Almost all large game fishers are predatory in nature, however, the intensity varies. Towards this end, the northern pike is perfectly cut out to be an instinctive predator and its rapacious instincts have hardly undergone changes since the last 60 million years they’ve existed.
You don’t have to be a pro at angling to make out a northern pike as this fish species can be easily identified by its serpentine body, slimy texture elongated and flattened snout with spiked teeth.Pikes abound in the freshwater bodies in Northern Hemisphere particularly in North America, Russia, and Europe. Northern pikes are sought out by the most professional of anglers because of their aggressiveness and tenacity to fight back after they’ve hooked. Trying to hook a pike will challenge your angling skills. Make yourself conversant with the ensuing Northern Pike fishing tips to make the most out of your outdoor angling trips as well as to become a pro.
If you stay somewhere in Southern Canada or Northern US, late spring is definitely the most appropriate to go pike hunting or fishing. Completely rejuvenated after spawning, they’re on a ravenous prowl looking for live baits like muskrats, large frogs, and large fishes to satiate their appetites. In the height of summer, you’d be catching more pikes when you position yourself on the shoreline.
If you want to focus mostly on catching trophy size northern pikes then wait out till the fall season when the larger fishes of the species drive away the smaller ones to deeper, colder depths for feeding ravenously before retreating into the deep with the onset of winter. The best season to hunt for northern pikes lasts from the middle of August to mid-September because it is during this period that you get to hook the bigger varieties. However, you should be prepared to bait fewer fishes at the same time to compensate for a bigger catch.
This is one area where many anglers get trapped themselves, what kind of tackle will be perfect for luring the pikes. There are no hard and fast rules on what exactly comprises appropriate northern pike fishing gear which implies that you can take along whatever you’re comfortable with. Depending upon your convenience and/or preferences, you can either opt for 6-7 pounds or a 20-30 pounds fishing line with 12” black wire leader or go for a casting reel that is ultra-light. See to it that the baiting reel and rod is strong and flexible enough to cast baits weighing up to 1 oz. The recommended lures or baits are dressed Aglia (no.5) of any color, Syclops spoon of different colors, flexible plastic grubs or flukes2-5” of any color.
Northern pikes try to avoid direct sunlight as much as possible and therefore you’re chances of coming across the fishes is more in those areas where there is a good weed cover or bushy undergrowth. If you’re angling during the summers when the rays of the sun tend to be brighter and more direct, it’ll be wiser on your part to focus on the aforementioned areas. The pikes will be swimming a little deeper to stay away from the glare of the sunlight and will possibly conceal themselves in the weed cover not only to keep away from the sun’s rays but also to prey on smaller fish species schools.
Regardless of the type of tackle you use, reinforce the same by supplementing its use either with a braided line or a sturdy leader preferably constructed from steel. The braided line was one of the oldest kinds of fishing gear and its upgraded versions are still used heavily. Fishing for pikes with a braided line offers you some distinct advantages over types of angling lines. For a start, it is highly resistant to snapping under strain as you may have to struggle a lot to overpower a large pike and lug the fish to your boat.
On the other hand, when you’re looking for your quarry in weedy or rocky spots, there is a high probability of your fishing line getting damaged due to sharp, pointed or rough obstacles. Using a braided line minimizes such risks. Then again braided lines have extremely thin filaments, much slimmer than monofilaments enabling you to cast your line away without having to use large spools rendering the line flexible as well as resistant to breaking. Owing to the high visibility of a braided line, it is recommended to fix a fluorocarbon line at the end that’ll function as the leader.
Spoons have earned the distinction of being time-honored, attractive lures for northern pikes and therefore their use have become standardized as far as pike fishing is concerned. Since pikes tend to be aggressive when biting on prey or lure, make sure that the spoon you use as bait is hardy. You can take your pick from Johnson silver minnows, Rapala original floating, Doctor Spoon, Dardevle spoons, and Mepps Syclops spoon. Flare up the spoon with a grub and remain patient after casting the line.
Jerk the bait at frequent intervals so that its movement attracts the fish. Apart from a spoon, you can also use spinner bait, jerk bait or buzz bait.
Forget all those hugging and smooching scenes you’ve seen on TV where anglers go on an overdrive with their PDAs (public display of affection). As pikes bite into fishing lines with a vengeance, there is no reason why the fish will not consider your fingers as an extension of the line. Be very cautious when you’re handling a pike, for instance, grip the fish from the back of its head or gill plate.
Travel to the northern US states where almost all the lakes abound in pikes. States including New England, New York, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, North Dakota, and Montana are ideal for northern pike angling. Better still, if you can go over to Canada where you can cast the line with complete peace of mind.