Featured Fish - Northern Pike
The Northern Home - Ontario is home to one of the largest Northern Pike (Esox lucius) populations in North America. Pike are what makes Ontario special. Discover why Esox anglers flock to the pike filled waters of Ontarios north and near north.
The largest, and most voracious, predator of northern waters, pike prey on a variety of different food sources. This opens up many possibilites for your lure selection when targeting trophy pike.
Predator of the North - Pike consume three to four times its weight during the course of a year. They ambush prey from weedy cover, seizing fish with needlelike teeth. Concentrating their efforts on larger prey, they often swallow fish a third their own length.
Size Matters - Large Northern Pikes are easily located in most Ontario lakes year round. In cold water conditions during the spring and fall, Pike will relate to the shallows, seeking cover along shorelines weedy bays, neck-downs between islands and rocky points and structure.
Being "cold water" creatures, they will migrate to deeper waters, hiding in sunken weed beds, close to drop-offs, or on the edges of reefs during the summer months into early autumn.
What To Use
An appetite of a giant allows anglers probably one the best selections of lures among any fish species. Some anglers complain that they spend more time selecting a lure than they do casting because of the variety. Here is our short list of what a Northern Pike will hit in Ontario waters:
Spoons - Huge varieties of colours and sizes have landed many a pike.
Spinnerbaits - Invented for the bass fisherman, pike have an appetite from many different sizes and colours. Companies are now making specialty pike spinnerbaits in a variety of increased sizes.
Inline Spinners - Nothing has landed more pike than an inline spinner. From Mepps#4's and 5's to custom made spinners with bucktails they remain the king of lures in all types of water types.
Soft Plastics - Huge success in the past few years has been made with the creation of thousands of soft plastic lures. High quality jigs with these new worms, shads, crawdads and lizards have produced many a pike of respectable size. They are also easy to fish weedless with a ingle hook rigged Texas style.
Topwater Jerkbaits - Nothing beats the appeal of a large northern demolishing a topwater jerkbait. While success rates fall into the 50-60% with jerkbaits nothing can beat even the near misses. The lure market has also rewarded pike fisherman with one of the largest selection of topwater lures in the past years.
Crankbaits - By using a variation of topwater, sinking, suspending and diving crankbaits in different water conditions you are guaranteed to increase you catch rate.
Bucktail Spinners - Preferred by Musky anglers, northern pike fisherman have embraced these lures and are finding them to be the 'Go To' lure when all else fails. Selecting a bucktail with a huge colorado or willow blade have proved to be very successful.
Flies - Not just for the trout crowd, flies have grown in popularity with pike anglers who love to pitch or flip them in and around weed beds when the water temperature rises.
Seasons - For the complete list of Northern Pike seasons in Ontario please visit the Ministry of Natural Resources website here . For visitors from outside the province you may also find license and registration information as well. Many lodges and resorts will register a fishing license for you at their location for all anglers.
Check out our past featured Ontario fish articles.
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