The northern pike fishing can be excellent on this part of the lake, but it is a little different than the rest of the lake. Because the lake can be rough due to it being so open, anglers need larger boats to fish the offshore structure here. If you want to come to this part of the lake to target pike, your best bet is early in the season when they are in the bays, near the creek or river mouths and along the shorelines.
Fishing the Bays
There are a few really big bays here and a lot of pike will move into these bays to spawn. Early in the year with a south wind, it can be quite pleasant fishing the south end of the lake. Fish the vegetation early in the year and you can catch some absolute giant northern pike.
Fish the Creek Mouths or River Mouth
The Rainy River flows into the lake on this part of the lake. You also have several creek mouths here too. Pike can be found in these areas as they look for schools of bait fish. The spring and fall bring lots of pike into these areas as they follow bait fish. You can have a lot of success targeting pike in these spots, but if they aren’t hitting in one spot, you’ll need a decent boat to get you to the next spots.
Fishing Offshore Structure
Once the fish move out into deeper water for the summer, you are going to find the better quality pike on offshore structure or roaming open waters feeding on schools of bait fish, perch or walleye. The reefs will hold plenty of walleye, perch and other fish. Pike will be here too. You will just need a big boat to get miles offshore here due to the bigger waves.
Fishing the Points
There are some large points on the south side of the lake. Fish will move into these areas and pike will be here too. Because most of the better pike will move offshore here during the summer, these points are a better spring, early summer or fall pattern.
Fishing the Shorelines
You can find a lot of northern pike cruising the shorelines along the south shore early in the season. On days with south winds, it is quite pleasant to fish along the shoreline here and you can catch some pretty big fish fairly shallow in the spring and early summer.
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.