How To Catch A Northern Pike
The Northern Pike is a true predator and anglers must remember this when selecting a bait or lure. While many game fish will strike out of curiosity or even as a defense the northern pike is hunting. Lures need to resemble a potential meal and more often than not a big one. All pike lures share some basic characteristics in that they are large, attention grabbers that make hungry heads turn.
Daredevil –Available in a variety sizes there is a daredevil ready to tempt any species you chase, including pike. Go big and select a 41/2” size in either 11/2 or 2 oz weight, this will pull the bigger fish out of hiding. Color should be traditional red/white or yellow 5-diamond because sometimes the basics are all you need. Give it a good long cast and just before it lands give it a quick jerk, causing it to slap the water like a jumping bait fish.
Mepps Spinner –The Double Aglia in #5 is always a winning option, but if you want to go to extremes H210. With its heavy tandem brass blades and flashy skirt this big boy is 9” in length and weighs in at a hefty 3 oz. Nothing beat this when dragged through the shallows on a warm spring day.
Rapala –there is little that will outperform Rapala’s jointed minnows. The J-11, at 4 3/8” and 5/16 oz , or the J-13, at 5 ¼” and 5/8 oz , in yellow perch or silver are going to drive the big boys crazy. With a diving depth of 4-14’ these are an excellent choice when running the shallow or edge of a channel.
Hedon Plugs –Hedon makes plugs and they make them right. The Rattling Spook and Super Spook combine the size, at 4.5” and 5”, and the enticing rattling sound any hunger fish finds irresistible. When long lined at a medium speed they resemble two things – a lone, desperate minnow and a meal.
Through the ice
Mepps Syclops – like the Aglia or H210, the Syclops is a perfect lure for casting, but when dropped through a hole in the ice its clearly suited for double duty as a jigging spoon. The hot fire tiger pattern with its dark red eye, in 1/8 or ¼ oz , can be jigged up and down as effectively as it can be twitched when cast from shore. Avoid going too big as the larger lures are hard to handle through a 6” hole in the ice.
Berkley Gulp! Swimming Mullet – this favorite among saltwater anglers should definitely be in your pike tackle box. Tip a 3/8 oz. painted jig head with a pearl/white or chartreuse version and the thick , flat tail will flap about as surely as the liveliest of bait fish.
Remember to pair your pike lures with a strong mono or wire leader as their teeth will slice through most line with ease.