Fishing for northern pike in the summer can be difficult for many anglers. There are still plenty of smaller pike (less than 30 inches) in the shallows near shallow weed lines, points and in bays, but most of the bigger pike will go deeper. Steep drop-offs, deep water off of points and deep weed lines are all great places to find pike. The more advanced anglers will target the big pike that are suspended in open water looking for schools of bait fish. These suspended fish can be difficult to locate, but they are usually scattered throughout the thermocline. If you cover enough deep water along the thermocline, you will catch much bigger pike on average than you would by fishing the shallows in the summer.
Summer Fishing Tips
Learn How to Fish Deep
The bigger pike are going to be in deeper water most of the time. Use your electronics and find the better drop-offs and you will catch bigger pike. You won’t always find good numbers of pike, so you may have to move around to find a couple fish here or there. The average size fish usually is a lot bigger when you commit to fishing deeper water in the summer time.
Troll Deeper Water
One of the easier ways to fish deeper water for pike is to set up a few trolling rods and your favorite trolling lures. Trolling can be very effective in covering water to find more active fish.
Fish The Deepest Weed Edges
Pike love weeds and you can still find some big fish on those deeper weed edges in the summer. Anywhere from 8 to 15 feet of water, you may be able to find a weed edge. Fish the deepest part of the weed edge and you should be able to find some nice pike.
Fish the Reefs
On many lakes, the reefs attract plenty of walleye and smallmouth bass and the pike will follow along to find an easy meal. Fish the drop-offs along the reefs and you should be able to find some pike in the summer time. These spots will produce some very large fish in the summer too.
Go Vertical with a Jig or Drop Shot Rig
Vertical jigging or drop shotting is one of the easiest ways to keep your baits near the better spots on the bottom while fishing deeper water. Most anglers will be using their electronics to find structure and to find fish. Once you find these better spots, just drop your bait straight down to the bottom and then pick it up just off the bottom and start working it. Walleye anglers catch big pike in the summer and fall all the time from jigging or drop shotting deeper water. They catch them on accident while targeting walleye, so imagine how well you could do if you targeted them this way.