Northern Pike Fishing Tips
There are countless ways to catch pike but let’s keep it simple. Here is an article on pike fishing that appeared in the VBL newsletter “The Beaver, 2008” by long time guest Joe Moskal (The Professor) from Edgerton, Wisconsin. His expert advice will put “pike on your pole”!
Tips on Northern Pike as submitted by Joe “the professor” Moskal:
By the middle of June cabbage weed will be emerging in the shallow water sections of Eagle Lake. These weeds are important because they hold baitfish which the pike like to eat. Cabbage is bright green & curly, and can grow in sparse strands, bigger clumps, or dense mats. It matures by the middle of August and might be growing all the way to the surface in 12 feet of water. Pike of all sizes will relate to these weeds.
There are many different ways that pike can be caught, but I’m only going to discuss the method that consistently produces the best for me in terms of numbers and size of fish. That method would be trolling with a stick-bait right over the top, or just off the side, of the cabbage weeds. It’s a simple method that has produced hundreds of pike for me on Eagle over the years, and several nice ones over 30 inches last year.
As far as equipment is concerned, I like to use a 7 foot, medium-power spinning rod & reel loaded with 14# no-stretch superline attached to a 3 foot section of 14# fluorocarbon leader material. A bait-caster set up in a similar fashion is a good option as well. If the weeds are still low, I’ll tie on a size #11 Jointed Rapala and troll right over the top of the weeds. If the weeds are growing close to the surface, I’ll troll just outside the weed line edge. If deep water is next to the weed line I’ll use a Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk (DHJ12). Effective colors include silver, gold and Firetiger. I let out about 100 feet of line and stay close to the weeds as I forward troll with the wind at my back. Experiment with speed, depth and color. Bring a jaw spreader and pliers for hook removal.
You can expect your lures to get fouled with weeds regularly. Reel in the instant you suspect that your lure has snagged a weed. Clean it off and start over otherwise your lure won’t get bit. Believe me, it simply doesn’t work. Don’t get lazy about this!
Some good locations to fish include the shorelines of Favell Bay, the NE side of McConnell’s Island and the NE side of Strawberry Island close to the rocky shoals.