:: Trolling For Pike ::

Trolling For Pike

Many anglers at prefer to troll for northern pike because it’s easier and it often yields the largest Pike. It also allows the fisherman to cover more territory than he or she would by casting or jigging. When the waters warm up in summer time, Northern Pike will head towards the cooler, deeper water. This is prime time for deep water trolling. As the colorful fall transformation begins, Northern Pike begin to feed a little bit more aggressively, and the bigger Pike are feeding hard. They start gorging themselves on larger bait fish before the ice covers them for the winter, and will move into the shallower waters once again, and can be caught by trolling or casting. The Northern Pike caught this time of year can be the biggest ones you’ll ever catch.

Pike Trolling Gear
When it comes to fishing line, you want good strength and great feel while the rigs bounce off the sand/mud/rocks/weeds. I prefer to use the Power Pro Spectra line (20lb) when fishing for the large Pike. You can’t beat Power Pro’s strength and even if it gets frayed (which happens a lot when Pike fishing) it generally will hang on long enough for you to have a chance to re-tie. When fishing for the mighty Northern Pike, you’ll also want to be using a steel leader, which help fight the ware and tare of the line hitting the rocks and most importantly the Northern Pike’s massive teeth.Any medium-heavy action rod will do for typical trolling (this isn’t deep sea fishing). Abu Garcia has some affordable trolling combos that are nice options if you want a standalone trolling combo, otherwise I would stick with any bait-caster or spinning combo you use for casting and jigging.

Pike Trolling Methods
There are two distinctly different methods of trolling when it comes to Pike fishing. There is front trolling (normal trolling) with spinners, spinner baits, spoons, lures, (with or without boards) or and there is back trolling (trolling with the boat in reverse) with live bait rigs. Back trolling allows you to make a slow presentation which is the best approach for using live bait. You want to use enough weight so your rig is slowly bouncing off the bottom.
On windy days you’ll probably have to troll forwards no matter what type of rig to prevent waves from splashing. When lure fishing, 
use models that are 5-7 inches long. For fishing with lipped baits in summer time, choose the larger lips to dive deep. When the water temperatures are cooler you can fish shallower waters with small lipped, shallow running baits. You want the lure to be fairly close to the bottom. If your lures aren’t reaching deep enough you can use what we call a Y rig, which adds weight to your rig and will get you as deeper while not compromising lure presentation.

Y Rig for Pike Fishing

Back trolling with bait can be done with the same light weight rods and reels so you can feel the fish run with the bait. The Y rig with live bait is another great option but it must be fished slowly. Feel free to add an occasional twitch to tease a strike out of those constantly pressured Pike.

Spoon Trolling for Pike
Trolling spoons are great in deep lakes because they can be fished on in-line boards. You can use a planer mast system or if you prefer a series of diving planers can be used also. The typical trolling spoon has good action from 1.5 mph to about 4 mph. The strategy for spoon trolling for Pike is to speed up and cover lots of water. You should cover the water column both vertically and horizontally in an attempt to find as many fish as possible. This is the quickest way to find large Pike. Go right after them to determine the depth they are biting at, then I saturate that depth zone with similar spoons.
Spoons should be fished with a variety of tools to put them in their desired depth. Both floating and sinking devices are available. In the floating category there are two popular divers out there suitable for spoon trolling including the Luhr Jensen Jet Diver and the Walker TripZ Diver. Both are similar and in fact almost identical. These floating divers come in different sizes designed to achieve various depths. The size 10 and 20 will dive deep enough to reach walleye in most situations. In deeper water typically found in the Great Lakes the 30 and 40 sizes are popular. Mini divers are another great tool to getting the spoons to drop. A ball bearing swivel is also necessary so the leader won’t twist and tangle.

Pike Trolling Lures
There are a number of lures that can be used when trolling for Pike. If your front trolling with spinner baits and not using boards, the larger the better (white and red seems to be the ideal color for me). Mepp’s bucktail spinners also work great. Here’s a list of some other great Pike trolling lures

  • Mepp’s Syclops Spoons
  • Quickbait lipless Crank Baits
  • J-ll Jointed Rapalas
  • J-13 Deeper Jointed Rapalas
  • Ziggy Lures
  • Willy Lures
  • Wiley Lures
  • Believers
  • Swimwizz
  • Large Mepps Bucktails
  • Lucky Strike Wooden Muskie Plugs
  • Hedon Muskie Plugs
  • Musky Mayhem Baby Girl
Trolling for Northern Pike can be easy and fun if you have the right equipment. Medium to heavy action rods with 20lb Proline is a great place to start. Troll under 5 mph and cover as much depth as you have rods. Choose the Y rig if you need to get down to those deeper depths

**What are you waiting for? Go catch em!**
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