man poses with the large pike he caught

Sharp toothed, wide-eyed, and possessing a nasty whipping tail, northern pike are well worth the chase if you’re up for the challenge. And if you reside in the state of Minnesota, then you’re definitely closer to catching a trophy pike than you think.

For those new to northern pike fishing, get ready for an exciting fishing experience. These predatory creatures are fierce, dangerous, and ready to put up a fight before they even reach the water’s surface. Although many anglers prefer to fish for pike during the spring and warmer months of the year, autumn provides a unique opportunity for trolling pike. Why? Like walleye, northern pike spend the last part of the open water season fattening up for the winter ahead.  They hunt their prey around underwater vegetation. So, when the months grow colder, and the vegetation starts dying away, their prey’s hiding spots become sparser and more concentrated, making the odds of catching them that much greater.

But before you grab your northern pike bait and head out onto the lake, check out these basic techniques to give you a head start for some successful northern pike fishing:

Cast Long and Strong:

These freshwater fish are prone to hunting food sources in deeper water conditions, so you’ll need to cast long to cover a larger span of the area. And because pike are known to ambush their prey, your lure should create more movement and vibration to ignite their predatory instincts.

Choose the Right Leader:

Because northern pike can weigh up to 20 pounds—sometimes even more—you need to ensure your leader can handle the weight. Remember when we said sharp teeth? Yeah, in some parts of the world, these fish are called toothies, and for good reason, too. Their teeth can easily cut through your line and your finger.  A wire leader is recommended for catching northern pike as it’s both durable and flexible and won’t interfere with the presentation or action of your lure.

Choose the Best Lure:

Close up view of locking lip technology on Bagley Crankbaits One thing to know about northern pike is that they eat EVERYTHING! Baitfish, frogs, mice, and even other pike fish. And because your lure needs to withstand the extra weight and deep-water elements, such as weeds and rocks, it’s essential that you select the best fishing lures for catching northern pike.

Bagley Bait’s Bang O B is a powerful, deep-running lure for catching heavy predators like pike. It features a super-tough ABS resin body and a strong poly-carbonate swimming lip that is uniquely locked into the lure’s body.

It’s equipped with heavy-duty hooks and hardware to handle the rigors of these big fish.  This lure is designed to vary its wobble with steady trolling speeds, setting the action for magnum-caliber hits.

Another bait option is Bagley’s Brite Casting Spoons. Available in several sizes and in a choice of a hammered or a mirrored finish. These are genuinely forged spoons, where the forging process creates tapered edges that result in a perfect variable flutter in the water. Easy casting, every Bagley spoon is finished with genuine gold or silver plating that allows for incredible flash and great durability. Bagley spoons are also deadly when jigged in open water or through the ice.  Their fluttering action can bring them from far away and make your heart stop when they hit – especially when fishing through a hole in the ice.

Grab your Pliers:

When you catch your first pike, it’s easy to get excited and start posing for pictures, forgetting about their ferocious set of teeth. Keep your fingers away from its mouth, and when you’re removing the hook, use long needle-nose pliers. Another important tip to remember: these fish like to flop around, whipping their monstrous tail in every direction, so it’s a good idea to bring a net or fish cradle with you to keep the fish under control before you attempt to retrieve your hook.

Angling for northern pike is guaranteed to supply you with heart-pounding action! For more tips on freshwater fishing or to fill that tackle box with pike fishing lures to land you the biggest trophy, check out our Bagley Bait’s web store or contact us today!

An ice fisherman holding up a northern pike he caught

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