Any seasoned fisherman knows that every species of fish come with their own unique traits and attributes. These distinctive features allow you to successfully identify one particular kind of fish from another one that may be in close proximity. With all of the various fish species out there, some stand out amongst the crowd more than others.
This statement can especially be said for the Northern Pike fish which is naturally a very predatory fish species overall. Northern Pike fish are primarily found in the Northern wilderness however they have begun to migrate into places located further south in recent years.
Northern Pike tends to be most fruitful close to May which is the time for catching them throughout most of the United States and even in Canada. Since Northern Pikes are predatory, they tend to go after baitfish and panfish as their primary targets for a good meal. Because of their relatively exclusive nature, in order to catch Northern Pike fish, you typically want to look for a pike lake in your nearby area.
Much like with all fish species and types in the waters, there are several different techniques and tools that you can use in order to obtain a solid catch. Your reel, bait choice, rod, and location will all play a very important role in determining how much success you have when out there fishing for Pike. Because of all these different factors, it’s important for you to become educated about what steps you should take when approaching Pike fishing to ensure that you get optimal results from your efforts.
If you’re someone who has been interested in Pike fishing but just hasn’t been able to find the necessary resources and information you need to get started, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’re going to go over all of the most important features that you need to consider when choosing the best method to use for Northern Pike fishing.
We’ll cover in detail the main characteristics of the fish and how the location will affect your overall yield. Make sure that you read this entire guide in full so that you will be able to choose the right set of equipment and tools to begin your Pike fishing adventures.
To begin, we’re going to look at some of the main places that you’ll find Northern Pikes so that you can plan your trip before going out on the water.
Top Northern Pike Fishing Rod Recommendation
Piscifun Torrent One Piece Baitcasting Rod – IM6 Carbon Casting Rod
The Piscifun Torrent One Piece Baitcasting Rod – IM6 Carbon Casting Rod is made out of high-quality IM6 carbon fiber which makes the rod very lightweight however extremely resistant to damage and breaking. The rod comes equipped with a Pure Power transition action that uses a computer in order to control rod warping automatically. The rod is also outfitted with some unique features such as a carbon blank and a graphite reel seat for added stability while fishing out in the water.
This rod comes with a lifetime warranty provided by the manufacturer so you’ll always have the assistance you need in the event of any accidents. The rod also comes with very specific action adjustments and length options which allow you to get the perfect configuration for catching pike in just about any climate. The rod is very sensitive yet durable which will enable you to latch onto Pike when they bite and keep them on the end of your hook very easily.
Where can you fish for Northern Pike?
The main prey of pike fish tends to be aquatic life forms that reside near the sea and underwater vegetation. The most common prey that Pikes like to eat include fish such as bluegills, largemouth bass, and other similar species. Pikes are known as one of the most widely recognized freshwater predators in existence today so it will take time and skill in order to perfect the technique you use to catch them.
Because of their advancement and evolution over the years, Pikes have developed the perfect body and approach when it comes to catching a significant amount of prey in virtually any environment they happen to occupy.
The main characteristics of Northern Pike fish include massive teeth that stick out of their mouths in addition to very slim and long bodies that allow them to swiftly pass through the water with agility and force. These traits are also the same advantages that these species of fish used to catch prey in very grassy habitats.
Experienced fishermen know to stake out by large patches of underwater vegetation and greenery because that is the most common place where you will find Pikes sitting to locate their next potential meal. Pikes are also known to be more aggressive during the winter months so if you find a grass area on the water during the cold, your chances of catching Northern Pikes is significantly increased.
Now that we’ve covered how to locate Pikes for fishing, we’re going to detail how you can find the right rod for your Pike fishing adventure.
Choosing the Best Rod Combination for Catching Northern Pike
Northern Pikes are known to be a bit more on the aggressive side when it comes to reeling them in. Because of this, it’s important for you to know the key factors which you should look for when selecting the perfect rod to catch them. There are a lot of different rod options out on the market for you to choose from and all of them vary in terms of their overall durability, length, and performance.
To help you make an educated decision about which rod will be best for you to catch pike with, we’re going to detail some of the most important factors that you need to consider before finalizing your purchase on which rod will be best for your needs.
