When it comes to pike fishing, the first thing that comes to people's minds are Rapala’s or Daredevil spoons. Pike taste good, they make a great addition to your photo collection or trophy wall, and they put up a good fight when hooked; so what's not to love about them? Believe it or not, there are more techniques to catching monster pike than trolling or casting for them. Here are some essential tips to help you land your next big northern during the summer:
The location of pike can be found in weeds, deep water, fallen trees, or simply where smaller baitfish hangs out. But I find bays jammed thick with cover, openings to a lake or river, and weeds with a clearing in the middle most successful.
Like I said, when it comes to pike fishing, the first thing that comes to people’s minds is Daredevil spoons or Rapala’s. Those are both legends in the pike lure category, but I find live bait to work very good also. Pike will also take top water lures in the shallows, so when all else fails, bust out the poppers. I personally like to think of the quote “big fish like big lures” so I tend to use the biggest lure I can find when going after pike.
Pike like water temps 65 degrees or lower too, so I always head out in the morning or dawn, because in the middle of the day, the sun has warmed up the shallows opposing from morning or dawn, where the shallows are fairly cold. However medium to smaller sized pike are more tolerant to warm water than the bigger ones. Pike fishing in the spring is also very good for shallow fishing.
How to Set Up a Rod
I setup my pike rod by taking a good rod, 6 to 7 foot and spool it with 8 to 12 pound test line, put a fairly big sized spinning reel on it, and top it all off with a leader.
Many people claim that pike are “too bony”. They are right, the pike are very bony, but that can easily be fixed. My dad and grandpa like to fillet the pike just like any other fish, but then they flip the fillet over and cut around the “Y” bones. When they are done, we end up with two strips of meat; the top one is fatter than the bottom.
There’s not much to pike fishing and certainly, not much on Michigan’s inland lakes fights harder. Make sure to know fishing regulations when going after pike. Most lakes the pike have to be over 24” to keep, but some have a slot system in place, where smaller ones can be kept, but bigger pike need to be released. Also be careful when unhooking pike. You can look at some scars on my fingers to see why!
By Brendan Herbert