Fishing Rigs & Techniques for Northern Pike

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Best Techniques for Catching Northern Pike
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Casting

Casting for northern pike is one of the most efficient ways to target them.  Grab a baitcaster or medium-heavy spinning rod, pick up your favorite northern pike lure and start casting all over around cover, points, weeds, etc.

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Trolling

Trolling for northern pike is one of the most popular ways to catch them once they go deep.  Anglers troll a variety of lures, but crankbaits, spinner rigs and spoons are probably the most popular.  Troll around offshore structures, deeper shorelines, points, islands and deep weed edges and you should be able to catch northern pike.

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Drifting

Drifting is a very popular method when jigging or for fishing with live bait for northern pike.  When you have a decent breeze, drifting is a great way to cover a little bit of water while fishing slowly with live baits.  Carolina rigs, jigheads and drop shot rigs are some of the more popular ways to fish for pike when drifting.

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Jigging

Jigging is one of the best ways to target northern pike when they are deep and when they are around rocky structures.  Whether you are jigging a lively minnow, soft plastics or a jigging spoon, all of these baits will work great for targeting pike while jigging.

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Drop Shotting

Drop shotting is a term used for fishing with a drop shot rig.  For our site, we plan on having more information on our drop shot rig for northern pike page.  If you are looking for information on drop shotting for pike, that’s the place to find more information.

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Flipping and Pitching

Flipping and pitching is not a very popular technique for pike fishing, but you can totally fish this way and be very successful if you want to fish with this technique.  Pike love hanging around reeds and lily pads and these areas are great for flipping and pitching.  It’s just like bass fishing except you want to make sure to use very heavy tackle.  Some very big pike will be in these areas and it’s extremely difficult to get big pike out of the reeds.  The lily pads aren’t as difficult, but you still need some heavy tackle.  40 to 50 pound line is standard for fishing this way and some anglers even go heavier.

Best Rigs for Catching Northern Pike
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Spinner Rigs

Spinner Rigs are some of the best lures for catching northern pike.  You can use live minnows such as large shiners, chubs and suckers in shallower water and deep water.  Casting these minnows will kill them fairly quick, so most anglers will troll them so they can cover more water with lively minnows.  Soft plastics also work very well when fishing for northern pike with these spinner rigs.

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Jigheads

jigheadsA simple jighead is tough to beat when fishing for northern pike on rocky structures.  A simple jighead and large minnow is the easiest way to catch deep water pike.  Soft plastics also work great on a jighead.  Swimbaits, curly tail worms and swimming worms are great baits to use on a jighead if you want to swim these baits along the bottom or at various depths through the water column.  Brighter colored jigheads tend to work better.

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Quick Strike Rig

quick-strike-rigThe quick strike rig is one of the most popular rigs for targeting big northern pike.  These rigs work well with large chubs and suckers.  When using large chubs and suckers, many pike will grab the bait by the middle of it and if you have one hook in the mouth of the bait, you will miss many of the bites that you get.  With the quick strike rig, you will rig one of the hooks in the mouth and the other hook in the middle back part of the bait.  When a pike grabs the chub or sucker by the middle of it, you can set the hook right away and get a good hook set.  This helps anglers catch more pike and release more large pike unharmed because anglers don’t have to wait to set the hook.

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Underspins

underspins

Underspins are one of the best ways to rig soft plastic swimming-style baits for northern pike.  Whether you use swimbaits, curly tail grubs, ring worms or other baits, just make sure you’re rigging these with baits that have some type of swimming style action on them and you’ll get plenty of bites from northern pike.  Use the lighter jigheads for fishing around the shallows and around weeds.  Go heavier when fishing deeper water and you can connect with some big pike.  Underspins are one of the better action baits for catching northern pike.

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Scrounger Jighead

scrounger jigheads

Scrounger jigheads are awesome for northern pike fishing. Minnow baits are the most popular bait when fishing for pike on scrounger jigheads because these jigheads bring the minnow baits to life.  The jigheads turn a minnow bait, that is made for jigging or twitching, into a swimbait.  Fish them shallow or deep or fish them with a variety of other soft plastic baits too.  Scrounger jigheads work great and you should definitely try using them for northern pike.

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Shaky Head Jigs

shaky head jigs

Shaky head jigs are one of the best ways to rig soft plastic baits.  You can fish a variety of soft plastics on a shaky head jig.  Whether you are swimming swimbaits or working a big curly tail worm slowly along the reeds, shaky head jigs will help the job done.  If you are fishing wood, scattered grass, reeds or lily pads, you should be able to work soft plastics in and around this stuff with a variety of soft plastic baits.

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Drop Shot Rig

drop shot rig paddle tail wormThe drop shot rig isn’t very popular among most northern pike anglers, however, this rig does work well to fish deeper water with live baits such as large shiner minnows, chubs and suckers.  Some soft plastics will also work on a drop shot rig.  Large grubs, minnow baits and big curly tail worms will work for pike, but live bait is more popular on a drop shot rig for pike fishing.

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Carolina Rig

carolina rig paddle tail worm

The Carolina rig is a good rig for targeting northern pike.  Most anglers use this rig for fishing deeper water with live baits such as shiner minnows, chubs or suckers, but you can also fish a variety of soft plastics and even hard baits on a Carolina rig too.

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Swimbait Hooks

swimbait hooks 2Swimbait hooks are great for rigging a variety of soft plastic baits for targeting northern pike.  Most anglers will use them to rig a swimbait, but you can fish just about any soft plastic bait that you would use on a Texas rig with a swimbait hook too.

line-3View All Fishing Rigs & Techniques for Northern Pike
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line-3Sewell’s Favorites – Best 3 Pike Lures for Action
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There are so many good pike lures on the market.  If I’m just looking for action with the possibility of also catching a big fish too, these are my top 3.

vibrax spinner

Blue Fox Vibrax Spinner
Go get it on Amazon

dardevle

Daredevle Spoon
Go get it on Amazon

redeye spinnerbaitStrike King Redeye Spinnerbait
Go get it on Amazon

line-3Sewell’s Favorites – Best 3 Lures for Targeting Big Pike
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If I am just targeting big pike, that will definitely change what baits I will be throwing.  I’m not looking for action at this point, but I do usually choose big fish baits that will still give me some action while searching for the big fish.  These 3 are my go to big pike lures that will still get you plenty of bites in between big fish bites.

mepps aglia dressed spinner

Mepps Aglia Dressed Spinners
Go get it on Amazon

blue fox super bou

Blue Fox Vibrax Super Bou
Go get it on Amazon

original 9 inch suick

Original Suick (9″)
Go get it on Amazon

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northern pike destinations

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