The rod that you choose to fish with plays an important role in how successful you’ll be at catching and reeling in the pike that you come across. When trying to catch Northern Pike, you need to make sure that your rod is packing the responsiveness and power you’ll need in order to catch pike successfully.
The rod that you choose to utilize on your pike fishing trip should always come with considerable overall weight. Northern Pike are known to be very heavy and strong due to their resistance to other predatory fish which they’ve developed over time. Heavy-duty spinning rods are typically the best option to go with in terms of catching pike fish however a fast action baitcasting reel will work just fine for pike fishing also.
The objective when catching pike fish is always to cast your line as far as possible while exerting the minimal amount of physical effort as possible. All of the rod configurations that we listed above will work just fine when it comes to catching pike fish however there are other options out there for you to choose from.
A rod with a heavily reinforced metal body will provide enough support for you to cast your line and reel in pike without putting too much physical strain on your body itself. The last thing that you want to do is choose a lightweight rod then try to catch pike. By doing this, you will learn very quickly why a heavy-duty rod is always preferred for catching pike.
In the 2nd place of importance right behind the rod that you choose is the type of line used for catching pike fish. For catching pike, you need a line that has very little give in terms of being able to stretch or have elasticity. These sorts of a line are terrible for pike fishing because the species is known to be very aggressive when attempting to reel them in.
Pike is very powerful also which is why you’ll need a line that can handle a large amount of force being applied to it without breaking. Choosing the right heavyweight rated line will allow you to sink your hooks in much deeper when catching pike reduced the odds of line failure while out on the water. A line with a dark color and a braided pattern is optimal because the pike won’t be able to gain clear visibility on the line while underwater.
The braided pattern also adds more security and strength to the line overall increasing your odds of reeling in a catch successfully. Your line should be rated for at least 20lbs.-40lbs. in order to increase your odds of catching pike successfully. You want to reel in pike as soon as possible to ensure that they remain in a healthy condition for surviving once placed back in the water. This is why a heavyweight braided line is the best option to go with in terms of catching pike.
Northern Pike fish are known to have very sharp teeth which can bite through just about anything that you throw in their way. To ensure that you maintain a steady grip on your Pike, you should avoid using wire leaders at all costs. It’s always best to use a leader with a minimal length of about 12 inches and a pound rating for around 30lbs.
By choosing a leader that fits all of these configuration specifications, you will optimize your overall ability to cast and troll your line. If you plan to fish on top of the water, you want to make sure that you choose a leader that has a length of about 6 inches to avoid drowning your leader.
The compatibility between your hook and bait will also play a huge role in determining how successful you’ll be at catching pike. Hooks in size ranging from 8/0 to 10/0 are optimal for catching pike fish because they offer the right amount of stability with added strength to reel them in with ease. Circle hooks or long-shanked hooks will provide you with the most accurate grip and reel-in ability than other hook types available. These sorts of hooks can be easily removed from the fish after being caught and will reduce the odds of hook swallowing occurring.
While oftentimes you will be able to avoid using a fishing net, Pike is one of those species where a net could mean the difference between you catching one and not catching any. Northern Pike is a very large fish and possesses an innate ability to thrash violently once caught on the end of a hook. By having a heavy-duty fishing net in your arsenal of equipment, you’ll be able to latch onto pikes much easier and maintain solid control over them when trying to get them into your boat.
Set of Pliers
With most fish, you can simply use a glove to remove the hook from their mouth once caught. Pike fish, on the other hand, have very sharp teeth that will make quick work of your flesh. Because of this, you need to pack a pair of needle-nosed pliers on your expedition so that you can avoid any potential issues during the unhooking process.
Now that we’ve covered all of the equipment and tools you’ll want to carry with you on your pike fishing exploration, it’s time to cover some of the basics of how you can spot them out in the water.
Characteristics of Northern Pike and How to Spot Them Apart
The worst feeling for any fisher is putting an immense amount of time into finding the right equipment and location only to go out on the water and catch the wrong fish. This happens a lot more frequently than you might think due to how relatively easy it is to mistake certain fish species for ones that may share similar characteristics. Northern Pikes have very distinctive features that you’ll want to look out for when attempting to catch some.
