Author: Chris Huskilison
SPRING PIKE FISHING
spring is in the air and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than catching some toothy Pike! Pike move shallow during the spring with the sole purpose to spawn. This takes place immediately after ice-out in 37-40 degree water temperatures. The window in which spawning takes place is quite short, often taking occurring before we can even get a boat in the water. Pike spawn over shallow, submerged vegetation on flood plains in rivers and back bays in larger lakes. Once the Spawn is done, they immediately move slightly deeper to recover and wait for the water temperature to increase. When the water approaches 50-55 degrees it seems Pike are most susceptible to angling tactics. That time is now!!Targeting Pike in the spring can be challenging but extremely rewarding with multiple fish days when considering these few factors.
Focus on areas where the Pike have recently staged before the spawn. I look for transition areas that are in close proximity to where the spawn would have taken place. The first depth variation is typically where they will start to stack up.. In 6-8’ of water. Bays, shoals, and narrow river channels are all great areas to start.As most bays tend to be shallower in comparison to the rest of the lake, weed growth tends to start in these areas before anywhere else. Weed growth provides more oxygen and cover for hunting bait, so look for areas with emergent new weed growth to begin your hunt.Locations that are sure to become abundant with aquatic vegetation are high percentage locations right now. Shoals surrounded by deep water are also a great starting point when targeting pike after ice out, as these areas provide structure for schools of bait fish that the Pike will be feeding on. Early season ice out conditions are typically conducive to suspending jerkbaits and Texas rigged weightless soft plastic flukes. This is usually a starting point for me. As the water warms the fish really start to feed. 50-60 degree water temps seem to call for the following techniques in a rather particular order in my experience. The second the Jerkbait bite seems to slow I will switch to a 5-6” Swimbait along with a swim jig of similar proportions. And when that bite starts to slow, typically when the water reaches 59-60 degrees, it’s time to add blades and bladed jigs to the menu. When we are locked at 60 degrees or higher a top water can’t be beat regardless of time of day. Every water body is slightly different from the next. But over the years I have honed in this particular order of business through my observations.
Pike product recommendations
For soft plastic jerkbaits, a Zoom Super Fluke is my go to. When rigged weightless this can be deadly for finicky shallow Pike.
Another option,as the water warms, is a Googan Saucey Swimmer rigged weedless or open. Slow role and hang on!
These also pair nicely with a Bladed Z-Man Eye Strike. Sometimes a little added vibration can really seal the deal.
When I make the final adjustments as water warms I lean heavily on blades and top water. There are a lot of options out there with regards to spinnerbaits. However, I’ve noticed a considerable increase in bites with the SV3 models from Megabass. And would recommend these without hesitation.
For top waters. I have had tremendous success with the River 2 Sea Whopper Plopper in all sizes. There’s just something about their rhythmic pulsing that drives them crazy.
Scent is Key!! especially in cold water conditions! I prefer Liquid Mayhem scent products. A small one time application will often last all day long. And the pike absolutely love it!
Don't let your Pike be the one that got away! Prevent your line from being cut by a Pike's teeth by using the Huskie Muskie Pike Leaders.
So, as the ice begins to melt, you really should start planning and getting your gear ready for the transitioning hungry pike that early spring is famous for. Research local areas and come prepared . The time is now! Tight lines!