Because northern pike are sight feeders, the early morning usually isn’t the best time to fish for them. Mornings can be very effective though, especially once that sun begins to rise a little bit. The sunlight helps them find your baits easier.
However, in clear water, the early morning bite can be very good and this will usually help position some pike in the shallows for all of you shallow water anglers. In murky water, you’ll still do well in the mornings, but don’t be surprised if you experience a better bite a couple hours after sunrise.
Slow Down at First Light
If you are an early riser, make it easier for those pike to find and eat your bait by slowing down your presentation. If you fish slower during that first hour of light, you are going to get more bites.
Use Lures That Are Easier to See
Go brighter or bigger with your lure selection to make it easier for them to see your bait.
Expect to Get Some Boatside Strikes
If you give the pike a chance to hit your bait near the boat, you will be rewarded for this and catch more fish over the course of your life. This doesn’t mean that you’re going to catch more pike every time out, but you will catch more pike in the long run by being aware of this. When you are retrieving your baits, make sure to keep your retrieve steady and keep it down in the water as long as possible. Many people will bring the lure in real fast as the bait gets closer to the boat, so they can make another cast near productive cover. It’s smart, however, you’re going to miss fish by doing this. You’re going to miss some of the most exciting strikes right near the boat also.
Late Morning is Usually Best
You don’t have to get up super early to have good pike fishing. The better fishing for pike usually occurs after the sun has been up for a couple of hours anyways, so don’t feel guilty sleeping in when you are targeting pike.