In the following section, we’re going to detail some of the key attributes and characteristics that you can use to accurately identify Northern Pikes against other creatures out in the sea. Make sure you read this section in full so that you can eliminate all doubts when it comes to spotting a pike in the water.
Northern Pike Characteristics
- Length- northern pikes are very large freshwater fish than can come in lengths varying from 20 inches all the way to 71 inches. The average lifespan of a pike in their natural habitat is about 15yrs.
- Color- pikes come in a variety of different colors which you’ll want to pay attention to. They can appear either grey, blue, or black depending on the region in which you’re fishing for them. Pikes are also known to have very slimy and smooth skin so this is an important feature to recognize when trying to catch them.
- Shape- pikes are very long and have a shape that reminds you of a torpedo, the snout on them is very thick and wide in addition to being very flat. Their snouts also look like duck beaks which is a cool tip you can use to identify one.
- Teeth- pikes have very sharp teeth which line the entire inside of their mouths making them a menace to look at. Pikes also regularly shed and replace their teeth in order to maintain supreme efficiency when it comes to hunting their prey.
- Fin- pikes have dorsal fins that are pushed to the far rear of their bodies and it is really soft.
- Body- The body of a pike fish will be covered in spots however the color can change depending on the specific species of the pike. The cheeks of pike fish are covered in scales however the lower portion of their body near the gill does not have any which is a tell-tale sign of a pike fish. Northern Pikes tend to have only five underjaw pores which is one of the best ways to identify them when aside from other fish species.
These are some simple yet very accurate and effective tips that you can use to identify a pike. When you’re out on the water, make sure you pay attention to these small details so that you can be sure you’re hooking the right fish.
Now that we’ve covered the basic appearance and characteristics of pike fish, it’s time to look at some interesting facts about these fascinating sea creatures that you may not know.
Interesting Facts About Northern Pike Fish
Northern Pikes is one of the most unique fish species out there for fishers to track down and catch. They have a long history and some quirky nuances that are not commonly known by the regular fisher. To make sure that you know as much as possible about this species before going out to hook them, we’re going to go over some of the most interesting facts related to Northern Pike fish that you may not know about.
- Northern Pike has been in existence for approximately 65 million years which makes them one of the oldest fish species alive today.
- Female Pike fish tend to be a lot larger and heavier than their male counterparts
- Female Pike fish can produce up to 200,000 eggs during the springtime which allows their offspring to grow in time for their primary months of hunting during the winter
- Because they are one of the largest freshwater fish species in the water, Pike fish do not have many enemies or other fish species which view them as prey, allowing them to live and thrive
- Young Pike fish tend to be the target of large birds such as eagles and even some land animals like foxes
These are some very interesting facts about the Pike fish that you may have not known before. Hopefully, these fun facts give you a new appreciation and love for the species all around. Now, it’s time to look at some great tips that you can use when catching Pike fish in different seasons.
Seasonal Fishing Tips for Northern Pikes
Pike fish are known to habitat a lot of different areas and they can be found during any season although the winter months tend to see the most activity. Depending on the season that you’re fishing for Pike fish in, your overall approach and method should be suited to deal with the added variables of the particular season in question.
In this section, we’re going to go over some really great tips that you can use in order to catch pike fish during any season. You can use all of these tips to optimize your fishing technique according to the specific season that you’re attempting to catch Pike fish in.
Spring- Pike fish tend to spawn in very shallow waters during the spring season, you can also find them around large areas of aquatic vegetation and plants.
Summer- During the summer months, Pike fish like to be at the deepest part of the body of water in which they habitat. You can typically find them at the bottom of ponds and near the middle of lakes. Pike fish are also often located near the river banks during the summer months because their prey is being caught by fishermen which attracts them.
Fall- In the fall you can find Pike fish in shallow waters again near grass mats or reeds. This can be a very advantageous position for you to catch them in because near shallow waters they will bite bait quite easily.
Winter- During the winter months, Pike fish will tend to be near the middle of rivers and lakes because this is their primary time for attacking prey. The metabolism of Pike fish also slows down during the winter months which makes them swim a lot slower making it easier for you to catch them.
