hard-cutting, aggressive darting action.
  • Running Depth: 3-8 ft
  • .25 Oz
  • The integrated long-casting system partners with an irresistible rattle and classic Rapala action.
  • It suspends and comes to a roll at rest to trigger the bite.

When working jerk baits, it’s important to vary the speed and cadence of the retrieve to imitate the movements of injured bait fish.

A combination of sharp twitches and pauses can often entice pike to strike. Jerkbaits are particularly effective in colder water when pike are less active and more likely to go after slower-moving prey.

Soft Plastic Lures: Mimicking baitfish

Soft plastics are extremely versatile and can be rigged to imitate a variety of baitfish that pike prey upon. Whether it’s a shad, trout, or yellow perch, there is a soft plastic lure that can mimic it.

These lures are typically made of soft, flexible material and can be rigged with a jig head or a weedless hook.

Soft baits catch the bigger fish

One of the advantages of using soft plastic lures for pike fishing is their versatility. They can be fished in a variety of ways, including casting, trolling, or jigging. Additionally, soft plastics can be rigged weedless, allowing anglers to fish them in areas with heavy vegetation without getting snagged.

Here is our Favorite Softbait for Pike

Delong Lures 8' Jerk KILR EEL Fishing Lures & Baits, Saltwater and Freshwater Fishing Lures, Jerkbaits for Largemouth Bass, Musky & Pike, Soft Plastic Baits Ideal for Pond, Creek & Lake - Made in USA
56 Reviews
Delong Lures 8" Jerk KILR EEL Fishing Lures & Baits, Saltwater and Freshwater Fishing Lures, Jerkbaits for Largemouth Bass, Musky & Pike, Soft Plastic Baits Ideal for Pond, Creek & Lake - Made in USA
  • EASY TO USE: Work it like a bass fluke. It is designed to be stiff with slightly off-set hooks. It has hard wings and fins that cause it to move very erratically. This fishing lures bass is worked with short hard jerks. It darts up and down and side to side. It is different than any other crankbaits for bass fishing on the market and drives predator fish crazy!
  • DISTINCT AND LIFELIKE SOFT FISH LURES: Delong Lures muskie swim baits for bass fishing are designed and handcrafted by expert artisans with years of experience in the fishing industry. Our slow-sinking soft swimbaits use high-quality plastic to ensure durability and longevity. These swimbaits for bass fishing are perfect for long casting, deep sinking, and high catching rates.
  • ANISE SCENTED AND ANIMATED LURE: Get ready to catch the biggest predator in the saltwater or freshwater with Delong Lures fish lure. Our fish bait freshwater is Anise scented for maximum effectiveness and features realistic eyes to attract more fish underwater. The fins cause these large musky fishing baits to move erratically attracting fish like musky, catfish, and pike.
  • BUILT FOR PERFORMANCE: The 3D structure of these cool fishing lures is specifically designed to create more crazy, erratic, and pronounced action underwater. Work the fishing soft plastic lures hard and fast as jerk baits, and it will work similarly to top water musky lures. Our bass baits and lures are unlike your typical soft fishing lures and baits like bull dawg lures, catfish lures, or mizugiwa lures. It produces a different action and presentation the fish are not used to seeing
  • VERSATILE LURES FOR YOUR TACKLE BOX: Delong Lures fishing topwater lures are available in multiple styles to help you catch big predator fishes like largemouth and smallmouth Muskie, pike, big bass, Cobia, Tarpon, Barracuda, King Mackerel, and more. Our Black, Black/Orange, Brooke Trout, FireTiger, Frog, Perch, Walleye, and WhiteTiger saltwater swimbait also make excellent fishing gifts for men and women.

When rigging soft plastic lures, it’s important to use a strong, sharp hook to ensure a solid hookset when a pike strikes.

In conclusion, having the right lures in your tackle box is crucial for successful northern pike fishing. Spinnerbaits, Johnson Silver Minnow Spoons, jerkbaits, and these are all essential tools for luring in these predatory fish.

By understanding the unique characteristics and actions of each of these lures, anglers can increase their chances of landing that trophy-sized pike they’ve been dreaming of.

Techniques for Successful Pike Fishing

Locating pike hotspots

When it comes to successful pike fishing, one of the key factors is being able to locate the hotspots where these fish are likely to be hiding.

Pike are ambush predators, so they tend to lurk in areas where they can easily surprise their prey. One way to identify potential pike-holding areas is to look for areas of dense weed beds or underwater structures such as fallen trees or rocky outcrops.

These areas provide cover for the pike and make it easier for them to hide and wait for their prey.

Utilizing fish finders and other technology can also greatly increase your chances of locating pike hotspots. Fish finders use sonar technology to detect underwater structures and the presence of fish.

Look for areas with a lot of activity or fish arches indicating the presence of pike.

Additionally, pay attention to any changes in the water depth or temperature, as pike are known to be attracted to these variations.

