Best Rigs


Bobbers work well for northern pike.  Live shiners, chubs and suckers will all work well under a bobber.  You can have a lot of success fishing with these baits around shallow water weeds.  Fish anywhere from 5 to 12 feet of water with weeds and you should be able to catch pike with a bobber and large minnows.


Slip bobbers are a great way to fish with a variety of live baits such as shiner minnows, chubs and suckers at a variety of depths.  When pike go deeper, the slip bobber is one of the best ways to target them with live bait.


The Carolina rig is a good rig for targeting northern pike.  Most anglers use this rig for fishing deeper water with live baits such as shiner minnows, chubs or suckers, but you can also fish a variety of soft plastics and even hard baits on a Carolina rig too.  It’s a great rig that gives you a lot of options for fishing many different baits for pike.


The drop shot rig isn’t very popular among most northern pike anglers, although, this rig does work well to fish deeper water with live baits such as large shiner minnows, chubs and suckers.  Some soft plastics will also work on a drop shot rig.  Large grubs, minnow baits and big curly tail worms will work for pike, but live bait is more popular on a drop shot rig for pike fishing.


Jigheads work well for using soft plastics or minnows when fishing for northern pike.  You can work the bottom with these jigs, which is very popular with live minnows and soft plastics.  Swimbaits, curly tail worms and swimming worms are great baits to use on a jighead if you want to swim these baits along the bottom or at various depths through the water column.  Brighter colored jigheads tend to stand out more and attract more pike to your bait since these fish are sight feeders.


The quick strike rig is one of the most popular rigs for targeting big northern pike.  These rigs work well with large chubs and suckers.  When using large chubs and suckers, many pike will grab the bait by the middle of it and if you have one hook in the mouth of the bait, you will miss many of the bites that you get.  With the quick strike rig, you will rig one of the hooks in the mouth and the other hook in the middle back part of the bait.  When a pike grabs the chub or sucker by the middle of it, you can set the hook right away and get a good hook set.  This helps anglers catch more pike and release more large pike unharmed because anglers don’t have to wait to set the hook.


Scrounger jigheads are awesome for northern pike fishing.  Minnow baits are the most popular bait when fishing for pike on scrounger jigheads because these jigheads bring the minnow baits to life.  The jigheads turn a minnow bait, that is made for jigging or twitching, into a swimbait.  Fish them shallow or deep or fish them with a variety of other soft plastic baits too.  Scrounger jigheads work great and you should definitely try using them for northern pike.



Shaky head jigs are one of the best ways to rig soft plastic baits.  You can fish a variety of soft plastics on a shaky head jig.  Whether you are swimming swimbaits or working a big curly tail worm slowly along the reeds, shaky head jigs will help the job done.  If you are fishing wood, scattered grass, reeds or lily pads, you should be able to work soft plastics in and around this stuff with a variety of soft plastic baits.


Spinner Rigs are some of the best lures for catching northern pike.  You can use live minnows such as large shiners, chubs and suckers in shallower water and deep water.  Casting these minnows will kill them fairly quick, so most anglers will troll them so they can cover more water with lively minnows.  Soft plastics also work very well when fishing for northern pike with these spinner rigs.  Large grubs, curly tail worms, swimming worms and swimbaits will all work great on a spinner rig.  Add a small split shot about 12 inches above the spinner rig when casting with soft plastics in the shallows.  Use a Carolina rig with a heavier weight when fishing deeper.


Swimbait hooks are great for rigging a variety of soft plastic baits for targeting northern pike.  Most anglers will use them to rig a swimbait, but you can fish just about any soft plastic bait that you would use on a Texas rig with a swimbait hook too.


The Texas rig works well for rigging a variety of soft plastic baits.  Use your favorite soft plastics for northern pike on this rig and you can fish around all types of cover with less hangups.  If you are fishing wood, scattered grass, reeds or lily pads, you should be able to work soft plastics in and around this stuff with a variety of soft plastic baits.


Peg Your Weight or Use a Florida Rig


To prevent your weight from moving up the line, either peg the weight or use a weight that connects to the worm or other soft plastic bait.  The corkscrew weight that connects to the worm is known as a Florida rig when you attach it to the bait.


Underspins are one of the best ways to rig soft plastic swimming-style baits for northern pike.  Whether you use swimbaits, curly tail grubs, ring worms or other baits, just make sure you’re rigging these with baits that have some type of swimming style action on them and you’ll get plenty of bites from northern pike.  Use the lighter jigheads for fishing around the shallows and around weeds.  Go heavier when fishing deeper water and you can connect with some big pike.  Underspins are one of the better action baits for catching northern pike.