One of the major species of game fish in the Adirondacks is the northern pike. Pike exist in most of the freshwater lakes and river in the Adirondacks. They range in size form very small to very large and when I say large they are one of the largest of the freshwater game fish. Typically they are caught form 18” to 30” inches long. They are long in shape and have many rows of teeth.
Where to fish for Pike
Pike love weeds, absolutely love them. In the spring you will find many large pike left over from the post spawning period in less then 10 feet of water around weed beds. As the water temperature raises larger pike will head into deeper water but small pike in the 18 inch size class will stick to the weeds. Pike like most fish seem to like drop offs and rocky ledges, look for some weed beds on the edge of deep water and also where streams empty into lakes.
What to use fishing for Pike
Everyone has favorite lures for pike fishing; old school people will suggest dare devil spoons and buck tail spinners, both of which work well I try to avoid treble hooks. First off I don’t like picking weeds of my bait every other cast, secondly I don’t kill the pike I catch so a single hook is preferred. I would say the deadliest pike lure made is a large bright colored spinner bait. I find a fast retrieve right across the edges of weeds works great. I have also found that trolling spinner baits fast works well too.
Probably my second favorite lure would be large rubber stick bait; I personally prefer a 6” slug-go, with a 12” inch wire leader. I have found a big fish will inhale the slug plus a few inches of line so the 4-6 inch leaders don’t cut it. This can be rigged almost weedless so it can be jerked thru all kinds of cover. I found these lure work the best in the spring
My last favorite method for pike fishing is trolling artificial lures usually a shad rap or similar bait. This can be very effective but trolling is boring.
What tackle to use for pike fishing
For a while I was under the delusion that you need heavy tackle or line to fish for pike. I used spider wire braided line and it was pretty cool never having to worry about getting snagged. Then I took a few fishing trips in Key West on one of these trips I caught a bull shark that was about 7 feet long, On 20 pound test line. Boy did I feel stupid out there using 40lb spider wire some itty-bitty 30-inch pike. Last season I used 8lb test and light action spinning gear. This year I am trying ultra light gear with 4 lb test. I mean fishing is supposed to be a sport right? Give the fish a chance