Soft plastics work very well for northern pike, however, you may go through many soft plastics when fishing for pike because of their teeth and aggressiveness. The soft plastics that are soft and not very durable will easily tear when fishing for pike. Make sure to use soft plastics that are more durable and you will go through less baits. Any bait that has a nice swimming motion will usually work well for pike. Swim your soft plastics with a slow and steady retrieve around weeds and you should catch some pike. Take a look below at some of the best soft plastics that you can use for northern pike.
Most anglers don’t think of using curly tail grubs for northern pike fishing, but the larger grubs can be very effective. A large grub rigged on a jighead, swimbait hook, Florida rig, spinner rig or a shaky head jig will work well with a steady retrieve. You can cast them or troll with them. Both methods will be effective. When pike are in the shallows during the spring, swimming a large grub is a great way to cover a lot of water and find feeding fish. Some anglers catch a lot of northern pike while they are jigging grubs for walleye in deeper water. Whether you choose to swim them, vertical jig with them or just hop them along the bottom, curly tail grubs will generate plenty of bites from northern pike.
Curly tail worms work great for northern pike. The swimming action of the tail helps to create more strikes. Work the worm a little faster than you would typically work the worm when fishing for largemouth bass. A little more erratic and violent jerking motion will give the worm more of a swimming action which works well for pike. You can also just swim these worms in with a steady retrieve.
Creature baits can also be very effective for targeting northern pike. The baits that have swimming legs will usually catch more fish because pike love that swimming action on a bait. Some of the smaller creature baits will look great on the back of a bass jig too.
Paddle Tail Worms can work great for northern pike. Many anglers will catch northern pike on accident while working a paddle tail worm for largemouth bass or smallmouth bass. For northern pike, you can catch them by jigging a paddle tail worm or hopping it along the bottom, but a scrounger jighead will give some paddle tail worms so much action on a scrounger jighead that it drives northern pike crazy. A slow and steady retrieve worked around shallow water weeds (cabbage, lily pads, reeds, etc.) tends to be the best way to target pike with a paddle tail worm.
Soft plastic lizards have legs all over the place and if you work these baits a little faster or with a more erratic jigging motion, you will create plenty of action with the legs and it will attract northern pike. You can also just wind them in with a slow and steady retrieve.
Soft minnows and soft jerkbaits both work great for northern pike. The 4 inch minnows that most anglers would use to jig for walleye will also catch plenty of pike. Try rigging a 5 to 6 inch jerkbait minnow weedless and work it along a nice deeper weed edge. It’s a great way to catch northern pike.
Swimming worms work great for northern pike. Cast them out and wind them in with a steady retrieve and you will get plenty of bites. However, you’re going to go through plenty of these baits because the pike have sharp teeth and they are known for tearing up soft plastic baits. Once they tear up the tail, these baits are not as effective anymore.
Tubes can be an effective bait for northern pike. Some anglers use the bigger tubes and they fish them with a jerkbait retrieve. Try using baitfish colored tubes to help mimic a dying baitfish and use a jerkbait retrieve and you should be able to catch plenty of pike.