As water temperatures drop from the 70s into the low 60s
This is the transition from end of summer to early fall. The fishing is very good with pike found shallow and deep. Fish it all until you find active fish. You may have to keep moving around if you can’t find them congregated in any specific areas.
As water temperatures drop from the low 60s to the low 50s
There will usually be good numbers of pike relating to the remaining green weeds as water temperatures drop into the low 50s. As the weeds start to die off, try to find the remaining green weeds and there is a good chance you will still find plenty of pike. As these weeds die off, the rock structure will start providing some of the better fishing opportunities on many lakes. Once the weeds all die off, the bite can be tough for many anglers, so don’t be shocked if you experience a tough bite for pike shallow and deep for about a week after those weeds die off.
As water temperatures drop from the low 50s to the low 40s
Pike will usually be caught again more easily if you can find them in deeper water. Some pike will go shallow, but many fish will go to their winter homes in much deeper water. For many anglers, catching them won’t be the problem. It will be finding them that can be tough. If you can find some of the schools of bait fish out on main lake structures, you have a good chance to catch some nice fish during this time of the year. The problem is that you will see a lot of that bait fall to the bottom as opposed to seeing big balls of bait like you did in the summer and early fall.
You are dealing with weeds dying off, then the turnover and you have brutal cold fronts messing with the fish as well. For some anglers, they report some awesome fishing this time of year, while others won’t even take the boat out from their memories of being burnt in the past.