The northern pike fishing is very good on Lake Pepin. Compared to statewide gill netting numbers, Lake Pepin seems like a solid place to fish for pike, but nothing special compared to other lakes. If you know how to locate northern pike on a river system, you can do very well here with some big fish in the upper 30 inch range a real possibility. Because there are so many other types of fish here, you can use a variety of presentations that will work well for other fish but still give you a good chance to catch some pike too. If you want to target them exclusively, expect to catch decent numbers of them.
Fish the Bays
Some of the shallower bays will hold a lot of pike early in the year just after ice out until warmer temperatures arrive in May. This lake doesn’t have a lot of bays to fish like some other big bodies of water, but there are enough places on the lake to fish that it is definitely a pattern you can use early in the year.
The Current Will Help Position Fish
The current is usually very little on Lake Pepin, but when the river is running high, Lake Pepin will have some noticeable current running through it. During these times, try fishing the current breaks. You will usually find plenty of pike in the slack water close to the current.
Fish the Points
There are several points throughout the lake and pike will move into these areas to feed on a variety of different fish. The time of year and water levels will dictate how good the points will be.
Fish the Rocks
Northern pike love the weeds more than rocks, but on Lake Pepin, you’re going to find plenty of pike relating to the rocks as they search for food to eat.
Fish the Weeds
The vegetation in Lake Pepin will usually hold a variety of panfish, largemouth bass, some walleye and northern pike. Target the areas that have some vegetation, but on this lake, there are so many other areas to fish without weeds, so don’t think you have to just fish the weed edges to catch pike here.
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.