Choosing the best northern pike ice fishing bait is a challenge, especially for beginners. That is why it is critical to invest time and effort into research before making the purchase.
What Is the Best Bait for Northern Pike Ice Fishing?
Take a fairly large bait with a length of approximately 3 inches. There is no specific lure color that works best. It is recommendable to have several bait types and experiment with those.
Select the bait weight depending on the fishing location: in calm and shallow water, use lighter ones; in the current and depth – heavier.
Where to Fish for Northern Pike in Winter
Catching pike in winter requires searching. It may require tens of holes to be drilled. To narrow the search area for winter pike sites, you should pay attention to such areas of the reservoir as:
- The coastal area overgrown with reeds
- Upper and lower edges of the coast
- Snag, which can be found along the branches sticking out from under the ice
- Flooded trees or logs left from the timber floating
- Drill several holes approximately 5-10 meters around the snag and along the shoreline reeds.
Pike are alert when there is noise on the ice surface, so start fishing from the first drilled hole.
What Is the Best Pike Ice Fishing Strategy?
Ice fishing for pike differs from the open water season due to the behavior of this predator. While the fish thrives in the summer and autumn, greedily attacking the prey fish, in winter, it goes through harsh times. Accordingly, the activity of pike during this period is lower. The habits of the northern pike in winter directly depend on the external weather conditions, the oxygen content in the water, and the prey fish’s location.
There is no need to expect short and unpredictable hunting sprees when the predator grabs everything that moves in the water. The pike is not a raider but an ambush hunter. Therefore, the point of search tactics while fishing is to find such an ambush.
The behavior of pike in winter is cyclical – the more severe the conditions, the more passive the fish. But even in the most unfavorable times, the predator continues its hunt at a slower pace.
Tips to Catch the Northern Pike in Winter
In winter, it is critical to reduce the overall speed and intensity of fishing. If in summer, the process happens quickly, in winter, you need to wait for the pike. Therefore, the correct choice of the place of fishing is critical.
It is essential to study the pike’s general behavior and conduct observations at a specific water body during the season. Only then will it be possible to try predicting the pike’s behavior for that particular location.
Crucial Factors to Consider Before Ice Fishing for Northern Pike
Pike habitats in winter directly depend on the oxygen content in the water and the availability of food fish. In winter, the predator fish prefer to stay where the water’s oxygen saturation is slightly higher than in other parts of the reservoir. At low temperatures, pike cannot efficiently produce oxygen, so it is simply easier for them to breathe where there is more of this gas in the water. Pike also cannot conduct long hunts since energy saving is the primary condition for survival.
Pike fishing in winter is a popular activity among fishermen. With some knowledge of pike habits, ice fishing brings a lot of catch and tons of excitement. Using the right bait is one of the steps to succeeding in this challenging task. Keep in mind that the best northern pike ice fishing bait is a highly subjective term and depends on a variety of factors.