If you come here to target pike, you should be able to catch good numbers of them and big fish up to and above 40 inches are caught here every year. Fish the numerous bays, islands and points and you should be able to catch plenty of northern pike. There is a lot of shallower water in this part of the lake mixed in with plenty of deep water too. All of the shallow water gives vegetation a chance to grow, which is great for holding lots of northern pike.
West of Nestor Falls is Sabaskong Bay. It holds plenty of northern pike all season long. You have rocks, weeds, bays, points, islands, reefs and open water. This whole area is good for pike fishing for numbers and big fish too.
Whitefish Bay is home to some excellent northern pike fishing. The deep, clear waters make the fishing a little tougher for some anglers, but if you know how to fish clear water, you can catch so many pike here. Use fluorocarbon leaders, make further casts and at times, you will need to fish deeper. There are so many bays with vegetation here that you can just go bay to bay to bay and catch pike all day long. When the pike move out to deeper water, you may have to fish 25 to 40 feet down to find some of the real big pike.
Catch Lots of Pike
This part of the lake has so many good bays and islands with rocks and vegetation. Anglers do very well on northern pike in this part of the lake. If you target pike, you can catch a lot in the Nestor Falls area. It is much easier to run and gun and hit the better spots due to all the islands and points that help block the wind, which means smaller waves. If you target pike, you should be able to catch good numbers of them from spring through fall.
Catch Big Northern Pike
Lake of the Woods is home to some huge pike and you will find a lot of quality pike on this part of the lake too. Fish the bays early in the year and then target the islands and offshore reefs in summer and fall and you’ll run into some big fish. With all the fishing pressure close to town, you may need to head over to Sabaskong Bay or Whitefish Bay to consistently find bigger pike in the upper 30 inch range and even bigger.
Fishing the Bays
This is the easiest pattern to fish for pike here. You can catch pike in the bays all season long, but the bigger fish will be in the bays early in the year and as water temperatures drop back into the low 60s in the fall. Find the new green weeds early in the year and the deeper weed edges in the summer and fall and you’ll catch pike.
Fishing the Drop-offs
There are a lot of awesome drop-offs in this area since there is a lot of shallower water in this part of the lake. Fish the drop-offs along the shorelines, islands and off the reefs and you’ll find a lot of nice pike in the summer and fall.
Fishing the Points
There are so many points to fish here that you can easily target the points and catch pike from spring through fall. The points with deeper water are usually much better in the summer and fall. Cover some water and find the more productive points and you’ll catch a lot of pike.
Fishing the Islands
You don’t have tons of islands here to fish, but there are more than enough for you to target islands as a pattern. Pike and other fish will hold off these islands from spring through fall, but the summer and fall are usually better around the islands with deeper water, rocks and/or weeds.
Fishing the Reefs
In the summer and fall, the reefs are an excellent pattern to use for walleye and the pike will be here too. With so many bays here to fish, many pike anglers choose to just go from bay to bay and target pike around the rocks and weeds in the bays. So many quality pike will move to these offshore structures in the summer that you really should fish this pattern while here. You will most likely catch your biggest pike of the trip on these offshore structures in the summer and parts of fall too.
Fishing the Rocks
You can find a lot of vegetation in this part of the lake, but you’re going to find tons of rocks too. Plan on fishing rocks too, so don’t rule out all the awesome spots because you don’t see any weeds there.
Fishing the Weeds
If you move around and go bay to bay, you can fish the weeds as your main pattern and you can catch pike all trip long. The bays are better in the spring and early summer, but you’ll catch some pike around the weeds in the bays all season long. Fish the deeper weed edges to find some of those better pike from summer through fall.
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.