I'm Jm Desormeaux from the All Day Grind, a guide service located in Ontario Canada! Today I'm going to be covering how I find trophy Northern Pike in spring. Why!? Because this time of the year delivers some of the most exciting fishing the open water season has to offer, due to all the big Northern Pike being in very shallow water (1ft-6ft) coming off spawn in May.
Find the Location for Pike Fishing
First, pick your lake. Now go on google maps satellite view, it's an amazing tool to find some great fishing locations and pinpoint where these fish are going to be. What I'm looking for are big shallow bays close to the main body or basin of the lake. Now that you've found one ask yourself these three questions. Does the bay have one?
- Water Flow. Small river, creek, swamp, or pond that has water flowing in or out of the bay.
- Cover. Logs and pencil weeds are the best.
- Different Terrain. Sand, rock, and mud.
If the answer is yes to those questions, then you've found the perfect bay for Spring Pike! Break down that big bay like it's a lake of its own, and find the darker bottom that has some type of cover on it. The Pike tends to stack in the warmer water this time of year. The sun will warm the water over the darker bottom first. (Northern Pike typically spawn in 48-to-52-degree water).
Use Pike Fishing Tactics
Now you're in the boat cruising up to that bay you found on google maps, It's morning blue bird sky's no wind. In my opinion, the perfect day for spring Pike because you can see giant fish laying in the mud, sand, or weeds a long distance away from the boat! In my experience the biggest fish leave the shallow bays first so take your time. Put the trolling motor down and sneak your way into the bay scanning everywhere. The real big ones are usually the ones you'll see first but I have seen their way in the back of the bay it varies from year to year. What you're looking for is big shadows that look like logs most of the time, but they're not so cast at them! When you find one fish there's always more, a lot more! They may not bite the first cast they will spook and sometimes you'll be chasing them but don't give up. Once you find them stick around there are feeding windows and when they're on you can catch 20 to 40 fish in an hour or more!
Choose Lures and Gear for Pike Fishing
A medium-heavy rod works great for this type of fishing (length is your preference) paired with a Piscifun Alijoz 300 spooled with a 40 to 65lbs braid, and a very strong but lightweight leader. My favorite lure for spring Pike fishing is a 5-inch rubber swim bait (paddle tail) with a ¼ once jig head. (color varies) I also run a treble hook connected to the jig head with split rings and barrel swivels for better hookups. The reason why I love using this bait so much is due to the versatility you can speed it up, slow roll it, twitch it like a jerk bait, or let it sit on the bottom to trigger the strike! You'll need and very big net something with an XL bag that you can leave the fish in the water alongside the boat. With these pushing 45 inches long or bigger you're going to need it. You'll also need a good pair of pliers and hook cutters to get those hooks out of the bad spots, so that trophy Northern Pike swims away healthy. We want to take care of the big ones so everyone has a chance to enjoy some incredible moments on the water!