The true meaning of catching a long fish lies in catching the giant freshwater species Northern Pike. It’s a long fish with a dangerous appetite and very sharp teeth. So, it will eat almost everything, even its fellow pike members, and when you have caught a pike be very careful while removing the hook. It will bite and how! Do not underestimate its sharp teeth on top and bottom and the strong jaws; when one counts, it could be up to 700.
It is a fish found chiefly in all the river systems in the Northern USA and Canada. There are other regions where you can locate this greedy predator. The fish might be big but has some pretty common ways to pursue and angle. What are those ways; let’s find out through all the Northern Pike fishing tips we will share with you right below.
11 Northern Pike Fishing Tips
Tips #1 – Heads Up; It Could Be Massive
Many times, when we attempt to catch a fish, we do not start the process, being well-prepared. We randomly take whatever gear we have and throw baits to lure the prey. Not being prepared can lose you some precious trophy fish. Also, all day long, sitting with random stuff, trying to get a gamefish is a waste of time. In the case of catching a Northern Pike, you must know it is a fish quite big, about 16-22 inches. That is the average length of the fish we are talking about.
However, if you are lucky enough and have gotten yourself in the right location and correct spot, you might end up with even bigger trophy fish in the form of an above 22 inches to about 71 inches Northern Pike. There is no alternative other than being prepared with all the gear, lures, baits, and techniques for that level of a big fish, that too aggressive one with high strength and sharp teeth. And to know what type of gear you will need, you must know what type, size, length of fish you are aiming to prey on. So, please, know, it’s a big fish and requires optimum preparation both mentally and practically.
Tips #2 – Sturdy Set Of Equipment Mandatory
Whatever equipment you are using to catch the Northern Pike, keep it very sturdy. Sturdy equipment will be a little expensive. However, if you do not want to lose the Pike, more importantly, if you do not want to injure yourself catching this belligerent predator and then end up losing the fish, make sure to invest in some high-grade equipment. Also, amp up your knowledge about what specific type of gear you need to angle Northern Pike rather than experimenting.
While angling other fishes, even the game fishes, we would have encouraged experimenting and getting your comfort gear all by yourself after extensive use and experience. However, Northern Pike is not a fish that should be faced while experimenting. You have to be sure about every specific thing to tackle it better.
Tips #3 – Fishing Rod Size
We have hinted already that you need a high-grade rod. Get a stiff one, about 7 feet long. Keep it heavy-duty so that the fish doesn’t get the chance to break things and escape. Or, when needed, your rod gives you the much-needed support to combat with the sporty, feisty Northern Pike. If heavy ones are difficult to manage, try medium to heavy rods of the same length. Coming to the action, choose a rod with medium action. The rod doesn’t need to flex too much but will bend only to half of its length, letting you cast at a good distance. Such action rods manage treble hooks and artificial lure with treble hooks as well.
Tips #4 – Sturdy Fishing Line
We need the sturdiest fishing line possible. And when it is about optimum sturdiness, there is no other fishing line better than the braided fishing line. If you target big trophy fish, keep your fishing line 20-50lbs, and if the pikes you are targeting are of moderate size, a 15-20lbs braided line is enough. However, you never know what size will hit your hook, so you better be prepared with the ideal fishing lines for trophy fish. A 20-40lbs or a 20-50lbs braided fishing line with a 30lbs pound test is what we recommend to have the upper hand in angling the Northern Pike.
Tips #5 – Fishing Reel Type
You will need a fishing reel that spools up the 20-50lbs braided line and manages the said pound test too. It must be super smooth in its drag and winding up so that the fishing line has the slack and the tightness depending on the situation you are in during the fight with the Northern Pike. We prefer a round bait cast reel, a big one that can endure all the heavy-duty work and has a high drag capacity and supreme retrieve.
Tips #6 – Get A Steel Leader
If you thought a braided fishing line would be enough to manage the Northern Pike, you were wrong. We specifically need a leader line while angling for Northern Pike. Many would suggest a fluorocarbon leader line, but we believe in steel leader supremacy. Steel leaders are readily available, not hard to get. So, there is no reason for searching for the alternative when we know it works the best. You will need a steel leader about 12-inches long.
For those unfamiliar with the steel leader line, a steel leader is a steel wire with a swivel tied at one end and a latch tied on its already formed loop. The latch it comes with is never sturdy enough to tackle the big predators like Northern Pike. So, instead of it, we prefer directly tying the hook or lure with proper knots. Just remove it from the loop with pliers, and it will expose the loop, and the steel leader will be latch-free ready for the hooks.
Tips #7 – Treble Hook Is The Best
For angling Northern Pike we like to use semi-barbless treble hooks. Semi-barbless treble hooks have only a prong on one of their three shanks. If you are using the live bait, you need to hook it on the one that has the prong. The other two shanks not having the sharp barbs will let you remove the hook easier, which, by the way, is crucial when it comes to Northern Pike.
You are already at risk due to its sharp teeth, so if the hook is difficult to remove, the chances of injury increase. So, the hook has to be such that it pierces the fish the correct way. It will be easy for you to remove but very hard for the fish to get rid of. Get a standard size-6 treble hook, and you are well-prepared for preying on any size Northern Pike.
Tips #8 – Spoon Lures Should Be Your Prime Choice
More than the treble hooks and using live baits with those, we prefer spoon lures for angling Northern Pike. It’s the best lure, at least for us. You will need a spoon, a big, bright, and colorful one that attracts the Northern Pike even from afar. And we already talked about our fondness towards the treble hooks, and spoons with treble hooks are easily available, so use those.
You need to insert the loop on the leader through the eye of the treble hook or the spoon. Do it before you tie the mainline to one side of the leader’s swivel with a sturdy knot. Then take the swivel through that loop and slowly pull and tighten the loop on the hook or the lure. The steel wire might be a bit stiff so do it slowly. After you have drawn the wire grip on the hook or the lure tightly, tie the mainline line with the swivel.
Tip #9 – You Will Need Pliers And Gloves
Always wear gloves, good-quality ones that could manage the sharp teeth of the pikes. Also, while removing the hook or lure from the Northern Pike, always use pliers. Avoid doing it with your hands.
Tip #10 – Best Bait For Northern Pike
Large fish love large live baits. Ducks, mice, geese, bats, yellow perch, bluegill are some of the best baits for catching Northern Pike. Generally, such beings are hard to manage. At least not when you do not know how many you require. So, rather than using such live baits, we prefer using artificial lures. And the best part is that the artificial lures work way better.
Tip #11 – Fish It All The Seasons Round
Summer, Winter, Fall, and Spring, you can get your Northern Pike all year round. However, in different spots. In summer and winter, you will find them deep in the freshwater water bodies. They spawn during spring, so like any other fishes, search them in shallow spots. Even in the fall, they prefer searching for their foods in shallow areas.
One thing that Northern Pike is well-known for is its eagerness to hide and waiting for catching prey. It will use everything under the water to camouflage itself and trick its forage. So, when you see enough vegetation in specific spots, target those areas because that’s the prime spot where one might be hiding and waiting, no matter what the season is.
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Northern Pike undoubtedly is one of the best trophy fish that is not very hard to locate or angle. With all the sturdy gear and precautions, no size of Northern Pike is hard to angle. So, if you thought catching one is not your cup of tea, get yourself the best gear and try all the tips we shared. Hopefully, you will very much enjoy your cup of tea this time.