Cedar Lake is known more for its muskie fishing, but it is also a solid northern pike fishery. Most anglers that come here for muskie will also catch some big pike since these fish will go after many of the popular muskie baits. If you want to target northern pike, there are plenty of weeds, deeper shorelines and rock structure that will hold pike from spring through fall.
Fish the Bays
The bays will hold plenty of pike here from spring through fall. In the spring, you will find a lot of bigger pike in these bays as they feed up after they finish spawning. The new green weeds are great spots to fish early in the year, but as the season progresses, the deeper weed lines will be the better places to find the better quality pike. Many of the bigger pike will move out into open water and can be found on the offshore structure in the summer and fall, so don’t spend too much time in the bays if you’re only finding smaller pike during those months.
Fish the Deeper Shorelines
You have miles of shorelines to fish here and the deeper shorelines will hold some pike from spring through fall. Whether there are weeds or rocks on these deeper shorelines, there will be other fish there, which means pike will move into these spots to find an easy meal.
Fish the Offshore Structure
The islands will hold a lot of pike during the summer and fall months. When the wind blows into these islands, you can usually find smallmouth bass, walleye and other fish here, which helps bring plenty of pike into these areas as well. The islands with deeper water nearby will usually hold more numbers and better quality pike.
There are a lot of rock humps to fish on Cedar Lake. Most anglers will be targeting walleye on these spots, but the pike will be here too, especially in the summer and fall. Many anglers will catch pike while jigging a minnow for walleye. If you throw some good deep water pike lures, you can catch some very nice pike in these spots.
Fish the Rocks
There are a ton of rocks throughout Cedar Lake and you can find plenty of pike around the rocks. Weeds will usually hold more pike than the rocks, but there are so many rocks here and pike can be found throughout so many different areas that you can easily fish a rock pattern and catch plenty of pike.
Fish the Weeds
There are plenty of weeds still available on Cedar Lake and the pike will be found in these areas. The shallower weeds may be great early in the year, but they will hold mostly smaller pike from summer through fall, so make sure to find those deeper weed edges if you want to find bigger pike throughout the summer and fall months.
Best Baits for Northern Pike
Northern pike are known for eating just about everything they can get the mouths on and there is definitely some truth to that. For the most part, if it swims, pike may eat it. There are some baits that definitely will catch more pike than others though. Spinners, crankbaits, spoons, swimbaits and soft plastics are some of the best lures for targeting pike. Live baits such as minnows and perch are great baits too.
There are many different rigs you can use for northern pike, however, since pike are so aggressive, you really don’t need to use as many of them as you would if you were trying to get good at largemouth bass fishing. For most situations, you can keep it real simple with a jighead and a minnow or soft plastic bait. To learn about some of the rigs that you can use, take a look at our best rigs for northern pike page.
To learn more, take a look at our best techniques for northern pike page.
Our northern pike fishing section has tons of tips on the best lures, live baits, where to catch them and how to catch them.