All of the information mentioned above can be really useful for those attempting to fish for Pike during different seasons. Keep all of the small subtleties that we mentioned above in mind when fishing for Pike during different seasons so that you can optimize your overall catch.
Now that we’ve covered how to spot Pike fish during any season of the year, let’s look at the optimal lure type that you should use when searching for Pike.
Best Lures To Use for Catching Northern Pike
Pike fish are very responsive and adaptive to their surrounding environment, because of this, the type of lure that they’re attracted to will all depend on the location and water conditions of which they are located in. There are some key elements to any lure however that will ensure a Pike bit on the end of your line. These lures consist of spinners and blades which accurately mimic the natural behavior of Pike prey increasing the odds that they will bite on your bait.
To help you understand the fundamental differences between the various lures that you can use for Pike fishing, we’re going to cover some of the most popular options in depth. Each lure type will have its own advantages when compared to another, this is key when catching Pike so you want to ensure that you select the right choice.
Spoon lures are a great option to choose when fishing for Pike because they mimic one of their natural Prey animals very accurately which is the baitfish. You always want to position your spoons at a swivel on your leader because they are known to spin in the water quite a lot. This is also a great way to reduce the odds of your line twisting into a knot.
Inline spinners are also another great option to select when catching Pike fish because they also tend to mimic baitfish quite well which is the primary prey of the Pike fish. Even when using inline spinners, you want to make sure that they are positioned at a swivel on the end of your header to give you maximum power and control when reeling in Pike.
Topwater lures are designed to float near the top of the water which makes them an optimal option for catching Pike fish. This is due to the fact that Pike usually feeds on natural prey that lures near the top of the water to increase your odds of catching one while out on the water.
Pike fish are known for feeding on dead mice and rats which may find themselves in their waters. For this reason, topwater mice and rats are the ideal lures option to use when fishing for Pike fish as they almost guarantee a bit on your bait as long as you’re in the right area.
Frog specifically topwater frog specifically is another great lure selection for catching Northern Pike fish because you can easily cast them out onto the banks and bring them back to your primary location with ease.
Soft Plastic Lures
When it comes to soft plastic lures, you can use anyone that is also designed for smallmouth bass and largemouth bass. Soft plastic lures are great because they come in a wide variety of different designs and colors all of which can help you catch Pike much easier.
As a side note, Pike is known to be attracted to bright colors so if you can find a lure that is very bold in appearance, your chances of catching one go up significantly.
Now that we’ve gone over the best type of lure to use when catching Pike fish, it’s time to answer some of the most commonly asked questions people have when it comes to the alluring species.
Questions & Answers: About Northern Pikes
By now, you know all of the intricate details and information that you’ll need to take with you when fishing for Pike. There is never such a thing as being overprepared however which is why we’re going to answer some of the most common questions that people have about Pike below.
Q: Where can I easily find Northern Pike fish?
A: Pikes are known to settle near the northern parts of the United States and across the Northern river systems of Canada.
Q: When do pike fish spawn?
A: Pikes are known to spawn during the spring season however you can find them during other months of the year also.
Q: Are Pike fish hard to catch?
A: The answer to this question can vary all depending on the area in which you’re fishing. Generally speaking, Pike is known to be very aggressive feeders and will latch on to just about anything that hits the water near them. For this reason, Pike is not known to be “hard” fish to catch although they can provide some difficulty in terms of their sheer power.
Can you fish for pike all year round?
Pikes unlike some other fish species that are known to only come out during very specific times of the year can be found in just about any season. Pikes are known to spawn themselves in very high numbers during the winter months however with the right knowledge and key details to look for, you can latch onto a Pike during just about any season.
Pikes are very well-known for swarming around the area which has large amounts of vegetation and grass. So regardless of the season, you should always look for these attributes in your location to easily spot if there are any Pike around.
Now that we’ve covered all of the important facts that you need to know about Northern Pikes, it’s time to look at our recommendations for the best Pike Fishing rod.
