The spring offers some excellent shallow water fishing for northern pike. Big pike will begin to move into the shallows just after ice out. Once water temperatures reach 40 degrees, you can find some big pike spawning in water just deep enough to cover their backs. There will also be fish anywhere from 2 to 6 feet deep in the bays, but don’t rule out the very shallow water when fishing during the spawn. After the spawn, you can still catch plenty of pike in the bays, but most of these fish will be smaller. The bigger fish will head into deeper water just outside of their spawning areas, on points and along some of the weed lines that are starting to form during the end of spring. Big lures will work in the spring, but anglers usually report better results from smaller lures in the spring. Downsizing to smaller spinners, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, crankbaits, swimbaits and spoons will help you put more fish in the boat.
Fish the Bays
Pike will move into the bays to spawn and they will usually stay in the bays until water temperatures warm up in the summer time. Find the green weeds and cast your favorite shallow water lure for pike. This is the best time of year to find a big fish in shallow water.
Throw a Jerkbait
Some of these pike can be real sluggish in the spring and they may not hit your lure of choice. A good-sized jerkbait can be super effective for getting bites in the spring time.
Don’t Rule out the Shallows
You can usually find a lot of pike in real shallow water in the spring. You may find good numbers of fish and some quality fish in water just 3 to 6 feet deep, so don’t rule out the shallows when fishing in the spring.
Rocky Shorelines Can be Great
Pike love the weeds, however, on many of the lakes with a lot of rocks, you will find walleye, smallmouth bass and a variety of panfish around the rocky shorelines during the spring. With all these fish moving into the shallows, pike will be close behind looking for an easy meal. Cast your favorite lures in the 3 to 12 foot depth ranges along these rocky shorelines and you’ll find plenty of pike in the spring.
Find Some Current
The spillways, feeder creeks and smaller waterfalls are some of the best spots to target pike in the spring. There is something about moving water that really gets pike going in the spring. If you’re on a body of water that has some spots like this, the spring is a great time to check these areas out.
Smaller Baits Catch Some Nice Pike
Big baits will almost always get you more bites from big fish while targeting northern pike, however, in the spring, there are always reports of big northern pike being caught on small in-line spinners, soft plastics, crankbaits and other types of lures too. You don’t have to super size all your baits to have success in spring. The smaller baits tend to get a lot more action and with some big fish hitting them too, it can be a great way to have some fun while fishing for northern pike.