Presentation techniques for northern pike fishing lures

Once you have located a pike hotspot, it’s essential to know how to effectively present your lures to entice the fish to bite.

Varying retrieval speeds is a crucial technique for pike fishing. Pike are known to be aggressive and will often strike at fast-moving lures.

Start by retrieving your lure at a moderate speed, and if you’re not getting any bites, try increasing the speed to trigger a reaction from the pike.

On the other hand, if the pike seems sluggish, slow down your retrieve to give them more time to strike.

Fishing in Weed Beds

Working lures near a weedbed or drop-off into deep water is another effective presentation technique for pike fishing.

Weedbeds provide cover for both the pike and their prey, making them prime locations for feeding.

Cast your lure parallel to the weed bed and retrieve it along the edge, mimicking the movements of a wounded baitfish.

Fishing at Drop Offs

Drop-offs, where the water depth suddenly changes, are also hotspots for pike.

Cast your lure beyond the drop-off and retrieve it along the edge, as pike often patrol these areas in search of an easy meal.

Tips for targeting big pike

Targeting big pike requires some additional strategies and techniques. These trophy-sized pike are often more cautious and selective in their feeding habits.

One effective strategy is to use larger lures that mimic the size of the pike’s preferred prey, such as big fish, ducks, or muskrats. Large pike are more likely to go after a larger meal, so using bigger lures can increase your chances of landing these impressive fish.

Using live bait effectively can also be a game-changer when targeting big pike.

Live pike or large minnows can be rigged on a steel leader and presented in a natural manner. The movement and scent of live fish can be irresistible to big pike, enticing them to strike.

When using these fishing techniques, it’s important to use a rod and reel setup that can handle the strength and power of these larger fish.

In conclusion, successful pike fishing requires a combination of locating pike hotspots, effective presentation techniques, and targeted strategies for big pike.

By understanding the behavior and habitat of pike, utilizing technology to find hotspots, varying retrieval speeds, and using larger lures or live bait, anglers can greatly improve their chances of landing these formidable freshwater fish.

With the right techniques and the right lures, anglers can experience the thrill of battling with the northern pike and come away with a memorable fishing experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best lure for northern pike?

When it comes to choosing the best lure for northern pike, it ultimately depends on various factors such as water conditions, weather, and the pike’s behavior.

Evaluating different lures for pike fishing can be a daunting task, but there are a few tried and true options that consistently produce results.

Spinnerbaits are highly effective for pike fishing due to their versatility and ability to cover a large amount of water. Their flashy blades and enticing movement draw pike in from a distance.

Additionally, Johnson Silver Minnow Spoon is a classic pike lure that has stood the test of time. The unique wobbling action of this spoon mimics a wounded baitfish, making it irresistible to hungry pike.

When choosing a lure for northern pike, it’s important to consider factors such as the size and color of the lure. Pike have a preference for larger prey, so opting for larger lures that resemble baitfish or other prey species can increase your chances of attracting big pike.

Bright colors such as chartreuse, orange, and yellow are also known to be effective in catching the attention of pike. Experimenting with different lure sizes and colors can help you determine what works best in your fishing location.

Do northern pike like topwater lures?

Yes, northern pike are known to have a liking for topwater lures. The appeal of topwater lures for pike fishing lies in their ability to create explosive strikes and exciting surface action.

Pike lurking in weed beds or shallow areas are often drawn to the commotion caused by topwater lures. The best topwater lures for pike fishing include buzzbaits, poppers, and prop baits. These lures create enticing movements and vibrations on the water’s surface, mimicking injured prey and triggering the predatory instincts of pike.

When using topwater lures for pike, it’s important to keep in mind that pike have sharp teeth and strong jaws. Using a wire leader or heavy fluorocarbon leader is essential to prevent the pike from biting through your fishing line. Additionally, it’s important to have a slow and steady retrieve with topwater lures to allow the pike enough time to strike. Once a pike strikes, it’s crucial to wait a split second before setting the treble hooks to ensure a solid hookset.

What lures do Pike love?

Pike have a reputation for being voracious predators, and they are known to have a preference for certain lures. Popular lures among pike anglers include jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, and soft plastic lures. Jerkbaits are particularly effective in tempting pike with their erratic movements that closely resemble injured baitfish. Spinnerbaits, as mentioned earlier, are versatile lures that produce results due to their flashy blades and realistic swimming action. Soft plastic, such as swimbaits and paddle tails, are also popular choices for pike fishing as they can be rigged weedless and mimic the movement of injured baitfish.

Pike are opportunistic feeders and will go after a wide range of prey, so it’s also worth considering a fishing lure that resemble the pike’s natural prey such as yellow perch, shad, and trout. Using lures that closely resemble the local baitfish can increase your chances of enticing pike to bite. Ultimately, the best lure for pike fishing will depend on the specific conditions of your fishing location and the preferences of the pike in that area. Experimenting with different lures and techniques is key to finding what works best for you.