Spring is a great season for catching pike, and, if you have never tried it before, now it is a very good time to start. You need to know where to find it, and how to approach it, but, nonetheless, catching pike is an enjoyable and rewarding experience that you should try at least once.
Locating the pike
Every angler on the planet knows that fish that is spawning is easier to catch and that the time after spawning is very sensitive for most species. Because they are hungry and they need energy, they will throw themselves on any bite of food they will see, and they will not be fussy. That makes early spring fishing such a great idea.
When it comes to pike, you surely know that you will find plenty in shallow waters. However, if a lake has plenty of shallow areas, where do you start? Creeks tend to overflow in spring, and there is plenty of room for fish to cover and spawn. The fertile delta like locations that appear are the ideal environment for pike.
Here is a tip on how you can narrow down your search. The largest inflows are your best bet, for the simple fact that this is where a lot of detritus will get deposited in spring. Weeds will start growing, creating the perfect conditions for pike to spawn.
The fertile shallow waters in which pike finds a home when spawning its young have another great advantage for the fish. Both adults and fry will find here a lot of food. Pike prefers the sinking vegetation for laying its eggs because it keeps them above the bottom, where levels of oxygen are low.
The many creeks and tributaries fueling the lakes and rivers are a fantastic environment for all kinds of fish, such as crappie, walleye, bass, and suckers. For pikes, this is an incredible opportunity to eat everything they can, and they will not hesitate to do so.
Why doesn’t the frenzy last?
You may be surprised to find that pike is easy to catch in spring in the areas mentioned above, but, come summer, this species becomes scarce to nonexistent. That means that you will have to move your fishing spots if you still want to bring home a pike or two. Only far into the northern areas, pike remains in the river mouths and weed lines, where it can thrive and feed. Keep in mind that pike doesn’t love water that is too warm, so it will not last long in waters that get hot too fast.
64-68F is the ideal water temperature for pike, which is why you cannot find it in summer in the same spots. This fish is quite sensitive to temperature changes, and it will follow the band of water it finds ideal. Why is this aspect important? Apparently, pike considers proper water temperature more important than anything, and it can even forget about food, for such conditions.
For instance, Lake Ontario is one notorious spot for pike, but you will not find it just anywhere. The Bay of Quinte is the preferred destination for pike in early spring, but you will not find any once the temperature rises. For summer fishing, you should head over to the eastern areas of the lake. So, if you are interested in fishing pike, search for the areas where water temperature meets the ideal figures. That is where you will find the elusive pike.
Your choice in bait
Once you are successful in locating the pike, you should consider your options in the bait. Jerkbait works like a charm, and don’t hesitate to throw some minnows into the mix. For pike that goes deeper into the weed lines, you should always opt for a quick retrieval strategy, using dead bait. You will be amazed how easy it will be to catch pike under these circumstances.