Northern Pike Fishing Tackle & Equipment
For targeting early season pike of all sizes, summer casting in the shallows, jigging, and trolling a bass casting outfit of 6’6”- 7’6” of medium to medium heavy with 17# mono or 50# braid along with a 60-80# floro, or a 60# wire leader on a 50 series Abu or 300 Shimano reel will do nicely. If you prefer a 7’ medium action spinning set up with 30# braid, 20# fireline, or 14 # mono will do the job. These will handle the smaller to medium sized baits. During the fall, for bigger baits, trolling, and live baiting the same gear used for musky fishing is recommended. Besides a 15-20” pike, a 40” musky could possibly be caught as well.
For bait specifically targeting spring and summer pike, cast with # 4-5 Mepps spinners, Musky Mayhem Show Girls or Baby Girls, ½- ¾ oz. spinnerbaits or buzz baits, Baby Shallow Raiders, 6-8” Slammers, 7-9” Suicks, Johnson Silver Minnow with pork or plastic trailers. These will all catch shallow, cover-orientated fish.
For the deeper summer fish, use ½- 1 oz. Lindy or Carolina rigs with 3’ of 20-40# floro or a 27-40# stranded wire leader and a small #2 hook quickset rig. A #1 octopus or circle hook (with a 5-7” live sucker or big dace minnow) or a ¼-3/4 oz. jig with a #1-2 hook and the same leader and bait selection can also be used. For artificial jigging options, use a ½-3/4 oz swimmer head jig with a plastic 5-7” fluke, Reaper, or a rubber bass jig and large craw. Rubber swim baits with sinking countdown ability like a reg Dawg, Medusa, tubes, Water wolf, or Boggs paddle tails can be deadly on large, deep pike. For trolling presentations, 5” spoon plugs, Ernies, Stretch Manns 20-30+ will get down to where you need them to be.
In the fall, the same baits that are effective for musky fishing will work for big pike. They particularly like reg and mag Dawgs, 9-10” Suicks, Depth Raiders, and spinnerbaits. While pike will eat anything that resembles natural foliage, they particularly like hot colors such as fire tiger, white, chart/org combos, etc. In water temperatures below 50°F, a 12-14” live sucker on a quickset rig presented along the edge of the 1st-2nd break line behind and below the boat is nearly impossible for a big pike to resist.