In this article I will discuss the most common and used pike fishing techniques and their pike fishing lures. If you are new and interested in this highly recommended fishery, pick one or two techniques and learn and observe as much as possible to become a successful pike fisherman.
Pike Spoons / Crankbaits / Wobblers
The traditional northern pike lures are pike spoons and different pike crankbaits or wobblers. Many are still using these and catch many fish with them. They move in different depths from the surface to 15 – 20 feet deep and move straight forward with a wobbly and vivid movements like a sick or weakened fish. Pike spoons have to be more or less consistently retrieved if the water is shallow, but are most effective when slowly retrieved.
Crankbaits or wobblers are imitations of fish that are made of wood or plastic. They have a small plate mounted under the head at an angle of approximately 40 degrees which will press these pike lures down when pushed forward. The movements are very similar to a fresh fish with some wobbly movements. Joined wobblers have much more live movements.
Pikes are fond of these types of lures and especially big silver pike fishing spoons (ie Abu`s Toby) and jointed red and white wobblers (Abu`s HILO).
Pike swimbaits are lures made of soft plastics and come in a large variety of shapes. They are mainly imitations of fish, frogs, snakes and other undefined shapes. The main purpose of swimbaits is to create extremely lively movements which trigger predators to attack. The most effective way to fish with these are to reel them in with a jerking motion. These movements are similar to dying or injured fish, frogs or other living water creatures, and this pattern of movement is extremely effective at triggering attacks from all predators since this represents the easiest prey to catch. When pike see these lures they often attack them from longer distances than other pike fishing lures that are similar to more healthy prey.
Pike jerkbaits are very popular among pike fishing enthusiasts because they are very effective for catching pike too. These pike fishing lures are made to look like a fish and must be reeled in with jerks and snaps. This is done by nibbing with the rod tip pointing up. Different types of jerkbaits are made for fishing in different depths of water. Jerkbaits are made to represent dying fish or a weakened fish trying to escape.
Pike Top Water Lures
Fishing with pike lures that are moving on or just under the surface of the water is exciting. Pike that are in reliably shallow areas are always aware of whats going on on the surface as prey in these areas are often very easy to catch, and predators are always looking for the easiest way to fill their stomachs. Because of this, different kinds of pike poppers, jerkbaits or other top water lures are great choices for surface fishing.
It is a fact that pike eat large amounts of ducklings or frogs each year, so the combination of small birds, frogs, small mammals and dying or injured fish on the water's surface triggers ambushes from these predators. Today's top water lures are developed to imitate this group of prey both in looks and in movement. Another fun and exciting aspect of this kind of fishing is that a reaction from a pike is very visible. Often you will feel a powerful pull on the line combined with a huge splash that tears you out of your quiet relaxing state and the adrenaline rushes immediately into your veins. Personally, this is my favorite way to fish. Large buzzbaits or Spook are excellent top water lures for pike.
Northern Fly Fishing
Fly fishing for pike has become very popular and pike seem to like both poppers and large colorful and flashy flies. This type of fishing can be done from spring to autumn in relatively shallow areas. Northern flies are very effective during the spring when the water is cold and the pike are slow. Pike flies can easily be presented slowly to trigger attacks from pike. When the water is warmer and the pike hide in the weeds, it is time to use poppers.
Poppers are "flies" with a bit of floating material which will dive under the surface when you pull the line. When stopped, the popper will pop up and make waves and live movements. This is irresistible to pikes and an ambush will soon be under way when a pike spots the popper. Haggerty lures has numerous northern flies for sale and I recommend purchasing several of those if you are new to northern fly fishing.
Pike Dead Baiting
Pike dead baiting is increasing in popularity and this type of fishing has been developed and greatly improved over the last few years. With this type of fishing, you arrange a dead bait rig and then throw at an angle into hot spots. There are many ways to arrange the pike bait so that it is presented to the pike in the depths or position where you want it. When fishing in this way you can have lots of additional equipment such as fishing bite indicators, a telescopic landing net, rod stands, keep nets, and many other things to improve and take care of the catch.
Good treatment of the caught fish is a high priority among these sport fishermen. A dead bait-fish is a very good way of catching pikes since this is an easy meal for a pike and most pike will not hesitate to grab it when they spot dead bait in their hunting wanderings. Many anglers puncture the dead bait so the smell of it alone will attract some pike which could be stationary nearby, since a pike has a well developed sense of smell.
Pike Spinners / Spinnerbaits
Pike spinners come in many varieties and have been well-developed. Ordinary spinners consist of an oblong body, hooks and a rotating blade on the top. Spinners function well for small pike but pike spinners with some colorful feathers at the hooks that are retrieved slowly are more popular among pike. Mepps (black and yellow) or Abu reflex are extremely good pike spinners.
Spinnerbaits developed from ordinary spinners and are very effective in weedy waters or water that has a lot of snags. They consist of a 90 degree bent wire with rotating blades at one end and a big flashy and colorful skirt of hair or feathers with trebble hooks inside it on the other end. Llungen lures and Blue fox make very good spinnerbaits for pike and these are a good choice.
Spinners imitate prey fish and attract pike by sending visual impressions and vibrating signals to the pike since they are sensitive to all kind of vibrations in the water. These northern pike lures are often used by new and young sport fishermen and are a good choice because they usually attract several types of predator fish as perch, pike, bass and walleye.
Pike Ice Fishing
In the wintertime all fish eat very little and their metabolism is slow. They do not grow at all and there before their appetite is very poor but they do eat sometimes and anglers usually catch them with dead bait or many kinds of pike jigs.
Ice fishing can be a test of patience and often you do not see many fish under the ice, but it can be very rewarding as well. I recall when we were kids we axed large holes in the ice in shallow areas and we laid on isolating plates with covers over the head. This way we could see everything down there, and it was amazing. We saw lots of different fish pass by, some sniffing the bait but moving on, while some took the bait. We often saw large pike sniffing and studying our pike fishing lures before they moved on, but we used some of those too.
I highly recommend this as this is another exiting aspect to type of fishing. Pike ice fishing jigs are a good choice and swimming jigs are most effective in my opinion. I recommend jigging rapala or jigging shad rap. Jigging spoons are also good. Bomber or Dick Nite make great pike lures.