As you can probably tell, today’s topic is going to be pike fishing, something that many of you fishermen or aspiring fishermen should probably know about. So, without further ado, let’s learn all about pike fishing
What is a Pike? Why Pike Fish?
You cannot really go pike fishing without knowing what a pike actually is. The answer is actually not an easy one. The fish that most of us think of when we think of pike is the northern pike. The northern pike is a fish that resides in the brackish and freshwater areas of the Northern Hemisphere. Essentially, the northern pike can be found in places like the U.S., Ireland, the U.K. and other parts of Europe (they are most commonly found in the cold parts of these locations). With this said, there are a few fish species like the Pacific saury that reside in Asia and are also considered to be pikes. In a way, a pike is not just one fish but a variety of species all sharing particular traits. Fish that are considered pikes tend to be rather aggressive towards other fish and aquatic animals. A final interesting fact about the pike resides in its name. The name pike actually originates from a weapon called a pike which was a pole-weapon with a pointed end. The narrowness of the weapon greatly resembles the body-type of the fish of the same name, therefore people gave the fish the name pike.
Pike fishing is unlike more common forms of fishing that result in humans eating the fish. Pikes are generally not consumed by humans due to the bony nature of the fish’s interior. However, Europeans sometimes still eat pike, as pike is included in historic European cuisine. So, why go pike fishing if you are not actually going to eat the fish? One of the biggest reasons that people fish for pike is that it is simply a good fish to catch as a sport due to its aggressive nature and tendency to perform aerial maneuvers. Other than sport, people tend to go pike fishing for population control. Since the pike is such an aggressive fish, it is often a threat to other fish species, especially when the pike is introduced to a habitat where it did not originate. For example, the northern pike was illegally introduced into the south-central Alaskan freshwater environment. This insertion of the pike into an unnatural habitat caused the population of salmon to drop.
Where and How to Fish for Pike
The easiest and more effective time of the year to fish for pike is the early spring. This is simply due to the fact that the northern pike generally spawns during this time of year. So, a good strategy to catch pike would be to navigate to a shallow brackish or freshwater area near some ice, as pike tend to stay by shallow areas near things like weedbeds after spawning. It is also very possible to catch these fish in the summer as well. However, a good fisherman should keep in mind that during periods of warmer weather, fish tend to move to deeper parts of the water. Therefore, it would be a good idea to cast somewhere near a deeper part of the water with weedbeds or other vegetation nearby. During the fall, pike behavior is much more inconsistent. This simply means that pike can be found in both shallow and deeper parts of the water.
As far as actually hooking a pike goes, most pike fishermen tend to go with a spoon lure. Spoons tend to attract pike (and other fish) with the reflections that light on the spoon. When choosing a spoon, you probably should go with a four or five-inch spoon with a red, white or gold color. Spinnerbaits and bucktails are also commonly used to hook pike. Most pike fishermen recommend that you choose an oversized bass spinnerbait or a six-inch bucktail. These two types of lures are effective because pike tend to believe that the lures are actually smaller fish that the pike tends to prey upon. Some less popular bait choices are five or six-inch minnow-shaped crankbaits, oversized buzzbaits and six-inch soft plastic stickbaits.
Now that you are equipped with this information, you are more than ready to begin fishing for pike. As long as you keep in mind the aforementioned information regarding where to aim your lures and which lures to use, you should be catching pike is no time at all. Just be careful, due to the fish’s acrobatics, it may not be an easy catch.