The bays are prime fishing spots during the spring. Shortly after ice out, northern pike will move into the shallow soft bottom bays to spawn. Sometimes, they will be in water just deep enough to cover their bodies. During the spring, move quietly through the shallow waters because you will most likely scare quite a few pike. If you can see the fish before they see you, you will have a very good chance to catch them. Sight fishing for pike is one of the most exciting ways to catch pike. Big spinners, spinnerbaits, spoons, swimbaits and shallow-diving crankbaits will produce some excellent results.
During the summer, you will usually find more smaller pike in the bays with many of the bigger fish in roaming the deeper water. You may still catch an occasional big fish in the bays in the summer, but most of the fish you will catch will be smaller. In the fall, as water temperatures cool back into the low 60s, you can find some bigger pike moving back into the bays around the weeds. As water temperatures get colder in the late fall, you won’t find as many big fish in the bays. They will move out into deeper water.
Find the Weeds
Find the weeds and you’ll find plenty of pike.
Find the Deep Weed Edges & You Will Find the Bigger Pike
The deeper weed edges will hold the bigger fish most of the time. These spots can don’t have to be super deep either. Water in the 6 to 12 foot range with a nice weed edge can be great spots for targeting bigger pike. Find these spots and fish them thoroughly.
On Lakes With Minimal Weeds, Fish the Deeper Shorelines
It may be rock, sand or some type of muck bottom. If you are on a lake that doesn’t have a lot of weeds to fish, some of these bays will still hold some fish. However, you just might be fishing more rock or sand instead, which is ok as long as there are some pike to catch. Target the shorelines with deeper water close to the shoreline. These are areas where you will usually find pike and some of the better pike too.
No Distinct Deeper Shorelines, Then Fish the Deeper Water in the Bay
If you can’t find any shorelines with deeper water, try fishing the deeper water in the bay. For the smaller bays, you may be fishing the middle of the bays.
Shallower Bays are Better in Spring & Fall
The spring and fall are your best bets for targeting better quality pike. In the summer, you are usually going to find smaller pike in the bays unless you’re fishing a large bay with lots of deeper water.