Ice fishing is a popular activity enjoyed by many anglers across the world. As soon as it snows, many ice anglers come out and target their favorite species. However, the Pike is one of the most popular fish species to target for anglers. Catching Pike is a little bit tricky because it is a stubborn fish. So, you must know some tricks before catching Pike.
After researching thoroughly, this guide will teach you how to ice fish for Pike in 2024 in cold waters using simple, easy-to-follow tips. Before you go out ice fishing, it’s important to have the right gear and know how to use it. Here are some essentials you’ll need:
1. An ice fishing rod.
2. A reel with a good-quality line.
3. A good pair of ice fishing boots.
4. A good quality ice fishing hat.
5. Sunscreen and insect repellent.
Once you have your gear, it’s time to get out and start fishing! Here are some tips on how to catch it.
Related: Check this article if you don’t know how to do trout fishing on ice.
Pike Ice Fishing Rod and Reels
For targeting pike fish, you will need a strong rod and reel combo because it is very difficult to handle big Pike when it is attached to a hook. Take a rod of 36-inch medium or heavy power, and your reel should be of 2000 size. Your mainline must be strong enough when catching large Pike. Pike have very sharp teeth, so they can easily cut thin fishing lines, which is why you must have a suitable leader.
A metal leader is the best choice for you, and many anglers consider it when targeting Pike. Avoid going too light on a rod and reel combo setup, as you will have trouble catching big Pike.
Where to Find Pike for Ice Fishing
The hardest part for any angler is locating a specific fish under the ice. You may encounter obstacles when ice fishing for Pike, but knowledge is the real secret to finding any fish. Once you acquire the knowledge, you can find Pike through the snow in minutes.
The best places to find Pike vary during early, mid and late snow, as do other species. Pike usually like to stay in the middle depths but move closer to the bottom as the water gets deeper.
During the early snow, Pike will be found in places where they were feeding during the fall. Large shallow weed flats or similar locations such as points and bars can be ideal places to search. Try to target the edge zones, as it will give you better results. Weed beds are prime places to ice fish for Pike, but try fishing outside the weed beds to target bigger Pike during the early ice.
During mid-winter, many anglers don’t consider targeting pikes as the bite slows down. However, inexperienced anglers know that this is the best time to catch the biggest fish. Pike goes to deeper water and stays near rocks, hummocks, and hills in deep lake basins. You can easily find the Pike if you find the prey.
During late ice, You can find the Pike in slightly deeper water near shallow spawning ground, weedy coves, and bays as they start moving to these areas or similar areas. It is a great opportunity to catch pikes because they feed very vigorously at this time. You must change the location if you don’t get any bite within one to two hours of fishing.
Use Electronics and Map to Find Pike
Nowadays, many people prefer to use electronics like fish finders to catch fish. If you have a fish finder, it will help you a lot because you can easily find the structure and concentration of bait-fish, and you can see the Pike live on the display.
The best technique for finding Pike is to use a lake map. It will help you find the ideal underwater structure to target, especially when used with a GPS. As soon as you find a pike, be sure to make a way-point on your map for future reference.
Strategies of Drilling Holes
The best technique to ice fish for Pike is to dig holes in a zigzag pattern and dig deep. Look for submerged covers such as weed beds, rock piles, and submerged timber. Once you find Pike at an effective depth throughout the lake, focus only on that depth for the best results.
Ice fishing techniques for Pike
There are two best techniques to ice fish for Pike.
Tip Up Fishing for Pike
The most popular method to ice fish for Pike is to use tip-ups. The tip-up methods will maximize your results and help you find many pikes in a single day. Tip-ups are hand lines marked with a flag that pops up when you get a bite, and once set, you can watch from afar while waiting for a bite. This is because you can cast more lines to cover more water and thus increase your chances of catching more fish.
Pike love to eat bait-fish, so choosing the right bait is key to catching these creatures on your hook. A 4 to 6-inch bait on a hook will be sufficient to produce more Pike than all other methods. One more tip to get maximum results is to use a bobber instead of a hook. This way, you can keep track of the bait-fish without worrying about losing your hook.
Jigging for Pike
Jigging is also a very popular method to ice fish for Pike because they have more fun catching a large pike on a rod and reel than Tip-ups. Jigging basically relies on your fishing rod. Pick up your fishing rod to which your lure is attached and drop it down in the water column. Pikes are the largest fish species, so if you want to target Pike through the ice with jigging, always use bigger lures.
Best Lures for Pike
Lures play a vital role in catching Pike or any other fish. There are many lures in the market, but as I said before. Pike is one of the biggest fish species, so keep in mind that the lures for pikes should be bigger than for other fish. Spoons, Swim-baits, and Blade baits are the top lures for pikes fishing.
Spoons are the deadliest option for catching Pike, especially in large sizes. Pikes like to eat bait-fish, and spoons are designed to look like injured bait-fish. They come in various colors and patterns, and when you lower to the bottom before raising and then lowering them again, they produce vibrations which help to get the attention of the Pike.
Swimbait lures come with a tail and can be used with a jig head. You can use them for lure by lowering them at the bottom for three seconds before bringing them up to two feet and repeating the process over again. They are currently the best bait for Pike for vertical fishing because they create a lateral movement when you jig them up and down.
Blade baits are very popular among experienced anglers and are very similar to spoons. They are made of thin metal and are attached to a line in the middle of the back. Like spoons, they also create vibrations when you jig them up and down that help get the Pike’s attention.
what size hooks for pick ice fishing?
In general, hook sizes between 6 to 14 are ideal for ice fish for Pike. The best starting point is the #6 hook because it can handle the most dead baits.
what colors are pikes attracted to?
Your lure representation plays a vital role in getting Pike’s attention. So never compromise on them. Your lure should be bright in color. On sunny days, red, black, or white are the perfect options. Whereas, on cloudy days, blue and chartreuse are ideal colors to attract the pikes towards the lures.
Pikes are the largest fish through the ice and are a lot of fun to catch. I hope your problem is over and you can catch dozens of Pike after implementing the above tips.