Northern Pike Fishing Tips
Northern Pike are the easiest fish to catch. They hit just about any lure. You always have to use steel leaders because the pike's teeth are razor sharp and will cut through your line in a second. Most people that target Northern Pike want to catch a big one. Maximizing your chances at catching a trophy pike means understanding their behavior and feeding patterns and then throwing the right bait based on the water conditions and structure.
Big trophy Northern Pike are like Musky is some ways and very different in other ways. Northern Pike are ambush predators while Musky are hunters. Both Musky and Northern Pike will feed in shallow water or in deep water. Many people think pike only hang around in shallow water but nothing is farther from the truth. Northern Pike in lakes with Whitefish and Lake Trout will go deep to feed. On many lakes Northern Pike will go deep and stay deep in the fall. Fishing shallow and fishing deep for pike means very different techniques.
Many people go into a back weedy bay and start casting baits and don't catch anything. You can look at the area and think it's perfect for pike but there is nothing there. A trick to this is to look at the mud on the bottom. If you see pitch black mud on the bottom it usually means there is too much decomposing organic matter so hydrogen sulfide or nitrogen levels will be too high for pike. If you see bubbles from the mud that could be methane. Don't waste your time in spots like that. You want to find an area that is rocky, sandy or the bottom mud has a lighter brown color.
Even though the bay is full of weeds usually big trophy Northern Pike will hand around the points leading into shallow weedy bays. They may be in the deeper water out in front of the bay and then they head to the outside of the points and then chase feeder-fish into the bay cutting off their escape route. See diagram below.