Northern Pike – Fishing the Wood (Timber & Brush)

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Northern pike tend to relate to weeds a lot more than wood, but at times, wood can hold some very nice-sized pike.  Stumps, fallen trees, sunken logs, timber and brush are important types of cover especially in rivers and reservoirs because water level fluctuations can limit the growth of weeds.

The best types of wood are around excellent structure.  Deep-sloping shorelines with wood are excellent areas throughout the summer and fall.  Timber and brush in shallow water are great in the spring.  Brushy flats along creek channels will also hold fish, but most fish will be found on the deep side of the cover.

Fishing Tips

Weedless Finesse Jig & Minnow

The easiest way to target pike in the wood is to use a weedless finesse jig with a lively minnow.  The weed guard will keep you from getting snagged up and you can keep your bait in the strike zone for much longer than you could by fishing with lures.

Bass Jigs

Bass Jigs are often overlooked, but they are one of the best baits to use for pike in and around wood cover.  These jigs are great for avoiding snags and they catch lots of pike. Tournament bass fishermen are often annoyed by pike when they are using jigs in and around wood.  If there are pike in the lake where the tournament is held, bass fishermen will catch quite a few pike on jigs.

Soft Plastics Rigged Weedless

Soft plastics can work great around all the snags often found around the wood.  Rig your baits weedless and fish them slowly around the wood and you will catch some fish.


Spinnerbaits are great baits for working around wood and northern pike love them.

Bladed Swim Jigs

Bladed swim jigs work great around the snaggy cover also.  Fish them slow around the wood and hang on.

Weedless Spoons

Weedless spoons can also be effective.  Work them slow around the wood and you’ll get some bites.


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