The Sioux narrows is a great area to target northern pike with all of the bays, channels, islands and points. There are so many places to fish out of the wind that you can usually still find plenty of pike even on windy days. You will find plenty of vegetation here in the bays that you should easily be able to find plenty of pike willing to bite.
Clear Water Pike Fishing
Because the water is clearer here, some fish can be more spooky than on other areas of the lake. Heavy fluorocarbon leaders will get you more bites than the traditional steel leader that most anglers use when fishing for northern pike. You also may have to fish a little deeper at times, especially on sunny days.
Catch Lots of Pike
This part of the lake has so many good bays to fish with vegetation as well as good offshore structure and deep water as well. It’s one of the better parts of the lake to put up big numbers of northern pike.
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. Anglers do report catching good numbers of quality pike here. Fish up to and above 40 inches are caught here every year.
Fishing the Bays
There are lots of bays here to fish. With the clearer water, make sure to keep your distance from where you plan to cast to. Also, don’t be surprised with some of the weeds growing down into deeper water by mid to end of summer. Pike will still move into the shallows, but you may have to be a little more careful not to spook active fish. Find the weeds and you’ll find plenty of pike here. Because the waters stay relatively cool here through the summer, you can find plenty of pike in the bays from spring through fall.
Fishing the Drop-offs
There are so many drop-offs here to target pike. Some of the better drop-offs will be found on the deeper weed edges, but the rocks will also hold plenty of nice pike too. Find good drop-offs near shallower water with some bait fish around and you should be able to find some pike with this pattern from summer through fall.
Fishing the Points
Whether you want to target points off the main land or points coming out from the islands, you have so many places to fish here. You can just target the points and have plenty of places to fish all day. Pike will come onto the points to feed as many of these spots will hold smallmouth bass, some walleye and panfish too. Find the points with some weeds or rocks with some access to deeper water nearby and you should find pike.
Fishing the Islands
You can hop from island to island to target pike and you can catch fish all day. Some islands with have weeds, some will have rocks, some will have both. Find the islands with some access to deeper water nearby and some type of cover and you should find some pike mixed in.
Fishing the Reefs
Some of the reefs will hold plenty of smallmouth bass and walleye to go along with some panfish too. Pike will move onto these spots as well to find an easy target. Some of the reefs will hold some of the bigger pike from summer through fall. However, because there are so many good spots with weeds in bays and around the numerous islands, many pike anglers won’t even bother to fish the reefs while here. It’s another pattern you can try and it can be very effective.
Fishing the Rocks
This area has tons of rocks, so you will be fishing plenty of rocks. The better spots for catching good numbers of pike will almost always be near the weeds, but don’t rule out the rocks since so many pike will move into these rocky areas to feed on smallmouth bass and other fish too.
Fishing the Weeds
This part of Lake of the Woods is home to plenty of weeds, so if you are looking to target northern pike around the weeds, you will find so many places to fish. The shallower weeds will hold lots of smaller pike with some good sized pike in the spring and fall. The better quality pike can be found around the deeper weed edges in the summer time. Just don’t rule out some of the deeper water, because weeds will grow deeper down with the clearer water.
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.