It’s a peaceful autumn day; you’re sitting in your boat on a lake that is so calm it looks like a sheet of glass. You’ve had a few bites, but nothing significant. You decide it give it one last shot before trying a different spot.
You toss your spinnerbait into one of the last few areas of green weeds in the lake and slowly reel in. All of a sudden, your lure is hit so hard it jerks you slightly forward and you start to feel the adrenaline course through your veins. After battling the fish for what seems like forever, you finally get it up to the boat. To your astonishment, it’s a pike.
There are a lot of theories on how to catch pike and you’ve probably heard a lot of stories about fishermen catching pike as it is pretty common. However, many times an angler sets out to catch something different and he ends up reeling in a pike. In fact, there are only a few pike fishing techniques that will actually catch them on a consistent basis.
How to Hook A Pike
There is a plenty of pike lures that work well for catching a pike. Smaller pike will be more inclined to attack smaller bait such as minnows; on the other hand, larger pike will attack larger bait fish such as perch. If your bait sinks down to the bottom of an area that is infested with pike, you’re almost guaranteed to get a hit. They tend to bite on the bait around the midsection, drag it away and then spit it out to swallow it head first. Other times they will simply attack the bait and then let it go without ever actually taking off with it. Therefore, the best way to catch a pike is to set the hook only when you know it is going in for the kill. Keep on checking the rod for vibrations as this indicates the pike is about to strike. If by some chance you hook it and it gets off, be patient, as it may attack again. In fact, many fishermen have reported catching the same fish multiple times. They’re so aggressive that they forget quickly and focus once again on eating.
Where to Catch Them
Pike like to stick near the weeds and this is a prime spot to catch them. During certain times of the year a lot of the lake vegetation will turn brown. Spend some time trying to locate the last few green patches as pike will migrate from all over the lake to these green plants and the area will often be heavily concentrated with them. If you can’t locate any green patches visually, use your fish finder until you see upright stalks. If the weeds are pretty sparse, use a crankbait and a spinnerbait in thick weeded areas.
Pike also like to stick around cold water pockets in the lake. During the colder months, these pockets are now warmer than the rest of the lake. Some fish depend on this warmth to stay alive and the pike will be right there waiting to greet them. However, perhaps the best spot to catch a pike is near a school of walleye. Big pikes like to dine on walleye more than anything, and are known to traverse the outside of an area that is filled with walleyes. Walleyes tend to move throughout the lake all year, and pike will often hang by a mouth of a stream or river waiting for a walleye to swim through.
How to Remove the Hook
One of the most useful pike fishing tips is how to remove the hook once a pike is caught. Pike have razor sharp teeth and it’s important to remove the hook safely. A few simple steps will have the hook out accident free:
- Lay the pike on its back.
- Insert a finger under each gill cover.
- Grip the chin bone and gently lift the head upwards.
- Use a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the hook.
Regardless of how or where you hook your pike, keep in mind that they are extremely, quick, strong, and aggressive and they are fun to reel in. Given their size and weight, it can be quite a physical battle.