The fall provides some exciting fishing for northern pike. As water temperatures get colder, the fishing gets better. This is the time of year that anglers can get away with using bigger baits for catching northern pike. Pike tend to be more aggressive as they pack on the weight for the winter and they will attack bigger lures more consistently than they would during the spring and summer. A variety of lures such as spinners, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, crankbaits and spoons will all work to catch pike. As water temperatures drop into the 40s, you can still catch plenty of pike on lures, but some of the biggest fish will be caught with live chubs and suckers.
Fall Fishing Tips
Fall is Transition Time – Be Flexible
Northern pike could be shallow or deep throughout the fall. Good numbers of fish will move back into the shallows as water temperatures cool off, then when the weeds die off, they will usually be found out in deeper water. Be willing to move shallow and deep throughout the day to figure out where the better bite is happening on any given day.
As Fall Progresses, Find the Green Weeds
With weeds dying off, pike are going to move away from the dying weeds and they will seek out the weeds that are still alive. Fish the green weeds and you’ll probably catch more pike.
Early to Mid Fall, Go Shallower
As water temperatures drop back below 60 degrees, you can usually find a lot of pike moving back into the bays and onto some of that shallower water cover and structure. You can go back in the bays and target the weeds and not only will you get action, but you have a chance to catching some of those bigger fish too like in the spring time. This shallower water pattern doesn’t last long, so get in on it while it lasts, because the pike are heading for deeper water soon.
End of Fall, Go Deep
Good numbers of pike will settle into the deeper water of the main lake once you get to the end of the fall. As water temperatures fall and it gets closer to ice fishing season, the better bite will usually be in much deeper water. On most lakes, we’re talking 15 to 25 feet of water and it can be even deeper.