Fish the Dam
The dam holds good numbers of pike with some trophy fish all season long. The spring and fall are definitely the peak times to fish the dam, but with plenty of deeper water here, you can find quality pike around the dam from spring through fall.
Fish the Current Breaks
The current will dictate where many of the bait fish and walleye will be. While pike can also be found in the current like walleye, you are usually going to find better numbers of pike in the areas with some slower or slack current near the main current.
Fish the Bays
There are some bays long the river and pike can be found in these areas. The slack water will usually hold pike especially in the spring and fall.
Fish the Main River Channel
The main river channel will hold plenty of fish all year long. It pays to have a good fish finder so you can find some of these schools of bait fish and walleye. You will usually find some quality pike nearby these schools in deeper water.
Fish the Lakes
As you go farther down the river, there are a chain of lakes that offer some unbelievable fishing. The farther you go, the more remote it gets. There are some resorts down there, but you are going to have tons of water to yourself if you choose to fish this area. Good numbers of pike exist and trophy fish are here too.
Using Leaders for Northern Pike
Prevent northern pike from biting you off with a leader. Many anglers like to use a steel leader and these do work fine with your bigger, faster-moving lures. They also work great when fishing in murky water.
To get more bites consistently though, you can’t go wrong with using mono or fluorocarbon leaders instead of the steel leaders. To save money, go with the mono leaders in murkier water. In clear waters, go with the fluorocarbon.
If you want more information these leaders, take a look here to learn more about northern pike leaders. We also tie them ourselves and you can purchase them here.
Best Baits for Northern Pike
Northern pike are known for eating just about everything they can get the mouths on and there is definitely some truth to that. For the most part, if it swims, pike may eat it. There are some baits that definitely will catch more pike than others though. Spinners, crankbaits, spoons, swimbaits and soft plastics are some of the best lures for targeting pike. Live baits such as minnows and perch are great baits too.
There are many different rigs you can use for northern pike, however, since pike are so aggressive, you really don’t need to use as many of them as you would if you were trying to get good at largemouth bass fishing. For most situations, you can keep it real simple with a jighead and a minnow or soft plastic bait. To learn about some of the rigs that you can use, take a look at our best rigs for northern pike page.
To learn more, take a look at our best techniques for northern pike page.
Our northern pike fishing section has tons of tips on the best lures, live baits, where to catch them and how to catch them.