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.

Ice Out Pike

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.

Check out the Visual Weeds

When you pull into the bays, you can usually see vegetation throughout the bay, especially in the back of the bays where it is shallower.  Some of the visual stuff that you see will be very productive for good numbers of pike and some quality fish too.  Lily pads and reeds will be some of the more common weeds you will see above water as you pull into the bays.

Deep Weed Edges Will Usually Hold the Better 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.