Our Top Northern Pike Fishing Rod Recommendations
There are a lot of different rod options for you to choose from when it comes to catching Pike fish. You want to remember what we discussed in earlier sections of this guide in terms of the build quality and power you need to look for when choosing the best rod for your needs. in the following section, we’re going to list our top Pike fishing rod recommendations so that you can be confident when you go out on the water.
Keep in mind, all of these recommendations will vary in terms of their design and overall features. You should always keep your desired fishing approach in mind when choosing which rod is best for you Pike fishing adventures to ensure you’re making the right choice.
#1 Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod
The Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod is designed with a unibody frame made out of stainless steel so you never have to worry about it breaking while out fishing. The build of this rod ass power and strength in areas which will be very useful especially when attempting to lure in Pike fish.
The rod also features graphite reinforcement in several sections to give you added to support all the way around. This rod is very lightweight yet it’s also very reliable and stable making the perfect mix of elements that you can use to optimize your Pike fishing technique. The extra graphite molding on the rod adds sensitivity in all the right places so you maintain maximum control under all circumstances.
#2 St Croix Triumph Casting Rod
The St Croix Triumph Casting Rod is made out of high-quality SC!! Graphite material which adds the perfect blend of power and flexibility. The rod comes with an incredible amount of hook-setting power which will be very useful for catching Pike during different seasons and in different climates.
This rod comes equipped with tuned actions and the built-in taper adds more performance to the overall design. The guides on this rod are made from hardened aluminum-oxide in addition to having a black frame which makes the rod incognito once the tip is in the water. The handle on this rod is made out of a very durable cork material which makes it comfortable to hold and use over extended periods of time.
#3 Abu Garcia Vengeance Casting Fishing Rod
The Abu Garcia Vengeance Casting Fishing Rod is packing a 24-ton graphite body and frame which makes the rod lightweight yet very durable. The rod also comes outfitted with stainless steel guides that have integrated titanium oxide inserts for added power and performance. This rod uses a comfortable high-density EVA handle that adds stability and control to the rod itself. This rod comes in many different length configurations and other options which allow you to select the perfect fit for your needs.
#4 Fenwick HMX Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Fishing Rod
The Fenwick HMX Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Fishing Rod is packing a premium design using a stainless-steel body that gives you maximum support and durability while casting your reel. The rod is also outfitted with integrated slopped guides made out of stainless steel that come with built-in zirconium inserts for extra control over your line. This rod has an intermediate action that is made out of carbon fiber for damage resistance like no other.
The rod also comes backed by a 5yrs manufacturer warranty so you can always get immediate help in the event that your rod stops functioning properly. This rod has a premium handle made out of cork and it has tac grips which allow you to maintain a steady hold on your rod under all conditions. This rod even comes in a full hand model for those with larger body types.
#5 KastKing Speed Demon Pro Tournament Series Bass Fishing Rod
The KastKing Speed Demon Pro Tournament Series Bass Fishing Rod is a beast of a fishing rod. It comes with a 15-adjustment action mechanism that allows you to get the perfect configuration for your intended catch every time. The rod also features a carbon fiber blank integration and nano resin technology which reduces the overall weight of the rod by an impressive 30%. This rod is also outfitted with S-glass near the crank levers to ensure that you can adjust your rod to the perfect settings under all conditions.
The rod comes with fuji guides and reel seats which makes sure that the rod stays in place during kinetic exchanges when attempting to reel the fish into your boat. This rod is also outfitted with WINN grips which make sure that you can maintain control over your rod no matter how much of a fight the Pike is giving you.
The grips on this rod are also very comfortable which allows you to use the rod for extended periods of time without your hands getting tired. This rod comes in many different configuration options that you can choose from which adds to its versatility.
We’ve gone over all of the most important factors and variables that you need to consider when attempting to catch Northern Pike fish. If you’re serious about your fishing, use all of the tips and information that we’ve included in this guide to help you find the best method and equipment you need to begin your Pike catching spree.
By utilizing all of the resources we’ve compiled into the guide, you will be able to optimize the way you catch Pike and you will also learn how to pick them apart from the crowd in areas where other fish species are also common. As long as you follow the advice and useful points that we’ve outlined here, you should have no problem catching Pike, choosing the right tools to catch them, and finding the perfect location to see them in action.