Fishing tips

Hit the deep backwaters (rivers)

In rivers, deep and calm backwaters are the place to be for pike, especially during winter and early spring when the river water is cold, the current is stronger and the fish have to gather energy for the upcoming spawning season. Backwaters are best fished with the float and a live baitfish, or with a dead bait on the ledger.

Fish over the drop-offs (lakes)

This is a great tip for the colder months of the year, as you will often find large schools of baitfish over the drop-offs in lakes when the water is cold. Naturally, the pike will follow these schools and lurk in the near vicinity. You can fish over drop-offs that are close to the shore from land or try to target the ones that are further out if you have a boat. Make sure to cover both the shallow and the deep edge of the drop-offs! Using a castable fish finder can help you find underwater features such as drop-offs. You can find a great and decently priced fish finder on Amazon here.

Use crankbaits for trolling

As tip #10 suggested, getting a few crankbaits can be a very good idea when it comes to pike fishing, especially for trolling. Crankbaits can both dive deep and will give you the very best presentation when trolling or slow-trolling them behind a boat. Something that you simply cannot achieve by using other types of lures. Check out my favorite crankbait for trolling pike on Amazon here.

Prioritize mild and cloudy days

Pick days with favorable weather conditions in order to increase your chances of catching. If you are new to fishing, a few early catches will boost your motivation immensely and you will want more after that, as opposed to blanking session after session and perhaps even giving up this wonderful hobby. Desirable weather conditions for pike include:

  • clouds
  • light drizzle
  • south or south-western winds
  • mild temperatures
  • pre-storm fronts
  • sudden shifts from high to low pressure
Learn more about the best possible weather conditions for fishing by also reading this article I wrote: The Absolutely Best Weather Conditions for a Fishing Trip

Also fish in the evening

The period around dusk is another golden time to catch pike. The dwindling light gives the predators extra cover and creates the perfect hunting environment. Smaller fish also tend to get more active during these late hours of the day and become less careful. It is now that pike can get into a real feeding frenzy. Make sure to be on the bank inf and when that evening feats is about to happen.

Fish during the early morning

Pike are very active during the early hours of the day, especially during summer, when the days are getting too warm. Getting up early can definitely pay off. Try to be at the water just before first light and fish into the dawn, more often then not, you will experience a lot of activity and get plenty of bites. Just don’t forget to bring some coffee with you to wake you up a little!

RELATED ARTICLE: Best Time of Day for Pike Fishing (All Four Seasons)

Fish close to the margins

This often goes hand-in-hand with the vegetation tip. Shallower areas near the margins often hold more vegetation, are warmer, and offer better protection and ambush points.

Pro Tip: Especially in the dark, keeping close to the margins can be worth more than gold when it comes to pike fishing!

Fish close to vegetation

Pike love all types of vegetation. This they do for two simple reasons:

  • they offer them a perfect ambush point
  • smaller fish that the pike prey on keep close to vegetation as well When starting a session, always go for the areas with the following types of vegetation first:
  • reeds
  • lily pads
  • weeds (chickweed, pondweed)
  • grass
  • overhanging trees and bushes

Buy a dozen lures and a couple of pike floats

Now that you have all the necessary gear and end tackle to start your pike fishing adventures, you just have to grab a couple of pike lures and floats before it’s time to head out to the bank. Go to the store or check around online and get the following:

  • Two 10g pike floats
  • Two 20g pike floats
  • 4 different kinds of crankbaits (4-8 inches)
  • 4 inline spinners (size 5)
  • 4 spoons (1/2-1 ounce) That’s it, really! This package will serve you well as a beginner and can most certainly catch you your first pike.

Use very thick fluorocarbon leaders

Many anglers prefer to use fluorocarbon leaders instead. Wire is of course the best and safest choice, but the right fluorocarbon leader can do a decent job as well! There are however two very important things to remember when using fluoro:

  • use an extremely thick line diameter (0.80-1.00mm)
  • frequently check your FC leader for weak points If you keep that in mind, you can reduce the risk for bite offs significantly.