Pike Fishing Secrets – How to Bait and Catch Pike Fish

pike fishing tips

Pike fishing is one of the most interesting and exciting activities any fishing enthusiast could consider. Experienced fishermen see pike as one of the greatest fishing challenges of all time, and today, even beginners can try catching their first pike after learning a few (more or less) simple tricks.

Pike are predators, and this is one of the main reasons why they’re hard to catch. Despite their large sizes, they can be really fast and strong and they often play with their prey.

Muskellunge (commonly known as muskie) and northern pike are two of the most well-known species and muskie are even some of the rarest types of pike, which makes catching one even more exciting.

About Northern Pike and Muskie

big northern pike
Northern pike are common in Europe, as well as North America, being found in most of the 50 American states. Their color is typically olive green with yellow spots and fins that are either reddish or green with yellow stripes, and they are mostly found in lakes, streams and clear rocky waters.

Northern pike can grow to large sizes sometimes, reaching lengths of more than 4 feet. The heaviest pike ever caught weighed about 68 pounds, which says a lot about why fishermen consider these fish, as well as pike fishing in general, to be a real challenge.

Muskie are similar to northern pike regarding their behavior and appearance. They are also predators and live in lakes or large rivers. They can mostly be found in the northern parts of Minnesota or Wisconsin, as well as higher up north, in Canada, and while most of them are about 30 inches long, there have been rare accounts of fishermen who caught specimens that were larger than 50 inches.

Considering the length and speed of these fish, catching them is no simple matter, and you will need the best equipment for the job.

Pike Fishing Equipment

There are a lot of things you will have to keep track of, when planning to catch pike. Your equipment is probably the most important of them. What you need to do first then is to get yourself a rod and some fishing gear.

When it comes to pike fishing, your rod always has to be longer than average. This has a few important advantages like the fact that you can cover a larger area. Also, your hook will have to be very sharp. This is because pike have bony mouths, and you may have a great deal of trouble trying to catch them with regular hooks.

Since you have hooks, it may also be important to know how to remove them from the pike’s mouth. Make sure you have some pliers close by for this, since taking the hooks out with your hand is never a good idea.

Try to get the best bait you can find: propbaits, jigs, bucktails and spinner baits can all be great when you go pike fishing, but make sure you ask around for the best prices, as some of these can be expensive. You can get information from your local fishing store or even search around on the internet to find out what the best prices are for some types of baits.

Once you have all of this covered, you’ll be ready to catch yourself some pike; so let’s see what exactly you have to do to improve your odds. One thing is for sure, the fish will put up a fight, and if you’re not ready, you might have to face the disappointment of losing one of the largest fish you had ever caught.

Tips on How to Catch Pike

north america muskie fishing

  • When sitting down for some pike fishing, the first thing you have to do is keep feeling the rod for vibrations, as this will tell you whether the pike is ready to bite or not.
  • Pike are predators, so they won’t be too attracted if your bait doesn’t move. If you don’t want the fish to lose interest, play with the bait all the time, and instead of slowing down when you notice the pike is following, jerk the rod to one side, and the pike will probably strike in that very moment.
  • If you are using a net, try to avoid the most common types of nets, as these may damage the pike’s fins. Instead, go for rubber ones.
  • When it comes to pike fishing, depending on whether you’re on the shore or on a boat, you’ll have to use different methods of getting the fish out of the water when it strikes. If you are on a boat, give the rod a tug when you feel that the fish is pulling on the hook, and try to land it swiftly into your net. If you’re on the shore, on the other hand, just drag it onto the shore until you’re certain it can’t get back to the water.
  • Last, but not least, try to have as much fun as possible, but always be ready for a good fight, because the pike will surely be. They will never give up easily, and this will give you a real thrill when you manage to hook one.

What is the Best Time to Catch Northern Pike?

Before you decide to go pike fishing, always check the fishing reports to see who is catching what and where.

The best time for catching northern pike is when the water temperatures reach about 65 F degrees. This is when larger pike become stressed, and start biting subsides.

There is, of course, a lot more to talk about regarding pike fishing, but you will find that if you follow some of the tips presented here, you’ll definitely be able to start catching some big ones once you get the hang of it.