This lake has some good fishing for northern pike, although, they are under fished by most anglers. There aren’t huge numbers of northern pike in the lake, but if you do come here to target northern pike specifically, you should be able to consistently catch some fish and there are some big fish in the lake too.
Fish the Weeds
Mille Lacs Lake has a good amount of vegetation in it. Target these areas if you want to consistently catch northern pike. In the spring and fall, you can usually find lots of quality pike mixed in with the smaller pike in these shallower, weedy areas. In the summer and early fall, target the deeper weed edges for better success.
Fish the Rocks
There are lots of rocks in Mille Lacs Lake and the smallmouth bass fishing is very good in these areas. If you are targeting pike around the rocks, you might want to use some lures that appeal to smallmouth bass as well to up your total fish count for the day. If you fish the rocks with lures that both species of fish will eat, you will most likely catch a lot more bass than pike. You won’t usually catch as many pike around the rocks as the weeds, but some of the biggest pike in the lake can be found around the rocks, so they are worth fishing.
Fish the Reefs
There are plenty of reefs in Mille Lacs Lake and these spots are great once the smallmouth bass and walleye move out to open waters. The bigger pike will feed on both species of fish, so if you’re looking to target some of the bigger pike here, try fishing the deeper water around the reefs 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.