Northern pike fishing is excellent out of the northwest angle. Many anglers report that the better fishing is on the Canadian side, but there are plenty of pike to catch in Minnesota waters too.
Catch Lots of Pike
This part of the lake has so many good bays, points and islands to fish combined with offshore structure that is great for summer and fall. With so many great spots to fish, you can easily figure out a pattern that works and just replicate it throughout this gigantic fishing area. If you target pike exclusively, you can put up some very good numbers on the day.
Catch Big Northern Pike
Lake of the Woods is home to some huge pike and you will find a lot of quality pike in the northwest angle too. Anglers do report catching good numbers of quality pike here with 40 inch fish being fairly common. The muskie fishing is very common in this part of the lake and many anglers will catch huge pike while targeting muskie.
Fishing the Bays
There are many bays to fish on the Canadian side, so head over the border if you want to fish this pattern. Early in the year, the smaller bays can be outstanding as they warm up quicker. The larger bays can be productive all season long. Fish the green weeds early in the year and fish the deeper weed edges in these bays from summer through fall.
Fishing the Drop-offs
You have lots of nice drop-offs along the shorelines as well as around the islands. Anglers target these drop-offs and do well for pike through summer and fall.
Fishing the Points
There are so many points to fish with all the islands in this area. The main shoreline also has several points that offer good fishing too. If you’re willing to run and gun with the boat, you can easily just target points spring through fall and catch pike. The points that have access to deeper water will be good all summer and fall. You may have to move around though to find where the fish are schooling on that particular day, but it is a pattern that holds up all season long.
Fishing the Islands
Just take a look at the map and you’ll see all the islands you can fish here. There are some large islands on the U.S. side and tons of islands of all sizes in Canadian waters. Pike will be found around the islands from spring through fall. In the summer and fall, find the islands with deep water close by and you’ll usually have a lot more success.
Fishing the Reefs
You have a lot of reefs in this area to fish as well. Most anglers will be targeting walleye on the reefs, but there are plenty of pike using these structures in the summer and fall months.
Fishing the Rocks
You have tons of rocks in Lake of the Woods and it is no different in this part of the lake. Plan on fishing plenty of rocks while here targeting northern pike.
Fishing the Weeds
You can find vegetation in the bays. You’ll just have to move and cover some water if you choose to fish the bays as a pattern. The new green weeds are great spots to fish early in the year and the deeper weed edges will 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.