Best northern pike fishing lure
The best northern pike fishing lure is a spoon. There are several reasons for this. A fishing spoon is basically a curved piece of metal with a hook in it. Spoons are heavy and are easily cast a long distance. This makes them terrific search baits. Spoons have a built in action, making them easy for both experienced and novice anglers to use. They come in both treble hook for open water fishing and single weedless hook versions when fishing around weeds.
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Anglers have many choices when it comes to choosing the proper spoon for northern pike fishing. There are quite a few manufacturers who offer them. Spoons come in a myriad of sizes, shapes, and finishes. All of them basically do the same thing. Spoons put out vibration, wobble, and flash. These combined to simulate a wounded bait fish, which is the primary forage of northern pike.
Northern pike are ambush predators. One look at the color pattern on their body will give anglers a clue as to how they feed. They have the perfect camouflage for hiding in grass beds and attacking helpless prey as it swims by. Northern pike are long and sleek and easily slither through the thickest of weeds. They snatch prey in their large jaws with their long pointy teeth.
Northern pike feeding habits
Northern Pike are opportunistic feeders. There is very little that they won’t eat, given the opportunity. However, they do like a larger meal. For the most part, northern pike feed primarily on smaller fish. Depending on the environment, these include yellow perch, bluegill and sunfish, suckers, herring, shad, and any other small game fish.
Pike will also feed on amphibians such as frogs, crustaceans such as crayfish, and even mammals and birds. There are top water lures that imitate mice and rats that have proven to be effective on northern pike. They routinely devour baby ducks as they swim across the water.
Spoons are effective northern pike fishing lures
It is easy to see why a spoon is the best northern pike fishing lure. They closely mimic a wounded bait fish, the primary forage of a northern pike. Since spoons are available in a wide variety of sizes and finishes, it is easy for anglers to “match the hatch” and choose a spoon that mimics the locally available forage.
However, anglers really don’t need to get too complicated when it comes to spoons. Generally speaking, a 3/4 ounce to 1 ounce spoon is a good all-around size. Anglers can comfortably cast that on a medium action spinning rod as well as a light action bait casting outfit. Heavier spoons can certainly be used and often are by anglers targeting larger northern pike.
Spoons are also arguably the most effective northern pike fishing lure through the ice as well. Pike adapt to the cold water and continue to feed all winter, even under the ice. While anglers ice fishing for northern pike are limited to a vertical presentation, a spoon certainly fits the bill. The spoon is lowered through the hole and jigged erratically, often times with a piece of cut sucker or other bait fish.
Northern pike fishing tackle
Anglers can effectively fish for northern pike with both spinning tackle and conventional tackle. A 7 foot medium spinning rod with a fast action is a good choice. This means that the rod has plenty of backbone at the butt section, tapering to a fairly limber tip. This combination allows for easy casting of a fairly light lure while given the angler enough power to land a large fish. It can be matched with a 3000 or 4000 series spinning reel.
Anglers preferring bait casting outfits will do well with a 7 foot medium action combination. Whether using spinning or bait casting outfits, most anglers choose braided line when fishing for pike. Braided line casts further, has no stretch, and most importantly is much more abrasion resistant than monofilament line. 20 lb test braided line works well, but anglers can bump it up when targeting big pike. In most cases, anglers opt for a 12 inch wire leader when fishing for pike.
Anglers can read a comprehensive article on freshwater fishing tackle here.
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Best northern pike fishing spoons
The list of spoons that will for northern pike is quite long. However, there are several that stand out above the rest. Most of the spoons on this list have been around a long time, proving themselves to be the best northern pike fishing lure.
Most spoons have a single treble hook on the rear. Relatively speaking, this makes it fairly easy to release a northern pike as opposed to a plug with multiple hooks. These spoons work well in open water and over submerged weed beds. They can also be used through sporadic grass. Other spoon designs have a single upturned hook with a weed guard. These are better choices when fishing in very thick or heavy grass and weeds.
The Eppinger Daredevil is a legend among northern pike anglers. It has a very typical “spoon” shape. They have a slow, rhythmic wobble in the water. The 3 5/8 inch, 1 ounce spoon is the most popular size for northern pike. Many fish have been landed on the famous red and white Daredevil spoon. Chrome and “five of diamonds” are two other extremely productive finishes.
The Acme Kastmaster is another legendary casting spoon. As with most lure manufacturers, the Kastmaster is offered in a wide variety of finishes and colors. Most anglers opt for the silver, gold, or combination of silver or gold with some type of prism finish in the 1 ounce size. This bait is also one of the best lures for chasing northern pike under the ice.
Johnson Silver Minnow
The Johnson Silver Minnow is an example of a weedless spoon. It goes through the water with the flat side of the lure down and the hook writing facing up. A thin metal weed guard covers the point of the hook. This weed guard will cause the bait to deflect off of grass and weeds. However, when a pike or other fish grabs it, the guard is depressed and the fish is easily hooked. The wide gap single hook results in a fairly easy release in most cases. Silver and gold are the most popular finishes.
Spoon fishing techniques
One of the aspects that makes a spoon the best northern pike fishing lore is the ease with which it is used. In most cases, the bait is simply cast out, allowed to sink to the desired depth, then reeled back in using a fairly steady retrieve. The spoon puts out a ton of vibration and flash as it wobbles through the strike zone, realistically mimicking a wounded bait fish and simulating an easy meal.
Anglers can, and should, vary the retrieve until a productive pattern emerges. This is true with all artificial lures, and spoons are no exception. One presentation that works especially well is a jerk and pause retrieve. The spoon is jerked sharply, causing it to move quickly through the water. The angler then pauses, allowing the spoon to flutter down. This is often when the bite occurs as a spoon imitates a dying bait fish fluttering to the bottom.
Spoons can also be used in a vertical presentation over deep structure. This technique is generally used for other species such as bass, walleye, lake trout, and more. However, in the summer, and again in the winter, northern pike may move out to offshore structure. In this situation, vertically jigging a spoon is the approach that keeps the bait in the strike zone the longest.
In conclusion, this article on the best northern pike fishing lure will help anglers catch more of these terrific freshwater game fish!