Getting Down To It For Northern Pike

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Northern Pike In Ontario Lakes

Quite possibly the most notorious and the most infamous of all Ontario fish species is the Northern Pike. Developing a love hate relationship with many anglers the water wolf remains the number one predator in most lakes, streams and rivers. Known to be a loner during feeding time the northern is occasionally observed hunting in packs.

Common hotspots while fishing for esox lucius are shallow weed beds and main water body weed beds / shoals. When fishing dries up in these shallow areas many anglers assume that the bite is just not on. What has been observed in the last few years with the unseasonably hotter summer temperatures is larger northern heading deep in search of prey. While most pike anglers think deep is 20 feet of water others report that large pike are being caught in 30+ feet  on a regular basis. While water temperatures slowly rise on the surface over the summer months many baitfish such as ciscoe, perch and adolescent bass head for the comfort and safety of deeper water. For a northern pike’s huge appetite this becomes a buffet with endless return trips to the trough.


Pay close attention to the current and winds of the area you are scoping out. When pike school up on sides of deep reefs they tend to move to and fro depending on the wind conditions and speeds. Having a sensitive fish finder like the Humminbird 565 is crucial when fishing deep for pike. Heavy jigs and plastics are crucial at getting down to the depths and can be picked up on sonar informing you that you are getting down to the sweet spot. Fishing theses depths require techniques similar to walleye fishing. Get your bait down to the bottom of the lake letting it bounce a few times and then smartly jig it back and forth. Plastics with lots of action work best at these depths and power worms and grubs with a large tail produce consistently.


For above the water a 6 foot 6 inch to 7 foot rod works great and superbraids are the line of choice to avoid bite offs from these toothy critters. Using jigs with red wide gap hooks usually produce the best results. any traditional pike anglers are slowly realizing the possibilities that can be reached in deeper waters. The traditional buck tails and top water jerk baits can be left in the tackle box to hunt for the water wolf when shallow water action grinds to a halt.


This article was written by the
contributing staff of OFT and its
group of amateur and pro Ontario anglers.

Copyright 2007. Ontario Fish Trips.
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