Northern Pike Fishing Tips

On this page you will be able to learn about northern pike and the basics on how to successfully catch northern pike. It doesn’t matter if you’re a 30 year fishing veteran or if you only fished a couple of times as a kid. The information on this page will help you become a successful northern pike angler. We start this section off with basic information about northern pike, followed by some of the best northern pike fishing tips available on the internet. You’ll also be able to read about the world records, some basic facts on northern pike and more.


About Northern Pike (esox lucius)

Northern PikeNorthern pike (esox lucius) is a carnivorous fish that is native to the northern hemisphere. They live in freshwater and brackish water. They can be found in Europe, North America and Russia, but they have also been introduced in other areas. Juvenile northern pike will feed on daphnia and other small invertebrates. As they grow, they will also feed on gammaruses and asselluses. Once they reach about 3″ to 5″ they’ll start going after small fish. As they grow larger they will mainly feed on other types of fish, including their own species. Northern pike do not school but will follow schools of other fish (such as roach fish) during the winter months.

Northern Pike FishingThe northern pike’s habitat will usually be a large body lake or sluggish stream. They like cold water that is clear and will hang around weed beds and rocks. They like these type of structures because they are ambush predators. Northern pike will remain completely still for extended periods of time until suitable prey passes by and then they will strike with amazing acceleration. They can adapt to almost any body of water, both fresh and brackish, as long as it has a bait fish population. However, to sustain a population there needs to be locations in the body of water where northern pike can spawn. Northern pike are a very popular game fish and great care should be taken when removing a hook since they have powerful jaws with very sharp teeth.

Northern Pike Fishing Tips, Tricks and Techniques

Here are some of the best available tips can immediately improve your success.

  • Playing Games with Bait – Northern pike are notorious for playing with your bait. They will sometimes hit your bait and simply let go without actually running with it. You don’t want to try and set the hook until the fish actually tries to run with the bait. If you lose a northern pike then don’t reel in right away, go slowly because the fish might actually strike it again.
  • You Need the Right Size Bait – If you’re looking to catch a monster northern pike then you’ll need something bigger than the average tackle store minnow. Large northern pike won’t waste the time or energy to chase small bait fish, so you’ll want to use bait that is between 6 to 8 inches long. Since most bait stores won’t carry these you’ll want to consider getting a tackle box to catch your own bait.
  • Best Type of Lures – The best type of lures for northern pike are dardevles and jerk bait because they replicate the type of bait fish that can be found naturally in the lake you’re fishing in. For specific brands, we recommend Eppinger’s Original Dardevle Bait and Rapala’s Husky Jerk Bait. Large spoons can also be very effective, especially if you use a quality brand such as the Cotton Cordell Spoon Lure.
  • Fish the Weeds – Small to medium northern pike are usually found near heavily weeded areas. This is because they are ambush predators and like to ambush their prey. The larger northern pike will be where they can hide in deep water to attack larger types of fish such as walleye or largemouth bass.

Northern Pike Fishing Records

Have you caught a big northern pike that you thought was a world record? Well, now you’ll be able to know next time if you have the next IGFA northern pike all-tackle world record! Below you’ll see the current record for a monster northern pike that was caught by an angler. It’s been quite a while since this record was set, but you never know, we might see your name listed below in the future.

Northern Pike World RecordLothar Louis caught a northern pike in the Lake of Greferrn in Germany on October 16th, 1986 that weighed 25 kg (55 lbs. 1 oz.)


Northern Pike Facts and Stats

We’ve put the below facts together for those anglers who just want to know the basics about northern pike. Some of the below information may or may not be an average, while others might be the top of the bell curve and only represent less than 5% of the world’s northern pike population. These facts were put together using references of the highest credibility. You may find stats that differ from other websites, but we feel that our stats most accurately represent northern pike.

  • Scientific Name: Northern Pike (exos lucius)
  • Nickname(s): Northerns, pike
  • Lifespan: Up to 24 years
  • Length: Up to 3′, but on average much smaller
  • Weight: Up to 20 pounds, but on average much smaller
  • Range: The entire northern hemisphere, mostly Europe, Russia and North America


More Resources on Northern Pike

Thank you for visiting our website. We hope the information provided will be helpful and make it easier for you to catch more northern pike in the future. We have provided the below 3rd party websites to allow you to continue your research on this amazing fish. Hopefully they are beneficial to you and if you know of any other useful sites that should be listed below then please let us know.