How to fish for and catch northern pike in Ontario
Spring (Start of Season)
Spring pike fishing is an exciting way to open up the fishing season. Hard fights, big splashes and huge fish can lead to some exciting days spent on the water. Shallow water is the key component to search out when looking for spring pike in any lake system. Fish will be fresh off the spawn and they will have an appetite, so here’s what to feed them. The top three lure choices for spring pike are big, flashy spinnerbaits, noisy buzzbaits and sparkling spoons. Cast these baits into prime shallow areas and be prepared to hang on tight. Some areas to keep in mind are shallow, sandy back bays, reed beds and the edges of lily pads and slop. Speed will be a triggering mechanism, so keep those baits moving fast and erratically.
A large percentage of pike will relate to shallow water in the summer, but they will seek the shade and comfort that weed and pad beds provide. As they are an ambush predator, pike will set up on the edges of weedlines and tight into weed beds and wait for their prey to swim by. Cast adjacent to these fish-holding structures and work your bait quickly and thoroughly alongside any prime areas you come across. Some fish may also seek deeper water during the hot summer months, but these fish will also be keying in on green weed for the benefits it provides. A new lure to add to your arsenal during the summer months is a large minnowbait. These lures mimic the prey that the pike are feeding on, and are tops when it comes to triggering a hungry pike. Try either the suspending or the regular models to see which works best in your body of water.
Fall time is trolling time for big northern pike, and this is your best way to access these fish as they prepare for the fast-approaching winter months. Fish will be deeper during the fall and can also be found suspended over very deep water. If you can find baitfish in the fall, then you will undoubtedly find yourself in northern pike territory. Pike follow the schools of baitfish around like clockwork, and anglers in the know will use this to their advantage.
The rule of thumb during these cooler months is large crankbaits and spoons trolled relatively fast behind the boat. Matching the colour of your lure to the species of prey that they are feeding on will up your odds dramatically. Mimicking the baitfish by matching size, action and colour will stack the odds in your favour to hook that giant of a lifetime.