There are a lot of northern pike in the St. Lawrence River and out on Lake Ontario as well. The bays will hold pike from spring through fall. There are some huge bays here as well as numerous smaller bays. Fish the weeds in these bays and you should find plenty of pike. You can also find pike around the islands, points and the numerous current breaks in the river. If you target pike, you can catch good numbers of them and trophy pike are here too.
Fish the Bays
There are so many bays to fish in this area and if you target the weedy bays in the spring and early summer, you can catch a lot of northern pike. The shallower bays will hold mostly smaller pike all season, but the larger bays will have some deeper weed lines and the bigger pike can be caught here in the summer and fall. If you have a boat that can cover some water, you can easily fish this pattern and catch a lot of pike while here.
Fish the Current Breaks
Some parts of the river will have some decent current. While pike can be caught in the current, you will usually find a lot more of them just out of the current on current breaks. If these spots have some deeper water close by with some weeds or rocks too, they can be really good spots to fish.
Fish the Islands
There are so many islands to fish and you have rocks, weeds, shallower water, deep water and current breaks that can hold pike. Every island is different, but most of them will hold some pike throughout the season.
Fish the Points
Points will hold pike and there are a lot of points to fish here. Target the points on the main river shorelines or off of the islands. They both will hold fish. Current and wind can play a factor depending on where you are on the river.
Fish the Rocks
The rocky areas are going to hold more smallmouth bass usually, but pike will be found around the rocks too. Early in the year, a lot of pike will be in the bays around the weeds, but in the summer and fall, you can find a lot of pike around the rocks too. The weeds will usually be the better pattern to fish, but don’t rule out the rocks entirely.
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.